why the combination of these concepts is a pillar of digital strategies – WAU
Companies from all over the world are investing in the synergy between SEO and UX to win the attention of visitors to their websites and stand out in an increasingly competitive digital world. In this article, we will explain details of these two concepts working together!
For many years, being among the top positions in search engines has been synonymous with repeatedly using keywords and executing aggressive link building strategies, focused only on the number of links.
However, changes in algorithms and user behavior have shaken the strategy and caused companies to abandon their comfort zone. Thus, SEO won a brother: UX.
In this post, we will show how the two combine within a Digital Marketing strategy to retain users and make their experience a highly positive website. We will talk about the following points:
SEO and UX: What do these concepts mean?
SEO stands for Searching Engine Optimization and UX stands for User Experience. Next we will explain the concepts separately, so that you understand better.
SEO (Website Optimization)
Search Engine Optimization, or Search Engine Optimization, covers a series of actions applied to web pages to achieve good positions in the search engine results list.
SEO focuses its efforts on influence the artificial intelligence responsible for analyzing and evaluating the quality of a website to index and rank it on the results pages.
This analysis bases its results on technical characteristics (such as keyword optimization, number of links, friendly URLs, among others) and ease of use characteristics – such as content format, page load time, responsive web design, in addition to other factors.
UX (User Experience)
UX centers its actions on the user. Everything revolves around the experience that people have when interacting with a product, service or brand.
How do users react when going through a certain experience? What can be improved to make it more enjoyable? These are the main questions that the discipline answers.
Through UX, companies seek to solve their users’ problems through a functional and at the same time attractive interface in terms of accessibility, design and content.
Why do SEO and UX come together in a web positioning strategy?
If something today was very evident in SEO, it is that it is not about technology, but about people.
The professionals of the area realized that, gradually, search engines were analyzing user behavior to understand what was really important to themin order to offer visitors the best experience possible.
Thus, the algorithms began to take into account metrics directly related to the user experience, such as:
- loading speed;
- time spent on the page;
- bounce rate;
- CTR (ratio of impressions to clicks).
These numbers, based on user behavior, indicate whether people are finding what they are looking for and whether what they find is easy and enjoyable to consume.
In a practical example: if a user effortlessly navigates through the pages of your site, interacts with your links, performs actions and stays long, the artificial intelligence of search engines understands that you offer the user a good experience. Thus, it favors your ranking, giving you better positions.
The 7 facets of user experience in SEO
To better understand the relationship between the two terms, let’s talk about a concept well known in UX and developed by Peter Morville, president of Semantic Studios.
According to Morville, it is necessary to apply seven components in optimizing a website to provide a good user experience. Are they:
- useful: the content of a web page must be useful for the user;
- usable: the page must be easy to use and provide what the user expects;
- desirable: the website must present elements (images, identity, brand, sounds, animations) that are visually attractive and that encourage interaction, a factor closely related to the user interface;
- localizable: in a simple way, the objective of SEO is to make users find the site in a simple and practical way;
- accessible: the website must be accessible to all users, regardless of the conditions in which they find themselves;
- valuable: content developed on a website must offer value to users;
- trustworthy: The web page must convey authority on the subject in order for users to trust the content developed.
What are the benefits of offering a good UX?
If you arrived here, you already understood that the user experience is directly related to the positioning of the search engine. However, this is not the only benefit of User Experience.
The positive interaction of users with your website will give them a feeling of satisfaction that will improve the public’s perception of your brand.
In addition, when we talk about online business, sales are another segment that takes advantage of UX, since good usability directly affects the conversion rate.
In the long run, the user experience reduces customer service costs, as visitors will be able to access information and fulfill their goals in an easy and intuitive way, without the need to consult help services.
What SEO and UX mistakes should you avoid on your website?
In order not to make some basic mistakes, we have made a list of the 4 main ones that you should avoid in order not to hinder the creation of your website from the beginning.
1. Don’t think like the user
This error is usually the most common when creating a website. Remember if: the website being developed is not for you, but for your company’s audience. They determine how information and content should be presented, according to your preferences and browsing behaviors.
To understand your user, you must first know who is really interested in what you offer. Your main question should be “Who are we going to create the layout for?”. Buyer personas creation techniques will help you answer that question.
An example of a site that did not highlight the user is RyanAir, which hides the “I don’t want travel insurance” button on the ticket booking page and places it in a difficult place to be found.
