Implementing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies is a proven effective way of giving your website a boost in search rankings. SEO is a process that incorporates tactics, techniques, and tools that make your content visible to search engines.
But do you know who matters the most to search engines, especially Google? The site users. If you want to level up your SEO game, align it with your strategies for effective UX Design.
What Is UX And Why Is It Important In Web Design?
UX is the acronym for User Experience. In web design, UX is a user’s overall impression after interacting with a website and encompasses his opinions and reactions to the site’s contents, aesthetics, and functionalities.
Designing a website that results in a memorable UX is important because the positive impression will encourage the user to patronize the site and become loyal to the business brand.
Excellent UX is comparable to having a memorable customer experience at a restaurant, department store, or car repair shop.
The customer came away with the impression that interacting with the business was “amazing”. The impression was influenced by a host of factors including the quality of the products, the top-level service, the ease and convenience of the sales process, and the look and feel of the establishment.
Similarly, if a site visitor found his UX meaningful, the process of converting his interest into sales will be easier. The site visitor will become a site user.
Because his experience using your site left a favorable impression, he will gladly take the journey down the sales funnel and willfully make the transition from generated lead to paying customer.
In the digital age, happy customers will share their experiences on social media, and leave glowing reviews on online search directories, and community forums. You’ll get more traffic to your website.
But wait. How did the site visitor find himself on your website?
The answer – search.
How SEO Enhances Online Visibility Of Your Website
As popular as social media is, it’s not the number one online activity.
Garnering 60% of the votes from respondents in a survey by Data Reportal, search is the number one activity on the Internet.
Every day, more than 5 billion people are searching for information on the Internet. They could be looking for solutions, recommendations, specific products and services, research data, and other types of information that fit their needs for the moment.
Once they enter a search topic in the query box and press “enter”, the search engine will scour the Internet for web pages that provide the best possible answers.
The URLs that you’ll see on the search results page belong to the pages that were easily found and indexed by the search engine’s crawl bots.
These URLs made it to the first page of the search results because they were effectively optimized for search engines. Landing on the first page of the results page is responsible for 71% to 92% of search traffic clicks.
A fundamental technique of SEO is the use of keywords – the words and phrases that are popularly used by Internet users to launch a search query.
For example, an Internet user is looking for a treadmill for his house. He might type in the following search queries for Google:
- best home treadmill
- cheap home treadmill
- best cheap manual home treadmill
- best manual home treadmill near me
These are all examples of keywords that best describe what the searcher is looking for.
Let’s assume “best home treadmill” has the highest volume of monthly searches in the location of the searcher.
A content writer with SEO knowledge would use the keyword “best home treadmill” when creating website content. The keyword will appear on the home page, the products page, and be used when writing product descriptions and blogs.
In a blog, “best home treadmill” will be used in the title, the first paragraph, within the body, and in the concluding paragraph. The web designer will use “best home treadmill’ in meta tags and descriptions.
As for the other keywords, the content writer will use them sparingly and more as supportive keywords in different types of content throughout the website.
Having these keywords embedded within the content will make it easier for Google to find the web pages.
We just gave a basic description of how SEO works. An SEO expert can reach into his optimization toolbox and use other tactics to deliver the best results. These tactics include backlinking, the use of snippets, and internal linking.
The bottom line is SEO drives traffic to your website. If your SEO strategy is effective in driving traffic to your website, the next challenge is converting traffic into leads and eventually, sales.
This is why combining SEO with UX design can become a powerful one-two punch that can deliver knock-out results for your business.
Why Combining UX Design And SEO Is A Brilliant Idea
Does the first URL on the page provide the best answers? Not necessarily.
For sure, you’ve clicked on a website that appeared on the top of the results page and came away disappointed. You might have even gone through the rest of the top 5 URLs and clicked out because of underwhelming experiences.
It’s possible there’s a website that defied the odds, and offered you the best experience even though it was ranked in page 2 of the search results.
In the first scenario, the websites focused on SEO and succeeded in having them found on the Internet. However, site users weren’t impressed with their experiences on the websites.
In the second scenario, the website did a great job creating a wonderful onsite user experience but fell short of its optimization strategy.
Driving traffic to your website is half the job done. The next step is to make sure the visitors stay, explore your website, and come away impressed and happy with the experience.
