An Under-Rated Part of SEO – The User Experience
When optimizing a website for search engines, more often than not, people focus on more widely known strategies like focus keywords, page length, and meta information. While these strategies are absolutely necessary for ranking well on Google, the more underrated part of SEO is a site’s user experience. User experience is extremely important and something few people realize Google takes into account when judging a website.
Focus on providing a great user experience on your website and SEO basics and watch as you climb to the first page of Google.
WHAT IS USER EXPERIENCE?
The term “user experience” refers to the experience someone has while on your site. This includes how easy it is to navigate from one page to another, how quickly pages load, how helpful your information is, and more. This also includes less tangible things like a pleasant color scheme and aesthetically pleasing design.
HOW DOES GOOGLE MEASURE USER EXPERIENCE?
There are several ways Google can measure user experience. Some of the main ways are time spent per page, time spent on the website as a whole, interacting with elements like buttons and videos, and even if someone returns to a page again later. Some things that can signal Google to think your website provides a poor user experience would be things like a high bounce rate and a low number of pages visited per session.
STRATEGIES TO IMPROVE THE USER EXPERIENCE
Your main goals to show Google you provide a good user experience are to increase the average time spent per page and to get users to interact with multiple pages and elements. You will want to set up your website in a way that Google likes, but also just to make it a good informative website that gives Google searchers the information they want.
An easy way to keep customers engaged and on the page for a while is through images and videos. People are visual creatures so seeing relevant images and videos they can relate to is a good way to keep them excited and on your page. Closely related to that are graphics and illustrations. In a recent Boxwood blog post, we discussed the importance of using illustrations for your branding, and that is true for your website as well. Creating stimulating, on-brand graphics will help a customer connect and relate more quickly than words can, so be sure to implement those when appropriate on your website.
Finally, another easy way to show Google users enjoy your website is by getting them to click links. These can be links to other pages on your website or buttons on a contact form. Interactions with elements on your website are a good indication that your website is user friendly and pleasant to use.
IMPLEMENTING USER EXPERIENCE STRATEGIES
Implement these user experience strategies on your website and watch your traffic grow. By incorporating images and videos into your website, adding graphics, and incorporating relevant links, you can vastly improve your site’s overall user experience. It is not all about going through a checklist of SEO strategies. Consider the overall journey of the users on your website as well!