“People ignore design that ignores people.” As said by Frank Chimero, if designs are created without considering the needs and requirements of people, they will simply ignore it and move on to the next one. And so do search engines. Gone are the days when stuffing keywords and building irrelevant links would get you that first spot you so badly wanted. And now you know that this strategy will just cause your site to get plainly ignored by the search engines.
So, if you belong to the group of people trying to crack the constant algorithm updates or the ones still using these strategies and only focusing on the keywords and thus experiencing poor SEO results, you are in luck – we have all the answers for you. So, the question on your mind would be, what is the solution? To balance SEO and user experience.
If not us, take it from Steve Jobs – “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backward to the technology”. This is what gains maximum results and puts you out there. In this age, user experience is one of the most valued parameters. And thus, to be one step ahead of all the algorithm updates, keep your focus on user experience and you’re all set. How do you do that, you ask? Keep reading.
The need of the hour :
Let’s start with the importance of maintaining this balance. SEO, as you well know, depends on a lot of factors and the constant updates require you to be on your toes. So, how important can this one strategy be?
Earlier, the major criteria used by search engines to rank a website were keyword density which, as we all know, led to poor content which deteriorated the user experience and hence the growth of any company.
This led to search engines updating the algorithms and eventually led to SEO agents focusing more on user experience. The constant updates of the algorithm are proof enough that all the updates majorly point towards better user experience :
But this is a tricky business as, if an average user spends a lot of time on your site, then it could also mean that your page is confusing and faulty. So, the users should spend an optimum amount of time on the page.
Here, we have mentioned some of the best strategies to balance SEO and user experience to get the best results and rankings. But, be sure to choose only those strategies which are apt for your line of business and needs.
Keyword research is not out of the game! : One of the biggest mistakes made by SEO analysts is to sideline keyword research. Although the focus is taken away from it, it still remains to be one of the most essential parameters. Along with being a measure to get ranked, you can also gather information to make the user experience better. How, you ask?
Make sure it’s responsive design: Google, in 2015, got this into the fold. How responsive the design is, has proved to be a very important factor for the rankings since then. Thus, make it a point to ensure that the website is mobile responsive for a better SEO ranking.
Responsive website designs are the new way to minimize your efforts. Instead of making various websites, if you properly create a responsive design, that’s all you need. This also proves to be one of the best features for UX and thus, the bounce rate will also be less. Consistent and extraordinary user experience is achieved through this.
It is also one of the best and most effective marketing strategies currently being used. If your website is not optimized for mobile, then it will have a huge negative effect when it comes to SEO rankings and traffic.
Keep it simple: How many times have you come across a website too difficult to understand and seems to be designed for aliens with much greater powers? Yes, we all get frustrated and click that back button in less than a second. Thus, the design and interface of the website is a very important parameter to consider.
While designing the website, you need to keep in mind that it should be designed for an average common user. Keeping their perspective in mind will help you to design a much better and user-optimized website. The design should be easy to understand and simple to handle. This will ensure a better UX and thus, the bounce rate will be less. Hence, the ranking will also be good.
Make them click! : Yes, the ranking matters. But somehow if you just manage to end up on the first page, you might have a chance to out-do the site ranked first.
Think about it – Hasn’t a site with a catchy headline caught your eye? It might not have been the site that was ranked first. Thus, you can easily use various methods to rank your website on the first page and urge the users to click on your website link.
You need to make your listing catchy and use content that will force them to click on your website’s link. Here are some of the things you need to pay attention to:
CTAs: CTAs are one of the most important features. Thus, you need to properly make it visible. It is a common trend to just push these down and mention it somewhere in the corner of the website. Or worse, you only mention it once on the homepage and in the internal pages, there is no mention of it!
So, for a better ranking and also a better UX, make it a point to mention these multiple times at multiple locations. It should be enticing enough that the readers would click on it.
According to studies, only 45% of the websites have CTAs that can be spotted in less than 4 secs. Thus, make it a point to include these in a simple way which will grab the attention of the user and also mention it in internal pages.
Content optimization: Now that we have handled the design and the interface, let’s talk about another important thing- content. Just dumping a lot of content and writing endless paragraphs on the same thing will make the readers lose their interest. So, keep these points in mind to ensure that the content is properly optimized :
Visual content is the key : Visual content is easier for the audience to grasp. Thus, it is one of the best ways used to increase the UX. Adding visuals can hold a reader’s attention and keep them interested and sometimes, helps them to understand the point in a better way.
On top of this, as the search engines are becoming more and more adept at understanding this type of content via transcripts etc., it will be beneficial with respect to SEO. You can also target video results as well as image results in search engines.
Thus, use as many visuals as you can. Be it pictures, videos or anything you can imagine.
To sum it up:
Websites are judged by your potential clients within 0.05 seconds. Thus, you have to give your best and be at the top of your game. The ranking of your website, SEO, and even the ultimate success of the company depends on how your customers feel about your sites. Thus, bridging the gap between user experience and SEO is the answer to quick success. So, fasten your belts and get to work.
So, what are you waiting for? These are a few of the best practices to shoot up your ranking and conversion rates. Start using this strategy and we assure you that you’ll observe results in no time, with you being able to bag that first spot with no extra pressure. We hope that this article has helped broaden as well as improving your perspective. We wish you the best, rooting for your success!