UX and SEO frequently appear together and coexist, as users’ demands regarding page usability are increasing each year. People know what they want. They expect the devices and websites to be even more efficient, intuitive and easy-to-use. What is UX SEO and how does user experience impact your website’s positions in the search results?
Table of contents:
- A Few Words About User Experience
- The Common Goal AKA What UX and SEO Have in Common
- UX SEO – What Ranking Factors Should You Consider?
- How UX Affects SEO – Coulomb’s Law in the Online World?
- How to Use SEO to Improve UX and How to Use UX to Improve SEO?
- UX and SEO in Ecommerce
- SEO & UX – The Takeaway
A Few Words About User Experience
UX has been a much-talked-about topic in the online marketing and IT industries for several years now. In today’s entry, we’ll be discussing UX as the sum of person’s (or user’s) experiences not only with a computer and websites, but also with a service, product, or system.
By following UX principles and best practices when creating a site, you can build a user-friendly website. Such a page is eagerly visited, recommended, and has satisfying conversions.
Anyway – UX principles don’t just relate to the Internet and technology. Have you ever pushed a door when the sign clearly stated “pull”? It doesn’t mean that YOU did something wrong – maybe the sign was placed in a hardly visible place, the font wasn’t readable enough, or the inscription was covered by the handle… It’s just an example of bad UX in real life!
Want to learn more about UX? Are you just getting the first steps in the business? Read our definition of user experience.
The Common Goal AKA What UX and SEO Have in Common
Over the past few years, everyone who has been keeping an eye on the SEO world noticed changes in Google’s algorithms and search result positions.
It turns out that Google rewards websites that truly respond to user queries and needs. This is where SEO and UX begin to merge – each is designed to provide users with important content and help them achieve their goals.
In fact, SEO directs people to the content they’re looking for, and UX makes spending time on the site valuable and enjoyable. Consequently, it increases the desire to convert, meaning to buy a particular product or sign up for a newsletter, for example.
So, it can be concluded that both UX and SEO aim to increase conversions on the site. Although they do it by different means, SEO and UX are ultimately meant to contribute to fulfilling business goals such as improving sales, increasing time spent on the site, and encouraging users to subscribe to a newsletter or download an ebook.
Want your online store to rank higher in the search results? At Delante, we know how to make SEO and UX work together – check out how our ecommerce SEO services can benefit you.
At the moment, it’s safe to say that SEO needs to coexist with UX because the development of search engines means that a positive user experience plays a key role in improving a site’s position in Google rankings. Why?
Google wants to display pages that are relevant, engaging, and user-friendly. After all, the better the results it offers, the more successful it is, right?
UX comes in handy every time when SEO alone isn’t enough. While SEO can attract users to your site, it won’t necessarily keep them there. If the site is unfriendly, unintuitive and performing even the simplest actions (like logging in or adding products to a shopping cart) is problematic, a potential customer will surely leave it without converting as expected.
Google admits that it prioritizes sites that offer real value to users. In fact, we’ve known about numerous ranking factors for several years now. The list includes not only time spent on a page or CTR (click-through rate), but also the usability of the site.
UX SEO – What Ranking Factors Should You Consider?
You already know that UX and SEO have much in common. In this part of the article, we’ll tell you what ranking factors have the greatest impact on both concepts in question.
The bounce rate tells you how many people leave your site after visiting just one page. If it’s high, it usually indicates that users aren’t able to find what they expect on the site. Moreover, elements like layout or design may be scaring them away.
So once you attract potential customers to your site with the help of quality SEO, you need to make sure they know what to do next. Use CTA buttons, create relevant content, and remember that page speed is extremely important. Both for Google and users!
Have you ever heard about dwell time? It’s not the same as the time spent on the page. Dwell time defines the period of time between entering a page from the search results and returning to the SERPs.
So this is the time a user needs to determine whether the site offers what they’re looking for, or whether they need to keep searching.
If the dwell time is very short, the search engine may decide that the site isn’t worthy of attention and it’ll start displaying it in lower positions. How to avoid such situations? Again, this is when UX SEO comes in handy. Engage users, guide them on your website and most importantly – give them valuable and relevant (!) content.
Website Speed and Loading Time
You’ve probably left websites that loaded too slowly on numerous occasions. Do graphics take too long to load? Do you have problems with completing subsequent steps of the customer journey? You become impatient and leave the page.
A slow website doesn’t benefit either SEO or UX. Every second, until the page is loaded, is a risk that a user will leave the site. In the next section, we’ll tell you what you can do to speed up your website!
Being mobile-friendly is a real cornerstone of SEO. Responsive web design suitable for screens of various sizes or a separately created mobile-friendly site design are must-haves if you want to have good UX and improve your positions in the SERPs.
Want to check if your website is optimized for mobile devices? Conduct the Mobile-friendly Test.
How UX Affects SEO – Coulomb’s Law in the Online World
For those of you who weren’t physic geeks, we would like to remind you that Coulomb’s law describes the force of electrostatic interaction of electric charges 😉.
In fact, both SEO and UX share a lot of common principles. Following them will have a positive impact on user experience and the positions in the SERPs.
Want to learn more? Check out one of our articles published some time ago: How to use UX rules to support SEO?
How to Use SEO to Improve UX and How to Use UX to Improve SEO?
Of course, it’s not only UX that affects SEO. It also works the other way round. What insights can you draw from your SEO activities to improve your users’ experience? And what UX elements will boost your position in the search results?
