In a perfect world, companies are able to work on all the different aspects of their website at the same time (User Experience, SEO, Design, etc.). These parallel tracks allow them to improve website performances exponentially. Unfortunately, we live in a world where time is not a limitless resource. This is why we need to prioritize and evaluate what is most important and improve our web pages step by step. Two important aspects that need to be worked on on every website are SEO and User Experience (UX). But did you know that you can already work on both at the same time? As I will demonstrate to you, working on some SEO points will improve the UX. Conversely, working on some UX points will improve the SEO.
First, let’s make sure the concepts SEO and UX are clear:
- SEO (alias Search Engine Optimization) groups all the tasks that can help you to improve the rank of your website on the different search engines. This covers both technical elements (how your website is built) and content elements (what content is available to your visitors). Your rank depends on some metrics like the page speed, the content of your website, the internal links, etc.
- Website UX best practices promote improving the quality of the user’s interaction with and perceptions of your website.
Become more searchable and attractive for both users and search engines
In terms of SEO, working on the headers <h1>, <h2>, etc. will help the search engines to better understand the company and the products/services provided. Indeed, indicating to Google that we are, for example, a company who sells insurances will help us to appear on searches related to it. Moreover, when you will appear on those searches, it is important to give the first good impression as mentioned above. Indeed, working on the URL structure and on the meta-description will ease the readability of who you are to the users. They can identify in the URL structure that you sell insurance and more specifically for cars, homes or travel. In the description, they can already have some information about what they will find like the different insurance options, the benefits of them, some conditions, etc. All of it will make you more attractive.
Improving the performance of your website
Now that you are more findable and that the users easily come on your website, you want them to stay on your website and do the action that you intended them to (lead, purchase, etc.).
The first thing that will impact the users is the speed of your website. Indeed, if it takes too much time to have the full load of the page, they will leave the page. A Google benchmark shows that 52% of all visitors drops off whenever they are waiting longer than 3 seconds to load a page.
It is quite obvious but as we already observed, companies don’t always have fast website. Nowadays, working on the page speed is crucial. This hot topic is highly relevant in terms of UX. Indeed, people are more and more looking for qualitative content with fast loading time. And in terms of SEO, the search engines attribute a lot of importance to the page speed. Moreover, as the proportion of mobile traffic increases, the importance of mobile page speed at Google side is higher.
Speaking of the growth of mobile, Google puts the accent on mobile experiences. A good mobile experience is key to reach and be on top of the market.
As we are talking about mobile experience, it is quite obvious to work on it for a good user experience.
Help the user and the search engines to easily navigate through your website
Improving the website performance is not enough. The following metaphor will simply and easily show you why it is the case:
“Even if you make the fastest car in the world, no one will want to drive it if it’s impossible to steer correctly”
Imagine, your land on a page that load quickly, the content is quite rich and loads in 0.5 seconds. What more could you want?! Answer: An easy navigation. What I did not tell you is that this website has too much content and no clear structure. Due to that, you don’t know what to do, you are not influenced to click on a specific button to go further on the website. In this case, even if the website load at high speed, it won’t generate significant volumes of conversion.
How to make it more navigable?
- Use internal links to enable people to easily go through your website. In terms of SEO, it will help you to share the weight of a page with the others.
- Put clear Call-to-Actions (CTA) and fixed the header to leave the navigation tab and CTA(s) accessible. It will lower the exit rate on a page and increase the quality of each session as people will spend more time on your website. This will have an impact on your SEO objective.
- The URL structure will help the users to better know where they are and to more easily find back on which page they were. The SEO impact of it has already been covered before.
- Moreover, having the correct URL redirections will help to avoid people going on the error 404 page. It is quite obvious that people don’t like to go on an error 404 page with no reason because they simply click on an URL on the website.
An easy navigation is more important in terms of UX than SEO for this part. However, you can still observe that the user experience on the website is not negligible for the search engines. To more easily find the navigation issues on your website, you can use all the data in your Google Analytics but used tools like Hotjar, etc.
In conclusion, SEO and UX reinforce each other. So don’t worry about which one to start with, this will already help you for the next steps. Prioritize your work and throw yourself on the first next step.