Boosting rankings with keyword stuffing and backlinks is a thing of the past. The focus of search engines is shifting from human behavior to human experience. When trying to improve your website’s ranking, you should pay just as much attention to your site’s usability as you do other SEO tactics.
Creating a high-ranking website requires both SEO and user experience (UX). SEO practices combined with intuitive UX design are the key ingredients to high-ranking websites. Engagement, traffic, and ranking benefits are all boosted by excellent UX design.
UX design is already integrated with SEO best practices in a number of areas. An easy-to-navigate, mobile-friendly site that loads quickly and includes engaging content is among them.
The importance of UX and SEO
An aspect of UX design that addresses how a user feels after reaching your website is UX optimization. The onsite experience and the offsite experience are two different types of UX. The onsite experience happens on your website but the offsite experience takes place away from it. The UX of a website includes everything from the design and layout to how users interact with it.
A major role of UX has played in SEO since it has been largely ignored by most web designers, who used to focus on designing their sites for search engines rather than users. For years, search engines boosted your site to the top by adding quality content, keywords, and backlinks to your webpage.
Nowadays, search engines — such as Google — are focusing on user behavior to provide the best possible results. The purpose of collecting data on users and websites is to better understand their behavior. You can bet your ranking position will drop if the users are not satisfied with the data they receive from a website.
Users sometimes visit a site from a Google search result, don’t find what they’re looking for, and then click back to Google only to see another search result. That’s called pogo-sticking, and it’s one of the biggest UX signals Google can measure. Eventually, users visit a site a few times and never click back again.
A high bounce rate goes along with pogo-sticking, which is a sign that users can’t find what they’re looking for on the site.
Higher bounce rates and a greater pogo-sticking rate indicate a lack of user appeal. There is still no way for search engines to identify why the bounce rate is so high. Sites are only ranked according to the amount of traffic that they receive from users.
In general, websites with lower bounce rates tend to be better at helping users find the information they are looking for. Websites ranking high in these categories tend to appear on the first page of the results
Enter: UX design
Several factors can contribute to users leaving your site abruptly. The lack of good UX in web design is one of the reasons.
Creating an easy-to-navigate website with user-friendly language, a fast loading time, and a clearly defined purpose is part of UX design. SEO relies heavily on these same UX aspects. Providing search engine users with what they are searching for is the common goal for UX and SEO.
Your site’s UX should be improved to make a user’s visit the best experience possible. You’ll be rewarded with higher rankings from a search term if users visiting your site from Google are having a good experience.
SEO and UX best practices
Visitors who bounce off your site aren’t in a position to provide you with an exact reason. While they might have a good idea, it’s your responsibility to discover why. An audit of your site and improvement of its UX design are the two best ways to start this process. Make sure your website SEO is effective by following these UX and SEO best practices:
Mobile-friendly websites. The majority of web visitors use mobile devices. It is important to pay attention to the look and feel, text, images, and overall experience of the mobile site. Make sure that your site is responsive to mobile devices if it does not have one already.
The mobile layout of a site will be judged by both users and search engines alike. Each element of your mobile site has an impact on SEO. Make sure all buttons are clear and consistent so that the navigation is user-friendly. Simple and clear design that emphasizes usability and content, as well as good design, are key elements.
Fasten up. The user experience is improved when a site loads quickly. Because of this, search engines consider the loading time of a site to be a ranking factor. Using a faster web host and compressing images will speed up the loading time of your site. Optimizing the different elements of your site will boost SEO and reduce loading times.
Site navigation is easy. Sites that are purely concerned with SEO and ranking do not tend to have robust site architecture and complex navigation. The easier a site is to use, the simpler its navigation. This simplifies the user’s task so that they can complete it in less time with fewer complications.
There is no rule that says having more web pages is always better. A well-written, user-friendly web page often has the same effect on SEO as multiple pages with quality content. As long as the site is easy to navigate, multi-page sites are still beneficial for SEO.
Make sure you use headings. In addition to identifying content and using keywords, headings boost SEO. The first thing users do is look at the site’s headers to see if it offers the information they need. During the crawling process, search engine spiders check headings to interpret your content.
The H1 tag should appear only once on each page. H2 through H6 tags can be used multiple times in the remaining headings to help organize the content on the page. Make sure to use heading tags when necessary in a logical way.
Layouts that are user-friendly. Changing the layout, reorganizing the content, and increasing the text size can all undermine a site’s SEO. Usability and traffic can be improved by combining UX design with SEO. Getting people to respond to your call to action can be achieved in many ways, including using images and videos, clear headers, organizing and formatting your content so that it is easy to digest, or adding links to relevant content. You could even use a script that randomizes the content of your website during every visit. The combination of these tips and the UX design best practices will improve SEO
There is no confusion with the logo.
When a user arrives at your site, the first thing they will see is your logo or site ID. Ensure that the ID is clear, obvious, and free from distractions. Logos and taglines should be consistent with the content of your site and connect to what the users need.
UX and SEO are now intertwined. Positive UX will complement your SEO efforts if you want solid rankings for your website. The great thing is that you do not need to know anything about JSX to do this. You can create quality websites with great UX design built right into the templates with some solid website builders for non-coders. Take into account these tips above and you’ll be well on your way.