In order to utilize SEO to its fullest potential, you must develop an enjoyable UX experience for your website and vice versa. Backlinks and keyword stuffing are not effective methods of boosting SERP rankings. Using such tactics may be harmful to your website’s overall user experience, hampering any chance it might have had of ranking within the top pages of Google. The focus of search engines like Google are shifting towards human behavior and user experience on your website. As much as other SEO tactics can work, you should be focusing on your website’s usability if you want to continue ranking higher and higher.
SEO & UX Principles
High-ranking websites follow several aspects of UX design integrated with SEO best practices. Sites should load fast, be mobile-friendly, easy to navigate, and offer content that engages the user. We’ll talk more about best practices later.
What Is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization allows you to optimize your website’s visibility in search engines. You can increase both the volume and quality of traffic to your website. Increasing your search rankings with search engines such as Google and Bing can be key to improving your online presence.
When you optimize your site, you are optimizing how the website’s code communicates with search engines. This code enables search engines to index your site into categories. The search engine can then rank your website over time accordingly on the SERP.
What is UX?
The UX is the experience the user has while using your website. UX principles involve portraying the brand’s reputation, thinking, aesthetic, creativity, and so forth. Accessibility of back- and front-end site engineering is also taken into account.
Why is User Experience Important for SEO
Is your site easy to navigate? Do visitors want to stay and engage on your site? Is your site protected, fast and mobile-friendly?
User experience optimization focuses on the user after they arrive at your website. In contrast to the offsite user experience (customer experience), which occurs away from your website, this kind of UX takes place onsite. From the design of the site to how users interact with it, website UX is a part of everything. So you need to ask yourself the above questions.
The Future is UX
In the past, UX was not much of a focus but today, search engines are wired to hone in on user behavior to offer them the best results for what they are looking for. It is important for search engines to collect data about users and websites in order to better understand their users. The algorithm looks at how users interact with your website, and based on a number of factors determines how to position you within a sea of content. This directly links the user experience of your site with its level of Search Engine Optimization, as UX is now a criteria in SEO.
UX SEO Best Practices
It’s difficult for search engines to tell you why visitors are leaving your site. They may be able to give you a good idea through metrics, but ultimately it’s up to a person to figure out why. Auditing your site and improving its UX design with the insights you collect is a great place to start. Let’s run through some of the general UX SEO best practices to follow while doing this audit!
Fast Website UX
Fast-loading sites provide a better UX experience, and search engines consider loading time a ranking factor. If you use a faster web-host server, compress images, learn clean code, etc., your site will vastly improve in speed and reliability.
Website Navigation Design Best Practices
In addition to a fast site, you also want an interface you can easily navigate. SEO and rankings alone do not solve the problem of slow websites because they tend to have complex navigation and robust site architecture.
Likewise, more is not always better. One web page with quality content and user-friendly organization is often good for SEO. Large multi-page sites can be beneficial if built well, but they need to be easy for users to navigate.
It is vital to have headings on your website, so that you can identify content, use keywords, and boost your Search Engine Optimization. Headings give structure to the page and are the first thing users look at when searching for information on a site. Using headings, search engines interpret the content of your site. Only a single H1 tag should be used on each page. H2 through H6 tags can be used repeatedly in the rest of the headings to help organize the content accordingly.
It is possible to disrupt a website’s SEO by changing the layout, content organization, and font size. When UX architecture is done properly it can improve usability and increase traffic by blending aesthetics and SEO simultaneously. You can make content easy to digest by utilizing images and alt text, placing CTAs on the page, formatting content, and keeping content relevant. Links to other relevant pieces of content can also help form a more sound page structure for users.
Mobile UX Design
Continuing with the theme of navigation and structure, you need to consider all the things discussed above, but in mobile form. Users and search engines will be assessing your site by its mobile layout constantly. The focus on mobile-friendly content grows by the second and that’s a trend we are likely to keep seeing. So, similarly to desktop, try to be user friendly with navigation. Touch is much more of a focus on mobile, so buttons need to be consistent and user friendly. Don’t overthink it; keep the mobile version simple and sleek. By focusing on usability and quality content, your mobile website will drastically improve its bounce rate.
User Experience Testing
Of course you cannot forget the best practice of all. Staying up to date and always working on your website’s SEO and UX. Understanding how SEO and UX principles work together on your website specifically, will optimize not only your site but how you make decisions for your site and business. The digital space of marketing, web design, and content creation is always moving forward.
User Experience enhances your SEO Strategy
So, be sure to move with it and do not forget that UX needs SEO to be found and SEO needs UX to connect with users.
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