Let’s check out 8 key actions in designing a user experience that also benefits search engine positioning.
A decade ago, SEO rankings were the sole company goal: in a nutshell, the optimization strategies aimed at inserting the greatest number of keywords in webpages.
Things have changed a lot since then. Lately, being able to reach, attract, and convert a selected target is far more important than search engine positioning. Of course, technical SEO keeps playing an important role. However, another marketing area is becoming more and more essential: UX Design.
What is User Experience Design?
UX Design is a creative, managerial process for offering users the best browsing experience. The process includes all aspects of usability, accessibility, and functionality.
UX Design is considered a never-ending process. It keeps changing over time in its constant search to improve the site. Skills in providing UX planning and objectives are vital since the user experience focuses on user needs. Therefore, the implemented UX design processes always need to be user friendly.
Website design has had a radical transformation over the past decade. Its scope has become pervasive, grown in complexity, and attracted R&D investment. Mostly, such a development is connected to the great relevance gained by the user experience. This encompasses the greater user-site interaction variety (the wide landscape of browsers, as well as the mobile world).
Why is UX-friendly design important for SEO?
Google is known to constantly update its algorithms to offer the best user experience. Every new update has this purpose.
Also, know that Google pays much more attention to sites that have a better UX. This translates into better Google search rankings, meaning a competitive advantage for your company.
Essentially, SEO guarantees that information is communicated to users. UX ensures that user reception of that information is effective.
Therefore, SEO and UX share a common goal and work hand in hand. Now let’s check out the 8 key processes for designing a UX that benefits SEO.
8 UX Design actions to improve SEO
1. Design UX for users, not search engines
High search engine positioning is meant to increase audiences and ROI.
If traffic meets a poor user experience, then the site’s bounce rate increases. Google then lowers your ranking. This is a vicious circle.
2. Improve page load time
Your content and landing pages must be light in order to guarantee a reasonable loading time.
The longer a page takes to load, the higher the percentage of users who leave, exponentially. This increases the bounce rate with negative effects on Google’s ranking.
3. Optimize navigation
Many designers stress the following best practice: information on a site must be reachable with no more than three clicks.
Making your site easy to browse means helping people to access the information they are looking for. This is why it is so important that URLs are well structured (to help search engines index and classify pages better), the hierarchy between pages is clear and well defined, and the search field is effective.
4. Make everything mobile responsive
As we know, the figures of data access through mobile devices are increasing enormously. According to statistics, smartphones and tablets generate over 50% of web traffic. Hence, the better the mobile accessibility of your site, the greater the traffic.
5. Create quality content
There is no alternative to content quality if you want to engage users and increase traffic.
Besides producing content, focus on aspects like formatting, grammar, spell checking, and using short paragraphs and a plain language (Google takes all of these into account when positioning the page).
Here are some other tips to better position content on the site:
- Give your content a visually attractive layout, as long as it doesn’t distract from the content
- Define appropriate font size and spacing
- Go for a functional, easy-to-click page structure.
6. Consider SEO standards and metrics
This means systematically providing product names and descriptions, creating a practical navigation bar, optimizing menu names and functions, setting up titles, images, and H1 and H2 tags, and generating relevant content for both users and search engines.
Also, take into account SEO metrics, such as bounce rate, conversion rate, average load time, and average pages per session. This data will help you design a better UX and achieve better results.
7. Find keywords
Keyword research is even more relevant today. Users reach your pages through certain keywords. The first thing to do is to identify them. Use those keywords to create content that users can easily find.
8. Don’t forget accessibility best practices
No UX designer can forget that the web—hence their website—must work and be accessible for all, regardless of tools, skills, language, and location.
As people in the U.S. say, accessibility means designing e-mails that guarantee full content availability for all recipients. These include people with disabilities (e.g. blindness) or users of assistive technologies (such as screen readers).
Hence, for the sake of a full accessibility, designers must take care of some aspects, such as using alt tags, creating subtitles, managing color, keeping content language plain, and providing accessibility guidelines.
You can increase audience and improve positioning by optimizing the accessibility of your site.
We listed just a few aspects of UX that are relevant to SEO. As mentioned, SEO and UX go hand in hand: optimizing one will benefit the other. Soon, we’ll delve into this topic on our blog.