TMCnet Feature
July 15, 2020

How Does User Experience Design Affect SEO?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is how search engines determine which content will rank higher than others. SEO is based on rules that all webmasters can follow to manipulate the algorithm to reach the first page of any search engine. In the past, SEO meant stuffing keywords into a blog post. Now, it includes factors like quality of web interface and user metrics - this is where user experience (UX) comes into play. Let’s look at the most crucial UX metrics that can help your website rank higher on Google (News - Alert).

Bounce Rate

A website bounce rate refers to how many users click off a page after viewing. The bounce rate doesn’t just include the front page, although it does hold the most significant percentage of SEO in that category. For example, a B2B marketing agency that sells a messaging platform won’t rank high if their potential customers don’t like the look of the front page. It’s vital to grab your potential customers immediately to keep SEO ranking high while making money for your site.

Load Time

Users don’t have the same retention time as they did ten years ago when the Internet was relatively slower. But, let’s be honest; there are few things more frustrating for user retention than a slow website. There are multiple culprits for slow speed, like a slow internet connection, large file sizes, or too many videos loading at the same time. UX agency Clay suggested reducing load time by frequently issuing multiple speed tests to see where the problem lies on your specific webpage. A website’s load time can reduce exponentially with each image you remove or reduce in size from your front page.

Mobile Optimization

More than 50% of all web traffic comes from a mobile device like a tablet or phone, so mobile responsiveness is just as important as desktop responsiveness. If your website doesn’t have a mobile version, you could lose 50% of your organic traffic. Plus, Google isn’t kind to any webpage that doesn’t have a mobile equivalent. WordPress and Squarespace both have an option to see your website in a portable format, so if you’re unsure what your front page looks like on a smaller scale, use that feature. 

URL Structure

URLs that look like a mess of text aren’t user friendly. YouTube (News - Alert) has a structure that’s a mess of numbers, letters, and underscores, but they get away with it because they already rank so high, but your new writing website won’t be able to get away with that. For example, if you have a website about writing called, and you’re writing an article about SEO optimization, your URL structure should look like this: 

You can automatically guess what the website is about, what page you’ll be directed to, and you’ll be able to type that URL in the future quickly. Focus on crafting clean, coherent URLs that are easy for both you and Google to decipher. 

Headers and Menus

The menus you place on your front page will improve user experience and help you rank higher on search engines. If you have 20 headers and 50 sub-headers or your headers go to the wrong place on your website, that will affect your bounce rate. You don’t want your audience to feel confused and overwhelmed by navigating your site. Create a middle ground by having enough categorization for your users to find the content they’re interested without drowning in menus and sub-menus that make the process too complicated.

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