The age-old practices of optimizing websites by creating dozens of backlinks from unreliable directories has become obsolete now. Search Engines like Google are paying attention to the quality, genuineness, and content of a website. And this is where UX comes into picture. If users do not have a great experience with the websites, chances are they're going to fall off and not visit again, this directly impacts the SEO.
To put it simply, the goal of SEO and UX both, is to give users the best experience when they visit your website, and that is why they need to work in partnership. Let us understand this connection in more detail.
UX + SEO = Success
1. Site Navigation and Structure
You already know that a clean site navigation is crucial for user experience. It's possible that many visitors won't reach your website through the homepage, so it is important to have a clear menu in place that allows users to navigate through the website seamlessly. The same also applies to search engines as well. A clean site navigation and structure can leads to sitelinks appearing in Google search results.
2. Website Load Time
With the ever increasing digital distractions, it's getting more and more difficult to keep users' attention hooked on to your product, and to top it off, if the website loads on a snail's pace, then we're losing out on clients by the minute. By now, you know that site speed is an important factor for ranking in the search engines. As UX Designer, you must consider site speed as an important consideration while designing the website. You could start with Compressing the images, using well-optimised WordPress themes, removing unwanted files from your website etc. Just make sure that the website design must not weigh down the website speed!
Test and improve your site’s speed and performance by using Google PageSpeed Insights
Would you be reading this article if it did not have relevant headings and indentation? It would be difficult to read a large mass of text without any structure. Headings are important because they make it easier to find information - not just for the site visitors but also search engine crawlers. When you use headings, the search engine crawlers understand that there's a logical hierarchy of the content which helps them to read the page, and subsequently rank it.
4. Website Responsiveness
Enough said! No UX Designer in today's day and age would create a website that is not mobile-friendly. You know why? Because Google hates it! Yes, Google hates websites that are not responsive more than you and me. A bad mobile UX design, hurts your search engine rankings as well as cuts down on the visitors who would otherwise be browsing your website from their mobile phones, and that my friend, is a lot!
Why would a site visitor stay on your website? The answer is simple, because the website has something to offer that the visitor is looking for. UX Design is not just about aesthetics anymore, it is a user's overall experience with the website, which includes the information that the site visitor is looking for. Websites that are not content-drives have high bounce rates, and that sends a strong red flag to Google.
We sincerely hope that by reading this article, you have gained an insight into how UX and SEO are inter-linked. Use this as a starting point, and continue to improve your UX with time, and user testing. Remember, search engines like Google are constantly updating their algorithms and search engine rankings which may seem like an intimidating process to follow but as long as you stick to basics, follow a user-friendly approach in your designs, your website will rank higher no matter what!