At the time I started my career as a Software Professional, SEO was simple. We used to stuff keywords here and there in the page content and meta tags and we ranked number one. Now, Google changed the algorithms and takes hundreds of factors into account when determining which pages rank high in search engine results pages (SERPs).
As per my observation, the major thing we should consider now is: USER EXPERIENCE
If you look at Google Trends, the term “UX” is officially at the breakout point, which means searches for this term have grown over thousands of % in the last few years.
The SEO industry is now full of articles on UX and SEO which is certainly a good thing, I too want to post my observations and recommendations here. It’s SEO that may lead traffic to the site and help it reach a higher position on SERPs, but it’s UX that will determine whether the traffic can be maintained and converted into the set goals.
Here are some common website elements that impact both Search Engine Optimization and User Experience:
Easy navigation and site structure
It may seem crazy that we’re still talking about easy site navigation… but we are. There are way too many sites out there that simply don’t get it. Remember that many of your visitors will not enter your site through your home page. This means that your site needs to be easy to navigate — no matter which pages a searcher (or search engine crawler) lands on.
- Navigation affects traffic: how high you’ll rank, how much traffic you’ll get from search
- Navigation affects conversions: how easy the site is to use, what percentage of visitors convert into leads and customers
Your site structure is not only important for your users, but it’s your site’s roadmap for the search engines, too. So, consider that the site’s navigation is not the place for a long list of options or a place of dead ends where the user doesn’t know how to get back to another section of your site or get back to your home page.
Take a look at a popular Media Company’s menu overtakes the screen — on both desktop and mobile — when the menu is clicked:
With the menu literally filling the entire screen, a user can’t read the content that’s underneath the navigation. This creates a very poor user experience. When people are on mobile devices, chances are they won’t have the patience to deal with menus like this. Additionally, a clean site navigation and structure can also lead to sitelinks appearing in Google search results.
Only use one h1 tag on a page — that lets search engines and users know the page’s primary focus. Other headers (h2 through h6) should follow h1s to structure and organize the rest of the page appropriately.
Also, consider all the following UX Factors in Analysis in-order to benefit SEO.
User signals, Site speed, Mobile experience, Creating content for the users, Readability, Visual appeal, Retain users, Sharability
Thus, every site trying to improve its performance through UX and SEO should offer:
- Easy to use structure and simple and effective navigation
- Optimisation of text and images to please both users and search engines
- Attractive design that focuses on accessibility
- Clear call-to-action
But what do you think? Do you think of your site’s users when you are creating content? What is your balance between SEO factors and UX factors? You can share your views through the comments section.