If you’re gearing up to launch an SEO campaign, you probably have all your keywords ready to go. But SEO isn’t just about plugging the right keywords into your website copy and blog posts. It’s also about creating an overall user experience that appeals to your target audience, namely the people searching for these keywords in the first place. That means having a beautifully-designed website that’s full of rich content that meets the needs of your target audience. Find out if your UX/UI is helping or hurting your SEO campaign and what you can do to fix it.
How the User Experience Affects SEO
The top-ranking websites that appear in Google’s search results didn’t get to the top because they used the most keywords. They earned a top spot by creating an online space that appeals to the people searching for these terms in the first place. Google doesn’t want to send its users to websites that don’t offer what the searcher is looking for. Even if your site is related to a particular keyword, it might not be what the searcher is looking for due to one of the following issues:
- Your website is missing information
- It has a layout that’s difficult to use
- You’re using the wrong keywords
- Your website is too slow or unresponsive
- Your website is boring or unattractive
If your website is lacking in one of these areas, Google’s algorithm will push your site further down in the search results, limiting your exposure to new customers and hurting your bottom line.
But how does Google’s algorithm determine which websites offer the best user experience? If Google lists your site in the search results and an overwhelming number of people click off your website within just a few seconds, it shows Google that people aren’t impressed with what they see on your site. This is what’s called the bounce rate, or the number of people that click off your website without clicking around, filling out a form, reading a blog post, or interacting with it in some way, likely because of a user experience that was unfavourable in some way.
You can limit your bounce rate by keeping the viewers and their experience in mind when creating content, designing your website, and even choosing specific search terms.
Choosing Keywords That Match Searcher Intent
Another way to lower your bounce rate is to make sure you’re using the right keywords for your business. Many business owners make the mistake of picking keywords that seem related to their business and stuffing them into their website copy without considering the searcher’s intent. Searcher’s intent is the idea that every person using Google has an end-goal in mind. When a person uses a particular keyword, they expect to find an answer to their question or a business that provides specific products or services. But if your website shows up in the search results and it’s not what the person was looking for, your website will fall further down in the search results. That means every time you use a keyword; you need to fully satisfy the person that’s searching online.
Let’s use the keyword “How to Host an Event” as an example.
If someone types this key phrase into Google, they’re probably looking for an article or a web page that explains how to host an event with tips and advice for DIY event planners. But if you’re using the keyword to promote your event hosting services, the person will most likely click off your website within just a few seconds after skimming the content on the page. This person was looking for valuable advice on how to host an event and an answer to their question. Instead of promoting your services, you should’ve been focused on answering the user’s query.
Make sure you’re using keywords in a way that satisfies the user and gives them the information they’re looking for online so that their experience becomes more productive as a result of having visited your site.
Creating Content That Captures the Viewer’s Interest
When you sit down and try to incorporate your SEO plan into your website copy and marketing content, you need to make sure that you’re writing and publishing content that your users want to see. You can do this by using one of the following methods:
- Look for trending topics on social media and Reddit
- Track your success on social media and see what kinds of posts your followers respond to
- Search for important news and updates in your industry
- Track customer behaviour on your website such as what pages, products, or blog posts are most popular with your site visitors
This gives you a lot of insight into what your target audience wants to see online. You can fill your blog or website copy with information on popular products or topics that seem to be popular with audiences online. This makes your website more valuable in the eyes of readers because you’re posting content that seems relevant and newsworthy, instead of coming up with random topics in a vacuum. The more relevant and enjoyable your content is, the better their experience will be.
Designing a Website with the User in Mind
Now that you have the right keywords and you’re creating exciting content for your readers, it’s time to look at the more technical side of the user’s experience. The decisions you make when building a website can make a strong impression on the people visiting your site for the first time. Make sure your website has the following:
After reaching a company's website via a referral site, 50% of visitors will use the navigation menu to orient themselves. This is an easy way for the user to move around your website. The menu bar should feature clearly-labelled categories for the user to click on such as “About Us”, “Contact”, “Service/Product” pages, and a homepage.
People love to look at compelling images when they’re browsing the internet. They break up space on your webpage, provide a pleasant experience, and they give the viewer more information about your business.
Descriptive Language and Title Tags
People expect to see information about your business and its products and services when they click on your website. Make sure your homepage is filled with need-to-know information about what your company is all about. Once on a company's homepage, 86% of visitors want to see information about that company's products/services.
Call to Action and Getting Viewers to Engage
Google won’t be impressed with your website if your users aren’t engaging with it. You can encourage people to engage with your site by asking them to contact your business, fill out a form, request a consultation, or buy one of your products or services. This is done via a call to action (CTA) that prompts the viewer to take action in some way.
39% of people will stop engaging with a website if images won’t load or take too long to load. Run a speed audit on your website and make sure it loads in three seconds or less. If it doesn’t, you can try resizing your images, simplifying your code, removing expired links, and using a content delivery system.
If you want your SEO campaign to be a success, you need to design a website that converts the casual viewer into a paying customer or subscriber. This shows Google that people are interested in your website and like what they find there. Creating a positive and memorable user experience is a critical component in creating a website that converts and helps your business succeed.
Need help designing the perfect website for your business? Contact the marketing professionals at Blue Beetle today!