Last updated on March 21st, 2023
User Experience (UX) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) look seemingly unconnected, but both serve the same core purpose. While UX design provides users with a good experience when interacting with a product/service, SEO aims to give users the best answers for their search inquiries. The underlying purpose of both is to provide users with the best results.
SEO was done mainly based on keywords and backlinks for a long time. But over the years, search engine algorithms have started to think and act like humans, giving the search a new dimension. User experience is one such dimension. Today, UX design plays a significant role in improving search rankings.
In this article, we discuss how UX design impacts website SEO. But before we delve into the topic, let’s get a clear picture of the basics.
What is UX design?
UX design, or user experience design, of a website is the process of making users’ interactions with a website engaging, satisfactory and valuable. UX design ensures that the website’s navigation, functionality and usability are simple and evident.
Websites with good UX succeed in attracting visitors and converting them into users. Poor UX increases the bounce rate as it fails to impress users. They discontinue browsing the website immediately.
What is SEO?
SEO or search engine optimization is the process of improving the visibility of websites in search engine results pages (SERPs). An SEO-friendly website can reach a broad range of audience and attract a large volume of potential customers to the website.
As a result, such a website will get massive traffic organically. Therefore, SEO is essential for growing a business in today’s digital era.
How does UX design impact website SEO?
SEO has a significant role in driving traffic to a website. But it is of no use if the traffic doesn’t convert. So, a website must be a great user experience while navigating its pages and accessing information. Only then will the visitors turn into buyers of your offerings. Unfortunately, according to a study, about 88% of online customers never return to a website after having an annoying UX design.
So, while SEO drives traffic to a website, its great UX is responsible for converting that traffic into leads. Moreover, UX is also one of Google’s ranking factors determining where a website will be placed in search results.
Here Are Five Ways UX Design Impacts A Website’s SEO
01. Improves The Page Dwell Time
Dwell time is a visitor’s time on a website before returning to search results. If the dwell time is very short, the site fails to satisfy the visitors. Ideally, a dwell time of 2-4 minutes is good.
Google considers dwell time to check the relevancy and value of a website. If visitors spend more time on a page, Google takes it as a helpful website page and improves its ranking in search results.
UX is essential in increasing the dwell time of a page. Good UX design attracts users, keeps them engaged, and provides value. Users who get value from a site will stay on its pages for longer.
02. Reduces Bounce Rate
Bounce rate refers to the number of people who visit a webpage and leave it without taking any other action, like clicking links, filling out forms, etc.
A high bounce rate can affect Google rankings. To keep the bounce rate to a minimum, users should be given all information in a transparent and attractive way so they can find new things to explore on a page.
A user experience on a website ensures that users can easily find what information they need from its pages. Therefore, straightforward navigation is a core aspect of good UX, which makes users’ browsing experience smooth and quick.
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03. Helps Convert Leads
Reports have revealed that 94% of first impressions of a website are based on design. Users quickly judge and take only milliseconds to decide how they feel about a website. For example, if a website looks disorganized, it will take them only a short time to mark it as not good enough and check out other competitor sites. Ensuring good UX for a website makes it possible to take advantage of the first impression effect and satisfy users.
Moreover, UX is not just about outward appearance but also considers other factors, like page load speed, responsiveness, the latest web design trends, etc. These are critical ranking factors to determine the success of SEO strategy to help a site rank higher on search results.
04. Ensures User Retention
Ideally, users should return to a website multiple times to access information or buy products or services. So, SEO strategies help rank a website, but the visitors will return to that site depending on its user experience. When customers feel satisfied while interacting with a digital or even physical platform, they will return to it.
If a high-ranking webpage gives users a great experience, they will remember the domain name next time. On the contrary, if a website gives them a poor experience, they will skip it the next time it pops up in the search results.
05. Aids Search Crawlers
Search engines locate relevant information using their crawlers for ranking web pages. The results of the crawling process are then passed over to the next stages — indexing and ranking.
When you adopt the best UX practices for your website, it has a well-defined structure and layout. The content is correctly and strategically organized in a good visual hierarchy using headings, graphical elements, and tags. This helps search engine crawlers assess a page’s usefulness and quality. This way, the chances of web pages being indexed and ranked up go higher.
How To Optimize Your Website For SEO – 6 Simple Steps
Even when your website has an excellent UX design, it will not benefit your business much if it drives little traffic. So, along with making your website user-friendly, make extra efforts to drive more visitors by optimizing the website.
