For quite a time, all that was required of you to get high rankings in search results was a little investment of time and effort in keyword research and link construction. Since then, Google has made significant strides forwards. Today, it is more challenging to stand out from the crowd and appear on the first page of search results than ever before.
While there are over 200 factors that influence where your website appears in Google search results, their latest update has emphasised that user experience (UX) now plays an important part in your website’s ranking.
It’s plenty clear how search engine optimisation and user experience have formed a solid partnership. These two work together to either support or impede you when it comes to getting the most from search results.
For the most part, this means that delivering what is beneficial to the user is beneficial to search engines. So continue reading if you’re seeking strategies to enhance the user experience on your website and subsequently improve search results visibility, attract more visitors, and increase conversions.
User Experience (UX)
To begin with, what exactly is user experience (UX)?
The user experience on a website may be defined as the way a person interacts with your website while moving through its pages.
Is your website intelligible and simple to use? Does it provide visitors with a compelling incentive to interact with your content? Conversely: is your website annoying, unclear, and not providing site visitors with the information they seek?
The answers to these questions will provide you with valuable information into the current state of your website’s user experience.
It’s important to understand that user experience is distinct from usability despite the fact that the phrases are often used interchangeably:
User experience refers to how the design of your website contributes to the overall experience a user has while on your website. The subjective emotions of visitors to your website, such as whether they find your site to be useful, entertaining, and simple to use are also considered.
The ease with which users can engage with your website and locate what they’re searching for is referred to as usability. It is important to consider the technical efficiency of your website in terms of aspects such as the ease with which it can be read, the number of flaws that it has, how functional it is, and how well it operates.
In the end, what distinguishes one from the other is that the objective for usability is to make your website simple to use. If you’re talking about user experience, the most important thing to consider is the user’s perception when engaging with the site.
You may be asking—now that you understand what user experience is and how it differs from usability—what user experience has got to do with search engine optimisation (SEO).
- SEO targets search engines and ranks you high or low based on the success of your efforts; UX targets users and rates them high or low based on the effectiveness of your efforts.
- When visitors arrive on your website and begin engaging with the pages on your site, you are focusing on the user experience they will have.
You won’t get any traffic to your website if you don’t employ SEO but your website’s SEO will suffer if you don’t provide a decent user experience. As a result, the link between these two concepts is growing clearer by the day.
Overall, Google ranks websites based on a variety of ranking parameters, including the quality of the content, keywords, image optimisation, inbound connections, the structure of the page, and readability. There is, however, more to content than just answering search queries, delivering fast-loading graphics, and generating excellent connections from other websites.
If your website is sluggish to load, difficult to browse, or just plain uninteresting, Google will not consider it to be among the best results for a particular query and will place you at the bottom of the search engine results page (SERPs).
That is why, as a website owner, putting a strong emphasis on user experience is critical to your SEO success.
Strategies for Improving User Experience (UX) and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
1. Determine the Bounce Rate
There are a variety of reasons why people depart from websites, including the fact that the keywords you’re ranking for do not correspond to the content of your website. That or the fact that your website is sluggish to load. Any time site visitors encounter issues such as these when they arrive on your site will guarantee an instant “bounce”.
Generally speaking, the lower the proportion of visitors that leave without returning is preferable when discussing bounce rates.
The following are best practices for minimising your website’s bounce rate:
- Create a variety of landing pages for organic traffic to land on that are optimised for different keywords and targeted towards different types of visitors. Write high-quality content that includes important keywords embedded throughout the text and include image alt tags in the images themselves.
- When your website appears in search results, provide a compelling meta description that will entice visitors to visit your site.
- Emphasise content structure, the use of whitespace, big fonts, bullet lists, and strong colour contrast in your design.
- Increase the speed of your website.
- Make use of a responsive theme and make certain that your site is mobile compatible before launching.
Keep in mind that the bounce rate is simply one of several indicators that can be used to measure how well your site is performing for its visitors. Keep an eye on the numbers but also consider other strategies for improving your site’s SEO performance.
2. Keep Track of the Average Session Duration
Individuals will spend more time on your site investigating what you have to offer if your content is more interesting and beneficial to them. This encompasses anything from reading blogs, leaving comments, or even purchasing items and services online.
If, on the other hand, you observe that users aren’t spending much time on any of your landing pages, you should investigate why this is happening.
Some of the causes might be as follows:
- Keywords that are high on the search engine results page have nothing to do with your goods or services.
