SEO and UX

How can we optimise our website for both search engines and user experience? 

As a business owner, you may come across examples where SEO teams and UX team butt heads in terms of an approach for optimising websites. A typical example is perhaps some UX specialists favouring a low-key, streamlined approach in terms of web design whereas SEO professionals may want to provide a more content-heavy approach with a view to gaining Google’s favour.

Consider how you can balance your SEO goals with providing a positive user experience. For example, ensure that your website is easy to navigate, loads quickly, and has high-quality content that meets the needs of your users.

In truth, Google has moved much more towards an approach in favouring websites that optimise for users rather than search engines, and this is evident in modern day keyword / topic research techniques needing to take into account user intent, for example.

Looking at areas such as site design navigation, creating a clear, logical and easily navigable website hierarchy for users with good internal linking and breadcrumb navigation is an area where UX and SEO can complement each other. Other factors such as optimising page speed, ensuring mobile friendliness and good accessibility with use of rich multimedia are also areas where SEO and UX work well together.

On the topic of content, and referring back to the point of UX consultants perhaps favouring a stripped down approach to key commercial pages where SEOs may drive for as much content as possible, UX and SEO should work together to optimise for search and user intent over anything. For example, a more visual page with a light amount of content on it that answers the intent of the target keyword “best PS5 games 2023” may perform better than a traditional “SEO-centric” long-form article detailng the games at length. 

The key thing is for both UX and SEO teams to be in constant dialogue over site enhancements, and to encourage a culture of perpetual testing.

How can we make our website more user-friendly for multiple screen sizes?

Google has been taking an approach of mobile-first indexing for long time now, meaning that it ranks sites based on ther mobile versions as opposed to their desktop countparts. This is reflected in the massive shift to mobile phone use as a primary internet engagement tool in recent years. 

Optimising your website for mobile devices is an essential part of providing a positive user experience. Ensure that your website is mobile-responsive and easy to use on smaller screens. Ensuring that text is large and images are clear is a key factor to mobile optimisation, and users should be able to navigate to key areas of your site, particularly the conversion-centric areas of your site. 

Most popular CMS’s, such as WordPress and Wix are ready made for mobile optimisation in their design and responsiveness. If your site has been built from a raw code base, work with your dev team to ensure all elements are responsive, clear and easy to use on mobile and ideally, not on separate m. domains. 

How can we improve our website’s page speed? 

Page speed is a critical factor in both SEO and UX, so you should consider ways to improve it, such as optimizing images, reducing the number of HTTP requests, and using a content delivery network (CDN). If your site is resource heavy in terms of video and rich media, these can often be big contributors to slowing a site’s speed down. 

All of these areas fall well within the remits of your technical SEO and development teams, and they should be looking for optimisations across these areas at all times to improve page speed.

Even if your site seeing a rise in organic traffic metrics, a poor user experience in the form slow page load can see a massive negative impact on conversion rates and overall revenue.

How can we improve our website’s content for users? 

Moving towards a much more user-focused approach when it comes to assessing content for search rankings, Google has recently introduced concepts such as the “Helpful Content Update” and “EEAT” (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness).  

This encourages businesses to create high-quality, relevant, and engaging content that meets the needs of your target audience rather than simply being driven by apparent search keyword opportunity. Of course keywords remain important, but ultimately your team will need to  ensure that your content is well-structured, easy to read, loads fast, and serves the correct user intent behind the keyword being searched.

It can be very easy for SEO and content teams to get into the habit of working out of their toolstacks and reporting suites. Of course following the data is an important part of any SEO strategy, though oftentimes taking a quick look at what your competitors are doing content-wise where they outrank you on search results can be a fruitful approach. If they’re ranking above you, how is their content meeting user needs and what can you and your business do better?

How can we optimise our website’s design for better user experience? 

Outside of enhancements where UX and SEO can complement each other nicely, there are areas where website design can play a vital role in better user experience that can lead to heightend overall conversions. 

Consider how you can make your website’s design more intuitive, visually appealing, and easy to use. Implementing a clear and visual hierarchy with easy navigation will help drive users in the right direction and get them to stay on your website more. Ensure that your website’s design, branding and overall journeys are consistent, and that your pages have a clear hierarchy and structure.

Aside from well laid-out design and content across a website, strategic placement of core CTAs and conversion buttons being visible in areas where users are likely to engage is an important part of web design in the context of improving revenue. Get your team to gather some heat map data and run tests on different CTA placements (perhaps through the means of A/B testing) to work out how you can utilise web design methods to improve this.

SEO UX Case Study

UX insights into improving content to match search intent sees major organic traffic recovery.

Problem: A publisher that had historically performed well in providing guide content around financial “how to” based content. Following recent shifts in algorithm updates however, a lot of this content was dropping down the search rankings. 

Solution: Assessing competitor content, it was decided that a lot of the content was built solely on keyword search demand and had fallen behind in matching user intent compared to some competitors. UX audits were undertaken to move various content elements, such as video and summarising paragraphs, further up the fold so that user intent was answered early on. In addition, the content was brought up to date with additional enhancements such as FAQ content and further subsections by the content team. This practice was rolled out across a number of key pages and saw a healthy recovery of rankings and traffic.

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