This brings us to finding the best ways to rank a website higher on the search results. But you must be abreast of Google’s algorithm updates while optimizing your site, as the search engine giant updates its algorithms every now and then.
With the launch of the AI-powered ChatGPT of OpenAI, in collaboration with Microsoft, and Google’s Bard, the search engine market is changing rapidly.
Here is How You Can Optimize Your Website:
01. Analyze Website Data
To optimize a website, you should first analyze your existing website data. Then, you will learn how a website performs on different parameters. So, you can know about your website’s bounce rate, number of visitors, locations, referral sites, and so on.
Analyzing the data will help you identify patterns from where visitors find your website and where they are clicking. You can then consider the data while optimizing your website and enhancing its user experience. Tools like Google search analytics, Hotjar, etc., can be used in this step.
02. Increase Page Speed
How fast a website loads will determine its chances of achieving its goals. If a website loads fast, visitors can explore its pages further to find the information they want. On the other hand, if it takes excessive time to load, the users will migrate immediately by clicking on other website links in the search results.
If you want to hire a UX design agency, perform a Google search, and open the top 5 results in the search. But the first site you will check will be the one that has incredible page speed and loads immediately. But if a website loads slowly, you will close that tab and go back to check the other results. That’s the power of page speed.
So, ensure that your website page speed is optimum. You can use Google PageSpeed Insights to get an idea of your current page speed and ways to improve it. Mostly, compressing and optimizing the images and other media elements have a significant impact on page speed. In addition, reducing redirects and caching web pages can also improve your website’s page speed.
03. Perform Keyword Research
Keywords are the core of SEO and are the magic words that ensure that the relevant users come to your website. Performing keyword research with tools like Ahrefs, Ubersuggest, SEMrush, etc., gives you a list of keywords. You can then incorporate them into your website to drive the ideal visitors.
If your website doesn’t use its relevant keywords, people might not find your website when they are searching for particular services.
04. Create Valuable Content
Another valuable tip for optimizing your website is to create unique and helpful content for your target users. Google ranks those websites higher that have high-quality content. Google will push such a site higher up the rank. If the search engine notices that visitors spend a lot of time on your website, it takes the content as valuable. It then promotes the site to higher rankings on the search result pages.
So, creating valuable content will significantly help your website’s SEO. But optimization of content requires teamwork. Using tools such as online proofing software will ensure that your team is aligned on the content optimization work before publication.
05. On-page and Off-page SEO Optimization
On-page and off-page SEO are two vital steps to optimize websites. On-page SEO is about optimizing the content on your website, such as headings, subheadings, metadata, URLs, etc., for different keywords. Ideally, each web page should be optimized for a focus keyword, then optimize the rest of the content for that keyword. This means the keyword should come in headings, throughout the body, in the URL, in the meta description, and so on.
Off-page SEO is optimizing your website through external channels such as guest posting sites, social media platforms, etc. A major target of off-page optimization is getting quality backlinks. Google takes backlinks as a sign of a website’s credibility. So the more backlinks you have, the more authority Google assigns to your website.
This naturally reflects in the rankings due to backlinks from high-authority websites. But while doing backlinking, ensure that you get backlinks from well-reputed sites. Conversely, acquiring backlinks from small, low-authority sites has little value.
06. Optimize For Mobile Devices
Several studies have shown that most website traffic comes from mobile phone users. So, you must optimize your website to make it mobile-friendly to connect with potential customers. Create a logo and other visuals of your website that look great, even on small screens. Moreover, responsive sites rank well in Google’s search rankings.
Google’s mobile-first index specifies that mobile-friendly websites will rank higher in search results. Considering that, ensure your website is responsive and provides a seamless experience to users irrespective of their device.
So, these are the essential tips you wish to optimize your UX design to get the best results from your SEO strategies.
While analyzing your website for its user experience, ensure that your brand visuals are equally impressive. Your logo reflects your brand personality and message.
You can even make a logo design for your small business on your own with the help of Designhill logo maker. This tool gives you many logo ideas based on your design brief. You can then develop one idea further using the tool to create your logo as a brand identity.
When visitors have a great user experience at a website, they return to the site for more information or to buy things. They also share such a website with others. People will only explore if a web page ranks top in search results but has good UX. SEO is essential to digital marketing strategy today, but a good user experience is a foundation for good search performance.