The Impact Of UX On SEO, I.E. User Experience And Page Position - Semalt Overview
UX and SEO are terms that appear together more and more often because from year to year the users' requirements for the pages they visit on the web are increasing. People know what they want, and they expect computers and the objects around to make them work even more efficiently, to be even easier to use and even more intuitive. Is there such a thing as UX SEO and how does one aspect affect the other?
A few words about the user experience
UX is experiencing its golden age, for several years it has been a topic very often discussed in the internet marketing and IT industry. In this article, we will use the definition of UX, which defines as the whole experience of a human (or user) not only with a computer and websites but also with a service, product, or system.
By following the rules and good UX practices when creating a website, we are able to create a user-friendly website - one that people will be happy to come back to and maybe make further conversions. And then recommend it to friends.
Anyway - UX rules do not only apply to the Internet and technology. Have you ever pushed a door that says "pull"? This does not mean that you did something wrong - maybe the sign was placed in the wrong place, the font was not legible enough, the inscription was covered by a door handle... Wrong UX in practice!
Why do UX and SEO play in the same goal?
Over the past few years, in the world of SEO, we have been observing a certain trend of changes in Google's algorithms and positions in search results.
It turns out that Google better evaluates those pages that really answer the user's queries and needs. This is where SEO and UX begin to come together - each aimed at delivering important content to users and helping them complete their tasks.
In fact, SEO guides people to the content they are looking for, and UX makes spending time on the website valuable and enjoyable, so it increases the willingness to convert - i.e. buy a given product or sign up for a course.
So we can conclude that the ultimate goal of both is to increase the conversion of the page. Although they do this in other ways, SEO and UX are ultimately supposed to contribute to the fulfillment of business goals: improve sales, extend the time spent on the website, and increase the number of subscriptions to the newsletter or e-book downloads.
At the moment, it is safe to say that SEO must follow UX as the advancement of search engines has made positive user experience play a key role in improving a website's rankings on Google. Why?
Google wants to show pages that are relevant, interesting, and user-friendly - after all, the better results it selects, the better it will fulfill its function, right?
UX is also useful wherever SEO alone is not enough. Because while positioning will attract users to your website, it will not necessarily keep them there. If the site is unfriendly, unintuitive, and performing even the simplest activities (such as logging in or adding products to the cart), the potential customer will definitely leave the page without performing the expected conversion.
Google admits that it prioritizes sites that offer their users real value. We have known many ranking factors for several years, including not only the time spent on the website or CTR (click-through rate) but also usability.
UX / SEO - what ranking factors should you take care of?
We already know that UX and SEO come together in many places. In this section, we'll show you which of the ranking factors are most important to both, and why.
The bounce rate tells you how many people left your site after visiting just one page. If it is high, it most often warns that users do not find what they expect on the website or something scares them off - unfortunately, sometimes it can just be the design.
So when you attract potential customers to your website thanks to good SEO, you need to make sure they know what to do with themselves. Use CTA buttons, create only adequate content and remember how important page speed is nowadays for both Google and your users!
Do you know what dwell time is? This is not the same as time spent on the site - dwell time is the time between entering the site from search results and returning to the SERPs.
So this is the time when the user determines whether the page has what he / she was looking for or whether he /she needs to look further; whether the site meets his / her needs, or was not as accurate as Google thought.
If the dwell time is very short, the search engine may decide that the page is not that interesting, so it will start displaying it lower, lower, and lower. How to avoid this situation? SEO / UX cooperation is back in play. Engage users, show them the way and, most importantly, make sure the content is valuable and relevant!
Page speed and loading time
You have probably left a website several times because the entire layout of the website did not load for too long. Are the graphics taking too long to load? You click on the cross in the upper right corner. After you have moved on to the next step, you see a never-ending loading circle over your shopping cart, even though you have restarted the website. You lose patience and click on the cross.
If the website is too slow, it will be a downside to both SEO and UX. Each second that a page is loaded is one second of risk that the user will leave your site. In the next section, we'll cover exactly what you can do to speed up your website!
Adaptation to mobile devices
For several years, being mobile-friendly has been an absolute basis for being online, including in search results. Responsive and smaller device-friendly design or a separate mobile-friendly website design are also necessary elements of a website design created with good UX in mind.
How to use SEO to improve UX… and vice versa?
Of course, not only does UX affect SEO, but the opposite is also true. What information can you learn from SEO knowledge to improve your user experience? And what UX elements will improve your situation in search results?
For several years now, content, i.e. the content present on the website, is an important ranking factor in the SEO world. But positioning is not everything. Maintaining a high level of content has a positive effect on UX - if a user gets a valuable website, they are more likely to stay longer and have a better experience, which can translate into sales value. The more answers to questions and doubts, the better - both for SEO and UX.
Title and Meta Description element
These are also key elements for SEO that help users navigate the search results and the page itself. One of their main goals is to target search engine robots on the site, but properly optimized and interestingly written titles and meta descriptions can also encourage the user to enter your website.
Good CTAs, brand differentiators, or clear information about what to expect on the website will result in greater trust on the part of users.
We mentioned above why it is so important to UX and SEO. What to do to speed up your website? There are several important steps you can take to do this:
- make sure you use the correct cache settings;
- reduce the weight of graphics on the page or use newer generation formats adapted to display on the web;
- use lazy load or delayed loading scripts to speed up the loading of what is most important for the page;
- use the Dedicated SEO Dashboard tips and see what needs to be improved to meet Core Web Vitals requirements.
Take care of friendly URLs
Sometimes chaotic, improperly structured URLs can confuse users. What's on the subpage / aDl-O_o23i1? What is produkt / item-291? And isn't it better to replace them with / women's-blouses and/or blue-blouse-on-shoulder straps?
We're sure you've ever visited a site that you couldn't navigate. The menu disappeared after hovering over it, the category names were unreadable, and the entire interface was at least confusing. A well-constructed menu is a way to keep the user on the page, as well as to position categories or products by internal linking.
Easily accessible, readable content
Make it easily digestible for users. Take care of the copy and the right number of words, as this is important in terms of SEO, but avoid a wall of text without gaps, which will only discourage the user. Structured text with graphics, headings, or listings is a reader-friendly solution, and at the same time is well optimized for SEO.
- Don't be afraid of headlines. It is thanks to them that users have something to look at, and Google robots understand what is most important on the page.
- Fill your website with content - including graphics and videos! Text is not everything. Nothing enhances SEO and UX better than a variety of engaging content that users will be eager to share.
- Go ahead and use the CTA buttons. Thanks to them, users understand better what to do, and at the same time, internal linking is tightened, and the website architecture often makes a little more sense.
Internal linking to similar content
Offer similar products, related articles, links to a definition, contact, or help. On the one hand, it will help your users stay longer on your website, and on the other hand, it will be a great enhancement of your SEO efforts.
Remove the content that no one is looking for from the page. Highlight what users follow most often. The Dedicated SEO Dashboard tool will be very useful here - thanks to it you can check which subpages your customers visit most often, what exactly they are looking for there, what queries your website appeared on in the search results, etc.
As you can see, UX influences SEO (and vice versa) in a significant and very effective way. If you want to keep users on your website for longer and thus increase the expected conversion, combine effective positioning with a good user experience - we believe that thanks to this combination you will achieve success!
Knowing what UX is and how it affects SEO, it is worth deepening your knowledge and finding out what UX writing is and how it can help in positioning your website. Trust good content!
If you need to learn more about the subject of SEO and website promotion, we invite you to visit our Semalt blog.