The evolution and advancement of Google algorithms throughout the years are simply astonishing. In order to favour relevant websites in their results, ranking factors constantly change and their importance shifts with every update. Aspects which only a few years ago didn’t matter at all, or mattered very merely, can now make a big difference in your SEO campaign and influence the final success of your business strategy.
One of the factors which although was always considered important, at least by the smarter part of SEO professionals, but didn’t necessary have a direct impact on website’s rankings in the past was user experience. Today however, things have changed. Nowadays, search engines such as Google or Bing pay close attention to this matter and favours websites which, put simply, make the life of a visitor easier.
A recent study by Moz, which you can find here, discusses that the relationship between UX and SEO is clear. According to the guide, a positive user-interface “provides an indirect but measurable benefit to a site’s external popularity, which the engines can then interpret as a signal of higher quality. Crafting a thoughtful, empathetic UX helps ensure that visitors to your site perceive it positively, encouraging sharing, bookmarking, return visits and inbound links–all signals that trickle down to the search engines and contribute to high rankings.“
Put simply, UX will impact your website’s rankings and it is up to the webmaster to make sure your site provides visitors with a positive user experience. There is a range of different ways in which your website can send a signal to the search engines, letting them know that it is providing a great UX.
1. Ease of Navigation
2. Relevant Content
When preparing your content, you must keep in mind which factors google looks for when determining whether a website’s content is relevant and actionable for the user. In 2015,the three key content signals that google put a very strong emphasis on were engagement metrics, panda algorithms and the link structure. In terms of engagement on your website, it’s important that your bounce rate is as low as possible. For Google, this simply means that whoever visits your website finds the content engaging enough to stay and read more instead of immediately clicking the back button. Linking structure is also important. Good internal linking as well as organic links from high quality websites pointing in your direction will tell the search engine that your content is of high quality and worth sharing and linking to.
Today, the world is smaller than it ever was before. Globalisation and growth of fast internet allows consumers from one corner of the world to purchase and interact with businesses based in the other. In fact, 1 in 5 consumers already regularly purchases goods online from shops abroad, and the number grows continuously. Over 90% of those consumers say that they would feel more comfortably if the information about products/services were available in their language. Indeed, world’s leading brands have their websites and content available in a number of languages. This helps to approach customers, engage them and provide them with valuable information. This, consequently, allows google to see that you’re doing everything you can to improve your UX. Certainly, the quality of translations also matter. In fact, perhaps the only solution to ensure high quality of translations is working with professional agencies offering translation services tailored for businesses, such as this one or this one.Not only these agencies use native language speakers, but also guarantee expert knowledge within your business sector, let it be legal, marketing, financial or any other.
4. Website Speed
The importance of how quickly your website is able to load and show information for users has increased enormously over the past couple of years. Search engines now prefer websites which load as smoothly as possible as this delivers a great user experience. Looking at the issue from visitor’s point of view, it is also important that a website is fast because, let’s be honest, nobody wants to wait, and so if a website takes too long to load, they might simply get frustrated, leave and visit your competitor instead. A great way of speeding up your website’s performance is decreasing the size of images you are using. Also, cleaning up your html code can do wonders.
All in all, user experience is now an important part of search engine algorithms. Is it a good thing? Well, yes. Whether we like it or not, it promotes better and more relevant websites, the ones which went an extra mile in order to make their visitors happy, and that’s just the way it should be, shouldn’t it?
Great article. Will definitely apply the changes to our website.