The importance of UX in any SEO strategy: Why rankings aren’t everything
“If we can get them to No. 1 in 3 months our job is done and everyone’s a winner.”
Okay, we might have made that quote up, but it probably sounds familiar to many SEO agencies and businesses out there.
It’s a huge generalisation but there’s also a strong element of truth in it. Many agencies still operate on the quick win mentality, without fully considering where that brand sits in the marketplace and what opportunities can be encompassed as part of a broad SEO strategy.
This is where UX comes in. How do we place this in the context of SEO? According to Search Engine Journal:
“UX optimisation is nothing more than focusing on the visitor. Everything we do in the sphere of web marketing has to have the visitor in mind. Yes, we do certain things for search engines, but search engines (almost always) require those things because they have learned it’s what their users (searchers) want.”
In essence, UX designers cater to the user by building with wireframes, dynamic interactions and memorable storytelling. It all begins with a deep empathy for the user as if they are literally entering your shopfront for the very first time.
UX begins on the results page
Many brands spend a lot of time crafting imaginative title tags, page descriptions, H1s and H2s that not only suit their tone-of-voice and unique personality, but also indicate exactly what a user can expect from the site and proceeding content.
In our experience, you can definitely get a lift in site traffic when you invest time in creating eye-catching and entertaining page descriptions and page titles. A competitor may rank higher, but a highly clickable, memorable search result can be the smartest SEO strategy for your clients. And if it moves them closer to their true needs you’ll probably reduce bounce rates along the way.
Over optimisation is not good UX
A user first mentality should naturally flow into your SEO strategy, not the other way around. If you’re looking to spike a page with some popular or new search terms you just unearthed, be careful that you’re not ruining the on page experience. Yes, these elements are important, but if your page layout and graphical elements feel cluttered or repetitive you’ll likely confuse and frustrate a user.
A balance of UX & SEO
It should be common sense to say that websites that do a better job of meeting a user’s needs will stand a better chance of landing on the first page of the search results. Right?
Yes, and no. Although Google has come a long way over the past few years with its user-centric algorithms, there are still myriad ways to “game” results and in the process cheat users out of what they’re specifically searching for or want from the page they click on.
In the end, UX should never be a by-product of successful SEO strategies. If UX ultimately drives any site you’re working with, it will stand the test of time and build better organic traffic and business growth for clients.
About the author
Billy Robinson – Co-founder & Senior Strategist of Synq Digital
Billy brings nearly a decade’s experience in the digital space, helping clients achieve amazing things online. A passionate communicator with a very curious nature, he once studied to become an Aquaculture Technician before turning his sights on PPC and SEO.