There is a common misconception that SEO is all about link building and using the right keywords in the content you create. If only things were as simple as that!
One of the most important factors that affect the way your website ranks in searches is often explained with the term “user experience.”
The concept itself is too elusive to quantify and involves different elements that are, by now, already enrolled in best SEO practices.
If you’re a novice in this area and want to boost the rankings of your small business website, read on to discover how user experience fits into SEO.
Why UX is Important for Your Rankings?
Although the effects of user experience on SEO may be difficult to measure, the fact is that Google is training its algorithm to track what your website visitors like, consequently rewarding websites that provide a smooth and seamless experience with much higher rankings.
The main goal of Google, as well as the other search engines, is to direct the users to the best possible answer to their searches.
When matching the query with the results, they’ll use the content and the keywords you provide. Search engines will also check the quality of your backlinks, as these show just how credible and trustworthy your content is – if authority sources link back to your website, you’ll score higher rankings as they, in a way, vouch for the quality of your content.
However, when ranking your content, the search engine won’t stop there – it is looking for the perfect combination of the high-quality answer to the query and the experience their users will have on a website they visit.
Google Rank Brain, a smart algorithm driven by behavior metrics – pages per session, dwell time, bounce rate and organic CTR was introduced back in 2015, to inform the search engine giant whether users enjoy the website experience.
To make things simple – if your prospects visit your website often, spend time exploring pages and easily browse through your website, the search engine will receive signals that they like what they’re getting.
On the other hand, if your visitors leave your webpage as soon as they open it and return to the search page, it’s a clear signal that they don’t get what they’re looking for.
Besides, your users want exactly what they came for – a relevant and useful answer to their query.
Here are a few things you can do to boost the experience of your users.
- Optimize for Speed
Your users don’t want to waste their time waiting for the pages to load. As a matter of fact, loading speed directly influences the bounce rate – a delay of up to 3 seconds has a very low bounce rate of only 32%, while each second more triples the chances that your visitor will bounce. And if they bounce, they’re surely not satisfied, and your rankings will drop.
There are some free tools, such as Google Speed Test, that you can use to check the loading speed of your webpages and find out what to improve in order to make it faster.
Some general suggestions for increasing the speed of your webpages are:
▪ Optimize the size of the images on your webpages
▪ use a CDN (content delivery network)
▪ enable compression on your website
▪ enable caching.
- Make Your Content Mobile-Friendly
Mobile accounts for half of the web traffic worldwide, so the Google algorithm gives preference to mobile-friendly websites.
In order to provide your mobile users with a smooth browsing experience, make sure all your content is responsive when viewed on smartphones and tablets.
You can use free tools such as Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, and check whether you need to make any adjustments in order to boost your search rankings and your traffic.
If you’re considering building and designing your own small business website, keep in mind that making it mobile-friendly is not a matter of choice but a necessity.
- Use Simple Navigation
Your visitors’ journey through your website should run intuitively, without any doubts or interruptions. Everything should be designed in a clear and simple way so that your visitors don’t have to spend any time wondering what their next step should be, or how to perform it.
Also, make sure you keep advertising to the minimum, as none of your users will be happy with pop-up ads interfering with their actions, and your ratings will fall.
- Use Interactive Chatbots
The latest technology applications, coming in the form of AI-powered chatbots, can significantly boost the experience of your users.
These chatbots have the potential to transform a simple website visit into a fully engaging experience, during which your users will be able to get all the information they need, exactly at the moment they need it, without having to wait your working hours to begin, or your customer service rep to answer. This will boost their user experience, their satisfaction with the service that you’re offering, and significantly, improve your rankings.
By using these user experience related SEO tips, you will positively influence your search rankings and your website visibility, and subsequently, bring more traffic, and hopefully, more conversions.
Michael has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael’s work at Qeedle.