SEO was pretty simple a couple of years ago – the only thing needed to be done was putting the right keywords in a website’s text and you’ve done it! Unfortunately, today is a different situation – there are numerous factors that Google takes into account before determining whether your website will rank high or not.
What it actually means today is that some elements of user experience (UX) have to be included in SEO practice. For example, it’s important to enable your visitors to easily navigate the page, to have a quality content and a website that’s mobile-friendly and fast. This is why today’s SEO takes some elements of UX into account in order to make it through to the top of the ranks.
In short, search engines are the target of SEO work, while the visitors are the targets of UX practice, but their common goal is to provide a visitor with the best possible experience.
Luckily, a typical SEO doesn’t have to be highly skillful in UX, just to have basic knowledge of its goals and it will be possible to mix these two practices into a perfect blend. Here’s how it can be done:
1. Use of headings
Headings are supposed to help both visitors and search engine crawlers find important information and to understand what the content is about. Headings inform them on the hierarchy of the text, dividing clear paragraphs into logical groups. Visitors also find them helpful if they get lost on a page.
One h1 tag on a page is enough – it gives both search engines and visitors the focus of the page, located near the top of the page. A good trick is to add keywords towards the front of the heading. No need to use all of the headings, sometimes h1 and a couple of h2s are enough.
2. Site speed
Google search has been taking site speed as an important ranking factor for quite some time, but now mobile page speed (not the one on a desktop) will be even more important, as most people visit pages on their mobile devices because of its convenience. So, the speed at which your website is loaded is even more important if you’re doing it on your smartphone. You can check your site speed by using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool – you just enter your URL and you’ll get information on what issues with speed and loading your website has, along with some practical advice how to deal with them.
3. Simple and clear navigation
There are a lot of sites that are still too complicated for a visitor, so it’s important for you to be reminded that your site represents a map for the search engines, too. Be aware of the fact that many visitors won’t end up on your homepage, as most of them will be brought there through some links that lead them to another page of your site, so make sure that every page is easy to navigate and that it has clear ways of how to go to the homepage and other significant pages. Here are the essentials for creating web design that is effective – make sure there are no dead ends, loads of options or popups that would just confuse search engines and visitors. Also, clear site navigation will lead to site links that appear in Google search results, which will allow you to take more ranks on the first page and push out the competition.
About two years ago, Google released a new update that refers to mobile-friendliness, so SEOs had to have it in mind as a big factor when it comes to rankings. In 2018, the job will be even harder, as your mobile site will be seen as the main website that Google search engines will take into account, so mobile-friendliness is a crucial factor here. Think carefully about everything that affects navigation, even button sizes, and the design can influence the interaction and user experience, which means directly or indirectly making an impact on SEO, too.
5. Elicit the click
Your search listing needs to attract the visitor’s attention, so concentrate on:
– title tags – as you have only 70 characters to use, make it count. The language needs to have the keywords, but also to offer valuable information to the reader.
– URLs / Breadcrumbs – if they follow the title tag, they will add value to the site. Otherwise, the site will be considered as irrelevant to the searcher’s needs.
It’s a fact that search engines and other technologies constantly evolve, while customers raise the standards every once in a while, it’s important for your business to find out how to work out the issues that arise in this fast-changing game. Combining SEO and UX elements in your strategy will definitely help you get and stay high on the top of the ranks.