User Experience has become integral if you want to increase organic traffic to your website. User Experience and SEO helps you meet the needs of searchers as well as improving organic search marketing performance, helping websites rank well on the SERPs.
Let us understand the common website elements that impact both SEO and user experience and then delve into specific ways in which you can improve your SEO performance and overall website ranking with UX design.
Common Website Elements that Impact both SEO and User Experience
Easy Navigation and Site Structure
Often times, users will not enter your website through your home page. This is why you need to make it easy for them to navigate your website, no matter which page a searcher or search engine crawler lands on. The site structure is important not only for users but it is a roadmap for search engine’s too. A clean site navigation and structure can also lead to site links appearing in Google search results.
It is good practice to only use one H1 tag on a page. This lets search engines and users know what the primary focus of the page is. Other headers (H2 through H6) should follow H1s to structure and organise the rest of the page appropriately.
3. Utilise UX Design to SEO Friendly Layouts
Layout design and how content is formatted can disrupt SEO in countless cases. The reason for this is that aesthetics, like having the perfectly sized headers and right amount of text can get in the way of SEO. But there are ways in which you can utilise UX design with on-page SEO and layout formatting. This would help support both usability and generating organic traffic.
Here are a few principles that can help you create SEO-friendly page layouts:
Make content easy to digest
Text heavy pages can make it difficult for users to absorb information. Ensure you have easy to absorb blocks of copy, organised with headers and imagery. This can help with usability while still retaining SEO. Also take advantage of bullet and number lists, as these elements promote featured snippets in Google.
SEO principles state that each page should have one Header 1 tag. This header should define what the page is about and also include the page’s primary keyword target. Subheadings should be organised with Header 2 and Header 3 tags. These can be used liberally.
Include images and videos wherever possible
Increase Organic Traffic through UX Analysis and SEO
Visual media is not only engaging for users, but they can also be optimised for SEO. A good practice is to include a relevant image or video within each block of content that is separated by Header 2 tags.
1. Use CTA’a
Calls to action’s are a must for conversion rate optimisation (CRO) and to keep users on your site for longer. These call to actions can be as simple as an in-copy link or a button link that says “learn more”. Your goal should be to facilitate the users journey on your site that serves their purpose as well as the action you want them to take.
2. Include elements that link to related content
A good strategy that supports both usability and SEO is to dedicate an aspect of a page layout that offers links to related content. Like CTA’s these callout links help users on your site for longer and also cross-linking relevant content, which are both good practices for SEO.
3. Harness Search Data to Inform Site Architecture
It is important to organise on-page content and site architecture in such a way that creates harmony between UX and SEO. Focus on simplicity and optimising pages based on larger themes versus granular keywords. You do not need hundreds of SEO pages for precise queries. Instead focus on quality over quantity and take a decluttered approach.
4. Optimize for Site Load Speed
Site speed is now an important ranking signal, as Google’s overarching mission is to provide users with the best possible experience. Websites with fast loading speeds are featured in both Search and Google ads.
Tools like GTmetrix, Google PageSpeed Insights and Web. Dev are handy website optimisation tools that provide actionable analysis and guidance across a number of components. The recommendations these tools offer can vary from simple image compression to altering how the server interacts with requests. For UX designers, they can offer insight into ways a site can better perform for both SEO and users.
5. Ensure Mobile Responsiveness
Mobile responsive design is now compulsory for both usability and SEO. Over 50% of all traffic is now driven by mobile search, therefore sites that are to mobile responsive will compromise the experience of over 50% of their audience. You can check a site’s mobile responsiveness by using the Google Mobile-friendly Testing tool.
More organisations are now realising the importance of prioritising SEO, but without compromising usability and design. These simple principles can help increase organic traffic through UX Analysis and SEO.