to create websites that convert
Not so long ago websites would be able to rank high on search engines by tricking the algorithms and having a lot of spammy content. Nowadays search engines are extremely clever, constantly changing and updating algorithms and it can be quite hard to keep up. Two things stay true regardless of what new algorithms search engines introduce. The first is having a great user experience and the second is having a solid SEO strategy in place, and both work together creates great websites that convert users into paying customers.
The link between UX and SEO
UX (user experience) and SEO (search engine optimization) play a vital role in developing a website or product to help you stand out in your market. Reaching your ideal customers to sell your product or services cannot be done without combining UX and SEO, but how can you make sure you are effectively combining UX and SEO to create high-converting websites?
Think of it like this, if you are building a house, UX is the walls and SEO is the doors. A house without walls would collapse and a house without doors . . . well you need them to get in, you’re not climbing through the windows, are you? You want to make sure your metaphorical house has solid walls in place and easy access doors to bring friends over for a board game or drinks (or whatever you’re into, I’m not here to judge).
What is UX Design?
UX, or user experience, is how a user interacts with your website, product, or service. Have you ever been on a website, and you find it easy (in some cases, even fun) to navigate, find what you are looking for and purchase an item? Well, that’s UX doing its job! To create an effective user experience a UX or Product Designer will look at everything from business goals, market trends and existing products to customer goals and user research to craft a customer journey that will thoughtlessly guide a user through your website with ease. For a website to work as intended, a good user experience should seamlessly guide the user through your site which in turn will not only decrease churn rate (the rate at which customers that go onto your site do not perform any action and leave) but also increase conversions (when a user completes a desired action).
Now, you have an amazing website developed with a great UX strategy but it's like having clothes shop in the middle of the Sahara Desert, you’re just not going to get visitors.
That’s where SEO comes in!
What is SEO and how does it work?
SEO or search engine optimization is a set of practices that are developed for websites to improve the overall presence on the web. This includes optimizing existing content, and search settings and creating great content built around certain keywords to rank your website higher and organically show up when your ideal customer searches for your business product or service. A great SEO strategy helps your business to rank higher on search engines which in turn increases traffic to your website. As I mentioned above, having UX without SEO is bad, the same goes for the other way around. A great SEO strategy includes UX best practices and helps your customers not only find your website but guides them to your desired solution (which is probably spending money with you right?!).
SEO + UX = One Killer Website!
We now know what UX and SEO are and how one cannot work without the other. So how do we implement this into our website?
The first thing we should look at is website responsiveness. A well-designed (UX-friendly) website will be responsive to all screen sizes and work great on laptops, desktops, and mobile devices. This not only is important for the appearance of your website but a website that is not responsive for mobile viewing for example could potentially be losing out on approximately 55% of its audience.
To incorporate the best UX and SEO practices into your website, clear website navigation is pretty darn important. This gives a clear path for both website users and search engines to follow. Just keep it simple, users and search engines are looking for the most convenient route through your site. Long and confusing menus or hard-to-access information are a real no-no.
Having clear site navigation allows search engines to crawl your website and rank your website pages accordingly. This expands your search presence and increases the chance of users finding your website.
Content optimization also affects website UX and SEO. Having relevant and optimized content on your website hugely increases your search potential. Your content should follow the same design style as the rest of your website and using UX best practices should be legible, accessible, and easy to read across all devices. Your content should also be optimized for search engines. Each page should have a clear title that tells both your users and the bots that crawl your website what the website page is about. Titles determine your web page hierarchy and allow search engines to find the most relevant pieces of information that link to certain search topics when on search engines.
Images and Videos
Content includes the images and videos on your website. All images and videos have alt text associated with them that describes to search engines what is in them and link them to relevant searches. As an example, you search for a certain term, say 'Web Design in Ireland'. You then click and the images tab and you are brought to all the images that have ‘web design in Ireland’ included in their Alt Text. It is pretty important to include alt text for all images and videos on your website as this allows search engines to associate your images and videos with the relevant topics.
Load speed is the final factor we will look at today. There are many additional aspects associated with combining UX and SEO but covering the main topics here will definitely see your website ranking higher on search engines and gaining more traffic. Load speed is the time taken for a website page to load. People are pretty impatient nowadays and don’t like to wait. The same goes for your website. Ideally, you want your website to load within three seconds. Yep, that’s it, three seconds! After the three-second mark is where users tend to get either bored or frustrated and go somewhere else. And this can account for up to 40% of your website visitors. So how do you make sure your website is loading fast? Optimizing your content of course! With a good UX in place with a clear navigation system, your website should only feature relevant content without overwhelming the user with information. Your images and videos must be optimized for the web also. Keep the file sizes low when you’re adding them to your site by using tools like imagecompressor.com or tinypng.com. This allows your website to load fast and display great content for your customers when they come searching.
Let’s Wrap It Up!
As a website designer, a product designer or even a business looking to grow your online presence, UX and SEO are now more important than ever. To have a website perform online you must incorporate effective UX and SEO strategies to make your site easy to use and easy to find online. The goal of a business is to make money and make your customers happy. Google and other search engines recognize this and that’s why they now put so much emphasis on your online customer experience. A great customer experience on your website not only ranks your higher on search engines but helps make you more sales too!
So, if there is one takeaway from this spiel, it’s this; if you want to grow your revenue, invest in UX and SEO now.
Want to hear more about how to increase your website potential using UX and SEO?
Get in touch with us. We are happy to review your website UX and your SEO strategy to get you ranking higher and making more sales. Click below to schedule a meeting.