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How SEO and User Experience (UX) go hand in hand

April 2, 2024

User experience (UX) plays a key role in any search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy, and it’s the UX that will affect the ranking of your SEO through metrics such as user engagement. If you invest proper time and resources into improving and maximising your website’s UX design, not only will you see improvements in your SEO rankings, but you’ll also see increased credibility of your brand, and increased audience retention.

In this blog, we explore how SEO and user experience go hand in hand by taking a look at the UX factors that directly affect SEO so you can take proactive action to improve your user experience and ultimately, your search engine rankings. But first, let’s understand what user experience is.

What is user experience?

A website experience that is centred around the user, is exactly what user experience is all about. UX is about the ease of interactions and usability of your site. The key to successful UX design is the process of eliminating the confusion and any potential road blockers when a customer is using your website, as well as producing a responsive, free flowing website. 

When it comes to your UX design, it’s important to ensure you engage your users whilst allowing them to easily locate the content they’re looking for and perform actions with ease. Not only will this help to increase your user engagement metrics, but it will also help improve your Core Web Vital scores that Google uses to rank your website. 

You can read our blog and learn in more detail what user experience is along with the factors and fundamentals you should be considering when designing your UX.

What UX factors directly affect SEO?

Now you have a better understanding of how SEO and user experience go hand in hand, it’s time to explore the UX factors that directly affect SEO and how key user engagement metrics can be improved with a flawless UX design.

Menus and navigation

At some point or another, you’ll no doubt have visited a website where the menu and navigation design was confusing and doesn’t look aesthetically pleasing. Confusing interfaces like this can easily frustrate users who simply want to access and navigate your website. This is where you’re likely to lose your customers without them even reaching the content they were looking for.

When you’re designing your website, it’s vital to keep your menu and navigation simple. Ensure your users can easily find your web pages and more importantly, it’s where they expect to find the content they’re looking for. Another crucial element to your menu and navigation, it to ensure it’s mobile responsive. You should always design your website mobile first and keeping the complexity of your navigation to a minimum will help towards this. We’ll explore mobile responsiveness more a little later.

Website speed and load times

Slow website speeds can be such an annoying errand to wait for – for any website visitor. Every second that passes, it increases the chances of the user leaving your website before they carry out their intended task. This will have negative consequences on your engagement metrics and ultimately will hold back your website’s capabilities.

There are many factors that could negatively affect the speed at which your page loads, but not all of them are entirely in your control. An example of this would be the user’s internet connection, there’s obviously not much you can do about that. 

However, there are things you can do to increase your website speed. For example, you can actively reduce file sizes like PDF documents, correctly optimise and compress your images to reduce the load time of a web page, and optimise your CSS and JavaScript files as this helps to reduce the amount of requests sent to your server.

Mobile responsiveness

As we’ve mentioned, the design of your website should always be done with mobile in mind first. As of 2024, over 60% of web traffic is solely driven by mobile devices alone. Brands that don’t offer a mobile-friendly website are losing over half of the internet’s audience from the start. A mobile-friendly website is also something Google prioritises in search engine results, so if you don’t have a responsive website, you could be left at the bottom of the pile.

You can check how well your website performs on mobile devices by using Google Lighthouse and this will give you a starting point as to what you need to improve on. If you’re thinking about getting a website refresh, or you’d like to get some tips on how to make your current website more mobile-friendly, speak to our expert website designers today.

Need help with your SEO and user experience?

As you can see, your UX design should be the staple of your SEO strategy. Your search engine rankings are directly affected through user engagement metrics that are implemented by Google in its search engine algorithms. Your user experience design begins with gaining knowledge on how users first perceive and interact within your website. Consider the factors we’ve mentioned above like page speed, menu design and mobile responsiveness to get started. 

If you need expert advice on your UX design, or you’d like an experienced digital agency to take care of your UX design, get in touch with us today. Similarly, if you need help with your SEO strategy, speak to our digital marketing experts who can perform a full SEO audit of your website and provide you with expert recommendations.




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