The Link Between SEO and UX That So Many Companies Struggle to Get Right

SEO and UX (user experience) are critical to your website’s performance. Although many developers focus on these elements individually, SEO and UX actually work closely together. SEO is responsible for drawing traffic to your website, and UX is responsible for guiding that traffic into your sales funnel.

SEO and UX may have different responsibilities, but they’re ultimately linked by a powerful feedback loop created by your site content. When you consistently publish thoughtful and valuable content for your site visitors, you can improve both your overall SEO performance and your user experience at the same time. Done well, you can ensure your website remains a valuable cornerstone to your overall digital marketing efforts.

Balancing SEO And UX

When we think about a site’s SEO and UX, we often break these elements down into the technical and non-technical sides.

Digging Into SEO

The technical side of SEO is easy. In fact, most of the issues that commonly appear within the technical side of SEO can be quickly fixed. We can immediately address slow load times, add missing alt text, and adjust page schema.

But there’s much greater nuance in resolving issues on the non-technical side of SEO, and that makes it a little more challenging.

The non-technical side of SEO relies heavily on weaving targeted keywords and keyphrases into our site copy so search engines show our website in the search results. But we can’t stop at loading blog posts with keywords and keyphrases. To build a website that truly benefits our business by turning site visitors into customers, we have to go a step further.

Connecting to UX

That’s where UX comes in. Although UX can be just as technical as SEO (we could spend hours arguing the perfect placement of a button and exactly what color it should be), user experience also encompasses how your site copy resonates with visitors.

This is where SEO and UX are inextricably intertwined. Yes, SEO spurs traffic and UX spurs conversions, but both rely on original content to create value for the consumer. If we remain rooted in the technical side of SEO and user experience, our website becomes the equivalent of having the body of a Tesla in our garage. Sure, it might look like a high-performance vehicle, but it’s worthless without the software and engine that power it.

Creating Trust By Bridging SEO and UX

When we understand that SEO and UX both rely on content, we can write copy that ranks well within search engines while creating value for our readers. Combining SEO and UX in our content generation is powerful for our branding because we create trust between the site visitor and our company.

That trust from site visitors is essential for turning a website into a valuable part of our marketing. When visitors trust us, they’re more likely to fill out contact forms, more likely to call our phone number, and more likely to complete our online checkout.

To establish trust, we should focus on developing content that directly supports our target audience by solving their pain points. So, if you’re a pediatrician, you could create content to help anxious, sleep-deprived parents calm their fussy newborns. If you’re an auto mechanic, you could create content to help uncertain car owners properly maintain their vehicles. If you’re a chef, you could create content to help nervous first-time cooks impress their dates.

This sort of focused content creation connects our non-technical SEO efforts to enhanced user experience and trust. When those sleep-deprived parents go looking for ideas, your site appears and provides answers. When those uncertain car owners want to change their own headlight, your site appears and provides answers. When a novice chef wants to try their hand at a roast, your site appears and provides answers. Ultimately, your website and brand create value for the consumer, and that value creates trust in your brand.

An Example From A Good Night of Sleep

Carefully tying SEO and UX together may seem complicated, but it doesn’t need to be. If we keep the challenges of our target audience top of mind, we can develop powerful content that ranks well on search engines while creating value and building trust through better user experience.

We recently walked through this process with one of our clients, a manufacturer of safe beds for autistic children. When used properly, these beds are transformative for both parents and their children because the children are more likely to stay in bed and asleep throughout the night, thereby reducing concern among the parents and allowing them to sleep as well.

In our client’s early content creation process, they wrote pages and pages of blog posts detailing the amazing features of their beds. Unfortunately for them, this approach wasn’t generating a significant amount of traffic, and the traffic that did visit their site didn’t seem engaged.

When we finally met to discuss their strategy, the reason they were struggling was obvious: They weren’t using their blog to discuss their target audience’s pain points. Instead, they were focusing all of their time and attention on building content around their products. While there’s a time and place to promote products, this sort of sales-driven content should appear later in the sales funnel, when consumers already know what sort of product they’re looking for.

To generate a larger amount of traffic and push more people through the sales funnel, we explained, it’s important to help solve the problems the target audience is experiencing.

For their next post, we recommended a simple shift in focus. Instead of writing a full blog post about one of their beds, write an article that addresses a key concern of the parents within their target audience: how to keep kids asleep at night. As we explained to our client, shifting content to focus on problem-solving provides three important benefits:

  1. Our focus helps us capture organic traffic from parents who have already expressed concern about their child’s sleep habits, and these same parents are likely great candidates for our client’s beds.
  2. The article creates value by directly responding to the reader’s concerns, and that value creates trust in our brand.
  3. The topic is the perfect starting point for a meaningful discussion about the company’s beds.

Those are three major wins!

What was true for our manufacturing client is true for all companies. We should always begin our SEO and UX enhancements by creating value for our target audience. When we create value, we establish trust in our brand, and that improves our overall marketing.

Keeping SEO and UX Tied Together

SEO and UX are both critical to the overall performance of your website, but they must work in tandem. While it’s important to use the correct keywords to capture greater search traffic, we should also demonstrate value by offering a great user experience.

By writing valuable content that surprises and delights the reader, we can build trust, and that trust is critical for moving site visitors through our sales funnel. With the right content, we can transform organic traffic into leads, leads into prospects, and prospects into happy customers.

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