How UX Affects SEO - Does UX Impact SEO At All?
One of the latest top trends in SEO is maximizing UX as a tool to boost SEO results. We've all been there - we visit a site for a specific purpose, whether seeking information or looking to buy a product or service, and the navigation is so unusable we give up and shift our attention elsewhere. As long as "time on site" continues to be a metric that affects search engine rankings, UX will be closely linked to SEO. Long clicks have a favorable impact on rankings, while "pogo-sticking" will likely prompt a drop in rank.
If a user types a query into a search engine, clicks on a link, and then rather quickly returns to the search results page (a sequence known as pogo-sticking), it is a sign that the visitor did not find the information that they were looking for. This can mean that the information wasn't there at all, or that the user couldn't find it and gave up. Sadly, both sites will be affected the same. So, if a site has the information that users want but they can't find, it will be ranked the same as the site that doesn't have the sought-after information at all.
UX SEO and Digital Marketing
We all know how important good, readable design is in presenting information, but many don't consider this a major part of their overall digital marketing strategies. Taking the time to conduct a regular audit of the success rate of any digital marketing campaign should be the norm. Truly understanding the way that one piece of the puzzle affects the others is worth the time and effort. UX SEO and digital marketing are all interwoven, and any strategy should consider all of these pieces. A strong UX without good, relevant, and strong content or an SEO strategy will not equal a successful digital marketing initiative.
Yes, content is always king, but that's not the whole story. If you want your great content to be read and to make an impact, you need to put the reader at the forefront of creation. Great content that doesn't consider who the audience or reader is, will have much less of an impact. Formatting and readability are also important aspects of content. Don't forget to avoid walls of texts, and throw in a few bullet points now and then.
How UX Impacts SEO
If you want to increase the impact that your content has on SEO, you may also want to take a look at UX. Page speeds are another metric that has a large impact on rankings. One tool that can have a positive impact on both UX and SEO is internal linking. Many think, erroneously, that internal linking is solely a tool for good SEO. This isn't the case. Internal linking provides better navigation for the user. This boost for UX allows site visitors to access information that is relevant to them quickly and easily. This experience can help to boost the site to the top of the resource and trusted expert pile.
Thinking of both SEO and UX as interconnected parts of the whole may cause a shift in your overall digital marketing strategy. This is a good thing. By joining the two aspects together, any initiative that is undertaken is likely to enjoy a larger impact. Don't be afraid to alter past practices that have proven to be ineffective. Constant innovation will help boost results.
UX SEO Best Practices
Performing an SEO audit on a regular basis is just the first step in maximizing an online presence. These best practices can help your team get and maintain a strong grasp of both UX and SEO performance and areas of opportunity.
- Regularly scheduled audits - this can help to lend visibility to what is working and what initiatives may need to be tweaked a bit. Team members should review all metrics prior to the audit, which should be collaborative in nature.
- Page speed tests (performed at a regular cadence) - this is an often-overlooked metric that affects both UX and SEO. Don't let this important data point fall through the cracks!
- Full metrics review - it should go without saying that a deep dive into all digital metrics should be the norm for any firm that is serious about SEO.
- SEO monitoring - real-time monitoring can identify peaks and valleys while the data is still offering major insight. Someone should be checking on real-time metrics as well as reviewing point-in-time reports.
- Site visitor feedback - if a user takes the time to deliver feedback of any type, consider it a gift!
Any digital marketing professional who is not seeing the SEO results that they expect after an extended period of time would do well to gather a focus group. Some success limitations can be a result of faulty UX. And, interfacing with site visitors in real-time can lend an incredible amount of insight.
When it comes to SEO, it's important to also consider UX. No one wants to spend time on a clunky, difficult-to-navigate site, especially when there are numerous other places to find said information. Any good digital marketing strategy will also include a robust UX. For any company or individual that is looking to give their SEO a boost, a great aspect to consider first is the UX. This is one area where the impact of the site can be exponentially raised with just a few tweaks.