If you’re here reading about our UX Audit process and the value it offers to your business, we’re assuming you already know a little bit about UX in general, but here’s a brief overview, just in case. UX, short for User Experience, is the overall experience a user has when visiting a website. It is about creating meaningful and relevant experiences, so much to the point a user may not even realise they are having a great experience because everything is clear and works as it should. Poor user experiences are the ones a user will remember and get frustrated about, resulting in site exits and competitors gaining your valuable customers.
UX auditing includes exploring how easy it is to find information, how clear the navigation is, if things are working correctly, if text and images are visible and clear, the functionality of different site elements, and ultimately, the user end goal (user funnel from entrance to conversion). If you’re looking for more info on SEO in general, you can check out our SEO guide or keep up with the latest UX tips and insights over at Moz.
This blog post is going to take you through our audit process for UX. This process may, of course, differ between agencies and other SEO service providers, but this is how we do it at 90 Digital.
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WHAT IS A UX AUDIT?
A UX Audit is a thorough examination of a website from a user perspective. The process explores the journey users need to take on a website from the first page they enter to macro conversions, looking at all of the micro conversions along the way. It includes a full conversion funnel analysis, user behaviour analysis, UX review and analytics audit. Which explores everything from the way a user interacts with a website, to how they convert – including onsite elements, design, branding, engagement and, of course, solid data to back everything up.
The outcome is a visual report which provides an in-depth analysis of user behaviour, site accessibility, design, content, navigation and brand, and the user journey and conversion goals; along with conclusions and recommendations ordered by priority and how to implement any fixes. The main purpose of this audit being to identify any issues that may affect user experience on the website and provide actionable next steps, which can either be taken away and actioned in-house or we can carry out the implementation of the recommendations at our end, depending on budget, resources and preferences.
The UX audit may have some small crossover with a Tech SEO audit, where elements may be analysed from both a search engine and a front-facing user – such as page speed and mobile optimisation.
This type of audit is particularly important for SEO because if your site is not easy to navigate or understand, you are immediately losing potential customers to your competitors. If done correctly, the implemented results could affect a number of KPIs, including:
- Bounce Rate
- Dwell Time
- Pogo Sticking Rates
- User Engagement
WHY IS A UX AUDIT IMPORTANT?
A great user experience is one that goes unnoticed. A user can enter a website, find what they’re looking for, do what they need to do, reach their end goal, and leave the site without giving a second thought to a button or font or colour.
It’s very easy to look at your website and see which areas need improving visually and determine how you would like the design to look or how you would like something to work. Sometimes, something which is broken or visually unappealing may be very obvious that it needs changing. However, without analysing the data, it could cost you dearly.
For example, if you change a button you think looks ugly or change the position because you add a new design element, that button may actually have been one of the top converters of the user funnel on the website and it will not be easy to understand any drop in goal completions, conversion rate, or ROI.
EXPLORING THE ELEMENTS OF A UX AUDIT
Our UX service includes the audit and optimisation of onsite user experience.
The audit explores:
- User behaviour: Analysing how users are currently engaged and behaving on the website and through the conversion funnel.
- Site accessibility: A user perspective into speed, mobile, and cross device accessibility.
- Brand Identity: Presentation and consistency of the brand and trust elements sitewide.
- Content, design & navigation: An analysis of the site content, design and how users get around the site.
- User Journey & Conversion Goals: An examination of the user journey and conversion goals being tracked on site.
- Conclusions & Recommendations: A final review of the findings along with our recommended next steps.
Understanding how your users are navigating around your website and interacting with the different pages and elements means you can create a data-driven strategy to optimise each area and maximise results from each step of the user funnel. This part of the audit looks at your current audience, user acquisition, onsite user behaviour and device trends.
Depending on traffic levels and the turnaround time for the audit, heat, scroll and click maps, user recordings, feedback tags and form analytics can also be installed on the website to get a clearer insight into how users are engaging with the pages. These additional resources help you to see how users are physically engaging with the site in a visual way and can help to unlock the data and find areas in need of optimisation.
