In its simplest form, it refers to the various techniques and strategies marketers employ to improve the visibility of a website in search engine result pages. Another factor that can affect the ranking of a website is the user experience or UX.
Both are closely related but function in different ways to help improve the ranking of a website. And this guide explains the relationship between them and how you can use UX and SEO effectively.
What Is UX, And Why Is It Important For SEO?
UX refers to user experience and describes a person’s experience with a particular product or service. While it is most commonly associated with design elements, it also applies to other aspects that can affect a customer’s experience. Besides products and services, these can include the staff, customer support, and other aspects.
For websites, factors that can be included under UX include mobile and desktop layouts, site design and architecture, visitor journey, etc. User Interface or UI is also one of the components affecting UX and incorporates various design elements like fonts, images, text fields, and more.
Nowadays, it is impossible to achieve a high ranking by simply focusing on SEO, as Google has changed how it ranks websites. Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), the search engine now ranks those websites higher that are more user-friendly. And a good UX lets Google know that your website provides users with a better experience.
It ensures that people spend more time on the website and have an enjoyable experience, which can lead to more conversions. Businesses that provide a better experience to customers can complete objectives and accomplish goals more quickly and efficiently. Thus, UX can work closely with SEO or Search Engine Optimisation to improve the website ranking.
UX and SEO are crucial to ensure your website has a high ranking in Google search results. An intuitive UX design with the best SEO practices can improve website traffic, promote engagement, and increase rankings.
How To Optimise Your Website For UX And SEO
You can optimise your website to ensure a good UX and SEO, helping it achieve a better ranking on the results pages of various search engines.
1. Integrate Your SEO And UX Strategies
Keeping the UX and SEO teams isolated when working on a website can be counterproductive. Instead, combine your UX and SEO strategies by ensuring both SEO and UX teams communicate continuously. This will help them proceed with the website development taking into account all factors that can result in improved rankings.
2. Simplify Website Navigation
Making it easier for users to find what they are searching for is another effective method of optimising your website. Use headers, lists, bullets and images to make information easy to digest. Similarly, you can use calls-to-action and essential links to enhance the user experience.
3. Run Regular Tests
Running regular performance tests is vital to ensure your website is functioning correctly, and you can also improve its performance. Split testing can make it easy to know about changes that benefit the UX the most. This involves creating two website versions and seeing which performs better.
4. Focus On Improving The Speed
The speed at which your web page loads depends on various scripts, codes, plugins, themes, and media like videos and images. Note that page speed is considered by search engine algorithms for ranking purposes, so web pages that take longer to load lead to a worse user experience and higher bounce rates.
5. Undertake An SEO Audit
An SEO audit with UX analysis can provide information regarding website visitor interaction. It analyses the SEO performance of the website, allowing you to make improvements.
6. Make Mobile Users A Priority
Search engines like Google recommend a responsive design that provides a good user experience on different devices. The reason is that many users use mobile devices for their search queries, because of which search engine crawlers first analyse the mobile version of the website.
You can streamline the menu, reduce loading times, and eliminate complicated navigation to ensure a good experience on mobile devices.
7. Keep Your Branding Consistent
Consistent branding is among the essential elements of UX that can help create a positive first impression on website visitors. It also helps build trust and establish credibility, which can lead to higher levels of engagement.
Another benefit is that it leads to improvement in brand recognition. For consistent branding, establish guidelines regarding the content’s style, voice, tone, and various design elements.
Also, ensure your logo is present on various digital assets and utilise consistent colour palettes throughout the website.
8. Provide Clear Signals
Making the website easily navigable, with clear buttons and calls to action, is essential for a positive user experience. Try to ensure that various UI elements are in locations where they are easily visible and usable, and use visual communication to improve user interaction.
9. Conduct Proper Keyword Research
An effective UX and search engine optimisation strategy requires proper keyword research to help you understand the search intent of the website visitors. If the website is not optimised properly for the right keywords, it won’t perform well in search engine rankings.
Common Mistakes To Avoid When Improving UX And SEO
Good UX and SEO strategies can help improve user engagement and improve your website’s search rankings. But the converse is also true, and a poor strategy may lead to the website not ranking on the results page of various search engines.
That is why it is essential to be aware of the common mistakes made by UX designers and SEO experts and how to avoid them.
