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How Website User Experience Impacts SEO

Previously on the SilverTech blog, we discussed why UX is so important to your overall website experience. One of the areas that was touched on in that post was Search Engine Optimization and how that is affected by different elements of your UX. This post will dive into this topic in more detail and explain how having a great user experience can also help with your website SEO.

Having relevant, interesting, and useful content on your site that successfully answers your visitors’ questions is the cornerstone of good UX and SEO.

User Experience Factors That Affect SEO

A “good” user experience was something we explored in the last post and can include everything from how your visitors view the page, to how they interact with content. What a lot of people don’t know is that these same UX factors can also have an affect on your website SEO. Some of these factors include:

  • Content: By now you are probably sick of hearing about how “Content is King” but it bears repeating. Having relevant, interesting, and useful content on your site that successfully answers your visitors’ questions is the cornerstone of good UX and SEO. Don’t believe it? Google has said themselves that this is the best way to rank highly on their search engine results pages.
  • Engagement: Not sure if you have good content? Check out your engagement metrics in Google Analytics. These include things like bounce rate, time on page, and pages viewed per session. Longer engagements and lower bounce rates indicate a better user experience and Google will be more likely to rank your site highly if these numbers are in good shape.
  • Quality Links: Quality links refer to the number of websites and the quality of websites that are linking back to your site. The more links you receive, the more Google will recognize your site as an authority and thought leader. While this one may be hard to influence directly, it still remains a very important aspect of successful SEO and is a reflection on your website UX. You wouldn’t want to link back to a bad looking or hard to use website, right? Neither will your visitors. Maximize your chances of receiving links by ensuring your users can easily interact with your website and content. Remember, in Google’s eyes, more links to the site equals a better experience.
  • Easy to Use Navigation: Ensure that your website is easy to navigate and click through for visitors and search engine bots. Using an XML sitemap will make it easier for bots to crawl, and organizing your pages into a logical path will make it easier for users to find what they need.
  • Responsive Design: Mobile is right up there with great content in terms of being an SEO and UX cliche, but it’s for good reason. A great mobile experience will not only help your rankings, but will also make it easier for your users who are visiting on a smartphone or tablet. And in case you needed more of a reason to ensure your mobile experience is optimized, more than half of all traffic on Google is now done through mobile!
  • Site Speed: One of the often overlooked factors for UX and SEO is site speed. You could have the best content and navigation, but still be getting penalized by Google for a slow site. Ensuring that images are compressed and the proper size is a great place to start. Also, keep in mind that users expect a lightning fast experience, even when they are on their phones, so this is an issue that should be addressed in your UX strategy as well.
How to Create Personas

If you are unsure how your website is performing from an SEO or UX perspective, contact us and find out how your site is really performing.

Sean Howe, Digital Strategist
Meet Sean Howe, Digital Strategist

Sean is a seasoned digital marketer with expertise in content strategy and development, SEO, social media, and analytics.

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