There is a race to the top of the search engine results pages, and most Australian business owners know it well.
With competition levels high, it can be difficult to know how to effectively set yourself apart from your competitors and let search engines know your links should be the first in the results. The biggest criterion Google and other search engines will consider when ranking a site is user experience.
But what is user experience and can SEO efforts help you improve it? Keep reading this article to find out!
Defining User Experience
User experience (UX) is the overall experience people have with a particular product or service. It can be a website, mobile app, or any other web application.
Search engines care a lot about user experience because it’s the number one thing that can influence people’s satisfaction with the search engine itself. As a result, they will look at any of the following criteria very closely:
● Page load speed
● Content relevance
● Number of broken links, etc.
But why do search engines care about all of this?
Well, it’s simple.
Let’s say a user is looking for “dog food order online”. They have an intent to find websites where they can order dog food, so Google tries to match their search with relevant pages where they can fulfil this need.
But, imagine if Google would show pages in the results that:
● Take forever to load
● Have a complicated page structure
● Have an unpleasant design
● Are full of broken CTA buttons
● Don’t even contain dog food to order
The user will then think twice about going back to Google to try and satisfy their needs.
How Can You Improve User Experience Through SEO?
A user’s experience on your website is influenced by many factors. The best way to make sure your website offers a great experience is to have an SEO strategy designed with the users in mind.
Here are some ways to improve user experience through SEO strategies:
1. Be Mobile-Friendly
A mobile-friendly site is non-negotiable at this point. Google now considers the mobile version of new sites when it ranks websites. If yours doesn’t work well on mobile devices, this is one of the first areas to focus on in your SEO strategy.
Mobile is one of the major ranking factors and an integral part of user experience. Finding out if your site is mobile-friendly or not is the easy part: Google even provides a free tool you can use to test your site right now.
Making your site work better on mobile devices, however, is a bit more complex, especially if you haven’t focused on this ranking factor at all so far. Mobile responsiveness is deeply connected to the overall design, so in some cases upgrading it entirely might be necessary.
2. Improve Page Speed
Page speed is another ranking factor to keep an eye on. Generally, users don’t like to wait a long time for the pages they visit to load, so if yours is longer than by just a second, they will quit the session and your ranking plummets.
Fast-loading pages are the goal of any modern website, so be sure to improve your loading times by:
● Optimising images and videos on your site
● Reducing redirects
● Enabling browser caching
● Changing your hosting solutions, etc.
3. Make Navigation As Easy as Possible
Websites that are easy to negative are the most user-friendly. The more hoops you ask your visitors to jump through in order to get access to what they want, the more chances you have of them leaving your page.
Some staples of great UX design regarding navigation can include:
● Reducing the number of pages on your site
● Adding menus on the pages for closely related topics
● Clearly marking links on the pages
● Avoid intrusive interstitials, pop-ups, or other elements that can disrupt user experience
4. Improve Page Layouts
Another element of UX design that affects SEO is how the page layout looks. The way the content is structured on the page can either support or disrupt user experience.
And in general, you want to make sure the pages:
● Allow users to easily read the content – Readability is a huge user experience factor. Presenting users with huge blocks of text is a sure-fire way to make them hit “back” without even reading your headline. Make sure your layout provides an easy way to consume the content on your pages by clearly marking different sections;
● Include CTAs – The call to action tells users what to do, be it sign up, purchase, download, or other types of conversions. But they also help a user have an easier time navigating your website because they can know the next step simply by reading the copy on the CTA button;
● Keep it simple – Simple design provides the best results because you’re essentially providing users with a comfortable way to consume your content. While you can experiment with colours, fonts, or other design elements, you should make sure the page designs remain on the minimalist site. People are on your site to consume content and get one of their needs fulfilled, and not to analyze the appearance of your pages.
Your Next Steps to Improve User Experience
So now that you know the strong link between UX and SEO, it’s time to discuss your next steps. If you want to improve the position of your website in the search queries, we at Australian Advertising can help.
As a digital marketing agency, we can help you create a strategy that utilises only SEO best practices and takes your business to the top of the page.
To find out more about how we can help, we encourage you to reach out directly!