User experience and SEO need each other.
To get people to your website, you need to have a solid on-page and offpage SEO foundation. Without a solid SEO foundation, you’ll be missing out on a massive segment of users who would otherwise be finding your website organically.
To keep people on your website, you need to create a strong online user experience. Without a solid online user experience, users will be leaving your website and this will in-turn send negative signals to search engines likes Google.
Like a never-ending life cycle, online user experience and SEO work together to make sure that people get to your website and stay once they have arrived.
User experience and SEO working together
To support the statement that user experience and SEO work together, let’s look at some examples that illustrate how these two affect each other.
A good user experience will almost always result in a lower bounce rate. Although it is not a full consensus in the digital marketing community that bounce rate is an SEO ranking factor, it is agreed upon that a poor bounce rate is a bad sign for SEO.
A good user experience will result in users spending a longer time spent on the website and increased page views. We know that search engines look at these types of metrics when deciding which content is relevant and high quality enough to distribute to users. One common problem that websites encounter is something called ‘pogo sticking.’ This is where the user immediately backs off the page once they land on it. This is something that search engines track.
In fact, user experience and engagement are often cited as one of the most important ways to rank in 2017.
A good user experience will require website speed to be as optimized as possible. Users are impatient, the longer it takes for a page to load, the higher page abandonment will be. Not only that, but search engines are increasingly using website speed as a critical ranking factor.
A good user experience will require a website to include relevant keywords that work as signals to the user that they are in the place they were looking for. Making sure you use the keywords you are trying to rank for has been an SEO pillar since its inception.
A good user experience includes a website with a responsive design that functions well across all devices. Users expect to have a seamless experience between all their devices and so do search engines. Google has even begun to test a mobile-first index when deciding what results to show.
A good user experience helps your website build quality backlinks. When users have a good experience on your website, they’ll start using your website a reference point for the industry which can result in high quality, organic backlink generation if it is linked to by these users.
In the end, it is more important to be satisfying your company’s user and their experience rather than trying to satisfy Google’s algorithm.
This is because search engines have the same goal as you do: To give users the most relevant, useful content as possible. They want to make sure that rankings are based on the experience users have when they arrive on a website. As time goes on, search engines are becoming more and more skilled at executing this.
User experience and SEO are closer than ever. Make sure to understand your target user and tailor the online experience to them – and you’ll see your business and search engine rankings improve.