Battling it out: UX vs SEO
UX and SEO aren’t opponents, they’re really dance partners.
You’ve seen them all. Articles from marketing blogs and the like telling their audiences it’s not about X anymore, it’s about Y. I myself have been reading the words “content is king” and "seo is dead" since 2011 but turns out, there is more to engagement than just content, and SEO is certainly alive and well don’t you worry!
So despite the ever-changing focus of factors, businesses need to keep on top of when it comes to their website, UX (user-experience) and SEO have been two unassailably important considerations when designing a website, and will continue to be.
It’s quite simple really: if your beautifully engaging website isn’t optimised, it won’t be found. And if you keyword stuffed the living daylights out of your site, your visitors will be fleeing as fast as they came in. The common problem of these two parties working together is that the issue begins with structure, and ends with content. Search bots are still not as intelligent as humans but Google is constantly working on ways to make their algorithms more accurate and relevant to what users are searching for.
To those who cannot think the two can work together without negatively affecting the other, take a listen. Good SEO meshes quite well with good UX. They have more qualities in common than one might assume – concise, legible and informative copy, sprinkled with quality keywords serves the purposes of both UX and SEO. Google has always said it wants to serve users relevant content with good UX, and the SEO people want to attract Google. That's a pretty good relationship if I've ever seen one.
Here is a list of essentials that every site needs to produce great UX and SEO:
Intuitive navigation patterns
Good, and simple navigation allows users to easily find what their looking for on your site, and offers a simple and clean structure for Google bots to crawl.
Engaging and Updated Content
By offering a plethora of engaging content that is routinely updated, such as in a blog format, makes your users come back wanting more. On the SEO side of things, you have more pages, links, and keywords to rank for on your site.
Another type of content that will give your site's SEO and UX a boost. User-generated content such as reviews will facilitate the user's buying process, because you're offering transparency. Additionally Google puts a lot of SEO weight on reviews, because it shows the website is up to date and engagement is high.
Although this a tiny bit of text, it can save your site from generating bounce activity in your analytics. These easy and intuitive structures give search bots and users a way to track their progress through a site, showing where they've gone and how they got there.
Page Load Times
Google will punish you for slow site speed and with how quickly information is sent to us these days, we have very little patience waiting for a page and images to load.
No matter which way you spin it, these two inherently important factors in web design are a match made in heaven. Something to keep in mind when you're envisioning your new website, or thinking of changing an element of it. Both need to exist for your ultimate success.