Companies around the world are investing in the synergy between SEO and UX, to capture the attention of their website visitors and stand out in an increasingly crowded digital world.
For many years, being among the top search engines was synonymous with repeatedly using keywords and performing aggressive link building, focused solely on the number of links.
However, changes in algorithms and user behavior have shaken the strategy and made companies move out of their comfort zone.
Thus SEO gained a brother: the UX. In this post, I will tell you how the two combine to retain users and make your website experience highly positive.
SEO and UX: what are these concepts about?
In order for us to delve into the link between SEO and UX, I will first explain the concepts to you individually so that you better understand where we are going.
SEO ( Search Engine Optimization )
The Search Engine Optimization , or Spanish, Optimization for Search Engines , covers a range of actions implemented in web pages to achieve good positions in the list of search engine results.
SEO focuses its efforts on influencing the artificial intelligence responsible for analyzing and evaluating the quality of a website to index and rank it on the results pages.
This analysis bases its results on technical characteristics , such as the optimization of keywords , number of links, friendly URLs, etc., and usability characteristics , such as content format, page load time, if it has a responsive design , among others.
UX ( User Experience )
The UX carries its actions centralized in the user . Everything revolves around the experience that people have when interacting with a product, service or brand .
How do users react when going through a certain experience? How can it be improved to make it more enjoyable? These are the main questions that the discipline has the effect of answering.
Through the UX, companies seek to solve the problems of their users through a functional interface and, at the same time, attractive in terms of accessibility, design and content.
Why SEO and UX come together in a web positioning strategy?
If something has been very evident in SEO today, it is that it is not about technology, but about people.
Professionals in the area have perceived that, gradually, search engines raised their gaze to the behavior of users to understand what really gives them value, worrying about offering their readers the best possible experience.
Thus, algorithms that track websites began to take into account metrics that are directly related to the user experience, such as:
- loading speed;
- residence time on the page;
- rejection or rebound rate;
- CTR (ratio of impressions to clicks).
These numbers, based on user behavior, translate if people are finding what they are looking for and if what they find is easy and pleasant to consume.
In a practical example: if a user navigates effortlessly between the pages of your website, interacts with your links, performs actions and stays long on the site, search engine artificial intelligence understands that you offer a good user experience and It favors your ranking, giving you higher positions.
The 7 facets of user experience in SEO
In order for you to understand more precisely the relationship between the two terms, I have brought a concept well known within the UX and developed by Peter Morville, president of Semantic Studios.
According to Morville, 7 components are necessary for a good user experience, which can be applied in the optimization of a website. Are they:
- Useful : the content of a web page must serve someone.
- Usable : the page must be user-friendly and deliver what the user expects.
- Desirable : the website must present elements (images, identity, brand, sounds, animations) that are visually attractive and that encourage action, a factor closely related to the UI ( User Interface ).
- Searchable : Simply put, this is the goal of SEO – to make users find you easily and conveniently.
- Accessible : the site must be accessible to all users, regardless of the conditions they are in.
- Valuable : content developed on a website must offer value to users.
- Credible : the website must convey authority on the subject so that users trust the content developed.
What are the benefits of delivering a good UX?
If you have come this far, you already know that the user experience is directly related to search engine positioning, however, this is not the only benefit provided by the User Experience .
The positive interaction of users with your website will give them a feeling of satisfaction that will improve public perception of your brand .
In addition, when we talk about online business, sales are another segment that enjoys the advantages of UX, since good usability has a direct impact on the conversion rate .
In the long term, the user experience provides a reduction in costs with customer service , since visitors will be able to access information and meet their objective easily and intuitively, without the need to consult help services .
What SEO and UX flaws should you avoid on your website?
So that you avoid making some basic mistakes, I listed the main ones that you should know so that you do not harm the creation of your website from the beginning.
Don’t think like your user
This error is usually the most common during the creation of a website. Keep in mind: the website you are developing is not for you, but for the audience of your business .
It is they who dictate how you should present the information and content of your page according to their preferences and browsing behaviors.
In order for you to understand your user, you must first know who is really interested in what you offer. “Who do we design for?” Should be your key question. Using buyer persona creation techniques will help you answer it.
An example of a website that did not give the user the leading role is RyanAir, which hides the button “I do not want travel insurance” in a difficult to find place on its ticket reservation page.
Create your website without responsive design
Just look around for a few minutes to understand the importance of adaptive design. People are continuously online. The ease of entering the web via mobile has transformed this resource into the main connection element.
