Today, user experience (UX) and monetization go hand in hand. Optimization of your website or mobile app to provide a better experience for visitors can significantly improve your ability to generate revenue. For example, when ESPN redesigned its home page to improve user experience, it had a profound impact. Not only did site traffic increase, but revenue grew by 35%.
However, this doesn’t just impact mega-websites. Whether you’re a blogger or small business, small publisher or large enterprise, your website needs to provide a powerful, engaging user experience if you want to optimize your ad revenue.
Your landing pages and webpages need to be running perfectly, be easy to use, and attractive to first time visitors and generate return visits.
How Important is User Experience?
If you threw a party and nobody showed up, it wouldn’t matter how fabulous it was. Nobody will ever know.
User experience is important to your app or website in the same way, affecting overall performance and monetization. Having a poor user experience will mean a loss of potential customers, revenue, and new visitors.
UX isn’t about just one thing, however. It is a cumulative effect drawn from multiple elements that all contribute to a better user experience.
A bad website design can tarnish your brand. A site that looks out-of-date or is crammed with ad units does not send a positive message.
You need a contemporary design that’s intuitive for users. They should be able to quickly find what they want and discover high-quality and relevant content or answers to their questions.
While website designs can become quite complex, a clean and simple design is the most effective. Search engines like clean designs, too. It makes it easier for them to catalog webpages and understand the content.
Clutter is often the enemy. You can work with a great ad network, but if users bounce from your site quickly, they may never see your ads. If the ads don’t perform well, advertisers may not return.
While your website design should be aesthetically pleasing, its functionality is crucial to success.
Ease of Navigation
You can have great content, but if you have a poor user interface that prevents website visitors from finding it, it won’t matter how good it is. If navigation is poor, visitors aren’t likely to return.
Website visitors today typically scan pages for what they’re looking for, so ease of use is essential for a quality UX. A well-organized website with pages that make it easy for content and ads to stand out is key to success.
Load Time/Page Speed
As pages take longer to load, website visitors often click away to something else. A 2-3 second delay in loading speed can increase bounce rates by nearly a third.
Some publishers help accelerate page load speeds by using what’s called lazy loading for ads. Ads are only rendered when users navigate a page and bring ads into focus. Placeholder containers are loaded but only replaced with ad content when users scroll to their location.
Statistics on User Experience
When it comes to engaging your website visitors and monetizing your website, you simply cannot underestimate the importance of the user experience. User research shows just how important UX is in attracting people to your website and keeping them there.
Poor UX causes people to leave websites quickly. Not only do you miss an opportunity to engage with them or monetize your site, but you may also be driving them directly to your competitors. Nearly eight out of 10 users say when they can’t quickly find what they are looking for on a website, they go searching elsewhere.
On the flip side, a great user experience can provide significant gains. A Forrester Research report shows that sites with poor UX could potentially raise conversion rates up to 400% by reducing friction with a seamless UX design strategy.
The better your user experience, the more it impacts everything you do. Website visitors are more likely to stay on your website, engage with your content (including ads), and check out other pages. A good UX means visitors are more likely to return to your site again. User satisfaction helps create positive associations with your brand.
All of this is positive and means visitors are more likely to view more ads on your homepage or elsewhere on your site, click on your ads and your call to action (CTA), and generate more revenue.
User Experience Metrics to Watch
UX should be part of your initial website or app design. Most developers will test designs and interfaces to find anything that might hinder users from having a good experience. Even mature sites, however, need to pay attention to metrics to find friction points and continue to optimize.
Publishers should monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) over time for benchmarking and then be vigilant about recognizing anomalies (positive or negative). This can be clues to changing user behavior or areas where UX could use improvement.
Here are some of the KPIs to keep an eye on through Google Analytics or other site analytics tools.
Page Load Times
Often, initial designs on websites load quickly. Over time, as publishers add additional elements and codes, it can impact how fast websites load.
