If SEO is the foundation of an online business, then user experience is its strongest pillar. The significance of SEO, for any online firm, encourages an endless debate that unravels many aspects of user experience with it.
When the SEO of your website is not up-to-the-mark, your website may not be visible on the first few pages. Most businesses struggle to understand the changing search engine landscape and the thousands of confidential algorithms that are behind SEO rankings. Comprehending the exact science of search engines is impossible. However, it is not hard to acknowledge that most search engines value websites with high user experience.
While user interface makes your website valuable, the user experience becomes the key to attracting more sales and conversions. Both of these factors combined can enhance your SEO performance.
It is known that most of the traffic on any website is through organic search – more than 50% to be specific. Conversely, 75% of people judge the credibility of a website by analyzing its design, look, feel, and user journey.
This means UX and SEO go hand-in-hand. Search engines are now starting to consider UX as an important part of SEO algorithms. Without good SEO practices, users won’t visit your website, and without a competitive UX or UI, users won’t stay on your website. Various other factors impact both SEO and UX of the website such as the quality of the content, keywords, backlinks, web interface quality, user metrics, live chat plugins, etc.
In this article, we will discuss the increasing importance of user experience in search engine optimization.
Purpose of UX in SEO
Everything on the internet is achieved by keeping users in mind. While SEO is utilized to increase the visibility of the website for the users, UX optimization focuses on the users’ experience. Hence, we struggle to make a good SEO strategy because search engines understand the requirements of the users. Take Google, for instance. It has one of the finest data mining operations, which help visitors find a website of relevance. That’s why the phrase ‘Google it’ never fades away.
Similarly, other search engines also understand the behaviors of thousands of users, which allow these engines to tweak search according to the user needs. Now, with that, the search engines also ensure that the page the user is looking at is worth the ranking in every aspect, including user experience.
However, it is necessary to understand that we don’t improve UX because search engines want it. We use UX because it might reduce the bounce rate. The search engine would only assess the bounce rate. If a user visits your website and bounces back to the search page, the search engine knows something is wrong. The ‘why’ of the bounce is unknown. Among various other factors, UX is one major aspect known to search engines that can reduce the bounce rate. Here’s what UX can do for your website’s SEO:
- Improve search results or website findability
- Convert more users and traffic of the site
- Customize experiences for target users
- Help users traverse easily through the website
- Convert visitors to recurring users
How to Match UX and SEO
Previously, targeting specific keywords contributed as the major factor for better search engine ranking. Not anymore!
Today, businesses have to step into the shoes of the users to understand the buying intent, knowledge quest, and analyze the search queries made by users. Only then is it possible to improve the SEO as well as the user experience?
Well, learning about the needs of users is important. Once you know what users expect, building UX accordingly won’t seem like a hassle. And as you’re done with curating a smarter UX for users, SEO automatically becomes easy.
For example, an SEO agency of New York believes that voice search optimization plays an essential role in your SEO strategy. Every search engine including Google and Bing wants to correctly answer the queries of the users. This makes voice search results important for online businesses. You are required to create conversational content, which is question-based and contains long-tail keywords.
Once the visitors have landed on your page, the use of a powerful UX helps them find answers they are looking for. Make your UI radiate your brand’s professionalism and awareness.
Below we have discussed a few steps that can help you improve both SEO and UX of the website for better ranking and outreach.
- Develop content for the search engines but make it useful and valuable for your users and visitors
- Maximize the use of H1 and H2 titles
- Optimize certain aspects of the website such as link equity, menu names, and functionalities
- Allow your users to easily navigate through the website without much hassle
- Offer focused and clear product and service names along with precise descriptions
Call-to-action is a necessary element. Your users should be able to find CTA quickly and easily. However, at the same time, it should not hover over the entire webpage, thereby reducing the importance of the information delivered. Furthermore, the CTA should lead to an optimized page with enhanced UX and UI. This page should be relevant and should match the requirements of the users.
Page Load Time
Google has always given more importance to page speed or website load time from the starting. Lately, with the new update, page load time is more significant than anything else. Research justifies this aspect rightly. Even 1 second of delay in the loading of your webpage can cost you 11% page views and a 16% reduction in user satisfaction. That’s a lot to lose over a 1-second delay, isn’t it?
