5 Reasons User Experience (UX) is Key to SEO

Posted at Jun 25, 2018 12:14:12 PM by THAT Agency | Share

A recent Forrester study suggested that a better user experience could boost conversion rates by nearly 400%. Imagine the possibilities for your brand! This is far from the only study to look at just how valuable user experience, or UX, can be. UX is an important factor in web design, of course - but it’s equally critical when it comes to your website SEO efforts.

Why is UX key to optimizing search engine results for you site? Let’s take a look.

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1. Google Cares

There was a time when SEO relied almost exclusively on factors like relevant content with the right keywords and linking strategy from reputable sources. Those certainly still matter.

The reality, though, is Google's AI and algorithms with the ability to learn are getting smarter every day, and they have started to care more about page layout and how long visitors spend on site. Google has gone as far as hinting that UX does fit into the picture when it comes to page rank.

2. Speed Matters

Accessibility is everything, and if visitors are waiting more than a few seconds for a site to load, it's going to affect how they (and search engines) see your site. A focus on UX means increasing your speed, and this could boost your rankings.

3. Better Structure Leads to Better SEO

UX often means beautifully structured pages, and that structure easily lends itself to the implementation of effective website SEO techniques. For example, better structured pages mean paragraph headers, and often those incorporate your keywords. That's a factor search engines can see, and it works to your advantage in the rankings.

Great, intuitive, structure also leads to visitor happiness. It means your content is easy to read, visually attractive, and populated with helpful click-through prompts. While those may not translate directly into rankings, they do translate into better conversion rates in the long run.

4. UX Concerns Mean Avoiding Desperation

Desperate websites, the ones looking for page views that really aren't earned, can be spotted a mile away. Imagine, for a moment, you clicked on an article called "Ten Ways to Beat the Heat This Summer." Unfortunately, you only get one tepid tip when you click on it. You have to click through nine more pages to the others.

That's not a good experience for your users, and while it may amp up your page views initially, it's not going to play well forever in the search engines. Or with people who avoid your site because it’s a pain to use without delivering enough value. Taking UX into consideration when you build your website means higher page views on a long term basis, not just long enough to trick (or, rather, attempt to trick!) the search engines.

5. Accessibility Counts With Google

Designing websites around accessibility can improve your SEO, and there are a few easy ways to do that. Writing a readable, detailed description of each image in the alt-text field means easier access for blind and visually impaired individuals. It also means the search engines see everything on your page in seconds, and that could translate to better ranking.

Remember that testing is key. Approach your customers, online or in person, to decide how they feel about certain changes you've made to your site. Start watching data, such as clicks to your call to action and your ranks. It will help you decide if your UX is where it should be. Optimizing search engine results begins with delivering the type of website experience your users want and need.

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Tags: SEO

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