How does user experience and SEO correlate? There are many factors that impact on search engine rankings such as the number of quality backlinks, social mentions, title tags, headings among others. However, one very important aspect which many web/blog site owners often neglect is – User Experience (UE).
When designing a website or blog, essentially we should factor in the user experience at the conception stage even before we start playing with codes. Afterall, we are designing the web or blog site purposely for people to use, thus, we ought to put in every effort as possible to make it user-friendly. Doing so would not only earn your website a good position on search engine result pages (SERPs) but will also generate revenue for the business.
Google most recent algorithm called Phantom, primarily focus on the quality of the user experience, In other words, a web/blog site that does not provide a good experience for the users will be considered as a “low-quality site”, and could result in a dip in ranking.
Enumerated below are few prominent factors that can be used as a benchmark to measure the user experience of any given site.
How User Experience and SEO Are Intertwined
Time spent on the website
The dwell time is certainly an important parameter that can impact on your search engine ranking. Google somehow rewards a site with higher dwell time more prominent search positions. Although this is quite debatable as there is no concrete evidence to back up this claim. However, an experiment conducted by Wordstream in Jan 2017 showed that pages with higher dwell time ranked higher than pages with low dwell time.
Essentially, you need to optimize the entire website in such a way that useful information is delivered to the users at all times. Take into cognizance, the navigational elements on your site, the structure, page speed, access to information when developing your site. These elements can assist the search engines to better crawl your site and index the content.
User engagement evidently matters and impacts your search engine rankings – Aim at getting long clicks.
Even though your website ranks number one on the first page of search engine results pages (SERPs) for your niche keywords, that doesn’t necessarily mean you would permanently maintain that position. Rankings fluctuate as a result of your site’s quality score, newly acquired links, social mentions etc. Quality Score is determined by a number of factors one of which is the click through rate (CTR). If a site’s CTR is high, Google may decide to rank that site higher than a site with low CTR because apparently, people are more interested in that search result.
Let’s assume that your site is on the first page of Google search engine results but no one is clicking through to your site. In such a situation, Google assumes that your website is not relevant to the search results, thus, your site will drop in ranking. Due to this reason, title tags and Meta descriptions have become extremely powerful on page SEO features in today’s world. They are in a position to preview your website on the search engine results pages. To get better results, you can think about including an exciting call to action within the Meta description, along with a powerful keyword.
One thing that most digital marketers do is optimize the title tags and meta descriptions with a compelling call to action (CTA) in other to encourage searchers to click through to a site.
The most dreaded metric in web analytics tools. Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who come to your site and leave without viewing other pages on your site. If you have a higher bounce rate for example 75% it simply means that your site isn’t retaining its visitors. When a searcher clicks through to your site from the search results pages and leaves your site immediately without visiting other pages on your site, Google interprets this to mean your site lacks valuable content for the search term, thus, not worthy of displaying in the search result pages – drop in ranking
The bounced sessions are recognized as short clicks by Google and they indicate the dissatisfaction of users.
Apparently, user experience and seo are like bread and butter. If you smear butter on a bread that has been soaked with water, it will definitely taste bad, similarly, if your site has a bad user experience, it does matter even if you offer helpful content to the users on your website, it will affect your site ranking on SERPs. Like I said earlier, endeavor to improve your site’s user experience (optimize the site’s on-page, conversion rate, and contents) in other to rank higher on SERPs. If you need help with evaluating and optimizing your website’s user experience, our digital marketing agency provides user experience optimization services. Leave us a message and we will be more than happy to help.