According to Adobe, on average, users open their mobile every 5.6 minutes during the day . What would happen if these people tried to enter your page and failed to view it?
A research Think With Google , it has shown that 52% of users are less likely to interact with a company that has a responsive design . A fairly relevant number.
Access on mobile devices requires special attention. Users (and search engines) want to find information in an agile way, and using the same design applied to the desktop can transform that experience into something extremely annoying.
For that reason, don’t stop thinking about simple and smart design decisions for your audience’s mobile browsing.
In addition, 58% of searches on Google are made from mobile devices, so leaving technical optimization aside for smartphones is a serious mistake.
Ensuring successful navigation of your website and increasing the possibility of appearing among the first results is only possible if you study your metrics well and, of course, take action based on the results they demonstrate.
Google Analytics comprises a large amount of data so you can do this analysis.
According to the SEMRush ranking , the search engine ranking is mainly related to 3 UX metrics:
Users who have entered by typing the URL of your website directly in the browser bar.
Time on page
How long users stay on your site once they login.
Pages per session
How many pages a user enters and reads each time they enter your website.
These numbers show if the public is having a good experience according to the SEO and UX techniques you have applied or if you should make any changes.
For example, if you notice that people are not staying long enough on your home page, some factors may be causing the problem, such as:
- the classification keyword is not related to your products or services ;
- there is too much information on the page, which can confuse your visitors;
- CTA (call to action) buttons are unclear;
- your page is inaccessible from mobile devices;
- among others.
There are many reasons that can harm the user experience, which brings us to the next point.
There are always things to improve and adaptations to do depending on the behavior of your audience, and for that reason the tests are so fundamental. They are the only way to discover what works and is well accepted by the user and what is not.
Test the position of the buttons, the titles, the location of the products, the colors used and so on. And of course, make sure you keep track of what you’re testing, documenting the changes to analyze the results.
How to retain users with the help of SEO and UX?
Make suitable and attractive titles
The titles of a web page (also known as heading tags H1, H2, H3, among others), guide visitors through the content and are a way to show the algorithm of search engines what is the purpose of your website .
Thus they create a logical hierarchy, organizing the content and making reading much easier, both for users and for the artificial intelligence of search engines.
To use the titles properly, it is recommended to apply the H1 tag near the top of the web page. Be sure to include keywords in it. Only one H1 header per page should be used, respecting good design and accessibility practices.
Use the other headings, from H2 to H6, to organize the structure of your page.
They should be in chronological order so that site readers and algorithms can accurately identify the content of your website.
Produces effective calls to action
Call-to-Actions , or Spanish calls to action, are essential text or visual elements if you want your visitors to carry out some type of interaction on your website , such as downloading content, making a purchase or subscribing to your newsletter .
Many web pages still leave their visitors without understanding or knowing what to do while browsing and end up damaging the experience.
For that reason, choosing the best type of CTA makes all the difference, so factors like size, color, text, visual identity, and position need to be carefully considered.
Provides intuitive and natural navigation
Navigation is a crucial part. A full website of information is useless if users cannot access it. Navigation should be intuitive and natural, so that users can find what they are looking for without spending too much time thinking about where to click.
When organizing the structure of your website, consider using navigation bars or drop-down menus , in case it is a more robust site. In addition to making navigation easier, they help in indexing in search engines .
For a user to find the information they want, it is indicated that they do not need to give more than four clicks. Keeping that structure simple also makes it easier for search engines to read.
Exploring new content formats , such as interactive ones , are also an excellent alternative to retain the attention of your visitors and make their browsing even more captivating.
Increase loading speed
Search engines like Google have already announced that website speed is a very important ranking factor, especially in the mobile experience.
According to CrazyEgg data, 53% of the time, mobile site visitors leave a page that takes more than three seconds to load.
There are many tools that allow you to analyze the speed of a page, such as Google’s PageSpeed Insights .
By inserting the URL, the resource measures how the website can improve its performance and provides concrete suggestions to reduce page load time.
The truth is only one: if you want to please search engines, you must please users, and it is precisely for this reason that SEO and UX go hand in hand to create a successful experience.
Don’t forget that in this strategy, it’s all about testing and getting to know your audience in depth.
The more effort you put into the small details and usability of your website, the greater the probability that you will enchant the users of your brand.
If you want to further optimize the experience of your visitors, enter this post and discover the power of words in a User Experience strategy : get to know UX Writing !