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The Very Basics of SEO and UX

The Very Basics of SEO and UX: Why is it Important?

29/01/2018 - SEO Basics

2 Minute read

The Very Basics of SEO and UX: Why is it Important?

For SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) to work, the UX (User Experience) of your site needs to be effective. This blog will outline the fundamentals of these two marketing principles and why they’re so important if you want to rank high in Google searches. Additionally, it will highlight what to do to keep the users of your website as satisfied as possible.

UX

Does the site make the user feel excited? Is it functional and easily operated? Or does it not live up to the expectations? You guessed it! User experience is all about how a user experiences a website. It’s about the thoughts and feelings that the product or service evokes in the user.

UX or Usability?

UX is about more than just being usable; it’s about providing a website that is above and beyond user expectations. For example, a great user experience will be aesthetically pleasing and will feel incredibly satisfying to use. On the other hand, a website could be usable and straightforward to operate, but provide little in terms of user satisfaction. As a result, something can be usable but leave a lot to be desired with regards to user experience. Despite this, both terms are often used interchangeably and describe the ease with which a visitor uses your site.

Take Bamboo’s website for example, even without the illustrations/images and colour it would be very usable. We want it to be more than that though and these add to the user’s overall experience. This is the fundamental difference between the two.

Why is UX Important in Improving SEO?

Search engines always look to provide people with the best results related to their searches. Whilst content is important, both user experience and usability are huge factors in determining what appears.

For instance, if a person wants to buy new furniture they could search ‘furniture stores’. The results would be the likes of IKEA and Baker and Stonehouse as these are the search engines best suggestions. Their company websites provide the excellent usability as well as a great user experience.

There may be independent shops across the nation that sell better quality and better value for money products than the top results, but their sites may be slow, unsafe and ultimately provide a poor user experience. Therefore, the search engine won’t consider them the best result.

How Do Google Determine Best Results?

Google uses a range of methods to determine the quality of user experience, for example, site speed; mobile friendliness; the structure of content and the internal and external linking of pages.

Additionally, Google uses user signals the gage a user’s experience in relation to particular websites. These are behavioural patterns that Google sees on sites. For example, if large proportions of people tend to leave your website very quickly, it implies that they haven’t found what they were looking for. Time spent on your website and how often people return are other user signals Google have identified. If these are high, it is likely people enjoyed their experience on the site or found it useful. Google Analytics is a way of checking your sites statistics, so check it out as it can highlight areas for improvement.

The key activities of SEO

Scheme with icons isolated main activities related to SEO.

 

Google tries to grasp how a user experiences a website, so it should come as no surprise that the factors above are incredibly important for both UX and SEO. A positive user experience is a massive contributor in your ranking on search engines.

Bamboo would encourage you and your company to take a holistic view in terms of UX and SEO. They complement each other and the success of one heavily relies on the success of the other.

Where Should You Start?

It is paramount to begin by highlighting the aim of your website. What do you want users to do on your site? The purpose of your website should be the highest consideration when looking to make improvements. Then design and content should complement this.

To establish areas for improvement, ask yourself questions from the user’s perspective:

  • • What would you expect to see on the website?
  • • Does the overall design of the website support its purpose?
  • • Is the content structured well and easy to locate?
  • • Is the site mobile-responsive?

Make sure you look elsewhere for advice, too. Bias and blind spots can develop quickly when working on your own site. Therefore, asking your target market their opinions could be of great value. This could be done through questionnaires or through an exit intent question asking why they’re leaving the site.

Stop with the excuses and embrace UX. It will only lead to a higher search engine rank and this has a whole host of benefits!

Lenny Davies
Director
BamBoo Smart Growth

By BamBoo Smart Growth - 29/01/2018 - SEO Basics

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