2. Create your website without responsive design
Just look around for a few minutes to understand the importance of responsive design. People are continuously online, so the ease of accessing the web via cell phone has made this feature the main connection element.
According to Adobe, on average, users use their cell phones every 5.6 minutes during the day. What would happen if these people tried to access your page and were unable to view it?
Access on mobile devices requires special attention. Users, as well as search engines, want to find information quickly. However, using the same design applied to the desktop can turn that experience into something extremely irritating.
For this reason, it is always a good idea to constantly think about simple and intelligent design decisions for mobile public browsing. Including, more than half of Google searches are done from mobile devicestherefore, setting aside technical optimization for smartphones is a serious mistake.
3. Forget the metrics
Ensuring a successful navigation on your site and increasing the possibility of it appearing among the first results is only possible if you study your metrics well and, of course, take action according to the results shown. Google Analytics includes a lot of data for you to do this analysis.
According to SEMRush, the ranking of search engines is mainly related to three UX metrics. One of them is the direct visits, when users enter by typing your website’s URL directly into the browser bar.
Another is the time on page, which indicates how long users remain on your site after signing in.
Finally, the amount of pages per session indicates how many pages a user visits and reads every time they enter your site.
These numbers show whether the audience is having a good experience according to the SEO and UX techniques you have applied or whether changes should be made. For example, if you notice that people are not staying long enough on your homepage, some factors may be causing the problem, such as:
- the placement keyword is not related to your products or services;
- there is too much information on the page, which can confuse visitors;
- CTA buttons (call to action) are not highlighted;
- your page is inaccessible to mobile devices.
There are many reasons that can harm the user experience, which leads us to the next error.
4. Stop testing
There are always things to improve and adaptations to be done according to the behavior of your audience and, for this reason, tests become essential. They are the only way to find out what is working and has good acceptance by the user and what things do not work.
Test the position of the buttons, the titles, the location of the products, the colors used and so on. And, of course, be sure to keep track of what you’re testing, documenting the changes to analyze the results.
How to retain users with the help of SEO and UX?
Create appropriate and compelling headlines
The titles of a web page, also known as heading tags H1, H2, H3, among others, guide visitors through the content. They are also a way to show the search engine algorithm what your website is for.
So, they create a logical hierarchy, organizing content and making it easier to read, both for users and for the artificial intelligence of search engines.
To use the headings correctly, it is recommended to apply the H1 tag at the top of the page, making sure to include keywords in it. Only one H1 heading tag should be used per page, respecting good design and accessibility practices.
Use the other headings, from H2 to H6, to organize the structure of your page. They must be in hierarchical order so that website readers and algorithms can accurately identify the content of your website.
Create effective CTAs
Call to action, or visual calls to action, are visual or textual elements essential if you want your visitors to interact with the site, for example, when downloading content, shopping or subscribing to the newsletter.
Many sites still leave their visitors unsure of what to do while browsing, which ends up hurting the experience. For this reason, choosing the best type of CTA makes all the difference. Thus, factors such as size, color, text, visual identity and position must be carefully considered.
Offer intuitive and natural navigation
Navigation is a crucial part. A website can be very complete, but it is useless if users are unable to access the information. Navigation should be intuitive and natural, so that visitors can find what they’re looking for, without wasting a lot of time thinking about where to click.
When organizing the structure of your website, consider using navigation bars or drop-down menus, if it is a more robust website. In addition to facilitating navigation, they help indexing in search engines.
For a user to find the information they want, it is indicated that he does not need to click more than four. Keeping this structure simple also makes it easier to read search engines.
Exploring new content formats, such as interactive ones, is also an excellent alternative to retain the attention of visitors and make navigation even more captivating.
Increase loading speed
Search engines like Google have already announced that website speed is a very important ranking factor, especially in the mobile experience.
According to data from CrazyEgg, 53% of the time, users of mobile devices give up on a page that takes more than three seconds to load. There are many tools that allow you to analyze the speed of a page, like Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
When entering the URL, the resource measures how the site can improve its performance and provides specific suggestions to reduce the page load time.
Don’t forget that in this strategy, it’s all about testing and getting to know your audience deeply. The more effort you put into the details and usability of your website, the more likely you are to delight your brand users.
The truth is that if you want to please search engines, you must please users. And that is exactly why SEO and UX go hand in hand to create a successful experience.
If you want to further optimize the visitor experience, get to know UX Writing and discover the power of words in a User Experience strategy!