If you haven’t checked your page load times recently, you should do so now. Google provides a free PageSpeed Insights tool to check your site for both mobile and desktop. It will show you anything that’s bogging down your site and provide recommendations for improving performance.
If you find your site has suboptimal loading times, you will want to take a deeper dive into all of the elements that are loading. You should evaluate your ad networks as well.
Each time a user hits your webpage and views an ad unit, the ad network sends an ad call. Real-time bidding occurs with the highest bidder winning. Then, the ad is served. While this happens in milliseconds, even a slight delay can cause page speed problems. That’s one reason why it’s so important to work with the right Adtech vendor, like Newor Media, as your ad network solution partner.
A bounce occurs when someone visits a landing page on your site but then leaves after viewing a single thing. Especially if they leave quickly, it’s an indication that they didn’t find what they wanted or were less than satisfied with what they did find.
If your bounce rate increases when you start serving new or additional ads, you may have overdone it and added too many ads.
Usability testing is a good way to examine pages that have high bounce rates.
UX also impacts lead generation. You’ll want to make sure you have a clear, concise copy with a strong call to action that makes it easy for people to provide the information you need to put them into your marketing funnel.
When leads fall off, it may be the offer you’re making. However, it’s also a sign that the user experience may be lacking.
Customers take similar journeys in making purchase decisions. B2C customers may look at multiple items before deciding on one. Then, they might put the item in their shopping cart and finalize the sale. For B2B sales, you might know — for example — that users typically look at multiple pages and watch a product demo video before purchasing.
By monitoring sessions and patterns, you can look for places where the process was interrupted. These are often found in places where the user experience is suffering.
You also want to be monitoring the overall experience after visitors use your website or app. This is often accomplished through doing surveys of your website’s user experience, such as a Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) score or Net Promoter Score (NPS).
CSAT measures overall customer satisfaction, while NPS measures the intensity of the relationship. For example, CSAT asks how satisfied some are with their experience, while NPS asks whether they would promote your brand to others.
In monetizing your website, you will also want to pay close attention to your ad revenue. If you see declines, it’s often a warning sign that there’s a problem with your site traffic or UX design. If you’re running pay-per-click (PPC) ads, you will want to pay attention to the average conversion rate (e.g., how many people click) to assess effectiveness.
Can User Experience Affect SEO?
User experience plays a significant — and often dramatic — role in search results. If a webpage has a slow load time, has poor quality content, or scores poorly on what Google calls Core Web Vitals, you won’t rank high on the search engine results page (SERP).
The goal of a search engine is to show the highest-quality and most relevant content that matches the searcher’s intent when they pose a query. So, search engines consider website metrics and performance in SERP rankings. If a competitor provides a better user experience, you will likely struggle to rank well in comparison — even if your website content is completely optimized for SEO.
For example, if website visitors click on a search result, go to your page, and then bounce quickly, the search engine knows that visitors are not fulfilled by the click. This is known as pogo-sticking and it’s generally considered a ranking signal by search engines.
It could be because your site performs poorly from a technical standpoint (e.g., not optimized for mobile), your site is cluttered with too many ads, or your content is low quality. In any case, a lack of UX optimization leads to a poor experience and it can have a long-term negative impact.
Have we convinced you yet? User experience is a critical component of the success of websites and apps. You need to understand the fundamentals of good UX design and implementation to generate a great UX that keeps people engaged and returning to your website.
Monitoring the right metrics can help.
When you are monetizing your site or app, it’s just as important to work with a partner that understands the delicate balance between advertising and user experience. Newor Media is a hands-on company with deep expertise in UX that generates optimal ad revenue. Ad placements, ad types, number of ad units, and ad design all play a role in user experience. Using decades of experience with online advertising and AI-based tools, Newor Media finds the optimal ad placement for maximizing revenue.
Contact Newor Media today to learn about optimizing UX for higher ad conversions.