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How Does UX Affect SEO Rankings?

Understanding the link between UX design and SEO

Many internet marketers and website builders mistakenly believe that search engine optimization (also called SEO for short) is nothing but keywords, and link building. What many of these folks don’t realize is that SEO accounts a great deal more than making sure your keywords and links are on point.

Yes, keywords and building links are two proven ways to make sure your SEO game is where it should be, but you also have to consider that there are several other things Google and other search engines take into account when ranking your website. Did you know that your user experience is one of those factors?

Let’s explore how your user experience (UX) and SEO are connected. This will give you a better understanding of how your UX can affect your search engine ranking, and what you can do to make it better, improving both your ranking and your UX at the same time!

Google Wants Everyone to Have a Great User Experience

Google is a big fan of sites that people love to visit. Most of these sites all have great user experiences, enabling users of the site to take advantage of all their site or platform has to offer. Google takes several things into account when factoring in UX of a website for ranking purposes.

Google’s “RankBrain” algorithm analyzes many aspects and metrics of a website when deciding the site’s ranking. Some of these factors include the site’s bounce rate, organic traffic, and dwell times (how long people stay on your page). Google takes into account the amount of time people spend on your site and how easily they can go from page to page. Users spending more amounts of time on your site most likely means you have a good user experience, and that makes Google happy.

On the flipside, if your users come to your site and leave right away to find a better source, this tells Google your user experience may not be up to par with their standards. This can negatively impact your ranking, telling Google that your site isn’t optimized in the right way or that your content is irrelevant to the searches being performed to find your site.

Search engine ux seo

UX and SEO Go Hand in Hand to Make Users Happy

Google’s algorithms are just one thing that illustrate the link between UX and SEO. Remember when finding targeted keywords and utilizing them in the right way as just about all you needed to ensure you ranked highly? Those days are long past, as more and more websites spring up in different niches, all trying to nab one of those top spots in the first page of Google search results for their niche.

These days, if you want your content to be front and center for the people searching for content in your niche, you need to think differently. You need to understand the folks searching for you. Put yourself in the shoes of someone who would be searching for your content. What would their buying intent be? What keywords would they use to find what they’re looking for? Analyzing and understanding these questions can be a good way to set yourself on the right path to getting your content in front of the people already searching for it.

With the advent of artificial intelligence voice assistants on millions of smartphones all over the world, one such strategy you can implement is to make sure your content is optimized to appear in voice search results. Many people use their voice to search for things on the go using Google, so keep this in mind and make sure your content is conversational and based on questions, helping you to pop up in those results.

What about the overall design of your website? The aesthetic appeal of your UX can be a big first impression the first time someone lands on your site. You want to make sure they are comfortable on your site so they will spend more time there and find all the content they are looking for. Your website is your digital business card, so make sure it is well designed, non-obtrusive, and easily navigable. Giving a boost to your site’s UX could be one of the biggest factors needed to, in turn, give a boost to your SEO ranking!

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Easy Steps to Give Your UX and SEO a Boost

When you build your site, you want to make sure it is aesthetically appealing to the people who will eventually land on it and easy to navigate. Nothing throws off site visitors more than a badly designed site, one that loads too slow, or something that is unnecessarily cluttered and difficult to navigate. All of these factors are things that can make or break your UX, and in turn, your SEO ranking.

Follow some of these easy steps to help give a kickstart to your UX and SEO ranking!

Make Sure Your Page Loads Quickly

Page load times are something that every website builder should take into consideration when building and optimizing their site. Statistics show that even just a one second delay in page load speed can be a deterrent to people trying to access the site.

Slow load times can impact conversion rates and generally are just another aspect of a bad UX. Make sure your page loads in at least two seconds or less. Any more than two seconds, and visitors are sure to go back to the search results page to find a site that will load faster.

There are a few ways you can work to make sure your site is well optimized and loads quickly for everyone trying to visit the site. Check out some of these steps to optimize your page load speeds:

Website Loading time


     Make sure you select a good, reliable hosting plan. Your hosting plan can be a big deal for your site, and can affect load speeds. Make sure your hosting plan is able to handle the amount of traffic you are throwing at it and has good bandwidth.

     Choose good high-quality images, but compress and crop them to lower their size. Photos and images can affect the speed in which a page loads. You want to make sure you have good and high quality images, because that is great for your UX and adds to the aesthetic appeal. To improve page speed, however, you may consider compressing and cropping these photos and images so the site will load quickly when users are trying to click through to your link.

     Get rid of “auto play” content on your site. No one likes content that plays automatically. Not only is it obnoxious to most surfers of the web, but it also another factor that can influence your page load speeds. Get rid of any content that automatically plays when a site is loaded. Instead of auto playing, make sure your content is something that people will be enticed to press play on when they see the thumbnail!

Keep it Simple!

When it comes to almost anything good in life, simple is always better. This goes with the “less is more” approach. No regular web surfer is going to be super impressed by all the technical prowess you possess as a web designer. They don’t want something overly complicated and complex that is hard for them to navigate.

Keep your site design simple and minimalistic. This makes it easier for your site visitors to make their way around your website and consume all the content they wish. This also increases your visitors’ “on page” time, which tells Google you are doing a good job with visitor retention and this signifies a good user experience!

A simple and easily navigable website is also much easier for Google to find and index. Make sure your website is built in such a way that is easy to get around and has a minimalistic approach, and you will be providing users with a great UX and helping your SEO get the much needed boost you have been looking for!


Make Sure Your Site is Responsive, and Build For Mobile!

This should be a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how many sites just aren’t that responsive. Some sites aren’t even properly optimized for the platforms they will be viewed on the most. This is super important.


            Did you know 80% of all internet traffic is on mobile devices these days? That’s right, a whopping 80% of all traffic is from mobile devices. People all over the world are getting online from their smartphones and tablets, surfing the web, searching for content, and making purchases. You want to make sure your site is built and optimized for mobile as well as desktop users.


You can address your mobile users by making sure fonts are large and easily readable, buttons are easy to tap on, and you can even include a feature where if someone wants to call your business, they can simply tap a button to open their phone’s dialer with your number dialed in and ready to go! Simple things like this can make a great user experience, and help people remember your site. This will keep them coming back, as well as telling their friends!


Your UX is Your Calling Card, and Your SEO Ranking is How Folks Find You


Consider your user experience your calling card and your ranking on search engines the billboard that entices people to visit. Both of these go hand in hand with each other to bring you visitors that are already hungry for your content. If you ensure your site is built with the user in mind, you will be miles ahead of much of the competition!

Build with users in mind, and the rest will follow! If you can keep your users and visitors coming back to your site with a simple and easy to follow UX, your SEO ranking will gladly thank you for it, and you will may even see an uptick in conversions, signups, and most importantly, sales!

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