4 UX Best Practices That Benefit SEO
User Experience has always been a huge part of optimizing your website for search engines, even more so today with search engines powered by AI that ‘think like humans’. In the old days, you could just stuff a page full of keywords and expect a favourable ranking in the SERPs. However, the SEO of today is far more complex as Google now considers hundreds of factors when deciding which pages should rank in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
What Is UX?
Basically, good UX makes it easy for users to access the information they are looking for, perform actions that fulfil their intended goal or navigate to related content available across your site.
The Relationship Between UX and SEO
User Experience affects how users interact with your site, which in turn informs Google how easy to use your site is based on several key factors. These factors include metrics like bounce rate, pages per session, avg. time on page among others. Each of these factors is influenced by UX and contributes to having a significant effect on a page’s rankings in the SERPs.
4 UX Best Practices That Positively Influence SEO
1. Simple Structure & Navigation
There is a constant conflict between UX and SEO when it comes to navigation and site structure. While the latter often encourages full-bodied content trees, over-optimization often leads to a large number of nodes and branches with extremely complex navigation structures.
A well-formatted structure, easy to understand site hierarchy, and informative elements like breadcrumbs, would help users understand where they are and allow them to easily navigate through your site.
2. Utilize UX Design For SEO-friendly Layouts
UX Design principles can be utilized to create SEO-friendly page layouts and content structures using the following rules and principles:
2. (A) Structure Your Content:
While your word-count and keyword usage are extremely important factors when creating content, structuring your data into smaller sections and sub-topics should also be prioritised. Well-structured content makes it easier for users to read content on your site and skip to the relevant sections that fulfil their search intent. They also provide new opportunities for featured snippets (position 0) and improved rankings for LSI keywords.
2. (B) Leverage Optimized Headers:
Heading tags are a crucial component of any SEO strategy. H1’s explain what a page is about and typically include your page’s main targeted keyword. H2’s and H3’s are used to structure the content into sub-topics and should leverage LSI’s with the intent of targeting featured snippets.
You may be interested in: Where is your Head At: Are Heading Tags Important for SEOs in 2020?
2. (C) Incorporate Visuals:
Visual content like images, infographics and videos are highly engaging and can be optimized for Search Engines with proper file names, titles, alt-tags, etc.
According to research compiled by 3M, the name behind Post-it Notes, visuals content is processed 60,000 times faster than text. This means you can paint a picture for your audience much faster with an actual picture.
An easy way to enhance the user experience on your website could be simply integrating a relevant image or video in each block or major segment of content. This keeps users engaged and allows them to better understand and relate to the content with a visual aid.
2. (D) Be generous with CTA’s:
Using multiple CTA’s can provide users with opportunities to explore relevant content or perform actions to complete their intended goal (purchase, sign-up, etc). These can be alluring buttons that stand out with a clear call to action, or simple in-copy “You might be interested in” links like the one below the “Leverage Optimized Headers” sub-heading.
3. Speed Matters:
Site speed is a major factor when it comes to both ranking and the amount of time users spend on your site once they organically access your website from the SERPs. Google tries to serve users with the best possible experience, and slow websites just don’t fit the bill.
According to a study conducted by Pingdom on a list of e-commerce websites, bounce rates hovered below 10% for websites that took less than three seconds to load, however that number jumped up to 24% for a four-second load time and 38% for a five-second load time. This proves how important website speed is when it comes to keeping users engaged while offering the best possible experience.
4. Mobile Experience:
Optimizing for mobile is no longer an “optional” task when it comes to SEO or UX with the implementation of mobile-first indexing, the upcoming Core Web Vitals update and with the majority of website traffic now coming from mobile devices. Therefore, it needs to be easy for users to access and use your website on any device.
Responsive websites ensure that all your website’s content is readable on any device no matter the screen size they are using. It also ensures that there is enough room between clickable elements which allows users to move through your website in an easy and hassle-free manner.
Always view the website from the users’ perspective when developing your SEO strategy.
- Ensure your site’s structure is simple enough for users to navigate through easily.
- Make sure the content on your website is broken down properly using H1, H2, and H3 tags.
- Run a speed audit of your website to see how quickly your website loads and if there are any major issues that can be worked on.
- Incorporate attractive visuals and videos to diversify the content on your website.
- Make sure that your website is fully responsive and loads properly across all devices.