This is a guest post from Sorav Jain at echoVME.
A decade ago, one may have said that SEO rankings were the only thing that mattered. The search engine optimization practices back then constituted around getting the keywords on the website page as many times as possible.
The industry has come a long way from there. Today, reaching, attracting, and converting targeted audiences is much more important than ranking high on search engines. While technical on-page and technical SEO still play a huge role, user experience (UX) design, however, is taking over the industry by storm.
What is user experience (UX) design?
User Experience (UX) design is a process of creating and managing the website in such a way that gives amazing browsing experience to users. This process includes the design of the entire website, its usability, accessibility, and functionality.
UX is an endless process because it works towards improving your product and services. User experience focuses on what the user wants, and is therefore crucial to the success of any online business. This is why you need to implement UX-friendly design processes with each new iteration.
Why is UX-friendly design important?
Website design has witnessed a drastic transformation over the last decade. It has become more ubiquitous, complex, and feature rich. And, for a website design to remain effective, it must have a great user experience design.
Additionally, UX design should also meet the vast landscape of browsers and devices that users utilize to access the website.
Why is UX-friendly design important for SEO?
Google constantly updates its algorithms in order to provide the best experience to its users. Every update that it rolls out is aimed toward improving the user experience.
Google, for instance, pays a lot more attention to your website if the UX in the website is better equipped. Better UX means better outcomes from Google searches, making your website more valuable as an asset to procure more business.
Your landing page and its accessibility will be the most effective to convert into leads. SEO ensures that the information is communicated to your customer, while UX focuses on how they consume the information more efficiently.
Both SEO and UX share a common goal, so they need to work hand in hand. Read on to learn 10 key UX design processes to be followed for your SEO campaign.
10 key UX design processes to be followed for your SEO campaign
Design UX for users, not Search Engines: The purpose of ranking your website high on the search engine is to generate a customer base and increase your ROI.
Generating millions of traffic with poor user experience will only increase the website’s bounce rate. Also note, higher bounce rate means users are dissatisfied with your UX and content, which will tell Google to push your rankings down.
So, primarily, keep your audience/users in mind when designing a website.
Page load time: When you want to create a website or landing page, you must ensure that the page or site is light so that there is a reasonable loading time.
When it takes longer for a page to load, users are bound to abandon the page, which will increase your bounce rate and bring negative effects to your search rankings.
Navigation: The navigation to your website must be easy to use and understand. One rule of thumb is that you should not have a website in which information is more than three clicks away.
If you ensure that navigation through your website is easy, there is a better chance that there will be more people accessing it. Following are the steps you need to take care of:
- Well-structured URL helps search engines to index and rank better.
- Focus on URL hierarchy—top and sub-pages must be organized as per requirement.
- Homepage link should be given a defined place in all pages.
- Having a search box improves the authenticity of the website.
- Streamline your menus for each page and add categories for easy navigation.
Mobile responsive: The number of users using mobile devices to access data is increasing tremendously. The better your website is accessible through the mobile, the higher the likelihood that you will get more people trying to access it.
Stats suggest that more than 50% of web traffic is coming from the mobile device: Therefore, a mobile-responsive website has become even more important for SEO.
The Google Mobile-Friendly Test is a great resource to determine if your website is mobile friendly.
Interesting and well-structured layout: Having an interesting and well-structured layout on a web page will encourage the user to stay there and engage with your content. Focus on the following points:
- Make sure your website is visually attractive.
- Your layout should not confuse the reader.
- Website menu should be visually appealing yet minimal.
Consider SEO principles and metrics: To get your UX right, you must include SEO principles and metrics.
So, provide focused product names and descriptions, have a proper navigation bar, optimize menu names and functionalities, organize H1 and H2 titles, images, and tags, and generate content that is relevant both to users and search engines.
Also, take SEO metrics like bounce rate, conversion rate, average load time, and average page per session into account. These data will help to design better UX and garner the best results.
Quality content: There is no alternative to generating quality content when it comes to engaging readers.
Along with producing great content, you must also focus on formatting, grammar, and spell check, using short paragraphs and simple language (all of which is considered by Google when ranking the page).
Keep the following in mind while placing the content on the website/page:
- Your content should be visually attractive.
- The layout should not distract content.
- Font size and spacing should be apt.
- Make your text easy to scan with a good layout.
- Visitors should be encouraged to click through.
Keywords: Keywords research today is even more relevant today when designing a website. First, research the keywords that your audience is using to reach you.
Take those keywords into account, and use them to create content so that users can easily find you. However, you must stay away from stuffing keywords, as that technique is now ineffective.
You may even end up getting penalized by Google for keywords stuffing.
Accessibility: UX designer must not forget that the web is fundamentally designed to work for all people, no matter what their hardware, software, language, location, or ability is.
When this goal is kept in mind, the web can be accessed by people with a diverse range of hearing, visual, neurological, cognitive, and movement ability.
Designers must take care of a few things to make it accessible to all, such as using alt tags, creating subtitles, writing transcripts, practicing color control, keeping the content language simple, and adding an accessibility guide.
By following these simple steps, you can increase your audience for the website, thus serving the purpose of SEO.
Call to action goals: Every website must have a prominent call to action. Calls to action provide the maximum conversion rates.
It is one thing to showcase your work: However, it is important to tell them what to do and how to reach out to you after they are convinced to purchase your product or service.
Additionally, it is important to keep it in a prominent place to prevent any frustration.
These are just some components of UX-friendly design that are relevant to SEO. However, you must understand that SEO and UX are a winning combination together, and they need to go hand in hand in creating a successful website for humans and search engines.
Sorav Jain is one of the most well-known digital marketing experts and bloggers in India. Apart from writing blog posts, he has also organized many digital marketing sessions and workshops in India. His passion to share his knowledge in the digital marketing field to the budding professionals for freeware has gained a lot of esteem.