How UX Became A Part Of SEO

How UX Became A Part Of SEO

How UX Became A Part Of SEO

Way too many webmasters believe that search engine optimization (SEO) is all about keywords and link building, failing to acknowledge the importance of other ranking factors such as UX design.

In case you haven’t heard already, Google changes its search engine algorithm up to 600 times each year, thus making sure to cover even the smallest parameters that might influence the overall browsing experience.
This basically means that you have to take care of many different features in order to ensure high-quality website sessions. In this post, we will explain the following:

  • The purpose of UX
  • What is Rank Brain
  • Basic UX elements
  • SEO practices that impact UX

There is a long way ahead of us, so let’s begin and see how UX became an integral part of SEO.

The Purpose of UX

UX is a broad concept that extends way beyond SEO. Generally speaking, it represents the overall experience of a person using a certain product or service. In SEO terms, the strategy is dedicated to the improvement of the quality of users’ interactions with the website. The goal of UX is to:

  • Ensure consistent experiences throughout the website. After all, you want people to familiarize with the site and become recurring visitors.
  • Make a website easily discoverable for users trying to find a reliable source of trustworthy content.
  • Test browsing experiences so as to identify possible shortcomings and customize content to match users’ needs and intentions.
  • Make it easier for visitors to identify the targeted piece of content through seamless website orientation and simple navigation functions.
  • Drive conversions. As you keep learning about website visitors through UX-driven analytics, you are going to find new ways of turning leads into full-time conversions.

What is Rank Brain?

It’s impossible to talk about UX and SEO without mentioning Rank Brain. It is a component of Google’s core algorithm that uses machine learning (the ability of machines to teach themselves from data inputs) to determine the most relevant results to search engine queries.
What seems to be the purpose of Rank Brain?
The system was introduced in late 2015 with the objective to interpret users’ search intents and experiences more accurately. Rank Brain monitors behavior indicators such as bounce rates, time spent on your website, organic CTR, pages per session, and many more. All these metrics reveal how users interact with your site and whether they really enjoy what they are seeing.
To put it simply, Rank Brain interprets website experiences. It’s a major ranking factor, which is exactly why you have to take care of UX if you want to strengthen the SEO strategy.

Basic UX Elements

Now that you know why UX plays such a major role in the SEO story, you should also learn the basic elements that influence website experiences. We can identify five key principles here:

  • Content quality If there is one thing that can make or break UX, it must be content quality. Think about it for a moment and you’ll understand why. Namely, the whole point of web browsing is to search for and find high-quality content that solves problems or explains certain concepts. This is also why posts are getting longer, with the average Google first page result containing 1,890 words.
  • Effortless navigation Websites with serious navigation issues are in danger of ruining UX and downgrading search engine ranking. In such circumstances, the only solution is to provide visitors with effortless navigation by reducing the number of categories and eliminating irrelevant paths from your site.
  • Website responsiveness Another thing to worry about is website responsiveness. People browse the net using all sorts of devices, so you’ll have to take care of that and guarantee the same experiences regardless of device types and screen dimensions.
  • Use SEO-friendly design principles SEO-friendly design is a complex topic and it requires an article of its own, but we can point out a few simple principles. Namely, you should write attractive and keyword-rich headlines, handle meta-tags, optimize menu names, simplify the content structure, add a clear CTA to each page, etc.
  • Align UX and SEO strategies UX and SEO are getting so intertwined that it’s necessary to unify the two strategies and stop seeing them as two different concepts. Such an approach will improve website experiences and strengthen search engine ranking in the long run.

SEO Practices That Impact UX

Working in close cooperation, UX and SEO can drastically augment each other. This is exactly why you should also consider exploiting a few very popular SEO practices that can impact the experience of website visitors. Here are our favorite tricks:

  • Increase page load speed Do you know that nearly 50% of people say waiting for pages to load is what they dislike most about browsing the web on mobile? Page load speed is a critical SEO component experience-wise, so you better make the website faster using a tool like Pingdom or Page Speed Insights.
  • Combine different content formats You might be the most proficient article writer in the world, but users will require something more sooner or later. For this reason, we recommend you to combine different content formats and mix text posts, videos, images, GIFs, memes, infographics, podcasts, and similar.
  • Segment content with bulletins The last tip is to optimize content structure using numbers and bulletins. The goal is to separate different parts of the post to ensure simpler skimming and helps the audience find what they are looking for quickly.

The Bottom Line

SEO is a complex process that encompasses a wide range of ranking elements, so it would be foolish to focus exclusively on simple features such as keywords or link building. On the contrary, you need to take care of many other components in order to ensure comfortable and effortless UX.
In this article, we discussed how UX became an integral part of SEO and explained the following:

  • The purpose of UX
  • What is Rank Brain
  • Basic UX elements
  • SEO practices that impact UX

Are you paying attention to UX in your SEO strategy? Which UX element do you consider to be most relevant? Let us know in the comments – we would love to talk about this important topic with you!

Posted by Isabell Gaylord

Isabell Gaylord
Isabell Gaylord is a digital marketer and a part-time essay writer from San Francisco, California.

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