The Benefits of UX Research in Boosting Your Website's SEO Ranking

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The Benefits of UX Research in Boosting Your Website's SEO Ranking

A common problem at most companies:

Your user experience (UX) team houses at the west end of your office, glaring at their computer screen, ready to create the next UX revolution, while your SEO team sits at the east end, bubbling and talking about key performance indicators (KPIs) and latest updates released by search engines.

These two teams rarely cross paths, probably over a cup of tea near the cafeteria.

That’s where the problem starts! A disconnected approach between UX and SEO is a broken approach.

With Google’s algorithm consistently considering UX as an important ranking feature, a gap between UX and SEO is detrimental. Today, UX, along with your website’s performance metrics, decides how your page performs on search engine rankings

How UX improves SEO

In short, if you’re incapable of solving users’ problems quickly, they won’t be your user for long.

In this article, we show you the benefits of bringing these two seemingly disparate elements of your marketing strategy so you not only optimize pages for Google but for users as well.

The Benefits of UX research in boosting your website’s SEO ranking

Here are some benefits of UX research in boosting your website’s SEO ranking:

1. Improve website usability with a research plan

The usability of your website design is unequivocally an essential factor in avoiding common SEO pitfalls and ensuring your website ranks on the search engine result pages (SERPs).

In recent years, Google and other search engines have slowly drifted toward the mobile-first and usability approach. Google’s algorithm is inclined to rank your website that fits their bill – simply because 60% of your customers use mobile for online searches.

If you want to improve the usability of your website, ensure you create a UX research plan, as it reduces and mitigates the risk of building the wrong usability experience.

One aspect of your UX research includes testing your website’s prototype to see which elements improve usability and which elements users prefer.

Pro-tip: Implementing insights from your UX research boosts your SERPs rank as your website is more user-friendly.

2. Create trust and credibility researching trends

With digital users being tech-savvy, they know what a good website UX experience is.

Such users extensively search for products and services on your website before purchasing. But, if your website is not optimized for users – they’re likely to shift to sites offering what they are looking for.

To create trust and credibility, companies need to conduct research studies. For instance, your UX research study may reveal one of your users’ pain points is their inability to find the “Blog” section, as it’s nested under the “Resources” section.

Using this insight, you remove the nesting and ensure your “Blog” section is easily visible and searchable on your home page. Addressing users’ pain points builds trust and credibility.

Your business requires continuous UX research as it decides who your users are and how you can best serve them.

Interesting statistics: According to the Continuous Research Trends report, 78% of product professionals believe their company can conduct more UX research studies.

3. Enhance layout and design with a professional

Hard-to-use websites and unattractive site designs turn users to your competitors.

Using UX research methods such as allowing users to test a prototype and testing your site across multiple devices improves their experience, resulting in more conversions.

Insights from your UX research help you create a well-thought-out design that impacts user behavior and relates to effective SEO.

For UX research, hire professional UX researchers who have years of experience helping brands create layouts and designs. But, how do you hire qualified and well-educated UX researchers?

The degree needed for UX professionals may include a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in UX/UI design and related areas or a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in user experience design. Hiring qualified professionals ensures your layout and designs resonate with your users.

When users find the right information without wasting time, they’re likely to spend more time on your website – indicating to the web crawlers your website is worthwhile and contains valuable information.

Proper website layout and structuring allow the search bots to assess a page’s relevance.

Pro-tip: Using the right hierarchy of headings impacts your SEO performance.

4. Increase page speed

Websites taking an age to load are terrible for user experience and detrimental to your SEO.

Page speed is a proven ranking factor, but you don’t have to be a UX expert to know how slow-loading pages are frustrating and troublesome from a user’s perspective.
When the page load time increases from one to three seconds, the probability of bounce increases by 32%.

UX improves page speed

When the page speed increases, customers are likely to spend more time on your website, resulting in higher rankings on the SERPs.

One way to enhance your page load speed is removing unnecessary images and videos from your landing page or website. By optimizing page loading speed, designers ensure visitors have a positive experience with the application or website, resulting in increased engagement and satisfaction.

Pro-tip: The factors affecting your UX also affect conversions and SEO.

5. Affect how users see your brand

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As SEO partly drives UX, both these work together and determine how users perceive your website.

One of the most prominent components of your website’s UX is its content. When writing SEO-friendly content, ensure your writing is well-structured and easy to understand and comprehend.

When your content is trustworthy and relevant, users will return and do more business with you.

On the contrary, if you create content stuffed with keywords and write it for search engines instead of your users, they may find it challenging to read, pushing them away.

There’s no point in impressing Google by writing Google-friendly content. Instead, if you write user-friendly content, Google will automatically get impressed and rank your website higher on the search engines.

This is because your SERP suffers when Google realizes users are not engaging with your content.

Pro-tip: Your users prefer reading quality content, and it takes less than a minute to decide whether your content is worth reading, so make every word count.

Best practices of UX design to boost your website’s SEO ranking

Use these best practices to boost your website’s SEO ranking:

1. Single out simplicity

Simplicity is your key to success when it comes to boosting your SEO. Typically, simple UX designs are intuitive and attract organic traffic. An easy-to-read homepage, which is easy to navigate, helps Google index your pages.

Even your tech-savvy users prefer a simple design, creating a win-win situation for everyone.

2. Simplify your website’s navigation

SEO encourages robust site architecture, often resulting in complex navigations. More is not always better, especially when it comes to UX design.

Though complicated navigation structures enhance SEO, it accomplishes this at the cost of your user experience. This may force users to leave your website sooner than you anticipated. Rather than using the mindset of making all web pages accessible to search engines, think the opposite.

Think about how accessible pages are to your users.

Using stripped-back navigation with a few pages is an SEO-friendly tactic providing the best of both worlds – UX and SEO.

3. Ditch the left or right sidebars for mobile websites

Before the Smartphone world disrupted everything, sidebars were an integral part of any desktop website.

But, today they are a big turn-off for many users. Most websites are user-friendly, meaning all content flows in a single column – leaving no room for sidebars.

While desktop website sidebars may not die, developers are slowly ditching their sidebars to make websites more mobile responsive. Developers may use sidebars in the design of your corporate blogs.

Typically, blogs publishing long-form content often add a table of contents on their sidebars to help readers navigate through the article. Having a table of content that pulls H2 and H3 from your article improves your UX and even SEO.

Google uses this navigation element for creating featured snippets – taking your SEO to another level.

4. Use language switcher

If your website targets users from different countries, localizing your website and adding a language switcher is more critical than ever.

Websites lacking these features fail to provide a great user experience with your brand.

These small yet super effective features should be available on your site’s header or footer.

Is ignoring UX killing your SEO?

When evaluating your website’s ranking, Google considers technical factors and human behavior. Gathering data on how much time users spend on a website and how they interact with it drives a significant part of Google’s decisions.

SEO and UX are a match made in heaven because SEO brings people to your website, whereas UX keeps them on your site longer and improves conversions.

While both UX and SEO are two different fields, keeping your users at the center of both worlds ensures a thriving business.

With this in mind, many of the changes you implement in your UX improve your SEO and even vice-versa!

Author’s bio

Priya Jain has been copywriting professionally for over eight years. She has attained an engineering degree and an MBA. She teaches math, spends her time running behind her toddler, and tries new recipes when she isn’t writing. You can find her on LinkedIn.

Author Priya Jain
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