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You need to boost your site’s UX- and here’s how exactly (3 easy ways to do it)!

The internet is by far the best chance we mere mortals have for building a great life for ourselves, you agree?

And how can we achieve that? By building a website, our very own online businesses, open 24/7.

That’s great and all, but there’s a problem…

Which is…?

We are not only ones doing it! It took me 3m  to write this introduction, and in that tiny speck of time, 10 000 new blog posts saw the light of day.

We need to stand out!

We MUST stand out! Or be drown in the noise.

How?

Since the reader is everything, I propose focusing on their wants and needs. In other words, let’s make a killer site.

Here are 3 ways to boost your UX, quick and easy.

#1- Add a reading progress bar to your site

What is a reading progress bar?

The name bares it all.

It’s a brightly colored bar that goes on the bottom/top of your page, and as the reader reads and scrolls, it follows along, serving as a visual cue as to how much of the post remains.

It’s elegant, and excellent UX because:

When you show it- you’re being transparent about your blog post

Transparency=honesty.

Not everyone has 15m to spare on that awesome monster post of yours. But if you tell them in advance that 15m is how long it’s going to take, they’ll thank you for it.

Why exactly?

Because human brains are hard-wired to finish the job once started, and they absolutely hate leaving the job half done.

If you’re human, you must have felt the sting of unfinished work?

It bothered you big time, no? it didn’t feel good, right?

So don’t force people to NOT finish reading your post. They’ll be angry at themselves, and at you.

Instead, warn them in advance and reap the rewards.

Note: this is just a preview of the awesome benefits reading progress indicator gives. If you want the full scoop (and setup tutorial ) make sure you click the link below.

Bonus: Estimated time to read

Note: this may or may not help your UX, and it might even hurt your SEO.

What is it?

It’s basically an estimate on how much time is needed to read the post (based on word count).

So if you have a 3000-word post, it’d be 15m; 4000 words=20m

Why is this bad?

Because if people see some humongous number they might bounce right way. That is called pogo sticking and it can ruin your SEO.

So be careful with it.

Why is it good?

Because you’re pushing transparency to extreme. People will be grateful you respect their time.

Here’s how to set it up.

You don’t.

I mean, you don’t need another plugin. The same one (Worth the Read) that handles your reading progress bar also lets you show “estimated time to read” number.

So, In your WP dashboard, simple find “Worth the Read” tab and click it. Then choose “time commitment“.

And here you can set it up:

  • Display on– posts and pages
  • Placement– after title
  • Words per minute– 200. That is the average reading speed for most people

Time commitment- worth the read plugin

Note– I used to have this feature on my site, but don’t anymore. Because I think that the cons far outweigh the pros. When folks arrive and see “20m estimated time to read”- most of them leave.

And I love my website, so…

#2- Content table for UX- how they help your site (+tutorial)

Tables of content are a true boon to your site’s UX.

They:

a) Give an overview of your posts and help the reader decide whether to stay or bounce.

This is either good or bad, depending on the post, and I’m sure you can guess why.

Because, if your article is shallow fluff that you banged out in 30m or less, and a total stranger to the phrase “content depth” then folks will see it and bounce back to Google. That’s bad for your SEO.

However, if you’ve written a true guide (as you should have), then that humble table of content becomes an asset because people see that FINALLY- their prayers have been answered:)

b) Content table saves precious time- because folks can simply click and go wherever it is they want to go

As you probably know, time is our most precious resource. We can’t get any more of it, and we’re already wasting too much of it.

And if you, as a webmaster, go out of your way to show people “hey, this is a clickable, internal link! Click here and GO!” then they will really like you for it. I mean who wouldn’t?

Let me answer that- only a time-wasting masochist:)

Here’s how to get a content table for your site (tutorial)

First, install this plugin (https://wordpress.org/plugins/easy-table-of-contents/).

It’s both free and up to date.

Then, from your WP dashboard, go plugins/installed/Easy Table of Content/settings

Once there:

  • Enable support– post and pages, because they’re usually content rich
  • Auto insert– posts and pages. This is set and forget, which is what I really like

content table plugin- setting it up

  • Position– before the first heading
  • Show when– I select 4 because shorter posts don’t need content tables- they’re redundant
  • Header label– table of content (default)
  • Toggle view– yes; good UX
  • Initial view– hide at first
  • Show as a hierarchy– yes
  • Counter– decimal
    content table setting- part 2

And that is it. Of course, there is a lot more option to tinker with. But for starters, this is enough.

