For most people, search engines are simple. You type a couple of words into your laptop or mobile device, glance at what comes up, and click on the first link that looks promising. Simple, right? For businesses who are trying to improve their online visibility, search engines are anything but. That’s why search engine optimization (SEO) has become so central to the way that most businesses think about their online marketing. If your business isn’t staying on top of all things SEO, you’re not likely to be getting the best search results possible—and that means your site won’t be getting the traffic you want, and your business won’t be getting the level of conversions you need.

But mastering the world of SEO means more than finding the right keywords to use in your content. These days, SEO is increasingly bound up with another concept that many people once thought of as entirely separate: user experience, or UX. UX is an all-embracing term that stands for the total sum of a visitor’s interactions with your website, from the second they click on it to the second they leave. SEO and UX may seem to run along parallel tracks, but can they really work together to make your site more effective? In this article, you’ll learn about the secret relationship between SEO and UX.

Why Your Website’s Design Matters

When a visitor arrives at your website, it’s easy to assume that they’ll land on your home page. As likely as not, however, they’ll end up on one of your landing pages. If your site isn’t easy and intuitive to navigate, they’re likely to get frustrated and leave. The structure and layout of your website has a tremendous impact on your UX, which means that it’s important to keep your user’s needs in mind while you’re thinking through your website’s format. Having a solid, well-defined structure to your site also makes it more likely that Google will add sitelinks to your listing on its search results pages, which can help to make a searcher more likely to click. In other words, you need to work on your UX to get the results you want from your SEO.

How Site Speed Impacts Your Traffic

When it comes to websites, slow and steady doesn’t win the race—fast and reliable does. Google lists site speed as one of its ranking factors, and that goes for mobile devices even more than traditional desktop computers. If your site isn’t optimized to run at optimal speed on all devices, you’re at risk of being left in the dust by your competitors. A speedy site will also help to ensure that your visitors come away feeling satisfied with the experience—and thus more likely to have a positive impression of your business. Once again, user experience and search engine optimization turn out to be joined at the hip.

When Mobile Responsiveness Makes All the Difference

Not only should your site load quickly on mobile, but it should also be designed to read as clearly and cleanly as possible. Mobile responsiveness is one of those factors that seems to become increasingly important every year, as more and more people move to mobile to do their web searches. The rules are simple, and they all revolve around greater usability. When a user visits your site on his or her mobile device, the navigation menu should be easy to find and easy to use. The text should have a readable size and font, and the images should all be framed so that none of them are cut off. Above all, the site should feel good to navigate—your visitors should feel naturally drawn from one page to the next. The more mobile-friendly your website is, the more satisfied your visitors will be—and the better your search rankings are likely to be.

Where User Signals Fit Into the Picture

One of the most elusive factors in SEO is user signals, which are indications of online behavior such as bounce rates, click-through rate (CTR), and the amount of time a visitor spends on a page. It isn’t known precisely how Google uses these signals in ranking search listings, but all of them have the potential to affect your SEO. All of them also reflect a positive UX—that is, if your visitors are satisfied with your website, they’re more likely to click through to your home page and explore, rather than navigate away after a few seconds.

How effective is your current online marketing strategy? If your answer is “Not effective enough,” it’s time to find the resources you need to make it work for you. At Pennington Creative, we specialize in bringing our clients together with the exceptional content they deserve. We take a comprehensive approach to custom content, providing everything from superior blog copy to high-quality social media updates. To discover the difference our company can make for you, drop us a line today!

About the Author

Justyn - Digital Marketing Manager, Special Projects
Justyn Dillingham

Digital Marketing Manager, Special Projects