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User Experience and SEO, what’s the deal?

BY Mandy Pawley

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17 March 2021

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Everyone wants their brand and content to be prominent and stand out on the net, right? But how do we achieve this? The user experience (UX) of your website is going to influence your search rankings. Having the right UX design will increase your engagement metrics for Search Engine Optimisation, it’s a win-win.

Search engines often update and alter their algorithms to incorporate new signals for determining search ranking. Google Core announced an update taking effect in May 2021 whereby Page Experience signals are to be included in SEO rankings. According to Google, “Page experience is a set of signals that measure how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page beyond its pure information value.” Therefore, the User experience of your website will become increasingly important to SEO results. Let’s take a look at a number of factors that are going to affect your UX and ultimately your SEO.

 

User Experience
People working on User Experience Design

What is User Experience?

Creating content for your website that flows easily for users to follow, up to and including the point of sale, is what comprises user experience. With clear menus and flow throughout your site, you are sure to create the right UX. A user-friendly web design that is easy to use and suitable to all digital media is the key to success and requires understanding about how users perceive and interact with your site.

Content is still king

Search engines are constantly changing the criteria and algorithms used to work out SEO ranking on sites. But one of the key factors remains, having the best information and content on your site is still definitely going to assist with SEO.

Your content is required to be engaging, fresh and correct. The more credible your content, the more likely backlinks will be created to your site, once again increasing the SEO ranking.

PAGE EXPERIENCE
UX designers Working on website design

Page experience

Text needs to be easy to read and the layout of pages be visually attractive.

What is changing, is the way certain attributes of your site rate with regards to the following:

Page loading speed

The speed at which you pages load on your site will influence the page experience signals, in turn influencing the SEO rankings. Visual stability during the page load is taken into account, as well.

Mobile friendliness

Mobile friendliness has a significant impact on search results. To test this, you can make use of this Mobile Friendly Test app.

Safe browsing

It is highly recommended that, even if your site is not showing a security issue, you register your site with Google Search Console. You definitely don’t want any malware, harmful downloads or deceptive pages associated with your site, as they all present security issues for viewers and will affect your ranking. For this reason, regular checks should be carried out on your site to ensure that it hasn’t been hijacked and is vulnerable.

HTTPS security certificate

Your site’s connection needs to be secure and safe to visit for viewers. Once your site is registered as a HTTPS secure site, it is depicted by the symbol of a lock to the left of your web address. This symbol signifies that information which is shared with a viewer is secure and private.

No intrusive interstitials

Content on your pages is required to be easily accessible to viewers. An interstitial is an advertisement that appears while a chosen website or page is downloading. Certain pop-ups or ads you may have created can be considered intrusive. Helping your users to find information they may be looking for quickly and easily is what will assist with SEO ranking and form part of a good User Experience.

Dwell time

Search engines are constantly receiving signals as to how much time a user spends on a site or page within a website. If users dwell longer on your site than competitors, this will be an indication that your content is useful and relevant to a search query and your ranking will increase accordingly. If viewers leave your site very quickly, it will have an adverse effect on rankings.

Navigation bars and menus

One of the sure-fire ways to create a good user experience on your site is by having clear, informative and easy-to-follow navigation. When streamlining your menus and keeping them uncluttered, you ensure that they are an accurate map of your entire website. By using only one navigation bar at the top of pages you will be ensuring that viewers can navigate and find information easily within your site.

Search bar

By collapsing the search bar to a search icon is another way of creating a better user experience. Tuck it under a magnifying glass icon and this will save screen space. Most users know that the magnifying glass icon represents a search function and therefore shouldn’t cause any confusion.

It’s important that the user experience is an integral part of your SEO strategy. It will affect and improve your rankings when engagement metrics are increased due to the better usability of the site. Bounce rate and time on page are an integral part of UX design. Simplifying navigation and easy to digest content will help to increase your user experience and increase search rankings.  These and many more tips can be used to create a better user experience. To assess your UX design, Digital Noir has all the expertise needed.

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