UX: an important SEO ranking factor

As the title suggests, this is a post about SEO, or search engine optimization. Just like a lot of other subjects, SEO is a very broad topic. For example, some of the tips I mention in this post will improve your organic rankings, while others will only impact pay-per-click (PPC) traffic. In this post, I’ll show you how to rank higher for a variety of keywords, and how to maximize your organic traffic.

Though most people are concerned about search engine rankings, few have actually studied the correlation between UX and its influence on the search engine rankings. In this post, we will define UX, and talk about how it influences search engine ranking factors. Afterwards, we will talk about a few ideas on how to achieve higher search engine ranking with minimum budget.

As a popular search term, “user experience” has risen in importance over the past couple of years, as more and more non-tech related industry experts have delved into this topic. Many have hailed it as the single most important ranking factor for SEO, and the reason Google and other search engines rank webpages according to user experience. While not all search engines use the exact same measurement for user experience, the phrase is often used interchangeably with “interaction rate”, which is another metric that has gained popularity in recent years, and is used by Google for ranking webpages.

30-second summary:

  • The history of SEO and UX began almost 20 years ago, when both were launched in the 1990s.
  • After years of data analysis, I’ve discovered that UX is the most important ranking factor for SEO.
  • If you’ve exhausted all your SEO techniques and still aren’t seeing significant changes in your website or rankings, you’re probably losing out on user experience (UX).
  • Atul Jindal, a senior web engineer at Adobe Research, has compiled his years of experience and insights into this guide to SEO to help you gain experience with SEO and search.

Over the years I have worked with many SEO and CRO campaigns as well as Fortune 50 companies. It gave me access to valuable data that helped me understand what worked and what didn’t. Over the years, as I’ve analyzed the data, I’ve found that UX is a critical ranking factor for SEO. The history of SEO and UX began almost 20 years ago, when both came on the scene in the 1990s. While SEO was widely used as a marketing technique, UX (user experience) was meant to give users a better website experience. If you’ve exhausted all your SEO methods, but still don’t see significant movement on your site or in the rankings. You risk losing the user experience. But it’s pretty hard to find usability issues on your website. If you only look at your website from an SEO perspective! You need to look at your website through the eyes of the user (customer). In this guide, I’ll explain what UX is and how you can integrate it into your SEO campaigns to get results.

What is UX?

User experience (UX) is the user’s experience with your website/app. A user-friendly website will provide a pleasant user experience, while an unplanned website will provide a poor or inadequate user experience. UX focuses on the architecture of the website, the visitor’s journey, the layout for desktop and mobile, and the user flow. In short, user experience is determined by the ease or difficulty of navigating through the user interface elements created by the site’s designers. The user interface (UI) focuses on the graphical presentation of an application. It includes various factors such as fonts and design styles, text entry fields, transitions, images and an animated interface. In short, everything visual is about the user interface. It is important to note that the user interface and the user interface are two different features. While the user interface is about the layout, the user interface is the user’s experience on a website when navigating through the web pages. Now that we have a better understanding of these two concepts, let’s take a look at how to successfully integrate UX into an SEO campaign.

Why is UX important for SEO?

Google has changed its ranking criteria in recent years. There was a time when Google looked at keywords in your content or the number of backlinks on your site. But today the scenario has changed completely. Google is going to focus more and more on the user. They use artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), natural language processing (NLP) and other types of advanced technologies to understand, evaluate and deliver the best of the best. Google has introduced the concept of EAT, and metrics like search intent, page speed, mobile friendliness, and time spent on the page are ranking factors on Google. All these factors are part of a rich user experience. A rich user experience is the factor that makes the difference between first and second place. Providing a rich user experience is always good for visitors and encourages them to stay on your site longer and more actively. This sends out positive quality signals that show Google the best results for your website. And the result: Google rewards you by ranking you first.

How to implement UX in an SEO campaign?

As mentioned earlier, SEO and UX have the same end goal, which is to attract an audience. SEO answers a person’s question and UX takes care of his navigation questions when he arrives at the website. Today, when designing SEO campaigns or any digital marketing strategy, it has become imperative to consider both aspects. Google is constantly improving the user experience and combining effective SEO strategies to provide its audience with a meaningful experience. IKEA is a great example of UX and SEO design. We all know what IKEA stands for, but the website is fleshing out the story by the minute. It directs users to the right landing pages and keeps their attention. The color scheme, tags and categories encourage the user to stay on the page longer. word-image-6543 Source: IKEA designed on Canva Empathy plays an important role in optimizing your web pages with the right combination of keywords. Gone are the days when an exact match of keywords was enough for a good ranking. Today is about pushing yourself forward and thinking bigger. Over the past five years, Google has done a good job of eliminating easily spammable ranking signals, such as links and keyword stuffing. In other words: Understanding the buying intent of your target audience and analyzing their search queries will lead to more accurate and sustainable results. Let’s take a look at the three most important factors that influence SEO + UX ranking.

Understanding your audience

This is probably one of the hardest parts of running a successful campaign: understanding your target audience. Most companies spend a lot of time researching their target audience before coming to the conclusion that this is the right target audience for them. That’s why we spent a lot of time stressing its importance. We often hear marketers, entrepreneurs and content creators stress the importance of appealing to the right audience. There are times when it is more or less helpful to take the pulse of your audience, but there are also times when you should ask the question directly:

  • Who is my target audience?
  • What do they want?
  • What are they looking for?
  • How do they search for information?
  • Did my seeker fall down?
  • Has anything been done about this link?

