SEO Basics Improving Website User Experience

UX design serves as one of the fundamental on-page SEO elements that focus on creating a valued user experience. While many experts will define UX design and SEO campaigning as mutually exclusive from one another, they basically work hand-in-hand in creating a trusted website that has the potential to rank well and retain visitors who will drive conversions.

While it’s advisable that you hire a web designer to craft a valued UX design rather than a technical SEO expert, there still remain a number of factors that SEO basics can serve in helping create a valued UX design.  

Here’s a simple thought experiment. If your website ranks high, targets specific long-tail keywords that drive visitors to your website, but suffers from high bounce rates and low conversions, chances are your website suffers from a poor UX design.

On the other hand, unless your website expects to drive visitors from word-of-mouth, then your website will have to undertake many SEO basics to drive visitors there in the first place.  Yet, one hand does not simply feed the other, but they are a part of an entire organic complex that operates in a completely symbiotic relationship with one another.

We present five ways that your SEO knowledge can help improve your UX design and create an amazing user experience. But first, we must define what UX design truly encompasses.

What Is UX Design

User experience (UX) seeks to improve a number of factors that contribute to the user interface with a particular website. This addresses the question of a website’s utility, value to a consumer, pleasantness, system performance, visual appeal, etc.

UX design delves into more complicated technical aspects such as coding, web accessibility, and focuses on user interaction decisions. UX design serves many practical applications, such as creating valued micro-interactions, monitoring the ease of an e-commerce checkout, or a website’s load speed. All of these practical applications may sound familiar because they are some of the fundamental on-page elements that help drive conversions and improve rankings.

Creating a solid UX design can be costly and many websites simply throw it by the wayside. It might be advisable to contract an outside UX design team or train a full-time web designer in UX design. The practical applications of a great UX design can result in a long-term RIT if you are a small start-up seeking to compete in the rankings process.

Without going too much in-depth, UX design can improve a number of on-site SEO factors, such as your website’s information architecture; XML sitemap; present narrative storytelling elements; help your website render on different browsers and screen sizes; load better on slower connections; undertake A/B software testing; and create content style guides for developers. If your website seeks to improve UX design than it might be time to read from the handbook of SEO knowledge.

5 Ways SEO Basics Improve UX Design

1. Create Engaging Content

UX is not strictly focused on usability, but rather undertakes many communication and phycology based theories to determine the user’s likeability of a website. It’s simply naïve to believe that a stellar keyword that drives CTRs will improve your SEO.

Search engines often focus on bounce rates and the time a visitor stays on a website. Research has shown that posts totaling over 2500 words are more likely to be shared. This is important because it means that not only do users spend enough time on your website to digest such information, but they found it helpful enough to share it with friends and family.

Search engines factor freshness and quality of content into rankings. SEO campaigning involves capturing the right kind of visitors that drive conversions consistently. In improving user experience, readable and likable content that seeks to answer questions, provide helpful insight, or provide entertainment are more likely to rank and keep visitors glued to your website.  

Content can come in many forms and can seek to be narrative, driving website navigation and serving a purpose within a website’s information architecture. Without a quality content production team, many of the UX design elements that make your website usable will not make it likeable.

2. Utilize Targeted Keywords

While many people may feel implored to skip this section because they feel that keywords serve only as a marketing SEO aspect, keyword usage can actually improve user experience a lot. Keywords drive CTRs because they encompass industry specific jargon and technical terms that users search for.

Utilizing keywords in your content can go beyond creating the right title that will draw visitors to your page in the first place, it can also improve the writing of your content. Applying the correct targeted keywords that users search for can help demonstrate immense knowledge over an industry specific topic.

Keywords can also expand the depth and readability of an article by keeping content current and applicable to topical jargon. Keyword rankings constantly change and keeping on top of keyword research to discover what ranks today will help keep your content fresh, which will stave off high bounce rates and help your page rank.

Long-tail keywords remain the best targeted keywords in producing a blog or post. Not only do targeted keywords demonstrate up to date knowledge over a subject, but they also display a fervent grasp over what users are searching for and the questions they want answered.

Leveraging the right kinds of keywords can also improve the anchor text of links within your website and serve to identify specific blocks of content that users might search for over your domain.  

3. Craft Gorgeous Visual Appeal

UX design focuses heavily on the aesthetics of your website, attempting to contract user likeness. While SEO campaigning may not focus on the color scheme of your landing page; videos, pictures, infographics, etc. are a number of SEO content producing tools that not only help your webpage rank, but improve its visibility and likability.

No SEO content team in its right mind would simply produce a blog post with 2500 written words and leave the rest of the page bare with white-space. Applying visually striking pictures that are subtle and content enhancing can vastly improve the look of a website’s UX. With a good UX design, pictures that are displayed will not only render correctly, but have virtually no effect on load speeds that large image file sizes can have.

Videos serve as an effective means to deliver information quickly to users and add visually striking elements to a website. Many SEO and marketing firms employ videos to market products and services by showing users a concrete example of what happens when you employ that specific product or service.

Optimizing images and videos should not replace actual text and balancing content with the visual appeal of a website will create a valued user experience.

4. Improve Site Navigation

Keywords again come into play as the foundation of improving a website’s navigation. Navigation is important in UX design because it can define how users feel about seeking out new information from your website, completing conversions, and simply just surfing. Keywords serve as the text of a link that drives users to different blocks of content across your website.

Anchor text and text optimized links should properly display exactly what users are searching for and what they expect to find from a link. Deceptive keywords that mislead users to another part of a website will drive bounce rates and links that don’t properly employ targeted keywords can cause confusion and lead to website fatigue. Ultimately, this ends up in bounce rates as users can’t find what they are searching for.

Of course, link building is one of the most important ranking factors for search engines. Broken links and bad links will drive poor user experience and inevitably cause routine A/B testing for your UX team. Site navigation, in terms of SEO, should be as direct as possible and help to drive conversions in the most limited amount of clicks as possible. This is satisfying for users who expect a fast and efficient checkout from websites.

5. Capture the Right Kind of Visitors

Finally, all of these factors contribute greatest in capturing the right kind of visitors. This is where UX design affects SEO more than SEO might affect UX design. Yet, there are still a number of SEO basics that will help craft valued UX design that will retain users. While many assert that SEO campaigns are valued by the amount of visitors you drive to a website, this is simply not true. Without the right kind of visitors who will regularly revisit your website, your SEO campaign efforts are pretty much a failure.

In order to keep users coming back, it’s recommended to insert a call-to-action (CTA). Invite users to subscribe to your magazine, email campaign, purchase an item, etc. The main focus of SEO and UX design is to drive conversions that drive revenue and retain users. All of your SEO efforts, such as robust content production, targeted keyword analysis, and optimized site navigation should have focused on reeling in the right kind of visitors who are interested in your website.

With conversion goals in mind and an outreach campaign over social media, email, or direct consumer contact, you can keep consumers up-to-date on your latest business news, expand your brand, and improve user experience by responding to consumer complaints.

SEO and UX: Not Mutually Exclusive

As we wind down our conversation, it’s important to note that UX design vastly improves SEO performance. Combining a strong UX design with your SEO knowledge will drive a large volume of return visitors who are interested in your brand or business.

For small start-ups and initial website launches it’s key to keep in mind what a good UX design can do for your website and how it sets you a part from the competition. As with any SEO campaign, it’s key to evaluate what works for your competition and how you can improve upon what’s already working for them. For larger websites, a good UX design helps to organize large arrays of information and provide easy navigation towards conversion goals that will keep users coming back.