Search engine optimization (SEO) and user experience (UX) are both well-known concepts in digital marketing, but most people perceive them as totally independent and unrelated to each other.
The former is extremely important because 93% of all traffic comes from a search engine, while 60% of clicks go to the top three websites in Google results. On the other side, UX also plays a major role since almost 40% of users stop engaging if they find the content or layout of a website shabby and tatty.
However, the truth is that you can’t discuss the SEO strategy without mentioning UX and vice versa. In this post, we will explain to you six ways to combine the two concepts.
SEO and UX Explained
If you want to understand how search engines work, you have to start from the basics. By definition, SEO is the practice of increasing the quantity and the quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.
At the same time, UX encompasses all aspects of the user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products. In other words, SEO is all about doing your best to allow users to find your website via search engines, while UX serves to engage the audience and inspire them to spend more time consuming content on your site.
Since both practices strongly influence your ranking, it is clear that you need to pair them in order to maximize the SEO potential of your website.
6 Tricks to Integrate SEO with UX Successfully
Now that you realize the importance of combining SEO and UX, the real question is how to mix the two components most efficiently. It’s a delicate and time-consuming process, but it all comes down to the six distinct actions that can boost your search engine ranking. Here are those moves:
1. Website navigation
Website navigation is an anchor of UX, so you must create an interface that is both simple and intuitive. The site is supposed to have a logical architecture and allow users to find the desired features effortlessly. In order to achieve this, keep the design consistent across all levels of your website.
You should clearly divide different categories by highlighting and separating the headings of each one. Needless to say, headings must be clickable to allow users to enter the targeted page. Besides that, make sure to add a search menu within your site to help users find the missing items quickly.
2. Content structure
Your website needs a logical structure, but the same goes for the very content you are publishing. Each post must have one main heading and several H2 or H3 titles to allow search engine crawlers and users to detect your content easily.
Don’t write dense and long paragraphs, but rather divide the text into several smaller units with enough whitespace in between. That way, articles become more readable, scannable, and eye-pleasing, thus improving the overall UX.
Keep in mind that users visit your website because they want to learn something or solve a concrete problem. Therefore, you should offer them practical suggestions with short but actionable tips which they can use immediately upon reading.
3. Content quality
There are many ways to enhance your SEO and UX strategy, but content creation still remains the most important factor in this process. Even if you design the most beautiful website with tons of simple but practical features, most users will abandon it if they see a poorly written content.
Gone are the days when you could earn the first page of Google search results with short but keyword-rich posts. Today, the average first-page result on Google contains 1,890 words.
This also means you cannot bombard people with sales messages. Instead, try to follow the 80/20 writing pattern by publishing 80% of educational posts and only 20% of sales-related articles.
Did you know that users are five times more likely to abandon a task if a site isn’t optimized for mobile? With the number of smartphones growing constantly over the last few years, mobile-friendliness is becoming increasingly important for the SEO and UX success of your website.
For this reason, you have to embrace the mobile-first mindset and ensure immaculate UX across all devices. Mobile design is a huge topic of its own, but here are some of the things you can do:
Reduce fill-in forms
Highlight important items such as CTA buttons and shopping carts
Use images very carefully and put them where they don’t bother users
Keep the font a little larger and make it clearly visible
Simplify navigation even more for the mobile experience
5. Improve page load speed
The typical user expects your website to load within three seconds. Anything more than that is too much, so you better make sure to improve page load speed immediately. Fortunately, dozens of online tools can help you with this.
Pingdom is one of the most popular website speed test that can show you the page load time, analyze it, and find bottlenecks. You just need to enter the URL in the search box and Pingdom will reveal website load time, the overall performance grade, and give suggestions on how to improve performance.
6. Don’t forget metadata
The last item on our list is well-known for a while now, but that’s exactly why people neglect this element of SEO very often. The principle is simple here: the better the metadata, the higher the website traffic.
Use the most relevant keywords to write perfect page titles, meta descriptions, and keyword tags. Besides that, don’t forget to tag images and videos to enable search engines to find other media formats and not just textual content.
Most webmasters know the value of SEO and UX, but they rarely ever plan and analyze the two strategies simultaneously. The truth is that you can’t approach them separately, but rather find a way to make them work together.
In this post, we discussed how and why these two concepts overlap, and we also showed you six ways to combine them. Keep our suggestions in mind and don’t hesitate to use them when creating content – it could drastically improve the ranking of your website.
Serena Dorf is a social media savvy Los Angeles-based content writer at EssayOnTime. She is interested in marketing, writing, and public speaking. In her free time, she is reading classic American literature and learning Swedish. You can find her on Twitter.