It is imperative that your website loads as quickly as possible across all browsers and devices to ensure all users have the best experience on the website, no matter where they’re accessing it from. The Site Accessibility section of the audit delves into the user perspective of site speed, mobile compatibility and cross-device accessibility.
The page speed analysis looks at how quickly the website loads and what could be improved to increase loading times. Google uses site speed as a ranking factor for desktop and mobile. Ultimately, if a website takes too long to load, Google will consider not including it in search results. Not only does the time a website takes to load impacts rankings, but it also affects the user experience, particularly on mobile where you’re also competing with mobile internet connectivity and speeds lower than desktop. We will make sure your website can be accessed on mobile and that it is optimised for mobile and other small screen device users. You can check out our guide to optimising your website for mobile to get a deeper insight into the kind of thing we will audit in this section.
A clear, strong brand is important for any business in order to build trust and loyalty within your customer base. This section of the audit looks at the presentation and consistency of your brand onsite and offsite, including an in depth look into trust elements, brand colour and graphics used sitewide and on offsite platforms, and a comprehensive competitor analysis into branding and trust elements.
The brand audit allows you to get brand clarity improve marketing consistency, enhance competitive differentiation, increase customer acquisition, command premium pricing and maximise brand equity.
If you know your brand needs work, why not take a look at our guide on ‘Why and How to Create a Brand Book for your Business’.
CONTENT, DESIGN & NAVIGATION
A poorly designed website is one of the quickest ways to lose visitors. If a user comes onto the website and cannot find where they need to go or find the information they are looking for, you can rest assured that they will find it on one of your competitors’ websites and you may have lost a valuable customer in a matter of seconds.
One of the core elements of onsite user experience is the content, the design, and the navigation, so this section forms a large part of the UX audit, going into depth into onsite content (both static and dynamic), site navigation menus, internal linking strategy, onsite forms, format, style and layout of the content (including above the fold analysis) and content presentation (including fonts, graphics, links, logos and headings). This section also includes a full competitor analysis into content, design and navigation of top competitors.
USER JOURNEY & CONVERSION GOALS
A clear user journey and solid understanding of your conversion strategy is vital for turning website users into loyal customers. This section examines each step of the user journey on your website and identifies any gaps or missing information along the way that could be losing your visitors. It highlights where the hooks are, or should be, and how to implement them into your funnel. We also analyse the current conversion goal setup and detail what micro and macro conversions should be tracked, along with GA events for additional engagement and data. This section also includes a competitor analysis of user funnels and conversion goals to get an idea of core CTAs and hooks on your competitors’ websites.
CONCLUSIONS & RECOMMENDATIONS
The final part of the audit provides a thorough overview of our findings and conclusions from each section of the audit and we then provide comprehensive recommendations in order of priority, from immediate fixes to ‘nice-to-haves’.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I RECEIVE MY UX AUDIT REPORT?
After you receive your UX Audit Report, your project manager will schedule a time with you to go through the report in its entirety. You will have the opportunity to ask any questions you have, go into more detail on anything you would like more information or explanation on, and discuss the recommendations and next steps to ensure your priorities are aligned.
The actionable recommendations can either be addressed in-house, with or without our support, or we can address these fully for you. We will work with you to put together a framework of tasks, deadlines and priorities in line with the recommendations and your strategy. Following a UX Audit, a CRO strategy can be created, which will allow elements to be tested before making onsite changes and allow us to extract further data into what your users are looking for and prefer in terms of all areas of the user experience. The purpose of the UX Implementation service is to make sure the results of the audit are executed on the site, which will ensure the site is optimised for users.
Having a lot of traffic visiting your website is great, but if you do not optimise your website to keep your visitors engaged and hook them into converting, you are wasting a lot of potential opportunities as they leave for your competitors. By taking the time to analyse what your website currently has to offer and how it works from a user perspective, you can really improve your conversion rates, customer base and overall ROI.