SEO is not only about link building and placing keywords craftily in the content but much more. Indeed, these two strategies aim at improving search rankings, but there are many other things to consider when creating strategies for earning high ranks in search results. How users feel about your site is a very critical factor that determines the fate of SEO as evident from the way user experience or UX remains intertwined with SEO.
User experience is very crucial for search engines to understand the worth of websites that influence its ranking prospect. For example, if a site has good speed and pages open fast, users are happy with it and in turn search engines are happy too and understand that the website has enough merit to rank high. Similarly, when users spend more time on the website, it is a sign of high-quality content that search engines consider for better ranking. When a site is easy to navigate, users feel more comfortable and spend longer time on the website which reduces bounce rate and sends positive signals to search engines for considering the site worthy of high rank.
In this article, we will focus on UX to discover its various aspects and the way UX integrates with your search engine optimization efforts.
The importance of UX for SEO
Search engines or more precisely Google sets the SEO guidelines for marketers. The best SEO practices originate from the ways of doing SEO in the way Google wants. And in this regard, it is impossible not to give due importance to user experience because Google wants it that way as evident from many updates that have happened until now. Every Google update aims at bettering user experience by providing the best possible results. Providing user-friendly search results that focus on user needs is the topmost agenda of Google and will remain forever. This has resulted in several improvements in SERPs as evident from the introduction of rich snippets and knowledge panel. These improvements together with several algorithm updates just show how critical UX is for Google. Things will become even clearer if you look at RankBrain that highlights the importance of user experience for search engines.
Close ties between UX and SEO
According to the experts at NYC Craig Tuttle Marketing, an SEO company, the reason why UX and SEO are so close to each other is because of the common goals shared by them. If you have followed how SEO has evolved recently, you must have observed that ranking for search terms only is no more a priority. Now, search engines aim to provide the most appropriate answers against search queries, and this marks the starting point when UX starts interacting with SEO. Interestingly, both UX and SEO aim at providing the best answers to users by furnishing the right information to them just in the way they want. The task of SEO is to lead users to the content while UX ensures that users get the information that they are looking for.
Now that you have understood how important UX is for SEO, you must work towards improving user experience on your website. Here, you will find a list of activities that should boost the user experience.
Align the strategies for UX and SEO
With an eye on maintaining the closeness between SEO and UX, you must first align the strategy of search engine optimization with the user experience. Create the UX and SEO strategies in such a way so that these can work together and not as separate channels. Since one of the goals of the website is to generate more leads and conversions by driving more traffic, you must use the powers of both UX and SEO to achieve the goal. But keep in mind that you must make the strategies work together to get the best results. Since the goal is common, developing suitable strategy should not be a problem.
Responsive web design is a must
Since the majority of users use mobile devices, it is mandatory to create mobile-friendly websites that display beautifully on mobile devices. Considering that by 2020 there will be about 3 billion smartphone users, you must have a site optimized for perfect viewing across all platforms and all kinds of devices. To have the widest reach across all sections of the audience, you just must make your website omnipresent and accessible from mobile devices of different screen sizes. Any inconvenience faced by mobile device users in accessing the website will reflect poorly on user experience as they would quickly abandon the site and increase the bounce rate that would affect the search ranking negatively.
Select SEO friendly design elements
When building the website, your sole aim must be to make it as much SEO friendly as possible by using design elements that go well with your optimization efforts and at the same time enhance user experience. For example, incorporating a site map eases navigation greatly that users appreciate and sends positive signals to search engines. Similarly, tasks, like maximizing H1 and H2 titles, optimizing functionalities and menu names, providing focused product descriptions and names and creating content that receives appreciation from both users and search engines, are some other measures that you must take.
How smoothly users can move around your website that makes them feel comfortable is a significant factor that enhances user experience and becomes a decisive ranking factor. Provide the feature of easy navigation on the home page that users find easy to understand so that they can use the website intuitively that tells them the next step to take. Providing a sitemap on your site serves a good purpose for search engines during indexing pages as it facilitates better crawling of the pages by search spiders.
The ultimate goal of optimization is to establish the high quality of your website to search engines by providing better user experience, and in the process, you must address the issues related to content originality and relevance, page layout, page speed, internal link structure, and page layout.