What is UX?
UX stands for user experience, and it’s as straightforward as it sounds. UX is the way a customer experiences your website while they are scrolling through your web pages.
User experience and usability are two different terms that are often used interchangeably when discussing UX.
User Experience: The experience a user will get from your website’s design while they navigate through your pages impacts your users’ feelings based on if they think your site is valuable, engaging, and easy to use.
Usability: The ease of navigating and interacting with your website to find what the user is looking for.
What is the Purpose of UX?
The purpose of UX is to fulfill the users’ needs. It aims to provide positive customer experiences to keep these users or customers loyal to your brand, products, or services. A positive customer experience can also lead to a better customer journey!
How do SEO and UX Work Together?
Now that we have covered UX basics and determined the critical differences between UX and usability, you may be asking yourself, where does SEO fit into all of this?
The easiest way to think of using the two together is:
- SEO targets search engines, and depending on marketing efforts, you will either be ranked high or low
- User experience gets all the site visitors who land on your website from your SEO to interact with your web pages. Recent updates to Google’s algorithm take into account user experience metrics when determining where your site ranks.
Do you see a pattern there? What it comes down to is that without SEO, or at least well-done SEO, you will have no traffic to your website, and if your UX is also lacking, your entire e-commerce experience will suffer. This is what we call a never-ending cycle of SEO and UX. While you work to improve your SEO, you’ll need to adjust for your UX to help with your Google ranking.
What Impact will UX have on my SEO?
Google has changed a considerable amount over the years, and UX has become a significant factor in determining your rank. User experience (UX) design must be an integral part of any SEO strategy. It directly affects your SEO rankings through the various user-engagement metrics that Google employs in its search algorithms.
UX and SEO Best Practices:
You don’t have to be a UX professional to provide users with a positive experience on your website. However, it might be nice to know at least a little bit of UX to complement your SEO efforts:
1. Keyword Search
You might have asked yourself many times throughout reading this, where do I start? That’s simple, the base starting point for almost all, if not most of SEO, is through keyword search.
It will impact everything from web design to navigation to the content of the site. However, if you are unfamiliar with keyword searching, there are plenty of online guides to read on how to help with “keyword search,” such as our case study with SEMrush. Once you have that figured out, there are some other points to consider/understand before deciding which keywords will be necessary to your overall marketing efforts, such as:
- Searcher language: Keyword searches give us valuable information on how searchers view our products/ services. Keyword searches uncover more than just products and services that are wanted; they also describe problems and solutions they are looking for.
- Searcher intent: Not all keywords mean what we want them to mean. For example, a person searching for the word “accounting audit” might want to know how to do an audit themselves or might prefer someone else perform an audit for them. While searcher intent can be tricky at times, it often becomes more apparent with long-tail phrases.
2. Check the Bounce Rate
There are several reasons why a user may abandon a website. Maybe the keywords you are ranking for are unrelated to your site’s content, your website is too slow, or there may be errors when users land on your page. The goal is to have a very low bounce rate. The lower the percentage, the better. According to a RocketFuel study, a bounce rate between 26%-40% is perfect.
You’re probably here because you want to improve your users’ experience and lower your bounce rate. Here are some steps to follow:
- Create multiple landing pages for organic traffic to land on.
- Write high-quality content with keywords that are relevant and add image alt tags.
- Craft a relevant meta description
- Focus on content organization, whitespace usage, large fonts, bullet lists, and good color contrast.
- Increase site speed
- Make sure your site is user-friendly.
Bounce rate is only one of the metrics that helps determine your site's user experience.
3. Use Proper Headings
Headings provide a roadmap through your content. Proper headers make it easy for both the visitors and search engines to read/see what your content is about.
For example, only use “heading 1” for each webpage on your site. This way, people will understand the focus of your page. Make sure to keep your ‘H1” at the top of your page with your most important keywords, a standard for good design and accessibility practices.
Other headings, such as H2-H6, are used to organize the rest of your webpage more effectively, allowing site visitors the ability to quickly scroll through your content and know what each section is about. There is no limit on how many headings you can use, so long as they are not being used for stylistic reasons.
Summary: SEO and UX Success Combination
While search engines have been changing over time, more and more companies have been trying to adapt to new features, combining two separate fields to optimize their website needs on both ends.
UX is the experience a user receives from navigating through your website. When you use relevant SEO, you’re setting your business up for success. When you combine good SEO with UX, you please Google, and you satisfy your user. Follow our basic checklist, and you’ll be on your way to SEO & UX success:
- Keyword search
- Checking for bounce rates
- Using proper headings
Contact us if you have any questions on how UX and SEO can capture and convert more customers.