As the web is always evolving, user behaviour is always evolving. The way people interact with websites has changed dramatically over the years and adjusting your website accordingly should be a part of any business’ online marketing strategy. The demand for mobile sites, apps, simple design, organized content, relevance and a clear path for users is important for search engines to grade a website and web pages. Google’s philosophy is to provide users with the very best search experience. If search engines didn’t provide great search results, then they wouldn’t be where they are today.
The collaboration between SEO and user experience is essential when it comes to how user friendly your site is. Many consider how important is it- what are some of the key metrics used when google grades a web page for search results based on a user’s query? Although there are many factors that play a role with SEO, one key element is creating a great user experience to help your audience find what they’re looking for on your website.
Best Practices for a Great User Experience
- Mobile friendly
Now-a-days, (nothing new here) people are busier than ever, on the go and using their phones and tablets more than ever. With mobile usage on the rise year over year, it makes sense to provide visitors to your site with a version of your site that fits the screen on their devices. Google released a mobile-friendly ranking algorithm last April to ensure web pages that are mobile friendly rank higher. The update is referred to as “Mobilegeddon”. Users appreciate the mobile version over desktop only version.
There are a few ways you can create a mobile friendly site. Build a separate mobile site, build an app and responsive design. To keep things simple, I recommend to use responsive design. Responsive design adjusts pages depending on a user’s device. There are many other benefits to use responsive design for a great mobile user experience.
To see how mobile friendly your website is, here is a use this great tool that also provides insight into how you can fix your site for mobile friendliness.
- Site Speed
Who wants to wait for a page to load? Nothing can send a user back to the search results to choose another webpage faster than making a user wait for a page to load. Site speed plays a critical role in a strong user experience. Search engines know users do not like to wait for pages to load and rewards sites that have fast page loading times with displaying pages higher in the search results.
Check your site pages speed with this great tool.
The navigation of a site is important for user experience as it is a guide to how they will interact and move within your site. Creating a user friendly navigation will improve the user experience but also enhance your SEO efforts.
- Clean, Simple, Design
Creating a clean, simple design for your site. Sounds simple but many designers and developers overlook how users interact with the pages on your site. Most visitors prefer simple, rather than flashy and cluttered. They have come to your site needing more information and or to make a decision. Incorporating good design while providing search engines the right information on each page will result in optimal outcome.
These are just a few of the elements where user experience and search engine optimization play a role together. One rule of thumb is, a search engine’s first priority is user experience. Keep this in mind when creating and developing your website and you’ll be sure to