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SEO and UX Design: Creating A Better User Experience for More Traffic

7 min read

Written by Alice Jones

17 September, 2020

SEO and UX Design

User Experience (UX) is one of the major factors that directly impact Search Engine Optimization (SEO). There is more than one reason why UX has an impact on SEO efforts. One of those reasons is the amount of time users spend on your site. If visitors spend more time on the website you are managing, search engines will regard it as useful to users. 

A great way of keeping users on the website is by designing an appealing UX that is inviting and user-friendly. That is why user-based testing and other elements of UX design are important. Here is how you can create a better user experience using those design elements:

Simplified site navigation

Site navigation is a website element that brings two-fold benefits, which are improving SEO efforts and providing great user experience. 

When designing a website, it is very important to create an easily accessible navigation bar with all the relevant links to other website pages. Contrary to popular belief, having many website pages is not that beneficial when considering the usability and SEO-friendliness aspect.

Having too many pages can create complex website architecture, which brings great complexity for users when navigating throughout your site. Instead of trying to have a lot of website pages, consider having only a handful of them, where appropriate. These few website pages should be very SEO-rich and be easy to use. Essentially, a user should not click more than three times to get the content they are looking for. 

A simple website structure makes it easy for Google to index those web pages while also contributing to great user experience. Users will stay longer on the website if the navigation is easy to get their heads around. 

The more website pages they open, the SEO efforts are significantly improved. Even the mobile version should have a simple website structure with an accessible navigation bar. 

As mentioned by tech experts on paper writing service reviews, all website pages should have a navigation bar and it must be sticky for users to constantly see at the top even when scrolling down. Try by all means to avoid multi-level navigation menus wherever possible to make the user experience friendly. Also, be descriptive when creating the navigation bar so that users know exactly where the button is leading them.

Merge SEO-friendliness with user-friendliness

SEO-friendly website elements also contribute to a user-friendly experience. For example, the way each web page is structured must benefit both of these aspects. For example, heaving clear headers and subheadings contributes to both SEO and UX. This element makes it easy for users to read through the content, which improves the user experience. 

At the same time, using headers and subheadings contributes to SEO practices. Using descriptive keywords in the headers can help users know what the content is about and assist in search engine crawling. 

Both users and search engines will know what the content entailed on that page is about. Also, if your website content is not easy to read, maybe because the text does not contrast the background well, users might bounce the site.

A cluttered website page might alienate visitors but a design with enough white space for the content to breathe can be much more effective. The colors you use should also have contrasting palettes for everything to appear clearly for every user’s benefits. 

To improve UX design, you should also consider having Call to Action (CTA) buttons leading to other website pages. Having those appealing CTA buttons will improve the user experience because visitors will find other relevant content they need easier. 

Another UX element that also contributes to SEO is using video and images effectively. Using visual media can improve the experience of visitors because instead of reading, they can simply watch a video with all relevant details. At the same time, this will improve their SEO because having a good mix of visual media contributes to positive rankings.

Monitoring relevant KPIs 

As part of SEO campaign improvement through bettering the user experience offered on your website, you should set and monitor relevant KPIs. Knowing how UX elements are impacting search engine optimization is very important. There are various ways to monitor the design element and its impact on both UX and attracting traffic. For example, you can use heatmapping tools to identify parts of the website that are hard for customers to figure out. 

Those parts could be the reason for a high bouncing rate. For example, if users find your popup forms and notifications blocking their view and battle to close it, they might bounce the website. 

All of these elements can be monitored and tracked using heat mapping tools. You can also monitor and track other relevant KPIs on Google Analytics or other similar tools. 

Doing so will give you deeper insight into how the user experience is affecting website traffic. You should look at other granular metrics such as bouncing rate, click-through, churn, conversions, and others. These statistics can give you a snapshot of the overall health of the relationship between UX and SEO on your site.  

Negative metrics indicate that you should readjust certain UX design elements and optimize them even further for SEO. Consider using data visualization to help with actionable business intelligence to figure out the best possible method of resolving any inconsistencies. Monitoring these metrics in real-time can help prevent losing more traffic whenever a UX design adjustment is needed.

Conserving website storage to improve site speed

SEO requires fast-loading website pages and so does a great UX. If your website takes long to load, visitors might bounce the website and that can negatively impact the overall ranking position. To combat this issue, you can try to reduce the storage used by files such as pictures, videos, and themes.  

Reducing these website files can improve the loading speed and improve SEO rankings while improving the UX because customers won’t have to wait long for the site to load. You can compress images before using them on the site and using video content that takes up less space by opting for lower-quality videos. 

A 4k ultra HD video is not a necessity on a website but depending on the aspect ratio it will have on the screen, you can also opt for 720p or even 480p. 

Additionally, your website’s theme should be lightweight and consume limited storage space. You can also improve the loading speed by reducing the number of plugins used for that site. Having too many plugins can slow the loading speed, which is why you should use the ones you’re in absolute need of.

Also, besides reducing storage, you can use other techniques to improve loading speeds. One of those techniques is caching the website and using a CDN. These two tactics can help improve loading speed, which contributes to both SEO and UX improvements. Because of fast-loading pages, the website will be ranked higher on Search Engine Results Pages.

Responsiveness is still very important

The majority of online traffic is derived from mobile devices. To meet this growing demand, you need to focus on mobile-friendly website designs. Getting a responsive theme can help solve this problem because your site will adjust according to the device’s screen size. 

That will improve the UX because users won’t suffer from distorted content or text with very small font or other appearance issues. Instead, everything will just fall into place, exactly how it should. 

Do not overlook this step because it can exponentially improve the rankings you have on search engine results. Google cares about users with mobile devices and this search engine expects you to care the same way also. 

Having a traditional desktop theme will lead to Google penalizing you by ranking the website lower. Search engine algorithms care mostly about the satisfaction of users. That includes mobile device users as well. If they are not happy with your website, Google will penalize you. Ensure that content appears seamlessly on both mobile and desktop. 

The easiest way of doing this is getting a responsive theme with UX design elements that adapt accordingly. Depending on your CMS, various free themes are responsive you can get. 

For example, WordPress has a wide variety of responsive themes you can switch to for both UX and SEO purposes. Getting a website theme that is not responsive is an unwise investment and will cost you website traffic in the long run.

Final thoughts

SEO and UX design share a special relationship because by improving the user experience, you stand to get more traffic. Using the abovementioned tactics, you can create a better user experience that might lead to higher traffic. For example, by simplifying site navigation, users can easily find what they are looking for and this will also improve the website’s crawlability. 

Choosing a responsive theme and taking active measures in decreasing the storage space needed for the website will also help deliver a better user experience. At the same time, it will improve SEO efforts implemented by the business. 

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