Google and other search engines now consider UX when ranking websites. This makes the SEO playing field more dynamic and complex. Failure to apply UX elements in your SEO practice could ruin your chances of ranking high in search engines. Top websites now aggressively zone in on applying UX elements and this article will explain why you should be doing that too.
SEO mainly focuses on link building and keyword seeds. This still stands true but it’s not that simple anymore. Apart from links and keywords, user experience (UX) now also plays a big role when it comes to SEO. How fast does your site load? Is it compatible with smartphones? Do you offer engaging content? How informative is your content? Can people easily navigate and explore your site?
Google and other search engines are now programmed to determine the ranks of websites by considering answers to these questions. Can people easily use your site? The easier it is for people to access information from your site, the higher your website’s ranking will be. Don’t miss a beat. Read on to know how the entire UX factor plays out to know more about what you can do.
The Importance of UX in SEO
Google’s AI is getting smarter and smarter by the day. The massive flow of data that it processes on the daily taught it to determine which website is of prime quality not just by evaluating content but by scoring how easy it is to access it. Google AI heavily centers on user satisfaction. SERPs now show rich snippets and knowledge panels which show just how important it is for your website to not miss the mark by providing only the best and easily accessible answers to people’s questions. One look at RankBrain and you’d know that the game has changed.
The Launch of RankBrain
Google introduced RankBrain in 2015. RankBrain is Google’s very own machine-learning AI that values the relevance and importance of your website. It does this by monitoring how users interact with your site: it takes note of pages per session, dwell time, bounce rate, organic CTR, and overall behavior metrics. It grades if users find your website valuable and enjoyable.
RankBrain monitors the time users spend on your website. It tracks how users move from one page to another and also records the number of repeat visitors. When you have people return to your website and visitors that spend much time exploring your page, RankBrain will think that you provide good UX. The more that you show that you provide good UX, the higher your ranking will be. It is very dangerous because sites that have users leave instantly upon entering now get very low ranking. The fact that people leave immediately and prefer returning to search results shows that your website is not good. This can effectively drop your ranking.
UX and SEO Work Hand in Hand
UX and SEO work in synergy towards the same goals. SEO has vastly changed from the mere consideration of search terms to fully determining the value of answers and information that sites provide for every query. This is why it melds well with UX elements that aggressively grade user satisfaction. Both are determined to give users only the best answers possible with relevant information. SEO attracts users to a webpage while UX offers the best information and experience possible.
Essential SEO Practices for Good UX
The following practices highly influence UX. Fully understanding each will make allow you to produce better UX for your visitors.
- Heading and image tags. Image tags provide juicy information even when pages fail to load. This secures that users still get relevant information with or without pictures. Headers provide page structure and improve readability that makes a website more engaging and navigable.
- Your content should provide more than 600 words to ensure that it gives truly relevant and in-depth answers to queries.
- Make your website mobile-friendly. In 2020, 60% of all Google searches are now coursed through smartphones and tablets. Users should find it easy to navigate your site even when they’re on their smartphones or other mobile devices.
- Improve your page speed. The faster your website loads, the higher the UX value of your website will be. No one wants to visit sites that take forever to load.
Securing a Good UX
So, where do you begin? What can you do to immediately improve your website’s ranking when it comes to UX?
- Build a responsive website – Your website must be flexible enough to be readable and viewable on all platforms. If it has a good desktop version, its mobile version must be good as well, if not better. There are now over three billion smartphone users worldwide. It will be a big failure on your part if you will choose to miss out on this market. Prioritize offering an easy mobile experience to your visitors.
- Integrate UX and SEO practices – Now that you know that SEO works hand in hand with UX, make sure that all practices have positive UX values. No SEO task should be executed without determining positive UX across all endpoints. All SEO and UX goals must be aligned.
- Zone in on SEO-driven design – Make your website clearer. Every visit must pack a punch. Make sure that you have sitemaps, proper H1 and H2 titles, and clear navigation paths.
- Easy Navigation – An essential factor in evaluating UX is the ease in exploring websites. Your site should be navigable and engaging. Your design must be intuitive and clear. Visitors must feel like they know what they’re doing and where they’re going when they visit your site.
- Content is king – The more informative, original, and relevant your content is, the higher its ranking will be. Work on providing outstanding content to have users visit your site again and again.
Do a conscious inventory of your website. Determine if it effectively gives users the best possible information with the best possible user experience. Be quick to apply everything in this article to instantly improve your web ranking. Re-align all your SEO strategies with UX goals. Never stop working on growth and improvement.