When building your brand, it's best to pay attention to your website. A well-designed and optimized website will help you connect with the target audience and attract and encourage conversions. To achieve that, you should successfully balance UX and SEO. Generally, whatever's good for UX also boosts your SEO and vice versa.
UX vs. SEO: Two Sides of the Same Coin
The battle between UX and SEO has raged since search engines gained prominence in the digital marketing world. Each champions itself as the top priority when it comes to web design. As a business owner looking for a website to promote your business or a marketing manager at a company that wants to streamline its digital marketing strategy, balancing SEO and UX may seem like serving two masters.
However, that doesn't have to be the case. You need to consider the best SEO practices and combine them with guidelines for positive user experiences. After all, everyone wants their website to be optimized, but the site also needs to be navigable so that it converts visitors to customers. Before you even think about balancing UX and SEO, know how each works so that the balance ends up being impactful.
What is SEO?
As the name suggests, SEO primarily entails optimizing your content, making it easier for search engines to recognize and rank your website. It's about fine-tuning the crucial aspects of your site so that search engines easily recognize the website for relevant searches. SEO aims at attracting visitors to your website by ensuring the site appears among the first search engine results.
An easy way to ensure your site shows up atop search queries is by incorporating the right keywords into your content and following SEO best practices. SEO is essential if you're looking to build traffic, particularly organic traffic. It's also indispensable for branding because sites that appear among the first search engine results are deemed more credible.
With a solid SEO strategy for your website, it will be easy to rank above the competition and capture the target audience's attention. As you build your site's organic traffic and attract more visitors, you'll be doing enough to make your business sustainable.
What is UX?
UX or user experience is all about the end-users' interaction with your business, its website, and its products and services. Optimizing your content alone won't inspire the target audience to interact with your website. UX design involves bringing different things together, including interaction design, information architecture, usability, and visual design.
Ultimately, UX design comes down to how your website looks and feels and how easy it is to interact with the site. UX focuses on simplifying things for your website's human readers, so being mindful about it will help you to stand out and keep visitors on the site. Good UX design ensures that your site is properly organized and categorized and easy to access both on desktop and mobile devices.
Critical UX considerations that also benefit SEO include site navigation, targeting audience personas, and enhancing site speed. Excellent user experiences on PC and mobile gadgets coupled with fast page speeds is imperative for SEO and UX. Google often takes both into account when ranking websites, which is why you should get everything right.
How to Successfully Balance UX and SEO for The Most Effective Website
Balancing UX and SEO in Web Design
SEO and UX go hand-in-hand and have a significant impact on your company's reputation, customer experience, and profits. It's critical to appeal to search engines while delivering an unmatched user experience, so here are the top five tips to successfully balance UX and SEO:
1. Focus on Your Content
Content is the bread and butter of digital marketing. During web design, it's essential to focus on how much content you present to the target audience and how you present it. Site visitors are likely to get bored if it contains pages and pages of content. Keeping your website content brief allows visitors to quickly find what they're looking for.
On the flip side, if your website content is too short, it will be challenging for search engines to understand and list the site during searches. For this reason, ensure each page on your website has ample content, which should be presented in an interactive and lively manner. The content should get split into sensible chunks for navigation purposes and kept relevant so that users quickly find the information they want.
2. Improve Page Loading Times
Loading speed is crucial to both UX and SEO. If your website loads slowly, then chances are it will have poor conversion rates. Less responsive sites tend to be a turn-off for the target audience. As a result, they rank poorly in search engine results. An essential aspect of improving page loading times is enabling compression while minimizing redirects.
Longer server response time is the primary cause of slow-loading pages. To improve the user experience, ensure server response time doesn't bog down your webpages' performance. Fine-tuning all these aspects related to page loading times will help you maintain excellent UX while optimizing your website for search engine ranking.
3. Be Keen on Site Navigation
Navigation is a crucial aspect that makes SEO and UX dependent on each other. If your website is complex, navigating from one page to another will be difficult. The harder the navigation, the higher the bounce rates on your site. Indeed, this is detrimental to how search engines rank the website.
Most users prefer crisp websites that don't have too many confusing options when finding the content they're looking for. As such, you should minimize the complications in your site's navigation while maintaining as few web pages as possible. Content clarity is also crucial in optimizing your site to offer better UX and rank highly in search results.
4. Present Your Content Creatively
One of the biggest clashes between UX and SEO proponents concerns the amount of content that needs to be on a web page. Ideally, there should be enough content for search engines to understand what your web pages are all about. On the flip side, your content should be concise and clear enough to keep website visitors engaged without overwhelming them.
During web design, you should be creative about how and where you place your content. For instance, on the homepage, the first four to five sections should relate to the most essential pages of the site. When visitors land on your homepage, they're likely to use it as a gateway to other internal pages.
5. Leverage Your Blog
It's a no-brainer that you need a blog to support your digital marketing campaign. An active blog is beneficial to both your UX and SEO efforts. From an SEO perspective, a blog allows you to add new content to your site consistently, something search engines value. Internal linking between blogs on your site and incorporating keywords that enhance search engine rankings in these blogs is crucial.
From a UX standpoint, blogs are visitor-friendly tools for organizing information. Instead of lumping your content into tens of pages that are difficult to find or navigate, consider placing it in blogs. In this regard, you can conveniently organize your information by categorizing blog posts and incorporating relevant tags into them. This way, it will be easy for website visitors to access the information they want.
What are the Potential Clashes Between SEO and UX?
Although SEO and UX are complementary aspects of website design, potential clashes between the two should be ironed out to guarantee your digital marketing campaign's success. Some of the potential clashes include:
- Page Consolidation vs. Segmentation
From a UX perspective, your webpage should create a singular experience for different audiences with overlapping search intents. However, for SEO purposes, you need to create web pages that rank for relevant phrases and keywords. To prevent this clash, ensure page navigation when creating site content.
- Crawler Readable Text vs. Keyword Usage
If UX was the most vital aspect of web design, web pages would be created for an exclusively visual experience. This can't work from an SEO perspective because only webpages with keyword-focused text can rank. For this reason, search engines and searchers need to see pages/content relevant to their queries and not just visually- pleasing content.
UX and SEO always seem to clash, but that shouldn't be the case. The two are joined at the hip, which is why you should find a way to successfully balance UX and SEO to create an effective website that helps you achieve your digital marketing goals.
For this reason, you should implement SEO-savvy messaging, mobile-friendly content layout and navigation, and a robust blog to satisfy both UX and SEO best practices. Ultimately, you'll provide the ultimate experience for your users and search engines.
If you're embarking on a digital marketing campaign and want to partner with a web design agency that strikes a balance between Search Engine Optimisation and UX, you need the experts at Pixel Fish. Thanks to our conversion-based approach in web design, we create beautiful websites that take your business to the next level. Contact us to get started.