With the rise of user experience (UX) trends in content marketing, consumers expect to have more expectations from a brand than ever before. Whether you are an indie content creator or work for a large international enterprise, aligning your website’s UX with the content you produce is highly important.
According to TopTal, 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a website after a bad experience, with 62% stating that it is unlikely they will purchase anything from that brand going forward. These stats are accompanied by the fact that poorly designed UX generates revenue loss up to $2 billion per year for brands without proper content marketing and UX alignment.
However, with the right set of guidelines and tools at your disposal, you can effectively transform the way you produce content going forward. Let’s take a look at some of the most efficient and lucrative methods of aligning content marketing with your website UX design.
Advantages of Content Marketing and UX Design Alignment
Before we talk about the methods on how to align content marketing with UX, let’s start off with the “why” behind the process. Whether curated or not, your visitors will have some form of “experience” with your website. According to UK Web Host Review, 59% of internet users prefer using well-designed websites with only 1% of users relying on sliders in their browsing experience. This shows the disparity between UI and UX design, as well as the importance of aligning the two for a better user experience.
The proper approach to content integration with the UX decisions in accordance with your brand’s values and product portfolio can make a difference. That being said, aligning these two elements includes several benefits, including but not limited to:
Cohesive User’s Experience
Whether you talk about trending industry happenings, how-to guides or write general opinion pieces, all of your content should be aligned with your business’ industry. It allows for a wholly cohesive UX, letting users jump between your online store, blog, project portfolio and other website categories without losing their sense of immersion. Such a cohesion of content and UX will help you build brand awareness, industry authority, and respect among your B2B peers.
Better Organic Ranking
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a difficult topic to talk about in a few sentences. However, websites with proper alignment of content and UX are far more likely to rank highly on search engines such as Google and Bing. This is due to the fact that SEO favors original, relevant, and curated content when it comes to presenting search results to potential leads and customers.
High Return on Investment
Lastly, to align content marketing and UX design, you will have to refer to new tools and resources. Minor web design and content creation changes are inevitable in terms of aligning UX with content marketing. Writing platforms such as Evernote, Trust My Paper, and Hemingway can add more credibility and legibility to your content marketing materials. However, once your content and UX are aligned and function as a whole, you will have much better chances of generating traffic, leads, and revenue.
Methods to Align Content Marketing with UX Design
On-Brand Content Planning with SEO in Mind
As we’ve previously mentioned, the content you produce should always be aligned with your business’ purpose for existing. If your service portfolio has a strong focus on graphic design, your content should reflect the niches you specialize in. The same rule applies no matter how small or extensive your operation is since the end-user won’t have the insight into your business’ scale judging from the website alone.
Services such as BuzzSumo and Google Keyword Planner can be used to find out which topics and trends are popular enough to talk about at any given moment. This will allow your content creators to focus on high-quality production rather than time-consuming research and analysis.
With that in mind, you can also utilize a content calendar to space out your publishing activities throughout individual months. That way, you will effectively condition your followers to keep an eye out for new content in relatively predictable intervals, adding to your website traffic and lead nurturing. On-brand content effectively aligns content marketing with UX design, ensuring that your visitors never have an uncanny feeling that they are reading content made by a different company altogether.
Link Building and Interlinked Content Marketing
To reduce your website’s bounce rate and keep users engaged with your content, you should adopt an internal linking system. For example, writing an article on the basics of web design will allow you to link numerous other posts, tutorials, and resources from your website.
This type of content marketing and UX design alignment will allow you to create a seamless experience for your visitors. To make the most of your older content as time goes by, you should keep future content plans in mind. Never create content ad hoc and without planning for future internal linking opportunities. Specialized articles won’t have a wide range of linking opportunities, for example.
You can add additional value to your articles by utilizing other websites and platforms with rich content, such as Wikipedia and industry-specific outlets. However, your own internal links should take precedence to keep the readers engaged with the content that came from your own offices for growing brand awareness and lead generation.
