When we optimise websites for SEO, we structure layouts and content in ways that satisfy Google’s algorithms, but what about user experience?
In fact, user experience is very important for SEO, because Google and other search engines rely on a variety of metrics that measure UX when determining a page’s value. In other words, when you make your page visitors happy, you make Google happy too! Continue reading to learn why UX is so important for SEO and what you can do to improve yours.
Why is UX important for SEO
User experience impacts your website’s metrics, and in turn your SEO value, in several ways.
- Bounce rate – Bounce rate is the percentage of your website visitors who exit before visiting any other pages. A ‘bounce’ could result from poor user experience on your site, e.g. if visitors are put off by the overall look and feel of the landing page or if they are unable to find the information they’re looking for.
- Click–through rate – Click-through rate (CTR) refers to the ratio of people who have clicked on your search results versus those who have seen it. This can be influenced by users who return to your site over and over through search engines, all because they are pleased with your site’s UX.
- Dwell time – This is the average amount of time that users spend on a page before either backing out or ending the session. Dwell time is one of the key indicators that visitors are satisfied with their online experience.
- Pages per session – Users who are finding what they’re looking for are more likely to continue to other pages on your site. The average number of pages your users visit is measured as pages per session.
- Above the fold – Users shouldn’t have to scroll down to find the most basic content on a page. The fold refers to the imaginary line on your web page, and above that is what’s visible as soon as the page loads. If the most important information on your page is below the fold—or hidden from view when users first click through to the page—they may bounce rather than go looking for it. Google considers this so important that they prioritise content above the fold when crawling pages to determine that page’s quality score.
UX practices for better search rankings
Follow these practices to make meaningful improvements to your user experience that will benefit your search rankings:
- Create multiple landing pages for people searching different relevant keywords – Be sure to include informative and engaging content on these landing pages that includes these target keywords and will satisfy users’ search intent
- Draft concise and helpful meta titles and descriptions for each page – This ensures that users who find you in search results know what to expect when they click through to your page.
- Provide the most important information above the fold – Your pages should feature your H1 heading (keyword included) and introductory text above the fold, so users are never confused about where they are.
- Boost site speed – Condense image sizes so that your pages load quickly. Slow load times are one of the leading causes of high bounce rates. Here’s a page speed guide with actionable tips.
- Streamline navigation – Your site needs multiple pages to target a wider range of keywords and help you appear in more search results, but you must also make sure users can get from one page on your site to any other page with just one click.
Need more SEO help?
When it comes to SEO, it pays to talk to the experts. Talk to a SEO agency and they can give you professional advice on how to improve your website’s performance.