Understanding the impact of UX design on SEO

27 July, 2020

Understanding

The initial days of SEO

In the initial days of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), many webmasters used to manipulate search engine results by simply using target keywords numerous times within the content on their websites. A target keyword is a particular word/phrase which summarizes what the website is about. Such practice of ‘keyword stuffing’ was at that time quite successful in making low quality, spammy websites rank higher than the renowned and pertinent websites. In the face of such malpractices, search engine giants like Google and Bing introduced a number of algorithm updates. These algorithmic updates permanently changed the scenario in the SEO industry and thus changed the method by which website rankings were determined.

In practice, all the reputed search engines use a plethora of different factors while determining the ranking of any website. Despite the different approaches to ranking, keywords, and link building still remain the key strategies of SEO. Additionally, the elements of user experience also assume great significance in the wake of an altogether different approach adopted by the search engines in ranking the websites.

User experience and it's importance

User experience, as we all know, deals with the study of how users perceive and communicate with a web-based interface. It effectively helps users to find what exactly they are looking for with minimal effort. Besides, good UX seamlessly engages the audience and delivers a pleasant experience of the website. All these factors exert their influence on the different user metrics search engines employ to ascertain the ranking of websites.

A brief look at the most important user engagement metrics

Among a plethora of user engagement metrics, there are a few which have a profound impact on the process of search engine rankings. Let us take a look at how these user metrics work towards engaging the audience.
 
BOUNCE RATE: Bounce rate is one of the behavioral metrics which calculates the percentage of users that leave the site immediately after viewing just one single page. It indicates that the visitor did not perform any action on the website like clicking on a link or visiting a second page. A high bounce rate is a sure sign of poor optimization of a website. It indicates that users found the website unsuitable/uninteresting. Poor and complex web design, perplexing user experience, and poorly formatted content are the main reasons for the high bounce rate of a website.

PAGE DWELL TIME: Page dwell time is the amount of time an average user spends on a website. It is an indicator of the level or degree of engagement of the user with the website. This is a key metric that the search engines consider during the process of ranking of the websites.

Thus, we have discussed the importance and relevance of the two most vital user engagement metrics in deciding the search engine ranking of websites. Further, we shall discuss the ways and means to improve these metrics.

Tips to improve user engagement metrics

  1. FOCUS ON IMPROVING THE PAGE LOADING TIME/PAGE SPEED

    Slow websites are a nightmare and can be an annoying experience for a user. It is one of the prime reasons behind a user abandoning a website. Slow page loading time increases the bounce rate of the website in a big way, resulting in poor rankings. To ensure fast loading of a website, you must channelize all your efforts in minimizing the file sizes, full optimization of image sizes, besides making the fewest possible server requests.

  2. GIVE DUE EMPHASIS ON WEBSITE RESPONSIVENESS

    In the past few years, there has been an exponential rise in the number of mobile users. As a result, the optimization of websites for mobile devices has become indispensable. According to recent studies, more than 50% of all web traffic is generated by mobile users. Thus, in addition to computer users, a website should be fully optimized for mobile users as well. If a website lacks the responsiveness quotient on either the mobile or the desktop, it will severely affect the rankings of the website.

  3. BUILD USER-FRIENDLY URL STRUCTURES

    What is a URL? It is the address of a website; just like the address of your house. You reach a particular website when you type in the URL of the website on your browser. All URLs have a specific structure. This structure should be able to communicate a fair insight into the contents of the website. Poor URL structures unable to convey clear views about the contents of the page confuses both web users as well as the search engines. This confusion ultimately reflects in the rankings of the website.

  4. KEEP WEBSITE ARCHITECTURE SIMPLE

    The arrangement of the pages of a website constitutes the site's architecture. Good website architecture ensures that search engines are able to find and index the pages of a website easily. It also ensures that the visitors on the website enjoy a hassle-free navigation experience. For eg., it has been observed that most of the users are comfortable with using the navigation menu to find the right pages. Hence, you should incorporate a simpler navigation process with a prominent display of informational menu labels, catchy CTAs, and provision of accessing the home page with fewer clicks.

A few more useful tips

As a cherry on top of the cake, we, at Team Codesign, would like to share with our readers a few more useful tips to get the desired effect of the SEO in the rankings of your website.

  • Post highly informative, engaging content on your website.
  • Incorporate natural addition of internal links to pass link juice from one page to another.
  • Add suitable headings and subheadings to your content after breaking the content into smaller blocks.

Once you follow all the necessary guidelines for implementing an effective UX design, the result will come automatically and you will be happy to witness a dramatic rise in the rankings of your website.

Wrapping up...

User Experience and SEO go hand in hand. Poor UX jeopardizes the process of SEO while spammy SEO practices can entirely ruin your UX. Both UX and SEO have shared goals and both strive to make the users’ experience better. However, if you adopt the practice of adding promotional content and self-serving blog posts and also incorporate a lot more irrelevant links to your home page, the audience will have a repulsive feeling and will abandon your site in the blink of an eye.

Hence, to make your website rank higher and keep your users engaged, you must learn the art of melding UX and SEO correctly.

Don't have time to learn the art but want to get the best out of your website? Team Codesign is here at your rescue. Just drop us an email with your requirements and we will design the best SEO-friendly website for you!