Likewise, your efforts in designing a website with good UX capabilities might be for naught if the SEO strategy fails to enhance its visibility to the search engines.
The best approach is to focus on delivering a website that assures excellent UX and has it adequately optimized for search engine visibility.
By combining UX Design techniques with a sound SEO strategy, people who click on your URL won’t regret their decision. They will stay, and explore its various web pages – and who knows? They might become subscribers or paying customers right away.
Get found by your target market and then deliver the best content and user experience!
How To Use UX Design To Boost SEO Rankings
Combining UX design with SEO techniques shouldn’t be complicated because the characteristics that enable great UX are part of a results-driven SEO strategy.
According to Google, here are the 4 characteristics of great UX design:
This characteristic answers the question, “Is your website easy to use?”
Google values usability and practices what it preaches. Gmail has arguably the most user-friendly interface among all email service providers. Even first-time users of email have an easy time navigating Gmail and finding all of its functions.
Within a few minutes of perusing Gmail, you’re already an expert and know your way around the service.
The same can be said about Google Workspace, the company’s online hub that houses its work collaboration tools such as Sheets, Docs, Photos, Drive, and Meet to name a few, which are all easy to learn and use.
You want website visitors to have an easy time using your website. The interface must be laid out, formatted, and organized in a manner that makes site navigation a walk in the park.
For example, if you have an e-commerce website, to make it usable to visitors, it must have the following features:
- Mobile-responsive design
- Fast download speed
- Highly-navigable interface
- Top-level security features – SSL certificates, firewalls, Dual Factor Authentication (DFA) or Multiple Factor Authentication (MFA), and the latest anti-virus software
- Fully functioning shopping cart and checkout counter
- Multiple payment options
- Complete shipping information
- Available option for product returns
- High-quality images
- Comprehensive product descriptions
- Top-level security features
If you notice, the first 4 features are included as ranking factors in Google’s search algorithm. The rest of the list contributes to a memorable User Experience which is what Google wants for all site users.
Equitable UX design means that the website will benefit a wide range of users regardless of skill level, nationality, gender, physical capacity, age, and other demographic markers.
In the United States, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted by Congress in 1990. The objective of the ADA is to protect disabled Americans from acts that are construed as forms of discrimination including accessibility to websites.
Staying with our example of an e-commerce website with outstanding UX design, if your business sells its products to other regions, then, to make it equitable to site users, include pages that are translated into the language of your biggest markets.
Effective UX design considers the emotional component.
What types of emotions are triggered by the elements of web design? Does the website make users happy? Do the images create a throwback moment for users and take them back to a happy memory in the past? Are the colors associated with the products of the industry?
To say that a website was “enjoyable to use” doesn’t just mean that the user had a pleasant time using it. Enjoyable could mean that the user found his time on the site productive.
The user was able to get a lot of things crossed out of his “to-do” list because the website offered a ton of valuable information. The website could also be enjoyable because it was easy to use.
If you have a travel or hotel website, it must be easy for site users to find open dates, and available rooms, and to book and confirm reservations.
A hotel website that includes features where guests can book tickets for amusement parks and reservations at fine restaurants are huge pluses that will surely contribute to an amazing UX.
First, we need to make a distinction between the qualities of “usable” and “useful”. Usable refers to the levels of ease and convenience a website provides to its users. In contrast, useful means a website that provides users with answers to problems.
A website can be usable but not useful, and vice-versa.
Keep in mind that people who click on your website might have similar interests but different specific needs.
Let’s assume you have a website for your home cleaning business. After conducting more research, you found out that in the largest market you’re servicing, 90% of the homes have a backyard.
Thus, it will be of great use to include yard cleaning services in your business and to include a booking feature for the service on your website.
Optimization is important in web design to help your website get found by search engines on the Internet. But it’s equally important to have a website that can be enjoyed by a diverse group of users from your target audience.
Combining UX design with SEO in a way ensures that your website “lives up to the hype” or that expectation meets reality.
Put it this way – an Internet searcher could have chosen another website that was included in the SERP, but he chose your website. Whether it was because of the description or snippets, he decided to click on your URL.
Make his decision worth it by assuring the visitor of a UX that will not disappoint but instead, impress.
Happy user, happy Google – and happy you when your website gets rewarded with a boost in the search rankings.
If you’re looking for a website that checks the optimization and UX design boxes, give us a call and we’ll get you started.
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