Chatbots Add Value to Content Marketing Efforts
Chatbots are widely considered to be a very positive addition to any professional website. These AI algorithms allow businesses to engage users 24/7 with pre-made dialogue prompts and questions about their browsing experience.
You can integrate chatbots into your website in numerous ways, including general customer support, sales, conversion opportunities, and others. Your content creators should focus on writing specific questions and professional, curated responses for your chatbots to use in user engagement.
This will allow visitors to interact with your brand even if they are in the middle of reading an article you just posted. Chatbots add a lot of gravitas to your UX design even though they don’t rely on content marketing creation directly. You can gather and analyze chatbot activity data for further UX refinement, better content marketing production, audience segmentation, and other UX improvements down the line.
Minimalist UI Can Maximize Content and UX Alignment
Elements such as popups, subscription forms, sales offers, and others should be kept to a minimum when it comes to a user’s reading experience. Similarly, your multimedia materials should always be hosted on third-party platforms and linked back to your website for faster and easier loading. A great example of well-crafted UX which integrates content marketing seamlessly can be found in Mixd, a professional web design agency. Their approach to content marketing relies on minimalist UI, which amplifies the effect of written content better than any visuals or background distractions could.
Platforms such as ImageShack and YouTube offer numerous avenues for uploading content marketing materials which can be interlinked you’re your website. Individuals who are likely to turn into leads will do so judging by the way you treat their time and attention with your content.
You can introduce calls to action at the beginning and end of your content marketing materials as a way to nudge users into conversion. Don’t rely on popups or distracting messages which don’t add anything to the piece of content currently in focus. Trust that your readers are capable of converting at their own behest if they enjoy the UX design of your website.
Seamless Conversion for Lead Generation & Nurturing
One of the biggest reasons people turn away from online companies and brands is due to overly complicated conversion processes. After all, every industry features multiple brands and websites. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 77% of internet users read blogs, while companies with on-brand content marketing generate 126% more leads than those that don’t.
For example, if your site has an eCommerce sales section available for users to interact with, it is of utmost importance that the purchasing process is quick and user-friendly. It shouldn’t take users multiple clicks, confirmations, identity checks, and other verifications just to order an item from your website.
The same rule applies for account creation, customer support ticket filling, commenting on your content, and other activities. It’s hard enough to encourage users to interact with your website, to begin with – make sure that your UX design complements their needs.
UX Alignment Pitfalls to Avoid
Now that we have a clearer idea of how to align content marketing and UX design, it’s worth pointing out some potential mistakes. After all, a single mistake can lead to a cascading effect in your UX design, so make sure to avoid these at all times:
Lack of Website Curation
Once your content is published, you should ensure that it functions as intended. Check your links, SEO, and other technical details on each page periodically. These mistakes will severely impact your overall UX, not to mention the effect on your search engine ranking. According to Forbes, unified brand representation can increase your revenue by up to 23%, while consistent visuals improve brand recognition up to 80%. Do some maintenance work on your sitemap periodically to provide the best possible content marketing and UX design alignment.
Lack of User Engagement
No amount of content will make up for lack of user engagement. Calls to action, conversion options, and sales offers will only get you so far in terms of building a community around your brand. Answer their comments; engage users through email, messages, and social media as much as possible. This will ensure that the user’s experience with your brand remains highly positive and worth spreading positive word of mouth about.
To Sum Up
UX design should always precede content marketing, no matter what your main source of revenue is. Use your brand values and unique traits to attract an audience that shares your worldviews and wants to spend their time and money on your brand. The right follower base will come to your content marketing materials organically and stay for much longer than anticipated if you play your UX design cards right.
About the author: this is the guest post by Estelle Liotard, a seasoned content writer and a blogger, with years of experience in different fields of marketing. She runs a blog called 3to5marketing and her passion is teaching people how to overcome digital marketing obstacles and help businesses communicate their messages to their customers.
Title image from Ouch, the library of free vectors for UX design and content creation