Why UX is important for search

Digital

SEO and UX go hand in hand. SEO may help users to find your website on search engines, but UX keeps them on your site, therefore reducing the bounce rate.

Written By

Thomas Coughlan

Posted On

20 Jun 2019

SEOs are constantly looking for ways to optimise their sites for search engines. Whether that is looking for new keywords to target or ways to improve the page speed.

You may have managed to get your site to the top of the SERPs for your targeted keywords. However, when users click-through to your site, you don’t want them bouncing. Google doesn’t want this happening either. If users keep bouncing from websites at the top of the SERPs, they will end up using another search engine. Therefore, Google will not keep you near the top of the rankings for long. So, instead of just trying to constantly crack Google’s algorithm, also focus on how you can please the search engine and its users. This is where UX can help.

How long would you wait for a website to load or to find a piece of information on a website? According to Google, 53% of mobile site visits leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load. When you are looking at your site’s analytics, look deeper into why users are bouncing, as well as why they are staying on your site. Are they engaged on your site or are they struggling to find what they are looking for? On Google Analytics, head to “Behaviour” and “Behaviour Flow” to find out where your users go once they land on a page.

This is where Searcher Intent comes in. When you are analysing your pages along with the keywords and phrases you are looking to rank for, does the page provide the answer? Keep content on pages focused on the users’ need and direct them to other pages if needed to provide more information.

If you are a B2B site, are you seeing the numbers of downloads of a whitepaper are lower than you were expecting? Now is the time to take a look at the journey users will take once they land on your site. How many steps does a user need to take in order to download? Do they need to fill out any information? Will they be taken to a micro-site to download?

On the other hand, for an e-commerce site, how easy it for customers to buy products on your website? Can users easily navigate your site to find the products they are looking for? How long is the checkout process? For e-commerce sites, it’s important for your call-to-action buttons – most likely to be “add to cart” – to be easily found. Having the button too small or at the bottom of the page can make it hard for users to find – leading them to leave and buy from your competitors instead. If they then have a good user experience on their site, it’s likely you will not see them again.

In summary, you should always be checking your website’s UX when you are optimising your site for SEO. They both work together to achieve the same goal – attracting users to your website. SEO helps search engines find your website whilst UX retains and them. When done right, both support each other in achieving your main goal – conversions.

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