A few years ago, search engines ranked sites based on things like keywords. Today, user engagement variables have become the more pivotal factors for increasing a website’s SEO rankings. Those engagement variables include things like the time visitors spend on sites and the individual pages they visit.
Google now recognizes real human behavior when determining which websites should top search rankings. That means User Experience and User Interface design have both become much more relevant to SEO rankings.
To help you know which areas of UX and UI design you should focus on for your online platforms, here’s an insightful look at the specifics of how UX and UI design affect SEO. Once you know how to implement the right UX/UI design elements, you can improve your search engine rankings and gain more visitors to your website.
UI Design and SEO
Quite simply, the more attractive and engaging your website’s user interface is, the more visitors it will get. However, there’s little point in having an aesthetically pleasing platform if the nuts and bolts behind it are not functioning to provide the best SEO. If you want to create the best user interface design possible and have access to professional web design, branding, digital strategy, and development, you should definitely consider hiring professionals at a UX/UI design agency. But regardless of whether you get experts on board or go it alone, here are three ways in which the user interface affects SEO rankings.
At the forefront of good UI design is a well-designed user interface that anticipates your visitors’ needs; enabling them to find what they want easily and quickly. When your website structure and site navigation is fully optimized, it can lead to site links appearing in results on search engines like Google.
It’s essential your website uses clean code so that it can easily be crawled by search engines. If your code is difficult to read, your website’s ranking will be very low on sites like Google. Furthermore, if you do not use clean code, your website’s performance will be slow, which will make it less appealing to visitors in addition to creating a negative score for SEO.
Did you know Google now considers your mobile website to be the main website? It’s important to know, as it means you have to take even more care of your mobile-friendly site than ever before. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile at all, it will dramatically limit its SEO performance.
Headings are often overlooked with regards to how UI design affects SEO. But if you do not use relevant headings, search engines will not be able to fully understand the purpose of your website. In turn, that means your site will not rank as high as it would with carefully thought out headings. When headings are used appropriately, search engine indexers understand what your website is all about much easier. However, while it is important to use the right headings, it is also pivotal you do not use too many headings. Getting the balance right can improve your SEO rankings.
UX Design and SEO
Good UX design is basically about having a website that visitors are satisfied with and which they can easily navigate. Although not as directly related to SEO as UI design, UX design can still contribute to the ranking performance of your site. Search engines use metrics to indicate the quality of your website. Your ranking is then affected by those metrics. Several metrics are closely related to UX design. Here are three UX elements that contribute to better SEO.
When you insert meta tags and ensure both the meta title and meta description are optimized to entice clicking, search engines will find your content more valuable and push you up the SEO rankings.
By ensuring visitors to your website spend as much time as possible on it, the bounce rate will be reduced. In turn, that means your SEO performance will be improved. You can ensure users spend as much time on your website as possible by creating valuable content that specifically addresses the needs of the visitors.
Value is added to your website when people link your pages. When backlinks are used, it can boost your SEO performance, so you should acquire as many inbound links as possible.
An integral part of an effective user experience strategy for achieving good SEO results is the structure of URLs. When you use effective URL structures, you help to orient users in relation to the overall hierarchy of your site. At the same time, the URL helps to communicate what the individual web page is about. When you use ineffective URL structures, users will experience the opposite: no sense of the hierarchical nature of your website and no insight about the contents of the web page. Pay attention to the keywords that you use in your URL, because search engines like Google use the words in a URL to index web pages. Focus on coherent and clean URLs that both search engine crawlers and website visitors can easily understand.
It should now be clear how both UX design and UI design can contribute to better SEO. Good UI design includes making your website easily navigable, using clean code, implementing a mobile responsive design, and incorporating appropriate headings. Good UX design involves things like inserting carefully phrased meta tags, considering bounce rates, implementing inbound links, and using the right URL structures.
However, even with the knowledge of what makes good and bad UX/UI design, it can be challenging to find the right settings for your website. It will require lots of testing, analysis, feedback from users, and technical skills. So, unless you’re an expert yourself, it’s best to hire a professional to ensure your website is optimized for SEO via the best UI and UX design practices. It’s a worthy investment when it means your platform will rank higher on search engines and therefore provide your site with more users.
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