User experience can be defined as a person’s overall experience when using a product, system, or service. In the case of websites, UX includes everything from how easy it is to navigate the site and find what you’re looking for to the quality of the content and whether or not the ads are intrusive. As an SEO agency, we’re concerned about UX because of the impact it has on digital marketing. Google has made it clear that SEO and UX are fundamentally linked. There are many points regarding the effect of UX on SEO in terms of ranking factors, but how can SEO practices improve UX?
Why does UX Matter?
User experience matters because it is a key factor in determining whether or not people will continue to use your site. If you provide a positive UX, there are a multitude of benefits, such as a better conversion rate, as well as people being more likely to come back and recommend your site to others. On the other hand, if you have a poor user experience, your site won’t convert, and people may even tell others to avoid it.
Using SEO practices to improve UX
There are several ways to use SEO practices to improve UX. These include:
Making your website easy to read and understand is not only great for search engines but also for your users!
The average reading age in the UK is around nine years old, while most websites are written at a college level. This discrepancy means that much of your website’s content is inaccessible to a significant proportion of your audience.
Making your content more readable will not only improve UX but also increase the chances of people actually finishing reading your articles. It will also make it more likely for people to share your content.
Writing in an accessible style doesn’t mean dumbing down your content – it just means using clear and concise language that everyone can understand.
Try the following tips to make your content more readable:
- Write in short sentences
- Use simplified language
- Separate ideas into clear paragraphs
- Avoid jargon
- Write in an active voice
- Check your punctuation
- Use tools such as Grammarly to proofread your content
Making your content more accessible will help you reach a wider audience and make them more likely to stick around and engage with what you have to say.
You might not think that how you format your content would impact users much, but you’d be surprised! The truth is, how you present your information can make a big difference in how easy it is for people to read and understand it.
People tend to skim-read online, looking for information that is relevant to them. If your content is well-formatted, it will be easier for people to find the information they’re looking for.
Here’s how to format your content correctly:
- Use headings and subheadings to structure your content
- Utilise bullet points or numbered lists for clarity (like these)
- Make use of white space to make your content more digestible
- Highlight key points in bold or italics
- Ensure your font is legible and easy to read
- Break up your text with images, infographics or videos
Cleary formatting your content will help to improve the user experience as it will make your articles easier to read and more visually appealing.
Content Structure and Navigation
Your site’s navigation refers to how easy it is for people to find their way around your website and get to the content they’re looking for. Users who need help navigating your site will likely give up and go elsewhere. For SEO, your site structure and navigation are extremely important and the same is true for UX.
Think about it this way – if you’re looking for a new pair of shoes, would you rather go to a store where the shelves are neatly organised and labelled or one where the shoes are thrown haphazardly around the floor? The former is going to be a much more pleasant experience, right?
The same goes for your website. You must ensure that your content is well-organised and easy to find. A few ways to do this are:
- Ensure your navigation menu is easy to use with a clear hierarchy
- Label your pages and blog posts clearly
- Create an effective sitemap
- Using breadcrumbs to help users keep track of where they are on your site
- Categorise your content so people can find what they’re looking for
- Use internal linking to guide users through your website
- Make use of a search function if you have a lot of content
If you want people to stick around on your website, you need to make sure it’s easy for them to find their way around. In addition, you can provide a much better user experience by structuring your content effectively.
Did you know that 40% of people will abandon a website that takes longer than 3 seconds to load? That’s a pretty big deal!
Your website’s speed is one of the most important factors when it comes to user experience. If your site is slow, people will get frustrated and move elsewhere.
- Optimise your images
- Reduce your redirects
- Caching static content
- Enabling gzip compression
- Minimise HTTP requests
- Use a content delivery network (CDN)
You can use tools such as Google’s PageSpeed Insights to test your website speed and see where you need to make improvements.
Aligning Products and Services to Target Audience
Your target demographic should be at the forefront of your mind when creating content. Therefore, every piece of content you produce should be tailored to your intended audience in some way. In an SEO strategy, we’d think about user intent and relevancy but the same applies when thinking about delivering a good user experience.
You should consider the following:
- Who are they?
- Why are they visiting your website?
- What tone of voice will resonate with them?
- Which topics/products are relevant to them?
- What do they want to achieve?
- How can you help them?
By taking the time to understand your target audience, you can produce content that is relevant and helpful to them. This, in turn, will improve their experience on your website and lead to better conversions. So write your content with your audience in mind, and you’ll be on the right track.
SEO isn’t just about improving your search engine ranking – it’s also about providing a better user experience. If you want people to stick around on your website and convert, you must ensure you’re providing value at every stage of the user journey. From the initial search all the way through to post-purchase, you need to think about how SEO practices can help you improve the experience for your users. If you’d like to learn more about how our SEO services can help grow your business, get in touch!