User experience, or better known as UX, is typically not the first thing that comes to mind when people think of SEO. In fact, lots of people are still in the dark about UX. Nonetheless, this doesn’t hide the fact that UX and SEO are the ultimate combination website owners should always consider. Over the years and up to this day, there’s still a common misconception among some marketers and blog owners that SEO is all about link building and keywords.
And while these two are key aspects of any SEO strategy, truth is, SEO is too encompassing to be limited to just those. What’s more, Google, the number one search engine, considers multiple factors when ranking a website, and UX elements are the most important among them.
Here’s how search engine optimization and user experience are related and why the latter affects the former.
User experience (UX) covers an entire range of site features from user engagement to ease of use to visual appeal. UX includes all the psychological and behavioral aspects of how site visitors interact with web pages. A site's user experience directly reflects the behavior of the visitors. When a website has an excellent UX, you can expect more user interactions and higher site engagement. In contrast, poor UX will result in poor SEO and vice versa. User experience has four primary elements and these are:
Does your site offer value to its visitors and customers? Does it contain valuable information that’s mandatory or needed by users?
Is your website easy to explore? Can users easily complete the task?
Is your website able to persuade visitors to use your products and/or services?
Is your site’s interface visually pleasing and engaging?
Take note that for some websites, it isn’t necessary to keep all aspects equal. For example, if it’s a website is a social network, then the main focus would be to provide adaptability, notwithstanding its content, features, and usability. Doing so will let users easily find the website and create their profiles. From there, you can target the desirability of the social network, ensuring that it’s engaging and fun. No matter how good the adaptability is, the results won’t be much if you fail to engage more users with your content.
On the flip side, if you’re building an e-commerce website, then all four elements have to be equally prioritized. Neglecting any of the elements is no good. Users should get easily accustomed to the site, benefit from the ease of use, engage with the offerings, and discover valuable information. The absence of one element will lead to a prominent drop in sales.
For the past few years, Google has evolved at an impressive speed, mainly due to its aim of constantly enhancing its users' experience. To separate the valuable and worthless and offer searchers trustworthy, relevant, and excellent quality results, Google introduced several changes to the SERPS along with strict algorithm updates.
UX, like SEO, is all about making users happy
UX and SEO share that same goal. In the past, targeting and optimizing exact-match keywords was one of the top ways to get high rankings Today, however, businesses must put themselves in the users' shoes before they can be in front of the right audience and rank high in SERPs. Simply put, you need to first understand the buying intent of your potential customers and study how they perform search queries.
An example is when voice SEO has become an essential element of an SEO strategy Google’s main goal is to provide users the information that answers their questions and solves their problems. Thus, to get displayed in voice search results, your site content has to be optimized for more conversational, long-tail keywords. The next aspect to tackle would be your website design. Your SEO strategy aims to give your site high Google rankings and make it more visible. And when a user goes to your website, UX is there to find the solutions to their problems faster, showcase your professionalism, and improve brand awareness.
Your website is the first channel that connects you and your target audience. It’s like an online ID that shows your website is valid and reliable. And because of this, UX design is a must to establish trust and boost awareness among the people. For instance, you can post some pictures of your staff or a couple of behind the scenes shots of your, as well as share testimonials or customer reviews to prove your brand’s legitimacy. Consistency is very important in web design. From colors to visual content to fonts, try to be as consistent as possible.