It’s tougher than ever for new businesses to compete with more established businesses, and even established businesses have more competition than ever before. A good website with top-notch UX is vital for organizations to connect with their audience. A good website alone isn’t enough to get noticed, organizations also need to focus on SEO to make it easier for people to find their business.
In the past, SEO strategies were almost exclusively focused on using the right keywords and getting links back to pages on your website. While keywords and links are still important, many SEO professionals are beginning to recognize the role UX design plays in improving and maintaining your search rankings.
How UX Affects Search Rankings
In the early days of SEO, search engines had to rely on signals like keywords to determine relevance and links to determine authority. Both of these signals are still used to determine the rankings of webs pages, but search engines have gotten smarter.
Today’s search engines also use metrics that indicate the quality of a web page and the user experience. This would include metrics like bounce rate, time on page, organic clicks, dwell time and pages visited per session. When search engines see a web page that performs well in these metrics, it increases the search rank because they act as signals that indicate value.
UX Design Tips to Improve Search Rankings
With user experience starting to play a larger role in search rankings, we see SEO professionals working more closely with UX designers. They are both looking at the same metrics and considering ways they can work together to improve the user experience for website visitors.
The following are a few UX design tips that can help to improve a website’s search rankings:
You have big problems if visitors are bouncing on the homepage. That means you need to put effort into creating a homepage that is clear and easy to understand. Don’t clutter the homepage with a bunch of elements that will not help users reach their goals. Use images and typography to establish an obvious hierarchy of information. You should also consider the strategic use of CTAs to make it easy for visitors to figure out what you want them to do on the homepage.
UX designers need to make it easy for visitors to navigate the website. Ideally, visitors should be able to navigate to any page on the website no matter what page they happen to be on. You should also use familiar navigation elements and controls. Consider things like hamburger menus, sliders, search bars, etc. If visitors find your website’s navigation to be confusing, they won’t visit other pages. Instead of spending time figuring out complicated controls, they will just bounce back to the search results to look for something else.
Page Speed Matters
Slow loading is an issue that can affect the user experience and it is another metric search engines consider when ranking pages. If you want to reach the top of the results, you need to work on improving page speeds. One simple step that can reduce page speeds is to optimize the images on your web pages.
Responsive Web Design
Designers also need to consider the fact that a lot of visitors will be using mobile devices. If your pages are not optimized for mobile, it is going to provide a less than ideal user experience. Additionally, search engines will prioritize mobile-friendly design when ranking pages for mobile search. That is why designers should use responsive web design to build pages that will perform well across all devices.
Quality of Content
Having high-quality content can help with your SEO directly, but it can also contribute to UX design. Better content is going to provide a better experience for visitors. Designers should make sure website content offers value and that it is relevant. Along with that, try to develop content that is easy to consume. Most visitors do not want to read a wall of text; they want content that is well structured, easy to scan and they want headings and images that can help to guide them through the page.
Conventional SEO practices like keyword research and link building still do a lot to determine where your website ranks in the search results. However, poor UX design can set you back. When you can apply a good SEO strategy to a site that has a strong user experience, you have a recipe that can put your pages at the top of the rankings.
If you know that you need to up your SEO game but aren’t quite sure where to start, we can help. We’ve got SEO and UX Design experts on our team who can’t wait to craft a strategy that will get your organization noticed.
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