User Experience should be a focus for most businesses. Better user experiences make life easier for people by optimizing the products and services they use in their daily lives.
UX design is a demanding career option with a great future and, today, comes into play in almost everything—especially on the Web. In this article, I’ll discuss some ways in which UX design impacts a Web site’s search-engine optimization, or SEO.
What Is SEO?
If you’re not aware of what SEO is, here’s a brief definition: search-engine optimization is the process of optimizing your Web site to rank higher in the search results of Web-search engines by leveraging their respective algorithms.
Let’s look at an example: If you’re searching for UX on Google, you’ll see a lot of search results in the list, but you’ll probably click only the first few results. Think about how Google ranks these Web pages and why the first one ranked first.
Google’s search results-ranking algorithm considers more than two hundred ranking factors, or signals, that suggest a Web page’s relevance, user intent, and user experience. Thus, Google is getting smarter day by day at figuring out the right content to rank more highly.
How UX Comes into SEO
SEO is about getting your Web pages to rank higher in Web-search results, and different search engine’s algorithms consider a wide variety of factors to determine the most accurate results. To better understand the relationship between the user experience and SEO, you need to think about what is really the job of a search engine such as Google.
The main objective of Google is to understand user intent, satisfy users’ needs, and provide the information for which users were looking, in an easy, fast, straightforward way. This is what the search engine’s user experience actually enables. The ability to provide what users really want is the best example of a really well-optimized user experience.
After all, the purpose of the search engine’s algorithms and ranking factors is to achieve one thing: to satisfy the user’s intent and give the user an overall great user experience. SEO is just one part of the larger and much broader UX industry.
Google Cares About the User Experience
Because Google is the search-engine giant, every now and then, SEO experts endeavor to crack the Google algorithm. Google is always working to improve its search results. By focusing its algorithm on a Web page’s user experience, the search engine can evaluate whether the content is valuable to the user.
In the Core Web Vitals update that Google rolled out in May 2021, the company officially stated that they are adding new ranking factors along with a bunch of page-experience signals such as Mobile Friendly, Safe Browsing, and No Intrusive Interstitials.
These updates clearly communicate that Google cares about the user experience. That’s really a game-changer from an SEO perspective. One good rule to observe when creating new content for the Web is to: “Create content for users, not for Google.”
SEO and User Experience Collide
Let’s take a look at some factors that both SEO experts and UX designers focus on when coming to a project. Google provides a straightforward example in RankBrain algorithm, one of the most important signals that connects user experience and search-engine optimization.
RankBrain tracks user interactions to better understand search queries and assess user satisfaction. The RankBrain algorithm is very powerful and makes use of many UX signals, so you can expect the search results to be optimal.
Next, let’s look at some of the other common factors where both SEO experts and UX designers work similarly to create a better business.
Do you know that 37% of Web-site visitors bounce if a page takes five seconds or more to load, and one in four visitors abandon a page if it takes more than four seconds to load? These stats may surprise you, but they have a lot to do with marketers’ focusing on the long run.
Users expect faster loading times, and Google has made this clear in their ranking algorithms. Page Speed is has always been an SEO factor. Now, at last, it’s also a UX signal. Both UX designers and SEO professionals and agencies need to optimize their Web pages for Page Speed.
Mobile users make up 50.44% of all Internet traffic, which you’ll miss out on if you don’t have a mobile-friendly Web site. In 2021, you must have a mobile-friendly Web site. This is a key signal for search-engine rankings everywhere.
UX designers work to make the user experience better by adding a mobile-friendly layout that provides a better option for users on mobile devices. SEO’s also work to optimize for mobile devices. If they neglected this, they might get lower search-engine rankings!
What if your users could not navigate through your Web site? How would users feel if they found the navigation links too confusing? Poor navigation ruins the user experience. Plus, with Google’s ranking signals, your search results could rank lower if your Web site’s navigation is poor.
The design of a Web site’s navigation system is a key part of UX design. Plus, UX teams conduct UX research to make it easier for users to navigate Web sites. SEO professionals focus on good navigation, too. However, they may not be looking for the best creative solution, but rather would choose proven examples.
When taking a closer look at past SEO updates and new algorithm signals, you can see that SEO and UX are coming together to achieve common experience outcomes. A businessman does everything to make a customer happy. Google is doing the same by putting the best results at the top of its search results. UX designers also work to find the best way to make the process of searching for the information they need easier—without any hassles.
Although there are technical SEO factors such as Backlinks and On-Page SEO that matter, you’ll get valuable backlinks only if your content is valuable to your readers. This means you’re providing a good user experience. Looking at almost every business, you can see that a good user experience works!
At DraftPublish, Hari creates content about WordPress, search-engine optimization (SEO), and marketing. He loves researching how to create better user experiences for products and services. Although he is not a UX designer by profession, he designs Web sites and apps and works to achieve better user satisfaction. Read More