User experience SEO is necessary for your online business success.
Getting visitors to your website is one thing, but how do you keep them there?
You’ll find a lot of content on the Internet talking about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and strategies to improve your ranking on Google. While on-page and off-page SEO are critically important (and we love talking about them too!) the user experience of your website and content should not be neglected.
A large component of your technical SEO strategy is user experience, often abbreviated as UX. Not only is good UX important, but it is the essential backbone of a well-rounded SEO strategy.
We’re going to spend some time going into the details about user experience SEO, how you can improve the user experience of your website, and how a good user experience can drive your SEO efforts and take them to the next level.
What Is User Experience?
User Experience, or UX, is a user’s interaction, impression, and feelings towards a product, system, or service. When talking about website user experience, this is referring to how people interact with your website.
Website UX is made up of a few interacting factors such as:
- Website navigation
- Web page load speed
- Mobile optimization and screen responsiveness
- Functional links
- Useful and credible content
The basic building block of a good user experience is to ensure that your users find value in the content your website provides.
Why Is User Experience Important?
Good SEO might get people to your website, but it’s a wasted effort if bad UX makes them click away after a few seconds. That’s why user experience SEO is so important.
You want users to find value in your website content, but what’s more is that you also want it to be a positive and enjoyable experience.
Have you ever clicked on a website you found through Google, only to be immediately turned off by slow load speeds, annoying pop-ups, irrelevant content, or difficult navigation? If so, that’s a bad UX and chances are, you didn’t stick around to see what that website had to say or what that business had to offer you.
Focusing on user experience means catering your website to meet the needs of searchers/visitors. An enjoyable experience means return visitors, improved organic search marketing performance, boosted website ranking, and better conversion rates.
It’s really a no brainer.
UX SEO – How Does User Experience Impact SEO?
We’ve already established that a poor user experience can hemorrhage your SEO efforts. But did you know that good UX can bolster, if not drive your SEO?
Search engines like Google seek to rank web results based on how relevant they are to user queries (Search Engine Journal). While people tend to think of user experience as the visual elements or the navigation of a website, a big component of UX is simply finding the information you’re looking for. Providing valuable, informed content that addresses searcher intent is a great way to bolster organic traffic and SEO.
Google also ranks web pages based on their popularity. That is, how often users visit, browse, and share. Providing the best possible answer to a search query, while making the web experience seamless and enjoyable, is the easiest way to encourage organic shares and links.
To summarize, a positive user experience facilitates good search performance. By focusing on good UX SEO, your content will organically attract more links, page views, and conversions. All of which bolster your SEO bringing everything full circle.
Why UX Needs To Drive Your SEO Strategy
It should be clear by now that user experience SEO is a melding of two great strategies, both tightly linked to one another. After all, driving visitors to your website is useless if they don’t want to spend time there.
With every update that comes along, search engines are fine-tuning their strategy to better service the end user. As this trend continues, websites and content that are built around user experience SEO will set the standard for what ranks highly in search results.
Are you still not convinced? Try thinking of how SEO and UX work together.
- SEO works to drive and improve the quality of website traffic. UX seeks to turn that traffic into conversions.
- SEO uses target keywords to attract specific personas. UX designs a website that appeals to those personas.
- SEO turns searchers into website visitors. UX engages those visitors so that they return and share your website with others.
- SEO connects users with the content they are searching for. UX solves the problem that initiated their search in the first place.
Starting to see how one compliments the other? Think of SEO and UX as the balanced equation resulting in a high-ranking website. You need both to succeed, and in an increasingly user-driven web space, you can’t afford to neglect the human element.
If you’re interested in reading more, check out this article where we’ve summarized a few key points to mastering user experience SEO.
Designing Your Website For User Experience
Your website is the home base for all your digital marketing efforts. To create a great UX website design, you need to understand and solve the problems your visitors are coming to you for (HubSpot).
Let their search end at your doorstep!
Create A Better Web Page Experience
We’ll talk about website content in a moment, but let’s start things off with the basics.
Here are a few elements for creating a better web page experience.
- Optimize for page speed! Your pages should load in 2 seconds or less.
- Make it mobile friendly. Over 50% of Internet traffic is from mobile devices.
- Catch and fix broken links and 404s. There’s nothing more frustrating than a dead end.
- Do not duplicate information across multiple pages.
- Use images, graphs, and infographics where applicable to help users visualize information.
- Break up text so that it’s easy to read.
- Use headings and subheadings (H1, H2, H3, etc.).
- Write in short paragraphs.
- Utilize bullet points and lists.
- Use white space to help readability and navigation.
- Use fonts that are standard to most devices and easy to read (a sans serif is great).
- Make sure your call-to-action is clear, visible, and attractive.
Designing Content For User Experience
As we’ve mentioned earlier, you want your user’s search to end with you, and that means providing them with the best possible answer to the question that prompted their search.
The process of ranking websites according to searcher intent has gotten more sophisticated with every Google algorithm update.
What began as a system of matching questions to keywords has now evolved to matching questions with answers. This is due to an update to Google’s Natural Language Processing in which crawlers are now seeking to discover what a web page is actually about in order to better rank for search intent (Search Engine Journal).
Keywords aren’t enough anymore to rank highly for specific search queries. You need to craft your content around a solid understanding of what question your user is looking to answer – and provide the best solution! User experience SEO can help.
Another element to consider in your content is who your audience is. This is nothing new in the world of marketing, but it cannot be overstated.
Consider who is looking for your website and utilize the type of language and imagery that will appeal to that user. You want your content to mirror your audience and speak to them better than anything else they will find. That’s how you keep those same visitors coming back again and again.
Looking for more tips on designing your content for user experience? Check out our article When User Experience and SEO Content Collide.
Let Us Help Improve Your Website’s User Experience SEO
Are you now inspired to improve your website’s user experience to drive SEO?
We can provide an SEO and User Experience Website Evaluation to help improve your website and boost your traffic.