Why User Experience Is Vital to Your SEO Strategy
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If you look at both SEO and User Experience (UX), you will see that they are actually very similar in their goal: to help users find the most useful and relevant information.
In fact, Google has been telling us for years that we need to focus more on users and less on search engine optimisation (SEO): “Google’s goal is to provide users with the most relevant results and a great user experience.”
There are many indications that Google accounts for factors such as time on page and bounce rate when ranking websites.
Here are a few examples of page elements that can influence both SEO and UX:
Both search engines and users alike use <h1> heading tags to determine what a particular page is about. Further headings such as <h2> and <h3> tags are also used to figure out subtopics within a page.
When planning your headings you need to consider the user. What are they really going to get from your content? How can you make the page easier to understand with headings?
If your website is full of half-baked ideas and badly written content, users are going to leave the website. Quality content will result in users spending more time on your website as well as potentially clicking through to other pages on the website. This is excellent for SEO as it shows that a site is providing relevant information for users and a strong User Experience.
Navigation & Site Structure
A website with a highly organised structure and navigation makes it easier for users to find the information they are interested in making it far more likely that they will stay on the website for longer.
A solid navigation and logical site structure also allow Google bots to easily crawl a website and determine the topics and target keywords.
Back in 2010, Google made it public that site speed is a ranking factor. It also explained why speed is so important:
“Speeding up websites is important — not just to site owners, but to all Internet users. Faster sites create happy users and we’ve seen in our internal studies that when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there.”
On average, users will abandon a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load the page. As a result, your bounce rate will increase exponentially which will cause your rankings to decrease.
There are over 1.2 billion mobile users worldwide making a solid mobile user experience imperative to ranking on mobile.
Google has been pushing for better experiences on responsive websites for years now, which is why they are rewarding websites that offer optimised mobile experiences with a boost in rankings.