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Why Does User Experience Matter For SEO?

5 minutes read

SEO and User Experience

You might think that user experience and SEO are two completely different disciplines. Thinking this way is doing your website a disservice and could be costing you traffic and revenue. 

When we’re talking about user experience we mean how someone interacts with your website and their experience of either finding the information they want or getting in touch with your business – be that a purchase or filling in a form.

Many people believe that user experience should exist solely in the design department for your website, but that no longer applies in the age of Core Web Vitals

Core Web Vitals are a series of tests that Google uses to determine what the user experience of your website is likely to be for a typical user. It looks at how the page loads, not just how fast but if elements move around as they load, it checks for intrusive interstitials and it ensures your website is mobile-friendly.

We know that Core Web Vitals impact your ranking ability so ignoring user experience is a bad decision for the SEO conscious among us. 

If you’re only just starting out with your website and SEO journey we’ve broken down the key questions we get about SEO and user experience to help you create a website that’s tailored for your customer and the algorithm for the best results possible.

Does page speed matter for SEO?

Undoubtedly a slow website will perform poorly in the rankings. Page speed is a key factor for ranking organically and delivering a good user experience. We’ve all been frustrated by the website that just won’t load on our phones and the website that hangs on the purchase button making us question if our purchase has gone through.

Pagespeed is a key component of the Core Web Vitals test and Google recommends that the bulk of your website (Largest Contentful Paint) is loaded in the first 2.5 seconds of the page starting to load.

Do bullet points impact SEO?

Bullet points can indirectly benefit SEO by using them as clear and concise headings. Having the purpose of your page spelled out in simple terms and using them as headings can clearly communicate the page intent to both the user and the algorithm.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that bullet points

  • Need to
  • Look like
  • This

Reimagine bullet points as a creative way to highlight key elements of your page. This allows your audience to quickly see if they’re on the right page and decide if they want to get in touch with you.

We’ve used reimagined bullet points to easily display some of the marketing services we offer, this means that our audience doesn’t need to waste their valuable time scrolling through paragraphs of text to see if we can help them.

Purple Orbit Marketing Services

Do images matter for SEO?

The short answer is: yes. The long answer is: with the right optimisation images can greatly impact your SEO and your conversion rate. 

Google looks at several elements of an image to determine its impact on your page and ranking ability. It looks at the file name, the alt tag and the image URL. When you’re uploading images, take the time to optimise all of the key information about an image to benefit your SEO.

From a user experience, images are a fast way to show off what you’re about and your products if you run an ecommerce store. Make sure the images load quickly and are clear and relevant to the content around them. We’ve all had the frustration of finding something on Amazon and the images are no help at all.

What is mobile-first indexing?

If you’ve heard of mobile-first indexing and been confused by what that means for your website, you’re not alone. We’ve heard this question many times!

What it means is that Google is looking at your mobile website content and experience to determine how you should rank, previously it looked at the desktop version.

How does this impact SEO and user experience? If you aren’t optimising your mobile website for SEO and customer journey you will be hurting your organic performance and conversion rate.

When you’re designing your website and producing content keep the mobile user in mind and then test, test and test some more. If you find the experience of using your website frustrating, chances are your audience does and that will be harming your performance.

How much does design impact conversion rate?

We would be willing to bet that in the last six months you’ve opened a website and immediately left because it’s either: old fashioned, looks out of date or worse still looks spammy. It takes about 0.05 seconds for users to form an opinion about your website, as a society we still very much judge on first impressions.

The web is so competitive we don’t know of any businesses that can afford to lose the interest of a potential customer that quickly, good design is crucial for a high conversion rate.

Your website needs to be clear, easy to navigate and look trustworthy. It doesn’t need to have animations everywhere or boring colours, there’s a happy middle ground where your branding can work for you and improve the conversion rate of your website.

A rule of thumb we like to employ with our websites is that it must always be clear where the customer is supposed to go. If you scroll out from your website and you can’t see the buttons, phone number or where to go to see more information there’s a problem. A lack of a clear customer journey will frustrate your audience and lead to a drop in conversion rate.

ASOS Product Page

ASOS is an example of a website that gets it right. Scroll out and you can see that they’ve used colour and design to draw attention to the “add to bag” button, the discounted price, the offer code and the sale section. All of these are where ASOS wants you to go to encourage you to make a purchase.

Do 404’s impact SEO?

Google has said that 404s don’t affect your site’s rankings directly, but indirectly they can be costing you organic growth and harming the user experience. 

So, what is a 404? A 404 is essentially a broken web page. There are two types of 404 errors, a hard and a soft 404. A hard 404 is a very definite broken page returning a “Not Found” error, a soft 404 is common on ecommerce websites as they happen when the server sends a 200 OK status for the page, but Google thinks that the page should return a 404, For example, empty product categories or empty product pages.

While the broken page itself won’t harm your rankings, if links were pointing to that page you will no longer be getting the benefit of those links and THAT has the potential to harm your organic performance.

From a user experience standpoint, they’re annoying to deal with. You finally think you’ve found what you’re looking for online and then it turns out to not exist. For a better user experience and to prevent losing valuable links we recommend always adding a redirect when removing pages and developing a process for ecommerce websites to reduce the risk of 404s causing navigation problems.

One thing is clear, you can’t have good SEO results without a solid user experience. To keep a happy medium we recommend SEO led development and testing website designs to find the right result for your web audience.

What works for ASOS and Amazon might not work for you, we can help you find the right design for your website through user journey testing and SEO experimentation to help you connect with your audience and achieve your business goals.

Fri, 29 April 2022

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