When optimizing your website for search engines, it is imperative to consider the user experience as people don’t stick around very long with a site that provides poor usability, and won’t probably come back for more. User experience design or UX design is the process of increasing user satisfaction by improving the site usability and the pleasure provided during the interaction between the user and the product. Let’s see why UX design is critical for your SEO efforts in 2015.
Searchmetrics released SEO Ranking Factors and Rank Correlations 2014 – Google U.S’ last year’s ranking factor study that gives an in-depth definition and evaluation of the factors having a rank correlation with organic search results. User signals are among the most important ranking factors of 2014. This factor was measured for the first time and it was found that a relationship existed between rankings and higher click-through rates, lower bounce rates and high time-on-site. A site that is difficult to use or navigate can reduce time-on-site and pages viewed, and increase bounce rates thereby hurting your rankings. Thus, UX design is very important to boost your rankings in the coming years that will witness the growing importance of user signals.
So, you are ready to accommodate a user experience design into your optimization efforts. Now, what are the crucial elements of an UX design? It includes several items such as:
- The loading speed of your site as no one wants to wait long for a web page. A slow site can invite a high bounce rate.
- The size of your buttons, which is really important for touch screen devices where buttons need to be large enough to be tapped with the fingers.
- Web page loading your main content first, and ads as well as other third party widgets second.
- Readability of your website which includes the areas of comprehension, grammatical accuracy and also legibility (for e.g. font sizes, contrast, font weights)
- Accessibility of your website and positioning of critical information on the page (for example, avoid placing ‘buy now’ at the footer)
- Better navigation and social signals
UX Design and Mobile SEO
Mobile user experience is a critical factor in mobile SEO since mobile devices have a screen smaller than the desktop and the mobile users preferably spend very less time for mobile search. Most online marketers are relying on responsive design to achieve better mobile user experience. This design not only accommodates a range of viewport sizes across desktop and mobile, but also offers smart responsive solutions including conditional loading, responsiveness according to group and a server-side layer to improve the site loading speed.
The Google updates introduced in 2014 highlight the fact that mobile user experience will become more critical in the coming years. In May, Google added mobile-specific recommendations in PageSpeed Insights to help online marketers fix usability issues and ensure a better user experience. In October, the search engine giant introduced Mobile Usability feature in Webmaster Tools that allows you to check for the mobile usability issues with your website and gives you usability reports that clearly explain each issue. With this knowledge, you can surely implement more effective solutions.
To put it in a nutshell, it’s time for businesses to invest in UX design solutions and thus drive more online traffic, increase conversions and enhance revenue. Reliable web design experts can recommend solutions specific to each business’s needs.