In olden days, SEO is about discovering keywords and filling websites with content that is keyword-stuffed. It didn’t provide a meaningful experience to users.
Such approaches, nowadays, will cause negative impacts on your digital presence. The worst case is, Google penalizes sites that are involved in such operations.
Here comes User Experience (UX). UX helps SEO professionals to deliver customers what they want without bothering them. UX is not a part of SEO. It is bigger than that.
This chapter insists on the point that websites are designed not only for search engines but for humans.
What is UX?
UX is the feel and experience users obtain while interacting with a company’s product or website. It influences all the phases of creating a product.
This guide focuses on the impact of UX on online website usability and its relationship with SEO. Don’t think that we’re going to design the interface screens of your websites. Remember, UI is not UX.
UX is Ubiquitous
UX defines the purpose of a website and it goes along with all stages- design, content, and other technical aspects. Understanding its influence and complexity becomes important for everyone involved in the digital marketing project.
The key concepts of UX applied directly and indirectly in SEO are,
- Navigation and Structure
- Page Speed
- Easy onboarding process
- Website Responsivity
- Conversion Funnel Optimization
- Title & Meta Tags
- Content Optimization
- Content Structure
- Customer Support
- Website Work Flows
Not all make a great impact on SEO. Let’s see what that does!
Navigation & Structure
While designing websites, make sure they are structured properly and all pages are connected. Ensuring a smooth navigation path will help users to reach the desired pages in ease.
As people visit websites through various sources, trying to fit all the landing pages would not be a better idea. The best bet is to use labels in navigation that reflect the users’ further intentions with respect to the context of the current action.
Google becomes the first choice for many users mainly because of its loading speed. It applies to your website too. Better UX comes with Better website loading time. Remember, page speed is one of the ranking factors.
Optimize your content with the right keywords. Make it accessible for your desired audience. Remember, to check the search intent behind a keyword so that you never end up optimizing for wrong keywords.
Title Tags & Meta Tags
Title Tags and Meta Tags help us to top the SERP list. Without a proper title tag and Meta descriptions, you cannot gain searcher’s attention. Therefore, keep the title tags and Meta descriptions meaningful for users too.
3 main elements need to be focused when designing the title tag and Meta descriptions are,
- SEO – Right keyword to tell crawlers about the website and its content.
- UX – Meaningful information to searchers to earn more clicks.
- Marketing – Clear call to action to generate high click-through rates.
Measuring UX and SEO
Use Google Analytics (GA) Specialized reports to analyze and measure UX and SEO performance.
Engagement & behavior metrics in GA
Check how visitors interact with different sections of the website through their Behavior Flow.
- Bounce Rate
- Pages per session
- Avg. session duration
You also have advanced options that let you access reports on traffic sources, landing pages, campaigns, etc. It’ll help you know whether users progress or drop while encountering a particular session.
Conversion Funnels in GA
Set up a goal tracking system and identify people’s responses.
Be it a product registration form or shopping process, this report helps you realize where things went wrong. It informs how many people went through each step and how many abandoned the process in between a particular step is very useful for UX design.
Heatmaps & Recordings
Next important information that helps you enhance the UX is website visitors’ behavior. Many sophisticated tools are available to provide reports on this. Hotjar or Crazyegg provides advanced analytic solutions. For beginners or small businesses, a limited free plan from Hotjar or Ptenguine will be sufficient enough.
Heatmaps provide critical information such as where users clicked, how many times they clicked, do they recognize all clickable elements, how they scroll and the interactions they made on the website.
The information that comes with no cost but of high importance. Based on the following elements, you can create useful reports for website optimization.
- Customer Q & A
- Feedback Forms
- Comments and Complaints
- Marketing Reports
- Email Responses
- Web developers report
Behind technical tests, Usability testing with expert users, customers, and other potential groups helps you analyze the website’s performance.
In addition to page speed, pay attention to mobile optimization, responsiveness, visual design and other key aspects of on-page SEO elements to deliver a good user experience.