These days, SEO best practices include consideration for the user experience (UX). This article explains how SEO and UX work together to help both search engines and users.
SEO is all about User Experience
With an aim to constantly improve its users’ experience, Google has rapidly evolved over the past few years. To separate the wheat from the chaff and provide searchers with high-quality, trustworthy, and relevant results, the search engine introduced numerous changes to the SEPRs and introduced strict algorithm updates. A perfect example of how important UX is to Google is RankBrain.
SEO / UX Best Practices
You don’t have to be a UX expert to take some strong strides in providing a better user experience that complements your SEO efforts.
On the other hand, designing your site from scratch and not optimizing it for search engines is also a huge mistake. These two aspects of your site go hand in hand and they need to be integrated from the very beginning. Precisely because of that, here are a few critical steps you need to take.
- Improve the Page Load Time
- Make Website Architecture Simpler
- Invest in Website Responsiveness
1. Improve the Page Load Time
Site speed has long been a ranking factor for Google search, and the company has even announced that mobile page speed (rather than desktop) will soon be used to determine this ranking factor. So not only is it important to have a website that loads quickly, but your mobile experience needs to be fast as well.
Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool allows you to enter your URL to see the issues your site might be having with mobile responsiveness. PageSpeed Insights measures how the page can improve its performance on both times to above-the-fold load and time to full page load and provides concrete suggestions for reducing page load time.
Amazingly, even the big sites with presumably large development and IT budgets have speed issues.
2. Make Website Architecture Simple
Your site architecture is how the pages on your site are arranged. From the SEO viewpoint, good website architecture means Google will be able to find and index your pages easily, while the link juice will be passed uninterruptedly from high- to low-authority pages. Your site architecture influences your visitors, as most of them use the navigation menu to find the right page. This is why you need to make your website navigation simpler, write informational menu labels, add catchy CTAs, ensure that your pages are no more than 4 clicks away from the homepage.
3. Invest in Website Responsiveness
With the rising number of mobile users, optimizing your site for mobile has never been more important. After the introduction of Google’s mobile-first indexing, not having a responsive site would hurt your rankings.
Now, the goal is to make your site friendly to both desktop and mobile searchers. For starters, narrow the viewpoint, make your fonts large enough and your content easily readable, eliminate annoying popups, eliminate unnecessary fields from your forms, and make your CTA buttons and links easy to tap on.
In conclusion, user experience design should be a primary consideration of any SEO campaign. UX design has a direct and powerful impact on your SEO rankings through the various metrics that search engines use to track user engagement. It helps you understand how users engage and interact with your website, as it considers such factors as page speed, mobile responsiveness, menu/header layout, and URL structure.
Focusing on implementing effective UX design will dramatically boost your user engagement metrics, which will subsequently influence your overall search ranking.