User experience (UX) is a broad term covering the ways in which a user interacts with a business, product or service. In digital marketing, it usually refers to an app or a website. 

It was coined in the mid-1990s by cognitive science researcher Dr Donald Norman, who was also responsible for first highlighting the importance of user-centred design which prioritises the needs and desires of the intended audience when making key design decisions.

Good UX requires businesses to have a comprehensive understanding of their audience. This is often done through market research, profiling their average customer’s needs, values, preferences, and abilities. 

Examples of good UX for a website include:

  1. Usefulness – The website contains original and informative content that fulfils a need.
  2. Usability –  The website is intuitive, has a clear layout that is easy to navigate.
  3. Accessibility – The website is available and accessible for every individual, regardless of ability.
  4. Credibility – The website allows audiences to trust the quality of the information being shared.
  5. Searchability – Large websites will have search functionality, allowing users to find pages easily. This may also include filters, further allowing the user to refine their search.  
  6. Aesthetic consistency – The website should conform to the brand’s colour scheme and identity.

Historically UX was never directly related to SEO as it concerns how users interact with a website, but the advent of Google’s Core Web Vitals metrics and Page Experience Update announced in 2020, has seen the UX become a ranking factor – albeit a very minor one. 

For the most part though, UX is intimately connected to conversion rate optimisation (CRO) as it is not about gaining traffic but getting that traffic to engage and ultimately convert.