In fact, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and User Experience have aligned. They are working together to either help you or upset you when it comes to search results. In short, what is good for the user is good for the search engines. If you’re looking for ways to improve your website’s user experience so you can increase search rankings, drive more traffic, and boost conversions and keep reading.
User Experience can be summarized as how a person experiences your website while he/she is navigating your webpages. Is the site understandable, gives people a reason to engage with your content and easy to navigate? Or, is the website frustrating, confusing, and not giving site visitors what they’re looking for? Answers to these questions will give the insight into the status of your site’s User Experience.
The easiest way to think of the partnership between search engine optimization and user experience: SEO targets search engines and ranks you high or low depending on the success of your efforts whereas User Experience targets your site visitors once they land on your website and start interacting with your webpages. Without SEO, you’ll have no traffic coming to your website; and without a good user experience, your site’s SEO will suffer. And so the circle goes round and round.
Altogether, Google ranks websites based on many ranking factors such as keywords, quality of content, inbound links, image optimization, site structure, and readability.
A. Checking the Bounce Rate
People abandon websites for many reasons. Common reasons include your website may be slow to load, or site visitors may experience errors when they land on your site, the keywords you’re ranking for may not relate to your site’s content. To improve the user experience the following practices can be followed. a. Creating multiple landing pages for organic traffic to land on that target different keywords for different types of visitors
b. Writing high quality content with relevant keywords built into the content and add image alt tags
c. Crafting a relevant meta description that draws people to your website when your site turns up in search results
d. Focusing on content organization, use of whitespace, large fonts, bullet lists, and good color contrast
e. Increasing site speed
f. Using a responsive theme and make sure your site is mobile friendly
B. Monitor Average Session Duration
The more engaging and valuable your site’s contents are; the longer time people will spend on your site exploring what you offering. Reading blog content, leaving comments, and even buying products and services are included. For instance, if you notice people spend a lot of time reading infographics, add more into your content marketing plan. On the contrary, if you notice that people aren’t spending a lot of time on one of your landing pages, test it to see why. Some reasons could include:
a) Ranking keywords have nothing to do with your products or services
b) Information on the landing page overwhelms site visitors
c) Call to action buttons aren’t clear
d) The homepage of your site is inaccessible from your landing page
C. Using Proper Headings
Headings are the roadmap for guiding your site visitors through your content. In fact, use of proper headings is easier for both site visitors and search engines to see what your content is about. They create a logical hierarchy, organize thoughts, and make scanning written text a cinch. This way people can understand the primary focus of your page and crawlers can index your site under the right categories in search results. By using keywords in your headers so site visitors understand what they’re reading and crawlers can index your site properly. D. Improving Site Navigation
Checking the following tips is necessary to improve the navigation
• To avoid complex, multi-level, or confusing menu items
• To make sure your mobile site’s navigation is easy to use
• To include a navigation menu on all webpages. People won’t always land on your site’s homepage
• To consider making your menu sticky on your desktop site so it follows site visitors as they scroll
• To be descriptive, but clear about where each item leads site visitors
• To add a search bar so people can type specifics for what they’re looking for on your site
Lastly, limiting the number of navigation menu items you have. It will help to boost link authority to the rest of your website. When your navigation has too many links, it makes it harder for your other webpages to rank in search results.
Ultimately, navigation affects how many people will convert once they land on your site. Making it easy for people to navigate your website and find what they need will also boost the number of pages’ people visit, increase your session duration times, and of course, help you rank better in search results. E. Site Speed and Performance
The speed and performance of your website has long been a ranking factor. Now the speed of your mobile site has become a ranking factor as well. But more importantly, your webpage’s loading speed affects the overall User Experience of your website. To test the existing speed of your desktop and mobile websites, check out the free Google Page Speed Insights tool. With this tool, Google will tell you how fast your mobile and desktop sites are, and even give you suggestions for optimizing your site:
• Minimize HTTP requests
• Minify CSS, JS, and CSS files
• Compress images to reduce file sizes
• Upgrade hosting
• Use a caching solution
• Enable a CDN
• Use lazy load for images
• Reduce plugin use to decrease server strain
• Reduce redirects
By increasing the loading speed of your website, you’ll not only impress site visitors, but search engine crawlers indexing your site. So, evaluate your website from the point of view of a site visitor. Think about how they feel when they navigate your webpages, read your content, and purchase your products.
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