In the past, when keyword stuffing (including keywords multiple times in a web page’s tags, content and backlink text) led to page one ranking, many people believed that it was the most important component of search engine optimization (SEO). While including keywords is important, SEO is not just about keywords and building links. Search engines consider more than those things when it comes to ranking websites.
For marketers and website owners, user experience (UX) and SEO will always be inextricably linked to each other. Search engine optimization is about increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic by expanding the visibility of a web page or website to users of a search engine. User experience is a person’s overall experience – thoughts, feelings, attitudes and emotions – using a website while navigating through the web pages.
UX and SEO have many goals in common. You cannot boost your SEO efforts without considering user experience. UX and SEO share the goal of helping users finish tasks by providing them with information related to what they are looking for. SEO directs searchers to the content that they need, and the UX answers the questions of searchers once they have landed on the web page.
SEO has moved away from only ranking for search terms. Now, SEO looks to provide people searching for information with answers for their questions. On this level, UX and SEO start to connect. Listed below are the ways you can integrate UX and SEO for positive marketing results.
Connect your SEO and UX strategies
The first step in integrating UX and SEO is making sure that both of your UX and SEO strategies work with each other rather than separately from each other. They should be created with each other in mind. One of the main purposes of your website should be to create more leads and conversions. User experience and SEO both achieve this goal, but it is crucial that they work together.
For example, a broken link is not just an SEO issue, it is also a user issue. Users who click on a link have the expectation that they will be redirected somewhere new and discover more information that they are interested in and care about. Users would not be impressed to see your error page, and they will not have the patience to find out where the real content is that they were looking for. If solving site issues is viewed as necessary for UX and SEO strategies to address together, then the user will benefit and conversions are more likely to happen.
Focus on UX designs that fit SEO principles
Designing your website from scratch without optimizing it for search engines is a big mistake. Your website helps you build a connection between you and your target audience. Your website also tells visitors how trustworthy and authoritative you are. So, you want to create content that appeals to website visitors and search engines.
You can integrate UX designs and SEO principles by improving your header tags. Header tags let search engines know what your website is about. Search engines recognize the copy included in the header tags as more important than the rest of your copy. Your H1 (header 1) tag should contain targeted words related to the page title and content.
Other things you can do to join together UX designs and SEO principles is optimize menu names and functionalities like link equity (the concept that a high ranking page can pass on value and authority to a page that it links to) and provide focussed product names and descriptions.
Simplify site navigation
Website navigation is a major factor when it comes to user experience and search engine ranking. Your home page should show easy and transparent navigation. Navigation should be natural and intuitive, users should not have to be thinking about where they have to go. Users should be able to find their way around your website without wondering which is the correct link to click. You also need to create a website structure and navigation that Google fully understands.
Your website is not the place to experiment with hidden games, shocking pop-ups, a long list of options or dead ends where a user does not know how to get back to the home page. Many visitors may not enter your website through your home page, which means your site should be easy to navigate through.
Follow these tips:
- Ensure that your mobile site’s navigation is easy to use
- Don’t add complex or complicated menu items
- Put a navigation menu on all of your webpages
- Write detailed descriptions clarifying where each item leads site visitors to
- Include a search bar so that users can type exactly what they are looking for on your site
Improve your call to action (CTA)
A call to action (CTA) is a prompt on a website that tells a website visitor to do a specific action. Calls to action are usually written as action phrases or commands, like ‘Subscribe now,’ which often take the form of hyperlinks or buttons.
Every website needs to have a noticeable call to action. You need to include calls to action for your pages to reach their conversion goals. Make sure that your calls to action state clearly what website visitors will get when they click the buttons or links. When people visit your website, it is vital that you tell them what to do and how they can contact you once they have decided to purchase your service or product. Links or buttons with calls to action need to be designed for UX and link to page elements and content optimized for SEO.
Google considers many factors when determining whether your website is of high quality or not. A high quality website is one where users enjoy being there. If users have a great experience on your website, your ranking will improve. If users do not enjoy your website and quickly abandon it upon arrival, your bounce rate will increase and your rank will lower.
Some of the factors that Google looks at include page speed, page layout and descriptive and unrepeated content. You have to make sure that your pages load in a reasonable amount of time for users to stay interested in it and for Google to rank it. Your page layout should also have an appealing and responsive design (a design that functions well on any device at any time).
Lastly, your website’s content should be interesting, relevant, original and descriptive. You do not want to create content that people can go to another website for. You also do not want your content to be replicated on other pages. Your original content should capture the attention of your target audience. When it comes to SEO, Google takes into consideration the user’s experience, therefore, you want to make sure the user’s experience on your website is a memorable one.