Even about 20 years ago, people were filling their web pages with the target keywords, and that was enough to rank for relevant searches on Google. Those were the sweet days! Today, working on your keyword only will get you nowhere fast. All leading search engines including Bing and Google have defined a few parameters that determine which search results will dominate the SERPs. They have ensured that search engine optimization (SEO) and user experience (UX) go hand in hand to foster a common interest – to make website navigation easier for the potential customer. Instead of wondering how you can curtail your SEO budget to work on your UX, you need to think of them as a partnership.
How do SEO and UX share common interests?
Search engine optimization is the practice of improving the traffic quality to your website. This traffic is usually organic, and it comes from the top ranking links of the SERPs. Therefore, the revenue of your site depends on how well your team is optimizing your web pages for search engine access and ranking. The main aim of SEO is to make your site more search engine friendly than it is right now.
On the other hand, UX design works towards making the website more human-friendly. This means easy to access menus, intuitive designs, interactive page elements, visible information hierarchy, and mobile friendliness. The leading aim of any good UX design is to enable the users to interact with the elements of a website and to be able to aid their conversion into paying customers.
Usability and user experience work equally hard to make a website user-friendly. In fact, your UX will directly contribute to your search engine ranking. No one likes a clumsy website that has a lot of unnecessary elements because they might enhance aesthetics. Once people start to appreciate your site design by staying longer and navigating from one page to another, the search engines take this as a positive signal as well. The primary requisite of an SEO-friendly website is a great design. After you have the correct visual hierarchy in place, incorporation of the target keywords is a no-brainer.
Ideally, while choosing a visitor-friendly design, your SEO should not suffer. However, there are times when you will have to sacrifice the SEO for UX or vice versa. Having an expert SEO team often entails bypassing such conundrums and achieving a balance. Finding the middle ground is most important in website design. How does a new brand achieve such a complex balance? Find out everything about UX-friendly SEO at Craig Tuttle Marketing – Rochester SEO Expert.
What are some of the most common website elements that dictate your SEO and UX?
There are several places on your website (and each webpage), where SEO and UX meet. Here are some of the features that uphold optimization for the users as well as for search engines –
Headings – headings serve more or less the same purpose for print and digital media. Presence of a heading makes it more convenient for the visitors as well as the search engines. The H1 tag or primary header declares the purpose of a page. Therefore, adding the focus keywords to the H1 also helps with Google rankings. Headers H2 to H6 should also follow the H1 structure, although you need not use all of them on each page.
Site structure and navigation – the structure of a website will determine a significant part of its performance. That you can probably understand from our repeated emphasis on website structure. You must remember that it is your responsibility to give the visitors what they come for. Therefore, fancy pop-ups, sudden notifications, and hide-and-seek menus are not smart choices for website layouts. Do not leave dead ends across your website. Always have some form of a guidance system to allow the users to go back to the previous section or the home page. Otherwise, you will have a tough time dealing with the bounce rate.
Website speed – mobile responsiveness of a website depends on a lot of factors and site speed is definitely one of them. Site loading speed is one of the top three factors that impact Google rankings. The king of search engines has also announced that mobile page speed determines the search engine friendliness of a site to a great degree. Google PageSpeed Insights and GTMetrix are impressive tools that can help you understand how fast or how slow your site is performing. Focus on the web pages that are killing your loading time. Remove the factors that are contributing to slow speeds.
User signals – it is very important for you to know what your target users are saying about you. Are they leaving 5-star ratings? Are they using the click-to-call features on your site? Are they clicking on your Google My Business posts as well? Now, you may be wondering why that is at all necessary. In reality, Google sees everything and knows everything. Every touchpoint shows Google that your users are interested in what you are serving and that acts as a positive feedback system for your SEO. This is an important aspect of any website’s UX since it depends on your website’s mobile friendliness. As of 2018, mobile-first indexing contributes directly to Google rankings along with a user’s ability to view your site on mobile searches. Your readiness to respond to voice searches or optimization for the Answer Box also define the future of user signals from your site.
There was a time when SEO was just about the Google bots and their ability to locate your website. After the introduction of Hummingbird that has changed. Google searches have become more intuitive, and SEO has become more “humanized” than ever. There is no way you can tell search engine optimization apart from the user experience of a website. SEO and UX need to work hand in hand to boost your website’s visibility and usability. There are no two ways about it. You should not have to choose one over the other or curtail one’s budget to give the other more important. Think about your website user, work on value-adding content and let the SEO team work on the technical aspects that make your site more appealing to the search engine crawlers.