7 Ways to Improve your UX by using SEO principles
Low quality UX will lead to poor SEO, and vice versa. Experts tend to raise the question whether one should optimize their website for users or for Google. This question is invalid because those two factors are interlinked to one another. Google asks SEO experts in its Webmaster Guidelines to make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.
In general, search engines aim to do the following:
- To understand the searcher’s intent
- To understand if a page serves that intent
If your users aren’t having a good experience with your website, then it is most likely not serving the searcher’s intent, which is why it’s essential that your UX goes hand in hand with your SEO strategy.
One way that search engines measure a website’s ranking factor is through ‘Dwell Time’ which is the amount of time allocated between a user clicking on a search result then going back to the SERP page. This is an indication of their user experience satisfaction because the longer the dwell time, the better. However, if the dwell time is short and the user quickly returns to the search results, this reflects on how poorly their user experience is.
In order to achieve a unique user experience that serves the user’s intent, here are 8 ways to improve your UX by using SEO principles:
1. Connect with people not robots
The main purpose of your website is to connect with your users and customers, not robots and search engines. Make it a priority to look at your website through the eyes of your user, if your website is unattractive and messy, then naturally your bounce rate will become much higher than your conversion rate.
2. Deliver optimized content
Pages with thin content are ranked poorly in their search results. The more pages you have that are primarily made up of thin content, the more likely Google will lower the rankings of your website. On-page optimization is essential for user experience so make sure you focus on your H1 tags, categorization and content.
3. Provide ease of navigation
Help your users navigate your website smoothly by devising an understandable categorization system and reflect that in your menu names and functionalities. Make sure your website has clear navigation labels and elements such as breadcrumbs.
4. Clean up your website design
The road to great UX starts with great website design. Improving your website to be responsive, inviting and clear can show a major boost to your conversion rate. Simplify your design and avoid using excessive images, as well as confusing font and color scheme.
5. Improve your site speed
SEOs are well aware of the importance of site speed to ranking, but they need to understand that Google primarily cares about site speed due to the impact it has on user experience. Low site speed leads to low dwell time because online users tend to be impatient and not waste time on slow websites.
6. Create a clear user path
The user needs to be aware of how they can reach their goal when visiting your website. You can help them through planting user paths and action items that are clear and understandable. Design-wise, it’s vital to think of each and every call to action button and ask yourself whether it’s too clumpy, bright or small. The more optimized your calls to action are, the more functional your website will be from a user’s perspective.
7. Make it mobile friendly
Google announced over a year ago that they would start penalizing sites that offer a poor mobile experience. Yoshikiyo Kato, Google Software Engineer, states the following:
“To improve the search experience for smartphone users and address their pain points, we plan to roll out several ranking changes in the near future that address sites that are misconfigured for smartphone users.”
It’s important to develop an SEO strategy that focuses on your user’s mobile experience.
In conclusion, focusing on your visitors and considering their online experience is critical to your SEO success. By taking essential steps to improve your UX through using SEO principles, you have a higher chance to increase your rankings.