There are many ways that website design affects your SEO results. Whether it’s the content that you offer or the links that populate your pages or how the pages are named, there’s no question that an optimal design will give you a better ROI. However, there’s one part of web design that not only affects your SEO results, it also has a significant impact on your bottom line. We’re talking, of course, about the overall user experience.
User experience (UX) is how visitors to your website feel about the overall flow and design of the website. When a visitor arrives at one of your website’s pages, a good user experience will result in customers following the optimum user flow. That means engagement with your content, which translates directly into your sales and bottom line. When you analyze your user experience, there are three distinct areas that you should be looking at to improve your SEO rankings.
Page speed is essentially how fast the content on your website loads and is a key piece of the UX. Page speed is one of the primary pieces of the algorithm used by Google to rank pages in its search results. Page speed, as a part of the user experience, affects SEO by increasing your site’s responsiveness. A faster page speed means that more of your website can be indexed by Google’s crawlers during their crawl budget. A slow speed means that fewer of your pages will be indexed, which means they won’t be ranked.
Additionally, optimizing your page speed will lower your bounce rate. Bounce rate is the percentage of users who will abandon your site after only viewing one page. The lower your bounce rate, the higher your engagement with customers, which enables a higher conversion rate. Google also looks at the bounce rate when it determines your ranking. The higher the bounce rate, the more negative it looks to Google’s algorithm.
In a nutshell, a user flow for your website is the optimum series of tasks amongst your collection of web pages. An example of a very basic user flow for an e-Commerce website would be – browse goods -> add items to shopping cart -> checkout. Ideally, a customer is going to browse for a specific set of goods and then navigate to your checkout page and purchase them. However, you can have multiple types of user flow for your website depending on the content. Do you produce how-to videos? That’s another user flow. What about hosting a weekly or monthly blog? That’s another type of flow as well.
This is a core piece of the user experience and one that is easiest to overthink. As a business owner, it’s all too easy to forget what the customer is seeing. Make sure you have multiple engagement areas for customers, but keep your interface as clean as possible. Too many buttons and a customer won’t know where to go or may misclick, leading to frustration and abandonment. On the other hand, when you want a customer to do something, whether it’s sign up for your newsletter or make an account, have multiple ways for them to do that. Placing elements at the top of the screen and the bottom makes it easy for your visitors to follow along with your ideal user flow.
When it comes to how user experience affects SEO, there’s no bigger example than with mobile users. Google estimates that over 80 percent of smartphone users look at their phones when they’re in a store. This can be to comparison shop or to look up information on something they’re interested in. 91 percent of mobile users use their phones for inspiration when they’re doing something else.
That means that ensuring your user experience affects SEO results on mobile requires you to ensure that your site is also optimized for mobile. Don’t automatically assume that your site is optimized for mobile. While many sites will translate over with content intact, there can be loading issues as the site tries to adjust to the new mobile structure. This can slow down your page speed. Google released a study that showed that over half of users will abandon a mobile site if the load time exceeds three seconds.
Making sure that your website’s user experience affects SEO in a positive light is a full-time job. As your business expands and changes, so will your website. Let us help you adjust to the ever-changing landscape of e-Commerce. We at Darxe are fully versed in optimizing both the back and front ends of your website. Our experience with Accelerated Mobile Pages and designing content flow will ensure that your user experience is optimized to increase both your page ranking and customer satisfaction.