#3- The “return to top” arrow

This plugin works best in tandem with content tables.

While they pull folks in the middle of the post, this arrow draws them back… so they can choose and plunge right back in.

Again- people hate wasting time. And you should make your site’s experience akin to a well-oiled machine.

No squeaking, or screeching. Just click-go-enjoy-subscribe-buy-leave; and come again:)

Now that you understand why you need this feature allow me the pleasure of showing you how to get it for your site.

See, even my tone is pleasing to you, the awesome reader:)

WP Front Scroll Top (tutorial)

First, install the plugin (https://wordpress.org/plugins/wpfront-scroll-top/)

Then, in your WP dashboard, go: plugins/installed/WP Front Scroll Top/settings

Once there:

  • Enabled– yes
  • Scroll offset– 300px- this is how far they have to scroll for the arrow to appear
  • Auto hide– no, because it’s not obtrusive by any means

WP scroll top plugin settings

  • Button style– image
  • Button action– scroll to top
  • Location– bottom right- best for usability

Now, just choose a button you like:

Pick a button
And that’s it. Simple, right?

And here’s how it looks on my site (notice in the right lower quadrant certain the pale blue arrow)?

Return to top arrow in action

Conclusion- Better UX- doesn’t seem so hard now, does it?

Do it.

Improve your UX anyway you can, and reap the rewards for doing so.

While it is true that readers today are kind of spoiled with all the choice they have, they’re also kind to those webmasters who try to please them any way they can.

And site visitors show their kindness by:

  • sharing,
  • commenting
  • linking
  • buying
  • recommending your business to others

Trust me, it’s an incredible place to be at, and I showed you the first three steps you can take to get there.

Start slow and work your way up.

But not before you leave a comment to tell me what you think:)

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Nikola Roza
 

Hi ladies; hello gentlemen. My name is Nikola Roza and I blog at nikolaroza.com, yet another generic WordPress SEO blog. Kidding! On my website I focus on giving actionable and creative strategies that move the Google needle in the right direction. Is it easy to rank? NO. Is it hard work? YES. Is it rewarding? OH YEAH! SEO and Affiliate Marketing go hand in hand- learn one to master the other. Let's go!

Ryan Biddulph

Nikola these are super plugins and yep, some keen UX tips here. Readers dig a seamless journey on your blog. If people know they get around easily on your blog, folks are far more likely to stick around.

    Nikola Roza

    Exactly so Ryan,

    Everyone else is fighting to get new traffic, but they forget that often a person will visit once- and never again.

    So it’s important to cater to your audience anyway you can.

    These 3 plugins are very easy wins, that’s all;

    Thanks for commenting:)

Lily Ugbaja

Hey Nikola,

Great post! I personally use the scroll to top plugin and love it.

My anxiety levels usually rise once I’m running up to 15 plugins on my site but I think I may implement your first tip.

I write long form content and would appreciate letting readers know just what they are getting into. I would never try the reading time technique though, everyone is looking for quick fixes I’m afraid.

For the TOC, I manually add them in posts I think need them (mostly how to posts) is there an advantage with using a plugin instead?

    Nikola Roza

    Hey Lily,
    great comment:)

    If you have a fast host, you should’t worry about having one or two plugins more. They won’t slow you down.

    As for content tables, their only advantage is that they’re a one-time job.

    You set up the plugin once, and then, whenever you publish a new blog post, you automatically get a TOC with it.

    (Of course you can turn it off on per-post basis; for example, your post is too short)

    So it’s a matter of convenience…

    Thanks for commenting Lily:)

Philip V Ariel

Hi Nik,
Yet another wonderful share on Enstine’s space.
In fact, I was in search of a TOC plugin but unfortunately, the mentioned easy table of content plugin is not tested for my theme. I am using envince theme of WordPress.
Need to search for a better one, any suggestion Nik?
Thanks for this informative post.
Keep sharing.
Regard
~ Philip

    Nikola Roza

    Hey Phill,
    I don’t know of an alternative. But it should be easy to find it. Just go to WordPress forum and find the thread dedicated to that theme. It’s probable someone already had the same dilemma and asked about it in the forum.

    If not, you ask:)

    Thanks for commenting, Phill

Ankita Alwar

Hi,
I don’t know about alternatives, but it might be easy to find it.great stuff!

Sham

veryone else is fighting to get new traffic, but they forget that often a person will visit once- and never again.

Comments are closed