As Google’s highly evolved algorithms continues to change and improve ( especially over the last 2 to 3 years), user engagement, the customers journey and their interaction with your website is now playing a huge if not paramount role in how Google determines a websites rankings.
This is why UX (User Experience) and SEO are tied together. UX was once never mentioned, not even known, but today it’s a common term that most marketing agencies and business know to be a CRUCIAL role in how your website performs and ultimately the money or inquiries it will generate.
To see better organic SEO Google rankings you must have a website with a really good UX. It’s got to be better than the next person’s site or you can forget about keeping your page 1 Google rankings. This is especially true with the popularity of free or cheap website templates like WIX where cookie cutter websites are churned out with little or no thought given to the user experience. There are so many businesses that love the idea of these cheap site template because they are in fact cheap, but they do forget 1 crucial point; they lack any type of UX and this will harm your SEO in the future. Basically saving a few dollars now is going to cost your bug time moving forward.
So how does Google know about your websites UX? Simple, they can easily measure your sites bounce rates and if they are high your in trouble. By the way, bounce rates are when people land on your website, hate the look of it and exit immediately without going to any other pages. If too many people do this on a regular basis, an alert will be triggered and you are going to see your rankings plummet. TIP: keep a close eye on your sites bounce rates. You can get all the data you need by logging into your web master tools account. If all this sounds too technical, then it’s best you let people like us examine your site, check bounce rates and help with your UX.
UX and Engagement
You want to keep users who have found your site on your site. You want to make sure they stay there, do their search and hopefully make the inquiry. So how do you do that? It’s not rocket science but best left to SEO experts who have a thorough understanding of SEO & UX.
Your website will need to be:
- Very Appealing to potential customers browsing the site
- Easy to Navigable
- Highly Rewarding Experience
Make Your Site Very Appealing
It’s all well and good to get people to come to your site but what happens when they get there? You want them to love what they see. Your site has to blow them away with clean, clear graphics and strong messaging with little or no hurdles in the buying process. The aesthetic appeal has to be the best in your niche. I hear horror stories all the time about people complaining that they are on page 1 of Google, they are getting site traffic but they haven’t had a decent sale or inquiry in weeks. This is because the UX isn’t working effectively. Also, you have to make sure the site loads quickly (less than 3 seconds) and it has to look awesome on a mobile phone as well.
Here’s a good formula: Best UX + Quick load times and great SEO = more money for you!
Make Your Site Easy to Navigate
Users, basically your potential customers need to find what they are looking for very quickly. As soon as people and search engines enter your site they need to see clear pathways to navigate. If a user cannot navigate your site a search engine won’t either and this can lead to a dramatic loss in rankings. Ask yourself this question: why would Google want to promote a site at the top of it’s search results if the buying pathways are hidden or the information is hard to locate. Keep it simple and make it such that it’s child friendly.
Here are a few tips to keep the buyers happy:
- Big, clear navigation buttons
- Menu at the top of the page
- No pop ups
- Site map at the footer
Clear buy now buttons
Make Your Website Rewarding
Make sure you have valuable worthwhile content on your website that the user will want to read. Reward them by getting better copy written than your competition. If a person lands on your site and spends time on there reading and exploring the pages then Google will see this and again, like bounce rates you will see rankings start to rise.
So, How Does UX Affect Google Rankings?
Google is getting more proficient at working out how your site is performing. They can see how long people are on your site, what pages they are going to and also who is linking to your site. The better the UX and the better the site performs, this will have a significant effect on rankings
In the past it’s all been about link building when it comes to SEO but moving forward people better pay attention to one thing: UX! Having said that, UX is only 1 component that goes into the matrix to determine your rankings. There are other on page and off page elements that make up your Google rankings to also consider, but UX is as far as we are concerned a major factor.
For more clarity on UX and how to boost your SEO rankings please get in touch with me Steve at SEO Sydney Experts.