When you optimize the usability of your website, you will optimize your SEO. Why? Because UX is directly related to SEO.
But from a very practical perspective, what basic steps you can take to increase your users’ experiences? If you wanted to make changes tomorrow, where would you begin?
Here are some good places to start:
SEO & User Experience = A WIN!
UX Tip 1: Get to know your customers. You could have a website with lightning speed and high quality content organized in an intuitive manner, but if it doesn’t meet your customers’ needs, it’s all for nothing. Knowing your customers, and understanding how your customers’ interaction with your website factors into your business plan is the foundational, guiding step to creating a good user experience.
So research your customers. Learn what problems they are trying to solve and how they go about solving those problems. Document what leads them to your website, and eliminate any challenges to your customer along the way.
UX Tip 2: Use keyword research to inform what content you create and how that content is organized. Let’s be clear: the purpose of keyword research is not to find phrases to litter at random across your website content. The purpose is to find out what your audiences are searching for and how that intersects with your business.
This relates very closely to the first tip about knowing your customers. If you know what your customers are searching for, you can use that information to answer their questions through content, organize your content so that the most frequent and relevant questions are answered prominently, and fine tune the online experience of customers based on where in the sales funnel they’re encountering your website.
UX Tip 3: Optimize how your website’s pages appear in search results. A user’s experience of your website often begins even before they get to your website. Many times the first encounter takes place when your website shows up in the SERPs.
So use title tags, meta descriptions, and rich snippets to get the most relevant information into the SERPs. Use these SEO elements to demonstrate that you content will answer a searcher’s questions. Show them that the answer they click to will be authoritative. Not only will these improve your potential customer’s total experience of your website, it will improve the chance that they get to your website in the first place! (And don’t forget: Because of the way search engines work, traffic begets traffic!)
UX Tip 4: Organize your content to be intuitive to your customers. You could have the best content in the world, but if a potential customer can’t find it on your website, or if the page layout is confusing, it won’t matter.
User header tags to make it clear what a piece of content is about. Make sure that your navigation is intuitive and improves the likelihood that a searcher can find the answer she is looking for. In short, make it easy for your website visitors to find what they need!
UX Tip 5: Provide relevant content. Don’t fill your pages with fluff or corporate-ese. Fill your pages with words, images, and videos that meet the needs and answer the questions of your audience. There’s no trick to this, it’s just common sense and hard work.
UX Tip 6: Make sure your site is fast. As internet speed has increased, users’ patience has decreased. If your website takes a long time to load, your customers will have a sub-par experience. Some practical ways to increase site speed is to compress photos and make sure your servers are up to the amount of traffic on your website.
UX Tip 7: Use design to help customers get what they want. Use colors and shapes to designate what’s important. Use white space and subheads to allow readers to scan articles. Above all else, don’t let bad design get in the way of customers getting what they need from your website.
UX Tip 8: Optimize your site for mobile. The majority of web traffic is mobile. So if a user’s mobile experience of your website is sub-par, you will lose visitors. Period.
UX Tip 9: Get to know your customers. If this sounds familiar, it is (see Tip 1). But it’s worth repeating this tip because it is the foundation for everything—from what content you write to how you design your site. You can only improve the experience of users if you know your customers.
With these tips, you can get started right away in making basic changes to your website that will improve the user experience (and as a result, the SEO).
If you’re interested in a customized, deep dive into how to improve UX on your website, contact me for a free consultation.