Why User Experience is Most Crucial in SEO
The days of boosting rankings solely through backlinking and keyword stuffing are long gone. Google and other major search engines have started to shift their focus to user experience and human behavior. This means that to improve your rankings, you must focus on the usability of your website as much as your SEO strategy. With good UX design, you can improve site traffic, engagement, and ultimately, rankings.
The importance of UX in optimization
Search engines these days can measure how users interact with your website. They collect user data, and if they don’t like what they see, your ranking will suffer.
Pogo sticking is one of the major UX signals that Google can measure. It happens when users visit a website from Google Search but don’t find what they need, so they click back Google and click on another search result. They tend to repeat this process until they find a website that shows them what they’re looking for and stop clicking back.
In the eyes of Google, websites with greater pogo sticking (and thus, a higher bounce rate) lack what the user wants—and are therefore ranked lower.
Meanwhile, websites with less pogo sticking and lower bounce rates typically rank higher—often on the first page.
What makes for good UX?
A website with good UX is easy to navigate, loads fast, and has a clear purpose expressed in user-friendly language. These same aspects are also the building blocks of SEO.
So how do you improve your own website UX to improve its rankings? Here are a few tips:
- Improve its loading time. Fast-loading websites offer better UX because users don’t get frustrated from having to wait too long. There are many ways to improve your site speed. Use clean code, switching to a faster web host server, and compressing images. Reducing your overall load times can do wonders for SEO.
- Make it mobile-friendly. With more than half of internet users using their mobile phones to find what they need online, it’s important that your website’s layout, text, images, and overall feel are mobile-friendly. Smartphone screens are small, so you also want to keep your design simple. Get to the point right away if you don’t want users to click away.
- Use headings correctly. Users tend to look at headings first when checking whether a website can answer their question or give them what they need. Make sure you’re using heading tags in ways that make sense. Some experts recommend using only one H1 tag for each page. Use H2 to H6 for the rest of the Headings.
- Make it easy to navigate. Your navigation should be designed simply and intuitively so that users can find what they need or complete their task faster and with less confusion. Do you have too many pages that don’t really add value to the user experience? Consider consolidating them. Having just several well-designed pages with top-quality content may be better for your rankings.
- Switch to a user-friendly layout. Good UX combines aesthetics with SEO to boost traffic and improve usability. Here are some guidelines:
- Include videos and images as necessary
- Use clear headers
- Use calls to action throughout the website
- Format and organize content so that it’s easier to digest
- Add links to related content
- Implement clear branding. Your logo and tagline is one of the first things users see when they arrive at your site. It should be obvious and clear, showing exactly what your website is all about.
SEO and user experience (UX) are more connected than you might think. They go hand in hand in building a higher-ranking website.
If you want better rankings for your website, you need to start making sure that your website is organized so that users have a pleasant experience throughout their visit. Need assistance? We can help. Contact SEOValley today.