Similarly, page load time also impacts the user experience. You can lose nearly 50% of your customers if your website takes more than 2 seconds to load. However, you can improve the load time:
- Using a reliable, effective hosting plan
- Using only high-quality pictures but compress and crop them for reducing size
- Using browser caching
- Reducing auto-play multimedia on the website
- Investing more in the delivery network of your content
The architecture of your website simply means the manner in which different pages of the website are organized. We all know that it is good for SEO as the search engines would be able to find the page from the index quickly if the architecture is efficient.
Users also need to traverse the website for the right page that makes architecture and easy navigation an imperative aspect of the website. Hence, making it simpler for your users to navigate and find CTAs is important. But to further simplify their search, adding a live chat software is also a good option. Its addition to your website ensures that all the website pages are at maximum 4 clicks away.
For example, in case you run your business on a WordPress website, then all you have to do is add a chat plugin. With live chat for WordPress, your operators can help visitors understand which page they should visit to either get information or complete the purchase of a product.
Approximately 57% of your website traffic originates from smartphones and tablets. Additionally, Google’s mobile-first indexing has made a difference. Now, not only will the search engines primarily assess the experience you provide to mobile users but also businesses need to ensure comparable desktop and mobile experiences.
To start with, make font and content readable, remove pop ups, avoid unnecessary forms, make easy CTAs, and also, the mobile site should be easy to navigate.
When users search the web for something, they want unique, relevant content on every page. Hence, Google wants to find unique, quality content on different URLs. Especially for retailers, this is a difficult task. In order to develop unique content for every page, businesses need to look after product parameters and filtered search pages. Nearly duplicate pages don’t suffice well with Google.
Businesses can utilize canonical tag for pages with product variations or robots.txt for block variations.
Meta tags help you define the appearance of your website on the search engines. Optimizing this description and making it worth clicking can make a difference. If the meta tags placed on your content are not effective and in accordance with the content, the search engines might perceive them as a sign of low-quality. Therefore, ensuring the presence of the right meta tags and meta description can make your website intriguing and appealing to visitors.
Having valuable and unique content on your website also brings you inbound links, which means that other websites will link their pages to yours. Creating backlinks in such a manner proves the effectiveness of your content, quality, and website experience. It can boost your SEO performance.
Your user interface should harbor clean code. It helps the search engines to easily navigate through your pages. Although users won’t know the coding behind the pages and aspects of how these pages were formed, search engines can understand the structure. If your website doesn’t have a clean and structured code, it can become difficult for the search engines to navigate through the code, resulting in negative scores.
Overall, the end-to-end quality of the website should be achieved. This quality can be achieved through the adherence of all the above factors. For instance, the content should not be inconsistent because of repetitive sentences and duplicate instances. The page speed should not hamper the capability of users to quickly traverse through the information.
It is imperative to note that quality is not just for the landing page of your website, as it is often a grave mistake made by many. The Quality of your website is certainly for the whole website including CTAs, images, content pieces, and everything else.
Impact of UX on SEO
User experience focuses on the engagement of the users once they visit your website. It ensures that your users are satisfied with the information delivered on your website. Undoubtedly, user experience forms the final goal of every SEO strategy as it helps determine whether the customer will purchase services or products from you.
Even though SEO might not seem to be directly in link with the UX, user experience enhances the performance of SEO. Till now, search engines don’t hold the power of reading the content. But, the metrics and indicators used by search engines help in evaluating the website’s quality. Many of these metrics are related to user experience. For instance, the bounce rate, which increases when the page doesn’t have relevant content, lacks proper architecture or has too many irrelevant aspects. Simply put, SEO metrics determine user interactions with websites.
The UX and SEO together can allow your website to become:
- More accessible
- Highly useful and valuable
- Easily findable
- A credible source of information
- Desirable with engaging features
SEO Is About User Experience
The first link between your business and the audience is formed through your website. It depicts your online identity and proves your reliable and efficient working structure to your users. Precisely, this makes it necessary to use both UX and SEO to create awareness of your brand and build a unique brand identity.
Optimizing your user interface and user experience has a positive influence on your SEO strategy. Of course, it won’t be easy to get every aspect right. Hence, to create an everlasting user experience with a holistic approach, utilize Landingi’s landing page builder. Create an online experience that has the capability of keeping your users happy and satisfied.