- Tailor-made content – for several years now, content present on the page has been an important ranking factor. But SEO isn’t everything. Creating quality content has a positive impact on UX – if a user gets a valuable page, they’re more likely to stay on it for longer and convert. The more questions and concerns answered, the better – both for SEO and UX.
- Titles and meta descriptions – other key SEO elements that help users navigate through the search results and the site itself. One of the main objectives of meta tags is to direct search engine robots to your site. However, properly optimized and interestingly written meta titles and descriptions can also persuade a user to choose your site.
A good CTA, brand highlights, and clear information about what to expect from the site will inspire trust in users.
- Page speed. As it’s been already mentioned, it’s crucial for UX and SEO. What can you do to speed up your site? There are several important steps you can take to do so:
- make sure you use proper cache settings,
- reduce the weight of graphics on the page or use more modern formats adapted to web display,
- use lazy load or script load delay to speed up the loading of the most important elements,
- benefit from PageSpeed Insights tips and find elements for improvement to meet Core Web Vitals
- Friendly URLs – chaotic, unstructured URLs can confuse users. What can be found on the /aDl-O_o23i1 page? What is the /item-291 product? Wouldn’t it be better to replace such URLs with /women-dresses and /blue-blouses-for-men?
If you want to learn more about creating user- and search engine-friendly URLs, read the article: URL structure – how to build a user and SEO-friendly URL.
- Intuitive menu – you’ve certainly encountered a website that was hard to navigate. The menu disappeared when you hovered the cursor over it, category names were unreadable, and the whole interface was confusing. A great menu can convince users to stay on the website for longer. Internal product and category links also improve navigation.
- Easily accessible, readable content – make it simple for users to digest your texts. Take care of copywriting and use the right number of words. Avoid long blocks of text, as they can only discourage users. Structured text with graphics, headers or listings is a reader-friendly solution, that also happents to be well optimized SEO-wise.
- Don’t be afraid to use headers. They attract users’ attention and tell Google robots what elements are the most important on the site.
- Saturate the page with content – don’t forget about graphics and videos! Content isn’t only text. Engaging content willingly shared by users will boost UX and SEO.
- Use CTA buttons. They give users a better understanding of what to do, support internal linking and make the website more transparent.
- Internal links to related content – link similar products, related articles, definitions, contact or support pages. This will keep users on the site for longer and will boost your SEO efforts.
What else can do you? Try to put yourself in the users’ shoes and test various solutions. Learn what users search for in Google and try to provide them with good UX.
Get rid of content that no one is looking for. Highlight what users are most likely to search for. Use Google Search Console to see what pages of your website are visited the most frequently, what queries are entered in the search box, and what keywords your site ranks for.
It’s also a good idea to conduct expert usability testing. Revise the site to make it people-centered. Testing the site’s performance on various mobile devices is also an absolute cornerstone of good UX in 2022 – remember that a significant percentage of shopping is done on phones, and being mobile-friendly is fundamental in SEO.
UX and SEO in Ecommerce
Note that UX is incredibly important for the ecommerce industry. URL structure – how to build a user and SEO-friendly URL in online stores frequently results from poorly designed websites that aren’t user-friendly.
To make your store usable, remember that:
- The product catalog must have appropriate sorting and filters;
- The product should be presented in a user-friendly way, you should clearly show all the most important features of the goods, such as the price, color variants, a zoomed-in photo of the item when you hover over the photo, etc.
- Adding products to the shopping cart must be clear and transparent. It should be possible to return to the list of products at any time. Various buttons (e.g. “go to checkout” or “continue shopping”) should be clear and distinguishable;
- Reviews and testimonials make purchasing decisions easier, so it’s worth having such functionalities;
- A well-functioning product search engine is the key to convenient shopping. Don’t forget to configure it so that it can provide users with the right results even if queries have typos;
- Registration and login should be intuitive and hassle-free; it’s worth providing information about password strength or already taken logins (preferably in the form of pop-ups). If you want to improve UX, you shouldn’t force people to set up the account;
- The shopping cart should show available forms of shipment, visible status, and the value of the order. Moreover, the whole shopping process should be arranged linearly;
- Elements that build the credibility of the store should be present on the page. Include information about partners, and logos of brands whose products you sell. Upload quality certificates and other documents.
These are just some examples of positive UX practices that should be implemented in every online store. It’s worth noting that they also have a positive impact on SEO, as they prevent customers from leaving the site because of unclear information.
SEO & UX – The Takeaway
- SEO and UX have a common goal – they increase conversions;
- The most important Google metrics that link UX and SEO are:
- bounce rate,
- dwell time,
- page speed and loading time,
- What can you do to improve the SEO and UX of your site?
- make sure you have friendly URLs,
- design intuitive menus,
- take care of rich, valuable content,
- make use of headers,
- saturate the site with content,
- use CTA buttons,
- implement internal linking to similar content.
As you can see, UX affects SEO (and vice versa) in a significant way. If you want to keep users on your site for longer and increase conversions, combine effective SEO with a good user experience – we believe that it’s a recipe for success!
Since you already know what UX is and how it affects SEO, it’s worthwhile to dive deeper and learn what UX writing is and how it can support your SEO process. In content we trust!
Do you have more questions about UX & SEO? Would you like to work on the UX of your website? Contact us!
This is an update of an article published in 2021.