- Visitors are overwhelmed by the quantity of information on the landing page when they first arrive.
- The call to action buttons is not easily discernible.
- The homepage of your website is unreachable from the landing page on which it appears.
When it comes to website design, A/B testing the aspects of your website’s design may be advantageous. Test each aspect separately to see what elements site visitors find appealing and what elements they find objectionable. You may then use the information to make data-driven choices about how to enhance the user experience on your site.
3. Make Use of Appropriate Headings
Headings serve as a road map for your site visitors as they navigate through your content. They’re also the primary means through which search engine crawlers determine the objective of your site.
Effective use of headings makes it easy for both site users and search engines to understand what your content is about in the first place. They aid in the creation of a logical hierarchy, the organisation of ideas, and the scanning of written information.
People will be able to comprehend the core emphasis of your website and search engine crawlers will be able to index your site under the appropriate categories in search results.
On that note, maintain your H1 tag towards the top of your site and be sure to put keywords in it (ideally at the start of the page’s title) to maximise its effectiveness. In accordance with best design and accessibility guidelines, you should only use one H1 header per page.
Other headers, such as H2-H6, should be used to arrange the remainder of your website so that site visitors can simply scan the text and grasp what each part is about without having to click through the content.
Their placement on your website should be in chronological sequence to ensure that site readers and assistive technology devices appropriately display your website to all users. There is no limit to the number of headers that may be used as long as they are not just for aesthetic purposes.
4. Make Site Navigation More User-Friendly
Despite the fact that it may seem straightforward, many websites fail to make a site navigation that is simple to use. Unfortunately, this has a detrimental impact on user experience and SEO.
When it comes to navigation menus, keep these suggestions in mind:
- Avoid menu items that are complicated, multi-levelled, or difficult to understand.
- Be certain that the navigation on your mobile site is simple to use.
- Incorporate a navigation menu into the design of each page of your website.
- Consider making your menu sticky on your desktop website so that it follows site visitors as they scroll down the screen while they browse the content.
- Make each item detailed but make it obvious where it will take site visitors.
- Include a search box on your website so that visitors may key in details about what they’re searching for on your site.
Finally, keep the amount of navigation menu items to a bare minimum. It will assist you in increasing the link authority of the remainder of your website. When your navigation has an excessive number of links, it makes it more difficult for your site to appear in search results.
In the end, navigation has an impact on how many visitors will convert once they get on your platform. Making it simple for visitors to browse your website and discover what they are looking for will improve the number of pages people visit, the length of time they spend on your website, and, ultimately, will help you rank higher in search engines results.
5. Loading Time of the Site
For a long time, people have speculated that speed and performance of your website is considered a ranking criteria. That hunch turned out correct in July this year as Google revealed how the speed of your mobile website has been included as a ranking factor since it can impact website user experience on the whole.
Utilising Google’s Website Speed Insights tool, you will be able to determine how fast your mobile and desktop websites are, and Google will even share ideas for increasing the speed of your site:
- Reduce the number of HTTP requests that are sent out.
- Reduce the size of CSS, JS, and CSS files.
- Images should be compressed in order to minimise file sizes.
- Upgrade your web hosting service.
- Implement a caching solution.
- Enable a content delivery network (CDN).
- When it comes to pictures, use slow loading.
- Reduce the usage of plugins to reduce server burden. Reduce the number of redirects, too.
By improving the loading speed of your website, you will not only please site visitors but will also impress search engine crawlers that will index your website.
In terms of search engine rankings, there’s little doubt how user experience can have a huge influence these days. According to Google’s recent updates, concentrating on how visitors arrive at your website from search results and how they feel after they are there will become even more significant down the road.
Consequently, this means that you should look at your website from the perspective of a website visitor. Consider how customers will feel when they browse around your websites, read your content, and make purchases from your store.
When you do this and devote time to enhancing the user experience on your website, you’ll see that your search rankings will soon begin to improve.
And once your site has been optimised for search, it is vital that you continue to analyse its performance on a regular basis using an analytics tool such as Google Analytics to understand which keywords and traffic sources are generating the most conversions.
This information will assist you in determining the ideal keywords to target with your content strategy going forwards in order to get the greatest results, as well as which keywords you should exclude entirely.
But don’t just take our word for it! We, at TopRankings, are making SEO work for us and we surely can make it for your brand as well. Get in touch with our team of SEO experts for straightforward, knowledgeable guidance on SEO today!