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Does Improving UX Improve SEO?

By Valerie DiCarlo on Dec 10, 2018

Businesses survive by serving their customers well. In the online space, this “good service” is often accomplished by providing a good “user experience” (UX). This—in and of itself—is enough justification to spend time and energy optimizing the usability of your website

But there is an important second reason to optimize UX on your website: Improving UX improves SEO.

Improving UX Improves SEO

In this post, I’m going to help you understand why and how this works, so that you can incorporate that knowledge into your SEO strategy. I’m going to give you the short version (so you can see the big picture) and the long version (so that you can see the steps of the process and make practical changes to your own website strategy).

In a nutshell, here’s why UX helps SEO:

Customers have a positive experience -> their online behavior reflects that they had a good experience -> search engines notice that online behavior -> search engines reflect this in SERP ranking

Step by step, here’s why UX helps SEO

Ok, so now it’s time to show our work (our middle school math teachers would be so proud!), because these steps are going to help you find out how to drive the strategy of your website.  

So first, you evaluate your website, and see what could make the user experience better —from increasing your site speed and optimizing for mobile to organizing your content intuitively and using header tags appropriately.

When you do those things, customers will have a better experience on your site. Even if you had a great product to start with, they will get the chance to more seamlessly interact with that product and your top-notch team supporting that product.

There’s no more waiting for each page to load, squinting to read font that’s not optimized for mobile, or clicking around hopelessly because you can’t find out how to reach out to customer support.

As a result of that positive experience, your online audience is more likely to:

  • Leave more customer reviews
  • Leave better reviews
  • Stay on the page (instead of bouncing off because irrelevant content or slow sites)
  • Interact with the content (whether it’s spending time to read, clicking to other links within the domain, or making a comment)
  • Link to your content (sometimes even from their website)
  • Share on social (which drives up traffic)

And do you know what? All of these behaviors either directly or indirectly are positive signals to search engines. So not only are the people who arrive at your website going to have a better experience (and be more likely to convert to the next stage of the sales funnel), but MORE PEOPLE are going to get to your website in the first place. The search engines are going to make sure of it.

In the end, putting your customer’s needs first by optimizing the usability of your website is a win for everyone involved: the customer, the search engine, and your business’s bottom line.

And at it’s heart, this approach works because serving customers well is (and should be) rewarded in business. In this case, search engines are helping with the reward process. The search engines want the customers to be happy (their business success depends on that). So they do as much as possible to base SERP rankings on factors that indicate a customer is happy.

At the end of the day, a good user experience makes the customer happy. So now, it’s time to look at your website and make sure that it’s serving your customers well!

Want customized guidance on how to optimize the user experience and SEO on your website? Contact me for a free consultation!