Many people have the misconception that UX does not directly impact SEO. On the contrary, UX often directly impacts SEO. This is because Google’s algorithm and other search engines pick up on UX elements, sometimes tying them to ranking factors. That’s why the role of UX developers becomes crucial as far as SEO is concerned.
Sites with a strong UI/UX that caters to searchers’ needs are more likely to perform well in SERPs. Let’s dive in to see how UX developers can help improve the SEO performance of a website.
Role of UX Developers
The UX developers are responsible for designing the user experience of a website. UX developers can see the big picture. They create the organizational structure of a website and make sure that the interactive parts of a site can be made to work. They must be creative and know what’s going on in the industry and how user psychology works. This job is for people who think outside the box.
The UX developers are the people that connect the website with the people. As we all know, Google’s algorithm revolves around providing the best user experience to its users. Hence by designing a good user experience, UX developers can help boost the ranking of a website.
Top UX Factors Affecting SEO Performance
1. The Loading Time of a Website
Few things are more frustrating than having to wait for a website to load. With each passing second, it becomes more likely that people will bounce off your website. If people leave your site before the page loads, it is bound to hurt your business.
There are many things that could slow down the speed at which page loads, some of which are under your control. For example, you can’t do much about someone’s slow internet connection. You can, however, make sure that your website is set up so that it loads as quickly as possible.
Depending on your goals, you may want to use photos, drawings, screenshots, infographics, diagrams, or other types of images.
But images add weight to pages and slow down the user experience. So, adding pictures just to make it look better doesn’t make much sense. Every picture you add should help the user and be good for SEO. Here are a few things you can do to optimize the images:
- Use file formats that search engines can index, like PNG, JPEG, or GIF.
- Compress the images so that their size and quality are good.
- Change the names of your images so that they communicate what they’re about.
- Don’t use underscores to separate words in the file name. Instead, use hyphens.
Your website’s pictures can show up in image searches. If you mark up your pages according to Google’s rules for adding structured data, some of your images can be shown in rich snippets on general SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
2. CTA Buttons
Even though the main goal of CTA buttons is to convert users into customers, they also help with SEO. They make people dig through the pages of your website. When the user clicks on a CTA button, it’s a positive SEO signal as the user finds the website interesting. The more clicks, the higher your chances of good SEO ranking.
Here are a few tips to optimize your CTA buttons
- The header and above the fold should have your main call-to-action button.
- A bright color or drop shadow may make the CTA button stand out.
- You can include a supplementary CTA button on the same screen.
3. Dwell Time
Dwell time is the amount of time a person spends looking at a page after clicking a link on a SERP page but before clicking back to the SERP results. The more dwell time, the better it is for your SEO.
From a user experience (UX) point of view, you should aim for interesting, rich layouts with informative content that grabs the user’s attention.
If people visit a website and then leave right away, this tells search engines that those pages aren’t what people are looking for. That means Google will move you down on the SERPs.
So, how can you make your layouts better for both UX and SEO and increase dwell time?
- Use Headings and Tags
People and search engines “scan” your pages all the time. When trying to improve dwell time, you should make sure that important information is easy to find quickly. Header 1 or H1 tags can help your audience find the most important parts of your website. Title tags also tell search engines more about the term for which you want to rank.
Customers are more likely to spend more time on your website if your content is set up in a way that draws the eye down the page. That tells the search engines that your content is good and relevant.
- Use Pictures and Videos to Your Advantage
Visual media is just a great way to get people interested. With videos and pictures, you can get across more important information quickly and easily. From a UX point of view, this makes your audience happier, which is a good thing.
It also helps your SEO as visual content is easy to understand. Every image can be made better by adding alt text and meta descriptions. That means you have a better chance of showing up in Google’s main search results as well as in image search results.
iFrames let you show content from a third party on your website without making a copy of that content. So, you can add YouTube videos, Google ads, Google Maps, social media posts, or RSS feeds to your pages.
Say you want to add a YouTube video to a page on your website. There’s no need to put a copy of this video on your server. Instead, you add the
5. Text Formatting
Your text should be useful, relevant, and easy to read. Even though most people focus on the first two qualities, readability is what meets the eye. Even if the text on a page is good, people don’t read it if it is visually unappealing or distracting.
Text formatting is meant to make it easier for people to find information that is important to them. When it’s done right, formatting helps the text’s hierarchy and lets readers know which parts are most important. The following formatting elements will help you organize and make it easy to read your web pages:
Help readers navigate large texts, uncover key information, and anticipate what’s coming next.
Show the order you wish readers to follow.
Emphasize facts, social proof, or emotional appeals.
- Bold, italics, underline
Assist readers in discovering key terms on the page.
The term is borrowed from the tale of Hansel and Gretel, where the kids drop a trail of breadcrumbs to trace their way back. With breadcrumbs, if you’ve reached a page you don’t want to be on, you can easily find your way back or go back a step or two and start over.
Every multi-level website needs breadcrumb navigation. Most websites use hierarchical location or category-based breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbs should meet these UX design criteria:
- All navigation steps except the current page should be clickable.
- If page titles contain keywords, labels should match.
- Ellipses should abbreviate labels and make breadcrumbs readable.
- Collapse middle-step labels to fit a long breadcrumb path into one row.
A user’s first peek at the breadcrumbs should tell them where the current page came from and what category it’s in. An online store visitor on a product page may want to click breadcrumbs to see comparable products.
For instance, eBay hides breadcrumbs on category sites but displays them on product pages. To fit the breadcrumbs element into one row on a horizontal screen, they enable horizontal scroll.
7. Site’s Architecture and Navigation
The site architecture is how your website’s pages are set up and how they link to each other. In terms of SEO, the good architecture makes it easy for Google to find your page and scan it. In terms of UX/UI, good architecture makes it easy for users to find what they are looking for.
Click depth or click distance can also be used to measure how well a website is built. It’s how many clicks it takes to get from the home page to a certain page.
Most of the time, users want as few clicks as possible to get to subpages.
These tips can improve site architecture and navigation.
- Each page should be less than four clicks from home.
- Transparent website structure and page categorization (e.g., SILO structure);
- Simple menu listing website subjects and subtopics (UX writing can assist);
- Links optimized for link juice distribution.
- Although you can use multiple H1 headings per page, we recommend using one.
- Follow the hierarchy of headings H1 headings should never be below H2.
Before smartphones became popular, sidebars were an important part of every website. Most sites today are made with mobile in mind, which means that all of their content is in a single column. The sidebars are still very useful for both user experience design and search engine optimization.
For example, sidebars are often a part of the design of business blogs. On the pages of blog posts, you’ll often find sidebars with ad banners for related products or events, newsletter sign-up forms, and other elements that are meant to get people to take action.
Long-form articles on blogs often have a table of contents in the sidebar to help readers find their way around. Having a table of contents that pulls <H2> and <H3> headings from the article not only improves the user experience but also helps SEO. Google uses this navigation element to add more links to rich results and featured snippets.
Once a visitor is on the site, he or she decides quickly whether to stay or leave. If the website doesn’t match what the user searched for, loads slowly, is hard to use, or looks bad; the user will leave. Every time this happens, you miss a chance to bring people to your website through your marketing funnel and turn them into customers.
Users will stay on your website longer and interact with it more if it has a rich combination of UX and SEO. Search bots see this as a sign of quality, so Google gives you a high ranking.