When auditing a website, webmasters follow a standard procedure: First, they conduct a content audit and then, an SEO audit.
Generally, these two audits help websites discover and fix multiple on-site issues harming the search engine visibility. However, amidst these two prominent players of SEO, a UX audit is often ignored.
In this post, you’ll learn:
- What is a UX audit?
- Why should you do a UX audit of your website?
- How to conduct a UX audit of your website?
What is a UX audit?
A UX audit focuses on the discovery and fixing of issues affecting a user’s experience on your website. Conducting UX audits includes analysis of your entire website’s design along with its structure and navigation. Coupling UX audit with content and SEO audit can prove to be beneficial for your site’s search engine visibility.
Why should you do a UX audit of your website?
Your site might have a good UX, but you can make it better. Your website has enough potential to make your audience happier. And what’s directly proportional to a delighted audience? Higher traffic and sales! Apart from this, a UX audit improves lead generation, conversions, and engagement.
How to conduct a UX audit of your website?
Is your site mobile-friendly?
By now, your website must have a mobile-friendly variant. If it doesn’t, prioritize making your site mobile friendly. Mobile-first indexing is not only an official Google ranking factor, but also 62% of internet traffic is mobile-driven.
Imagine, someone accessing your website on a mobile device, and they find themselves unable to operate it conveniently. What will those users do? They will access your substitutes for solutions -in other words, your competitors.
You wouldn’t want that to happen. Well, no-one does. So, let’s make your site mobile-friendly.
Switch to a responsive web design
Website serving is divided into two parts:
- Dynamic Serving
- Responsive Serving
Websites running on a dynamic serving have separate variants for tablets, mobile devices, desktops, etc.
Whereas a site with a responsive serving adapts itself based on the devices it is accessed on, like this:
You have two options:
- Create a dynamic version of your website
- Switch to a responsive design
You can go with any of these; although, I’d suggest that you switch to a responsive design. It requires less maintenance and is more affordable than dynamic serving.
You can also have the best of both worlds -one section of your site can be dynamic, and another can be responsive. To be honest, Google doesn’t care about it as long as your website works well on mobile devices, too.
Optimize the title and meta descriptions
Title and meta descriptions appear differently on desktop;
The latter has fewer characters in the meta description than the former. Since meta description compels users to click on the result, it must be communicated appropriately.
The optimum character limit of a meta description for mobile SERPs is 120, whereas desktop has 158.
Use more powerful servers
When you have a mobile-friendly website, the frequency of the crawl increases, which affects your site’s loading speed directly. This happens because frequent crawling increases the load on your site’s servers. Therefore, you must switch to a more powerful server than the one on which you are operating currently.
Remove the popups and ads
Abrupt popups and ads harm your site’s UX in desktop as well as mobile devices. But, we’ll get into the details in the 2nd point.
Run a mobile-friendly test
Now, let’s check whether your site is mobile-friendly or not. You can use the Mobile Friendly Test tool by RankWatch.
The tool will take 30 seconds to run the analysis and produce the report.
The tool also provides you with suggestions to improve your site’s responsiveness.
2. Remove the popups and ads
I’ll just go ahead and say it: “popups are annoying”.
But they can be an impressive marketing tool if utilized with effective planning. Unplanned popups that appear abruptly just as a user visits a website forces them to exit. Plus, the situation worsens when the popups are not optimized for mobile devices.
Open your site in an incognito tab and check the number of popups that appear during a session. An exit popup and an entry popup (that appears after 3-4 scrolls) are subtle. If there are more, then just remove them.
The same goes for advertisements as well. Too many ads extensively hamper the site’s UX; plus, it harms the trustworthiness of a website.
Apart from this, Google has stated officially that pages with intrusive interstitials will be penalised.
3. Check the navigation
Imagine opening a website, and you have no clue what to do after that. You don’t know which page to visit and where to find the answer to your query.
That’s why you must provide the visitors with a clear roadmap allowing them to navigate your entire website conveniently. The navigation also helps the crawlers to crawl your entire site and index every single page.
Your homepage must be linked to all the essential pages of your website and then, those pages must be connected to other pages and so forth.
Have a look at the homepage of RankWatch:
You can find all the important pages in the top menu, including Pricing, Resources and free tools, and details about the company.
If you scroll down, you will find short descriptions of each feature. You can click on them to explore more about each feature.
IMPORTANT. Remember to limit the CTAs on a particular page. Too many CTAs can drive your audience away rather than converting them. So, remember to place them smartly by questioning yourself “should a CTA be placed here?”
4. Readable font
What would visitors do on your site if they are unable to read the text? The navigation won’t be helpful in that case at all. So, here is a list of things that you can do to improve your site’s readability.
- Large font size.
- Sans Serif is more readable than the serif font.
- There must be enough white spaces beside the content.
- Align the content in the centre and bold the headings.
- Structure your content with appropriate heading sizes.
5. Handle broken links
Conduct a link analysis of your entire website and find out the links that return an error code 404. Such links must be removed or replaced with working links on priority because they not only harm the UX but also hampers the crawling of your website.
When users encounter an error code 404, they confide in your competitors for solutions. And when crawlers encounter too many broken links, then that puts your site’s domain authority and trustworthiness in question.
UX audit is often the most ignored type of audit that webmasters conduct; even if it is as important as content and SEO audit. Following these five steps can help improve your site’s UX experience and SEO.
These steps are not too technical; in contrast, they are basic yet highly effective and important. Apart from this, numerous other on-page factors that can drastically improve your site’s SEO in 2020. Compiling those factors and the 3 types of audit mentioned multiple times in this article can create a winning SEO strategy.