SEO is an ever-evolving discipline with digital marketing. What was once simply mastering keywords has evolved to creating smart content that talks directly to the needs of consumers without cramming bland keywords down their throats as they read a post, email, or even viewed an ad. Today's SEO includes more than just keywords. Good SEO includes focusing on the consumer's needs, and that means tailoring the basic user experience of a website to win at marketing.
How Do User Experience (UX) and SEO Go Together?
UX and SEO might seem like different disciplines, but they do walk hand in hand in certain ways. SEO practices help you target your content to the needs of search engines so your site appears at the top of search rankings. This improves your brand's visibility. UX targets the visitors on your website, providing them with a clean, quick experience interacting with your site. In reality, the common goal of both is to provide the best possible experience to customers.
Search engines continue to update their algorithms to ensure searchers are finding the best possible results. As a brand, your UX should also be ever-evolving to ensure that customers have a positive experience interacting with your site. Can good UX improve SEO?
How Can UX Boost SEO?
Google is increasingly turning to the experience a website offers users when determining search rankings. This includes both the physical experience of scrolling, clicking, and loading pages, as well as the quality of the content provided on each page. Here are a few examples where a focus on positive UX boosts SEO:
Mobile-friendly design: Google rates mobile optimization very highly when considering sites during search results. When Googlebots crawl a website and can quickly determine it is optimized for mobile searchers, that serves to both provide a positive UX for visitors and boost SEO standings.
Quality content: While quality is subjective, Google does have ways of indexing the value of content on a site when compiling search results for customers. Content that is written for human readers, formatted with subheadings and bullet points for easy reading, boasts proper spelling and grammar, and offers short blocks of text works best for SEO purposes and makes it more user-friendly.
Page speed: As a final example, quick page loads make it easier for customers to move from one page to another on your site without delays. Google also ranks this highly when putting together search results, which means a good UX in this area also boosts SEO standings.
How Can You Improve SEO and UX?
Good UX has a proven link to SEO. With that in mind, it's time to take a second look at the user experience of your site and see how it can be improved to bolster both UX and SEO. The following elements impact both UX and SEO, so it's important to double check your site's structure in these areas:
Proper headings: Headings on web pages make it easier for visitors to find pertinent information quickly and make it easier for web crawlers to understand the value of your content. Pages should feature just a single h1 tag with corresponding h2 to h6 headings to organize content.
Structure and navigation: Good site structure is important to users as they peruse your site and to search engines when ranking your site. Avoid messy navigation, long lists of options, and dead ends where users can't easily go back to a different section or the homepage.
Mobile experience: Plenty of people still search on desktops, but mobile search has overtaken desktop and your site needs to offer these visitors a smoother, simpler experience. Make sure button sizes and designs are optimized for mobile visitors with easy-to-click buttons, small blocks of text, and images that don't slow down the load speed or overwhelm the page visually.
User experience and SEO are a match made in heaven when employed together wisely. By simply providing users with quality content, smart navigation, and fast page loads, you improve their experience interacting with your brand and can boost the standing of your site in search rankings to further benefit SEO efforts.
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