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The Marketing AIvolution Blog

Unlock business potential with research-driven insights

June 14th, 2021

SEO + UX: Understanding the link between this killer cocktail

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SEO has always enjoyed a coveted spot in Marketing Strategies while UX has been a mainstay in most businesses for the better part of the 21st century. Despite their growing popularity, neither have had their potential tapped to the zenith. We could go on a limb here and say they are yet to get the recognition due.

Unsurprisingly, a lot of businesses and brands still believe that SEO stops at content and content alone. Now comes the good part.

Every one dollar spent on UX gives a return of 100 dollars and a targeted SEO strategy delivers much more. Now let’s do a bit of math and add the benefits of SEO and UX together. It’s a two-fold increase in ROI! Time to dig in a bit more.


Website optimization is a process that is similar to search engine optimization. Put more simply, SEO is a subset of website optimization. It consists of utilizing advanced techniques and tools to improve the performance of your website. But the end goal is also to improve the experience of your audience. This will have a ripple effect of driving traffic to your site. Moreover, statistics indicate that 88% of your visitors will leave and never come back if they experience even mild trouble. Now, that’s something!


What is SEO all about?


Being the largest search engine, Google has no doubt updated its algorithm countless times. Many SEOs break a sweat each time the announcement comes out. But at the end of the day, what’s the purpose? To give its users the best experience they deserve.


To increase visibility and drive traffic, search engine optimization has become a priority for businesses and brands. But certain misconceptions still persist. SEO and its benefits are going to be fruitful only if the content is optimized.


Google has made various improvements to the SERPs and implemented tight algorithm updates. Among the many updates, RankBrain is a wonderful example of how crucial UX has become to Google.


RankBrain was first released in 2015, and it rapidly became the third most important component in assessing the SEO value of a website. Behavior metrics like pages per session, bounce rate, dwell time, and organic CTR are assessed by this core algorithm. In essence, these indicators tell the search engine whether or not consumers appreciate their time on your site.


If a user can easily navigate from one page to the next, spend tons of time reading your content, click and visit other pages on your site, and return to previous pages or home page. RankBrain is going to demonstrate your site as a user-friendly resource. And vice-versa.

What is UX all about?


UX is the process of using all the information about your audience persona and designing a website to provide meaningful experiences.


What do ninjas have in common with user experience (UX) design? When they’re both at work, they’re invisible. If your website’s UX is improved, users will receive immediate benefits without even realizing it.


The process of boosting user pleasure through improving the accessibility, usability, and efficiency of user interactions on your website is referred to as UX design. According to new research, improving UX is one of small businesses’ top three goals. The ability to find information is cited by 76 percent of consumers as the most significant aspect of web design.


How are SEO and UX interrelated?


To target the right audience, the first step is to know your audience. What is their intention in visiting your website? But how are they going to know that you have a website to visit if you aren’t ranking anywhere near the top? Both UX and SEO play a vital role in enhancing customer experience and ranking simultaneously.


Moreover, both of these have the same goals. UX and SEO are two sides of the same coin. As we discussed previously, optimized content is not the only thing that is ranking websites. It now aims to deliver information that addresses searchers’ questions. This is when UX and SEO begin to collide.


The goal of SEO is to assist you to rank higher on Google and increase your visibility. However, when a consumer visits your site, UX is there to help them find solutions to their queries faster. The speed demonstrates your professionalism and increases brand awareness.


To understand what lack of UX optimization would do to your website, we need to keep the goals of both parts together. SEO is implemented to drive high organic traffic. UX design is implemented with the same end goal but not the only motive. Aligning both the SEO and UX strategies is important because of this interrelation.


You need to ensure that both strategies are functioning together rather than in parallel. After all, one of your website’s key goals should be to increase leads and conversions. Both UX and SEO are important in reaching this aim, but they must collaborate to succeed.


When deciding whether or not your website is of excellent quality, Google considers more than just navigation. Page layout, internal links, content relevancy, content originality, and page speed are all part of website optimization. But they are also individual parts of UX and SEO.


Your website is the initial point of contact between you and your target market. It’s like your online ID, indicating how trustworthy and authoritative you are to your visitors. As a result, you must leverage your UX design to establish trust and raise awareness among them.


Best SEO and UX practices


You must have heard of voice search results? If you haven’t, then your website is probably also not optimized for it. The purpose of adding a voice search option is how Google has made things much more convenient for its users on a usability basis.


