It’s no secret that Google and other search engines update their algorithms on a regular basis. The goal is to improve search results by giving users what they’re looking for and deliver this content in a pleasing way. So it’s no wonder that the search engines are hyperfocused on user experience as a major ranking factor. Keep reading to learn more about how creating a more meaningful and valuable experience for your users will also help you rank in the search engines.
“People ignore design that ignores people.” (Frank Chimero) Does your website deliver the user experience that you think it does? Click To Tweet
5 SEO Best Practices Based on User Experience
While Google keeps their official list of ranking factors a secret, SEO experts agree there are over 200 signals the major search engine considers. But don’t let that scare you. Focusing on the user experience is a FANTASTIC place to begin your strategy.
Here are 5 SEO best practices based on user experience to get you started.
- Provide useful and engaging content.
- Make sure your website loads quickly.
- Create a site structure and navigation menu that is easy to understand and follow.
- Don’t forget to optimize your mobile experience.
- Stay up to date on how to use keywords effectively in your content.
1) Provide useful and engaging content.
The SERPs (search engine results pages) provide users with answers to questions (or queries). What questions can you answer for your target audience? A quick brainstorm of your customers’ most frequently asked questions is a great place to start. Once you develop this list, you can use keyword research tools to hone in on questions with the most queries. Using the final list of questions, start writing engaging and useful content to answer each one. Posting this content to your blog regularly will help the search engines start to recognize you as a valuable source and expert on your subject matter.
2) Make sure your website loads quickly.
There is nothing more frustrating for a user than a website that won’t load. Optimizing your page speed is the first step to keeping visitors on your site. You can have a beautiful website with highly engaging content and still fail to rank if users get impatient waiting for it to load. If you’re not sure how to test and optimize page speed, ask a digital marketer for help.
3) Create a site structure and navigation menu that is easy to understand and follow.
You have to guide users through your website. Make it easy for them. The less they have to think about where to go, the better. What is the most logical flow for your sitemap? Which pages do you want users to visit the most? Make sure your sitemap and navigation are easy to understand and follow and use strategic signals to guide your user – such as a bright red or orange button for your call-to-action.
4) Don’t forget to optimize your mobile experience.
If your site is not yet optimized for mobile devices, do it NOW! This is especially crucial for industries where users are more likely to search on a mobile device than a desktop. If you’re in real estate, for example, it’s highly likely that your target audience is searching on a smartphone while driving around looking for houses. With Google’s most recent mobile-centered update, sites not optimized for mobile simply won’t rank in the mobile SERPs.
5) Stay up to date on how to use keywords in your content.
While the way we use keywords has evolved, keyword research and optimization is still a big deal for SEOs. Learning how to use keywords effectively in your content is crucial to any SEO strategy. You will want to avoid keyword stuffing and keyword cannibalization. But you also want to be sure you are using synonyms and semantically-related words to create robust content that thoroughly addresses the related search.
Great User Experience & SEO: You Can’t Have One Without the Other
As you can see, user experience and SEO go hand in hand. Major search engines like Google and Bing are dedicated to improving the quality of search. The user experience is important and begins with the web design process.
Not sure you can keep pace with best practices for SEO and user experience? Want to be sure you have a user-centered design? Our team of SEOs can help! We follow every update and algorithm change so you don’t have to. Contact us to learn more about how our digital marketing team can help you find your momentum and gain visibility in the search engine results.