Google considers many factors when ranking sites, such as link building, keywords, and high-quality content. Traditionally, marketers stuffed web pages with keywords to rank well in SERPs. SEO is no longer this simple as Google continues to update its algorithm to focus on the user experience.

Today, search engines factor in how easily visitors navigate your website. How mobile-friendly, secure, and relevant is the website? Such elements of the user experience contribute significantly to your rankings. Read on to discover how user experience and SEO work together and some best practices to implement.

What Is User Experience?

User experience (UX) describes how users experience an app, product, website, or service. For instance, does a phone fit comfortably in a buyer’s hand, or does a washing machine have easy-to-understand controls that simplify the laundry process?

UX relates to a site’s layout and design and how a user interacts with it when used in web design. A website with simple navigation, speedy loading times, helpful content, and accessibility to users with disabilities has a great UX design. UX web design aims to keep visitors on your site for longer and increase conversions.

The Relationship Between User Experience and SEO

Search engines desire to provide users with the best result to their queries. For a long time, web designers focused on designing sites for search engines by adding keywords, backlinks, and quality content. However, this practice meant that web designers ignored how users interact with websites.

Search engines study how users engage with a website and monitor bounce rates. Google notably uses advanced technologies like natural language processing (NLP) and artificial intelligence (AI) to evaluate how well websites cater to visitors.

If people quickly leave your website after a few seconds on it, Google understands that your page didn’t fulfill a user’s intent. If your site has a good UX design, users can easily find what they want, influencing some user engagement factors that Google uses to rank websites.

People also share links to user-friendly sites with their social networks. The more organic traffic your site draws, the higher Google ranks it in results for targeted keywords.

UX and SEO Top Tips

UX design should be a top consideration if your site has high bounce rates. As you design your SEO campaigns, pay attention to the following:

Mobile Friendliness

Since mobile searches outrank desktop searches in numbers, most people visiting your site will use phones or tablets. Enhancing your content’s readability by considering text and font size is one part of mobile-friendly design.

Also, readers should efficiently perform various actions from phones, such as navigating to your menu or clicking on social media buttons. The images should look good on mobile screens, and the content should be scannable on the go.

If you haven’t revamped your site for mobile, you lose out on organic traffic from mobile devices. Google has a Mobile-Friendly tool to test your website’s mobile friendliness.

Load Speeds

Page speed has a substantial impact on user experience and satisfaction. Indeed, more than 50% of visitors abandon a page that takes over three seconds to load. The probability of bounce increases rapidly with every second your site takes to load, while high bounce rates affect your search rankings.

Heavy image formats, server delays, and unnecessary redirects are common causes for slow load speeds. Also, the complex widgets and fancy animation on your site may be harming your site’s responsiveness. Your hosting provider is an important puzzle piece too, and you should ensure that your server’s response time is below 200 ms.

Architecture and Navigation

The way you arrange the pages on your site contributes significantly to the user experience. Simple additions like an easily accessible search box and clearly labeled categories do wonders to help a visitor seamlessly navigate your site.

Remember that most visitors don’t enter your site via the homepage, so visitors should access your homepage from the same location at all times, no matter the page they land on first. Annoying popups, dead ends, and a long list of options complicate navigation. You should opt for a clean site architecture.

Another tip is to streamline your menus as they easily become cluttered with too many items. A crowded menu leaves users struggling to find the page they are looking for. You can add a drop-down menu to let users navigate multiple pages in a single category.

Headers

Both search engines and visitors use headers to determine the relevance of any piece of content. Besides, headings are great ways to use keywords and boost SEO rankings. The best practice is to add only one H1 tag for each page with supporting headings marked from H2 to H6 several times to organize the content.

UX is a critical aspect of search engine rankings. While marketers could previously rely on keywords and links to rank favorably, search engines have shifted focus to better user experiences. If you are unsure of where to start, contact Boostability today! As a leading white label SEO agency, we will help your venture reach its full SEO potential.

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Kyle is a Content Marketing Specialist at Boostability. Since graduating from Utah Valley University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing, Kyle has developed a passion for creating SEO and Digital Marketing content to help educate and inform readers, customers, and partners through various marketing channels. He has previously worked with clients directly on Boostability’s Client Management team and loves to help businesses succeed online. Outside of work, Kyle enjoys playing sports, skiing, trying new restaurants, and spending time with family.