How UX Design Affects Your SEO Rankings?
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UX has become a significant part of SEO practices and is taken into consideration by the search engines when determining the rank of a website. It is believed that ‘Keywords + Meta Descriptions + Title Tags + Link Building = SEO ranking’. But it’s not true! While all these are important strategies, they are merely a piece of the puzzle. Search engines take into account a plethora of factors than these when ranking the websites and elements of user experience (UX) are the most important among them. If your website has a poor UX design, there is no way people will stay on it. Instead, they will go back to Google to find a better website that can give them the answers they need. But how does UX design affect SEO ranking? With that in mind, scroll down to discover more about how UX fits into search engine optimization.
What is UX and How UX Impacts SEO Ranking
UX strives to create an awesome experience for your users. Let’s start with the basics. Suppose you visit a website, the page doesn’t load correctly, takes too much time, you can’t find the navigation menu or pop-ups keep popping up and interrupt the site experience. That’s a bad user experience (UX). UX is an acronym of the term ‘User Experience.’ It is not only limited to web designing but also decides what, why, where, when, and how someone will navigate through a website. In short, it defines the user’s journey, aligns the website with business goals and offers delight to the users when they interact with your brand. According to Peter Morville’s User Experience Honeycomb details, for a good UX you should have the following elements:
The main purpose of the UX is to create a user-centric web experience while keeping an eye on the possible ‘pain points’ – points where the user might get confused by the interface. Good UX positively influences different user engagement metrics used by the search engines to rank websites. In essence, a happy audience is directly proportional to happy SEO ranking.
Which Measure UX Design Impacts SEO Ranking?
There are many different metrics that search engines pay attention to and use in their ranking algorithm. In this section, we will focus on those that heavily impact your search ranking and best SEO company should focus on.
Bounce rate is the percentage of the number of times a website visitor has navigated away from a website after visiting the very first page. It represents the flaws in your web page.
There can be different reasons for having a higher bounce rate. The user might not like your design, your website may not have what a user was looking for, your website took too long to load, your website was not mobile responsive and so on. All these reasons are related to a poor UX design. Therefore, an impressive UX design correlates to better user experience. If your website is made up of engaging and right content and visuals, then your search rankings will be automatically higher.
Page Dwell Time
Page dwell time is the amount of time a user spends on the website. Search engines consider dwelling time to determine how engaged is the web page. It reflects that the content and graphic is interesting and relevant to the audience. To put it simply, the more the dwell time, the more appealing is the page.
To increase the page dwell time, make your site more engaging by focusing on creating insightful, relevant content and attractive designs. This will help you better engage your audience and improve your user metrics.
It is another valuable aspect of your SEO rankings and search engine optimization. It gives an insight into how relevant your web content is to the search query of the user.
Let’s say that a user searches for ‘What is on page optimization’ and the search engine gives him/her with the most relevant results. By default, the user clicks on the very first result. Let us assume it’s your website; the user spends some time surfing through it and returns to the search engine result page. Later, he/she continues to scrolls through the result listings. The verdict? The content of your website was not relevant enough or maybe it lacked some relevant information. If a user repeats his/her searches, the search engine takes it as a sign that your content was not appropriate. Henceforth, search engines decrease the ranking of the site if it is found to be irrelevant.
If you are aiming for the excellent user experience, shoot for genuine feedback. Search engines like Google have started to include input in its search results. The user sees a small box at the top of the search for the users that summarizes the information of a particular web page for the users to analyze. This box also has a feedback option so that the users can express their opinion on the content. How this metric is related to SEO? In case, the users don’t respond well with your site, Google may lower the rank of your website. These 4 are the most important metrics of UX design that affect your SEO. Hence, it is important to pay attention to them to improve your search rankings.
SEO Ranking and UX Design: Best Practices
Given below are some of the common SEO services and content practices that influence user experience design:
1: Proper image tags and headings are essential. Image tags give details at times the images do not load correctly. On the other hand, headers shape the content of the page and thus, improve page readability.
2: Building a page copy of 650+ words is important to get the user acquainted with your business. Make sure the content is readable enough and is appealing to the user a.k.a answer their questions – to hook them on the site.
3: Be smooth sailing: Website navigation is the key factor when it comes to UX and determining your search engine ranking. Make sure that your homepage has clear and easy navigation. Also, a search bar is an absolute must. Keep navigation simple to attain measurable results.
4: Implement a user-friendly URL structure: Though underappreciated, a user-friendly URL is also an important part of UX. An effective URL has a hierarchical structure and conveys a proper message about the web page. A user- friendly URL has a significant effect on your SEO ranking.
5: Cross-platform compatibility: Be it a desktop, mobile or iPad, your website should be efficient enough to adapt to different screens and offer a good user experience. Any site that doesn’t meet the needs of the mobile users will be pushed to the back.
6: Page speed: According to Google report of 2016, 53% of mobile users gave up if a web page took longer than three seconds to load. People are impatient and they don’t like to be kept waiting. Therefore, page speed plays a crucial role in retaining visitors. You have 3 seconds to make the fate of your website. Improve page speed to improve SEO.
7: Mobile-friendliness: More than 50% of the site traffic is generated through the mobile phone. That being so, if your website is not mobile-friendly, then you are forfeiting a major chunk of the online traffic. Google tests the mobile responsiveness of a website with the help of their Google Mobile Responsiveness Test and uses this factor to weigh the SEO ranking of a site.
The navigation, loading time, content, appearance and graphics – all these collectively form the user experience and they should be responsive to the screen size. Make your fonts large enough, content readable, get rid of annoying pop ups, do not ask unnecessary information and make your CTA buttons and links easy to click on.
SEO services and user experience design go hand in hand. They both should work together as a team to improve SEO ranking. Implementing SEO and UX design practices are much needed to boost search engine ranking, build a solid brand and be in the good books of Google. Follow the aforementioned metrics to improve your user experience, brand credibility and better your website or consult the best SEO company to improve your website ranking. At Ads and Url, we realize the importance of creating a pleasant user experience when they visit our clients’ websites. Get in touch with us to avail the best SEO services and make your SEO journey a lot simpler.