The purpose of Google is to deliver information to searchers that answers their inquiries and solves their issues. As a result, businesses need to optimize content for more conversational, question-based, long-tail keywords to appear in voice search results. The design of the website is the next step.


The above example demonstrates that improving your SEO efforts without addressing user experience is impossible. Google does it; why aren’t you?


It’s also a big mistake to start from scratch and not optimize your site for search engines. These two components of your website are bound together and must be incorporated from the start. Because of this, there are a few important actions you must follow.


Ease of use and website structure


It may seem strange that we’re still discussing site navigation, but we have to. There are far too many websites that don’t implement it. Your site’s structure is not only vital for users, but it also serves as a guide for search engines. The layout of your website’s pages is referred to as site architecture. In terms of SEO, strong website architecture means Google will identify and index your pages.


Keep in mind that many of your visitors will not arrive at your site via the home page. This implies that no matter which pages a searcher (or search engine crawler) lands on, your site must be simple to browse.


Also, since most people utilize the navigation menu to discover the proper page, your site architecture impacts visitors. Write informative menu labels, including eye-catching CTAs, and keep your pages no more than four clicks from the homepage. Fancy popups, a vast list of alternatives, hide-and-seek games, or dead-ends have no place in your site’s navigation. And, nor in the hearts of your website visitors. The users will take less than 10 seconds to run to another website page. The saying ‘You snooze, you lose’ holds ground very seriously here.


Sitelinks can also display in Google search results if the navigation and structure of the site are clear. Sitelinks can help you take up more space on search engine result pages, leaving your competitors with less area (and, hopefully, more clicks for you).


Page load time


With the newest Speed Update, page speed has become even more significant, although it has always been one of Google’s most critical ranking signals. The data is more than just proof at this point. A one-second delay in page loading reduces page views by 11%. Conversion rates and the overall user experience will drop like flies due to slow page load times.


Google has traditionally used site speed as a ranking component. The business has even declared that mobile page performance (rather than desktop) will decide this ranking element shortly. Not only does having a fast-loading website matter, but so does having a fast-loading mobile experience. We’ll be moving to responsiveness and mobile experience shortly.


It might sound daunting. But there are umpteen ways to gauge the performance of your website. With Google’s very own Lighthouse tool. Enter your URL into Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to determine whether your site has any difficulties with mobile responsiveness. PageSpeed Insights assesses how the page may enhance its performance in terms of time to above-the-fold load and time to complete page load, as well as making specific recommendations for decreasing page load times. If you have the rings of red, work on the solutions offered by the tool to turn them green!


There are a few things you can do to speed up your website, including:

  • Choosing a dependable hosting package
  • Choosing high-quality photographs but compressing and cropping them to reduce their size
  • Making use of browser caching
  • Multimedia formats that automatically play are being phased out.
  • Purchasing a content distribution network
  • Using a sluggish loading technique


Mobile Experience


When it comes to “mobile experiences,” speed is certainly important, but so is the whole appearance and feel of your mobile website the look, feel, navigation, content, graphics, and so on. Since Google’s mobile-friendly update in 2015, webmasters and SEOs have been required to consider “mobile-friendliness” as a ranking factor. It’s not surprising either, is it? Majority of the users are perched in front of their rectangular byte-sized screen for most part of the day.


One of the most crucial aspects of a mobile experience is navigation; both users and Google must discover what they’re looking for quickly. On your mobile website, even button sizes and styles can have an impact on user involvement. Every element on your mobile website impacts the user’s experience and, in turn, has a direct (or indirect) impact on SEO.


Simple and intelligent design selections go a long way toward pleasing not just your visitors but also Google!


User Signals


Although Google has disputed that user signals like time on site or bounce rate are direct ranking determinants, research has demonstrated that these signals have a high link with top ranks.


Everything is visible to Google, and Google knows everything. Every interaction your visitors (and you) make with you demonstrates to Google that users are interested in and engaged with your content.


But there are ways in which you can know some of what Google knows. Setting up a feedback form or a rating system for user experience might be insightful, especially when Google might be using it too. Heatmaps on your website would also give a quick peek into the minds of your visitors.


Implementing SEO and UX design strategies might appear scary at the onset. However, it’s absolutely essential for improving rankings and establishing a recognizable brand. A holistic, user-centric approach to your online presence will benefit your users and the search engine alike leading to compounded returns. A vetted action plan and a concerted effort to implement the tips mentioned above are all the ingredients you need to take your business from the norm to the extraordinary. SEO and UX are two sides of the same coin and it’s high time you made the most of it.

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