User Experience (UX) and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) were previously considered separate entities, however Google’s last few algorithm updates have been encouraging us towards the belief that the relationship between UX and SEO should be synonymous.
The main concern when designing for UX is to satisfy the user. A user will be more inclined to stay longer on a site (and therefore be more likely to carry out a conversion) where it is both captivating and impressive, whilst also being easy to navigate and easy to understand.
The focus of SEO is (in theory) to satisfy Google’s requirements and appease the algorithms. The more of their requirements you meet, the higher you are likely to rank within SERPs. In previous years, SEO was more heavily focused on search terms alone, however it now aims to provide users with valuable information and actual answers to queries… therefore satisfying the user, rather than directing them to a page that might contain a phrase match to their search. This is where user experience design (also known as user interface design) and SEO begin to unite.
SEO and UX design now share the common goal of providing users with relevant, useful and easy to access information. The following considerations can help to align your UX and SEO strategies:
If your website is not mobile friendly, your site will take a hit - everybody knows this by now. As it is now more common for users to search on-the-go on their mobile phone, Google wants your users to be able to surf your website from anywhere without experiencing anything to make them exit the site.
The content you put up should be relevant, valuable and it should resonate with visitors. Gone are the days where ‘black hat’ practices of throwing badly optimised content on a page with relevant keywords would suffice - you must ensure that the content you provide is flawless. It’s recommended that you use short sentences and paragraphs, sufficient headings and subheadings (use your H tags!), bullets point and reading aids so that the content is easier to read.
Simply put: if your pages have slow load times, users will look elsewhere. On average, a page that loads in 4 seconds or more will cost you around 25% of your visitors.
It is imperative that people are able navigate your website quickly and easily. Your categories should be self-explanatory, clear, and easily accessible while ensuring that common features such as the homepage button are consistent on each page. For users who know exactly what they’re looking for, you should include a search bar - people don’t want to have to search for ages to find what they want. Additionally, if you don’t invest in responsive web design, your rank will suffer - if someone reaches your website by mobile and finds it difficult to read, you’ll never be able to achieve a top spot in the SERPs.
Not only does including alt text appease Google crawlers by indicating what image they’re looking at, it helps visually impaired users understand what is included on the page, which helps to cater to all users. Alt text also allows people to search keywords for images, ensuring that people can reach your website knowing exactly what to expect.
Our digital designers and SEO specialists work together to ensure that your website appeals to both Google crawlers and users alike. Want to find out more? Just give us a call on 01642 903030 or send your enquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org - we look forward to hearing from you!
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