User experience and SEO go hand in hand.
To attract people to your site, you need to have a strong SEO foundation. And without that foundation, you could be missing a huge audience.
Once you get people to your site, you need to keep them there. That’s where a strong user experience comes in. Without a proper user experience design, people might leave your site. And we all know that angers the search engines and negatively impacts your rankings.
Yes, it’s a never-ending cycle, but optimizing user experience and usability through design will ensure you get and keep people on your site.
Lower bounce rates
If your website has a great user experience design, you’ll probably have a lower bounce rate, meaning people don’t leave your site after viewing just one page. Not everyone agrees that bounce rate affects your ranking, but there is a consensus among marketers that a high bounce rate will negatively impact your SEO.
Increased page views
A good user experience design will have your customers staying on your website longer, resulting in more page views. Search engines definitely consider page views when deciding if your content is relevant enough and high quality enough to show users.
Designers should beware of pogo sticking, which means your website visitor immediately clicks off the page after landing there. Pogo sticking is a bad sign for your rankings.
Fast loading speeds
We’ve talked about the importance of fast loading speeds before, but a good user experience design makes sure website speeds are as optimized as possible. If your website is slow to load, impatient users will leave. And this results in a higher page abandonment, which search engines are using as a ranking factor more and more.
Another important element of a great user experience is a responsive design. Whether a user is viewing your site on a desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone, the design should function the same. Users and search engines alike expect a design to be seamless, so make sure your design is responsive. If you need further encouragement, Google is testing a mobile-first index when returning results.
Keywords and backlinks
If your website has lots of relevant keywords, your user will know he’s in the right place. Consistently using your keywords is a cornerstone of a good SEO strategy and is key to getting ranked in your categories.
Designing your website to optimize user experience will help your site build high-quality backlinks. If a visitor likes your site and found useful information there, she may use it as a reference point and link back to it. Having great organic backlinks also helps your SEO rankings.
While it’s important to satisfy search engine algorithms, it’s much more important to design a website that provides your users with high-quality content that meets their needs. If you can consistently do that, chances are you’ll grow your business and improve your search rankings in the process.