1. Incorrect Keyword Targeting
A common mistake is targeting the wrong keywords when implementing your SEO strategy. It is crucial to focus on what the target customers are searching for and how your products or services can relate to those needs.
In many cases, the products and services may not match the search queries, which is why keyword research is crucial. It can help you select keywords that can direct the right traffic to your website and improve the search engine ranking.
2. Poor Website Navigation
As mentioned above, a good UX will provide visitors with the necessary information, such as where to find specific products, contact information, and answers to common questions. Making website UX navigation difficult for users will reduce traffic and indicate to search engines that the website is not very user-friendly.
You should ensure a clear call to action to simplify website navigation.
3. Utilising Spam Links
Spam links are those that do not fit the context of your website and are usually employed to get additional links to the website through improper SEO techniques. Utilising such methods is ineffective and can result in the website being penalised by search engine algorithms.
So, check the links on the website for credibility and see that they add value and are helpful for website visitors. Consider removing links that are out of context to improve the user experience.
4. Lack Of Analytics
Regular website usability audits provide valuable information regarding how the website performs. Such analytics can identify areas that require improvement and help you track the website’s progress. Unfortunately, missing out on such analytics is another common mistake when designing a website.
You can use ready-made templates for analytics that make it easy to test the website and make the required adjustments.
5. Using Non-Unique Or Low-Quality Content
Search engines rank websites with unique, high-quality content much higher than others, and not providing such content can seriously affect your website performance. These engines are constantly improving how they filter online resources, and using content that is already present elsewhere can result in your website getting filtered out.
Invest considerable time and effort in creating unique and relevant content to prevent that from happening.
Measuring The Impact Of UX On SEO Performance
Improving the user experience can help improve organic traffic on your website. But to determine how beneficial the UX is for SEO, some form of measurement is required to understand how users interact with various menus, buttons, and other UX elements.
Various platforms allow you to track user engagement metrics easily, such as Hotjar and Microsoft Clarify. But the first thing to do before using a UX measurement tool is to check whether traffic limits exist, data-sharing with third parties, and CCPA and GDPR compliance.
Using Microsoft Clarity To Measure UX
You can use A Google, Facebook or Microsoft account to sign up with Clarity, a free service. After signing in, create a new project and add the Clartify tracking code to the website. This can be found in the settings, and the code can even be added using platforms like Google Tag Manager.
Clarity can take up to two hours to start gathering data about your website. However, when deciding when to measure the UX, you should consider factors such as the seasonality, effect of marketing campaigns, timeframe and amount of data.
A longer period will result in more data, providing a more accurate view of how the website is performing. You can look for common errors on the website, such as excessive scrolling, rage clicks or dead clicks, that should be dealt with.
Exploring the Synergy of UX and SEO
While earlier, there was debate about whether you should focus on SEO or UX to improve search engine rankings, the situation has changed now. With Google and other search engines emphasising user experience more, UX and SEO have become complementary to each other.
It is generally accepted that both require the same focus when creating website content. Providing a good user experience by designing an easily navigable website that works well on mobile devices while utilising various SEO techniques can help your website rank higher.
You can also take a look at the competition and see what they are doing better that is helping them rank higher. You can then customise those strategies and implement them for similar results.
1. How can you create a webpage that gives users a better experience?
When creating content, break it into small paragraphs and use proper heading tags. You should also use multiple headings, subheadings, lists, and bullet points. Also, when using images, make sure these are lightweight and fit well with the content.
2. What are some metrics to track for measuring the UX?
Some of the most common metrics that can be used to track user experience include website forms, usability and navigation, time spent on website pages, page views, etc. Page load speed is another aspect that should be tracked for this purpose.
3. Is UX different from website usability?
While UX and usability are often used interchangeably, they are not the same. As a concept, UX is much broader than usability since it includes the ease of navigation, how the website appears, and how engaging it is for visitors. For instance, images may not improve usability but can help improve the user experience.
4. Which is the most prominent SEO element that UX affects?
Most SEO elements are affected by the UX, but user dwell time is the most prominent among them. This is the time a user spends on a page before returning to the search results, and a bad UX can result in a low dwell time.
5. Do UX designers require SEO skills?
While it is not required for UX designers to possess SEO skills, knowing both fields can be very helpful when developing a website. It can help design and create content that meets both SEO and UX requirements, delivering a great experience to website visitors.