These are the key questions that Google’s algorithm looks at to determine if the search results match the search engine’s intent. For example, Airbnb works with an inclusive design model that focuses on improving readability across all platforms. Their target group is clearly defined: travel enthusiasts, people looking for holiday homes and people looking for holiday home solutions. They focused on improving the user experience by directing users to the right landing pages. They complemented it with attractive CTAs that prompt the user to take action. Whether you’re a host or looking for an exceptional travel experience, their comprehensive vacation solutions pave the way for faster and easier vacation bookings. word-image-2329 Source: Airbnb. Developed in Canva Thoroughly understanding your target audience can lead to page clicks and actions when you are at the top of Google search results. UX helps the audience stay on the page, while SEO takes into account their intent to click and land on the page’s keyword. Everything you do is always focused on a satisfying user experience. From taking into account their color preferences to the layout and message, you need to design everything to meet your customers’ needs. Another important factor in understanding the target audience is the user’s intent. It is useful to refer to this when defining the target group in detail, for example for informational, navigational, transactional or commercial purposes. In all cases, queries should be predefined to understand what the user needs.

Search by keyword

Understanding the intent of potential visitors reaching your website through search is another essential factor for an effective UX and SEO strategy. If your website is not fully optimized with the right keywords, it has little chance of ranking in Google or even getting any action. For example, imagine you search on a keyword – How to wear a bowtie? The most logical conclusion is that your search will lead you to a manual or video, right? If the same set of keywords is used by an e-commerce site that sells butterflies, your question will go unanswered. You can conclude that a website that uses this keyword is not worth visiting in the future, because it uses keywords to entice consumers to visit its site. On the other hand, if a person arrives at the right page with clear instructions, he or she stays to explore the information, increasing the time spent on the site, and may look around the site for more information. This is where your keyword plays an important role in leading the consumer directly to the manual. Google Keyword Planner, Moz Keyword Explorer, keywordtool.io, Ahrefs Keyword Explorer or SECockpit are some practical tools that are often used to find the right keywords. The best way to choose the right keywords for your SEO strategy is to repeat on the keywords you need to rank for. Research relevant topics based on your business display and understand how user intent influences keyword usage. In short, keyword research before setting up SEO campaigns and combining it with UX will help you evolve with changing market trends.

Site architecture

Creating a website without optimizing it for search engines – that’s a waste of time, and vice versa. These two aspects go hand in hand and should be carefully considered from the outset. Site architecture is the way the pages on your site are arranged. In terms of SEO, good website architecture means that Google can easily find and index your site. It’s simple: Links should help Google move smoothly from high authority pages to low authority pages. Google Search Console has improved significantly since its inception and has become very informative for SEOs. It helps them understand how a website is indexed and appears in Google. By using H1 and H2 tags, headlines, teasers, catchy CTAs and informative menu links, you determine whether or not your audience will engage with your website. Remember that your home page should not be more than four clicks away.

Mobile device response capability

Mobile friendly design has become more important for both user experience and SEO. Today, more than 50% of traffic comes from mobile searches, and websites that are not mobile-friendly hurt the user experience. According to Google’s page experience document, mobile-friendly pages are prioritized to appear higher in search results. Improving the readability of your readers by using the right font family and text size is a necessity to improve the mobile experience. A responsive website that loads faster on different screen sizes has become the norm these days. You can check the mobile-friendliness of your website with Google’s mobile-friendly testing tool.

Supplement

Bad SEO + UX ruins the whole branding motif. Today, it makes sense to focus on beautiful attributes. This includes the domain name, informative content, internal links, optimizing meta tags, meta descriptions, alt tags for images, titles and page headers to make it all worthwhile. Implementing SEO with UX design can seem a little daunting at first, but it’s crucial for improving rankings and building a good brand. Atul Jindal is a senior web engineer at Adobe Research.This is probably the most common question we get asked here at 13tongimp. In essence, it’s how we can be certain that the sites we work on are making use of all the elements of an effective user experience.. Read more about google ux ranking factor and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most important SEO ranking factors?

For those that don’t know, Google has a lot of different algorithm updates in their program. The most recent one being the “Mobile-friendly update”, which means you need to ensure that your website is mobile friendly if you want to rank well on Google. People use many different tactics and techniques to make sure that their website is mobile friendly, with some things being more impactful than others. For example, font-size, border-radius, and background-position are the three most impactful things that you can do to make sure your website is mobile friendly. SEO is a hot topic in the tech world, and the topic fascinates the general public as well. However, what most people do not know is that SEO is an important factor for the total site score. It is the link building and the link text that the search engines use to calculate your site score, and it is the factor that impacts your site score more than any other factors.

Is UX important for SEO?

As the new year begins, many SEO professionals are concerned with Google’s January update. In the update, the Alphabet Inc. announced the new Google Penguin 4.0 algorithm, which is designed to punish websites that use unnatural or manipulative keywords, instead of focusing on their content. While most SEO experts think that this update will only cause sites to lose ranking, others believe that this update will raise the bar for organic rankings. The addition of the Penguin 4.0 update is the latest way that Google has made the web a safer place and will likely be a major factor in how SEO professionals work to maintain organic rankings in 2017. Of course, search engine optimization (SEO) is a critical component of marketing any website, but a lot of people don’t think about it as much as they should. That’s a shame, because optimizing your website’s user experience (UX) is not just important for SEO, but can also drastically improve the user experience. In fact, some search engines use UX as a ranking signal.

How does UX affect SEO?

When it comes to SEO, it’s easy to focus on the technical aspects—how many keywords to use, how to optimize your content, how to get on the first page of Google, etc. The truth is that you can maximize your search engine optimization just by taking the time to learn how UX affects SEO. Sometimes called User Experience or User Interface, UX is a catch-all term describing how a user interacts with a website, the product, or service. Google has recently highlighted that user experience is an important ranking factor in the search engine’s algorithm, so it’s important to build a website that’s easy to use.

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