How to perfectly balance SEO and user experience : Here are the best tips

 16 Jan, 2020

“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 : 

  • The line between SEO and user experience is blurring : SEO and UX were two different facets. UX was considered more of a marketing strategy whereas SEO was mainly for search engines and rankings. Now, as the algorithms consider the user’s perspective, it focuses more on the context of the query rather than the query itself. Thus, these two are interlinked. 
  • Focusing more on bounce rate : The bounce rate represents the number of users who leave the site rather than continuing to read till the end. It should be as little as possible. 
  • Focusing more on time on site : The time on site can be defined as the amount of time a user spends on a page of your website. The ranking will also depend on this factor. If the user spends a good amount of time on your page, then, voila! You’ve successfully managed to grab their attention and create a positive effect on your ranking. 

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. 

How to balance SEO and user experience:

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. 

how to balance seo and user expereince

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?

keyword research

  • Understand searcher’s perspective: Based on the keyword analysis, you can understand what the searchers think about your service/product. This might provide more information and give you some insight about the kind of focus you need to use. 
  • Understand searcher’s motives: This is tricky business and you need to be cautious when trying to understand the motive of the searcher based on the keyword. Important decisions can be based on this information. For example, trying to understand if they are looking for methods or looking to hire agents to do the work can be difficult to understand from a two-word keyword. Thus, choose better keywords to understand the motives. 
  • Understand the solutions searchers are looking for : You can also know the problems the searchers might be facing or the queries they might be having. By understanding such issues, you can try to solve those with better UX and thus, a good ranking.

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 web design

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: 

  • Pay attention to title tags: You have very less space for title tags and thus, you need to use it wisely. It should be adding proper value along with the URL and should match the intent of the searcher. 
  • URLs: Along with title tags, pay attention to your URLs. They should be short, clean and well descriptive. It should be healthy in terms of keywords but shouldn’t be stuffed with it. It should be simple and easy for users and spiders to understand and comprehend.
  • Meta description: It should not be focused on keywords. It is the first snippet of the service/product that you offer. Thus, it should be enticing from a user’s perspective. This will also give you a proper traffic rate.

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! 

cta is important

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 :

  • To make sure that the time on site is proper and they don’t leave the site quickly, make your paragraphs short and sweet. Just space them out and form short paragraphs and give the readers space to think before moving to the next point. 
  • The content should be interactive. Make sure that questions are included and the content is written from the user’s perspective. This will definitely improve user experience but also the SEO rankings. This is because, as voice search is becoming more and more popular, the queries are going to be questioned. Thus, your page might get ranked on a good spot if you follow this strategy. 
  • Stick to your topic. The user clicked on your website for a reason and because they found something in the title. Thus, keep close to that topic and create the content by understanding the motive of the user. 
  • Make sure to state your point swiftly and not beat around the bush. Sentences that are too long will create unnecessary confusion. It doesn’t mean that your content needs to be short and boring. It means precise. So instead of beating around the bush, get straight to the point.

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!

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