September 2, 2014
UX Design Basics and Impact on SEO
User experience (UX) is the expectations, emotions, intuitions and connections a user feels when interacting with digital interfaces. Great UX matters for SEO; in fact, Search Engine Land even calls “UX the cheese to SEO’s macaroni” – they complement one another in a satisfying way. Improving your site design may help to improve traffic quantity and quality.
Great UX methodology means that users won’t have to search for what they’re looking for when they visit your site – finding the information they need should be a seamless, straightforward process. Integrating UX testing into your SEO tactics can increase sales by up to 50 percent, according to Search Engine Watch.
User Interface and SEO: What Matters Most
Follow these three UX tips to get started improving UX:
#1: Design with users in mind
This starts by identifying your target audience and then creating buyer personas. This will allow for clear messaging and targeting when crafting and/or modifying existing communication strategies around the wants and interests of these personas. Once the buyer personas are identified, you can ask yourself, “Which buyer persona do I want to target? What would they likely search for? What are their needs? What solutions are they looking for? How can I best achieve that through a carefully-planned content strategy?” Buyer personas help you understand how, when and where your buyers consume content, according to NewsCred. Understanding patterns of content consumption helps ensure that you are able to design the delivery of this content in an effective manner, such as emphasizing mobile optimized viewing if most of your users read your blog on their smartphone while grabbing their morning coffee.
#2: Eliminate visual clutter
Clutter is a major killer for conversions, according to KISSMetrics. If your landing page is cluttered with multiple “click here” and “try my free sample” buttons, this can be confusing for visitors, who won’t know where to turn first. The first step to de-cluttering your website is to understand the structure you want your content to take and the brand image that you want your company’s content to convey. This should be a seamless experience enhanced by the content on your landing pages, the placement of the call-to-action, the location of your landing page CTA buttons, the location of testimonials, etc. People tend to make snap judgments, so KISSMetrics recommends eliminating visual clutter to ensure your users are given a clear reason to stay on your site.
#3: Test for usability
According to research from the Nielsen Norman Group, usability testing is important for improving SEO and conversions. The good news is that these tests do not have to take a lot of time. Usability can be tested in small batches focusing on 1 objective at a time. If you have an extremely limited budget, consider a guerilla testing option where you give target users a paper version of the wireframe and get immediate feedback. With a more moderate budget, you can use a third-party testing site, like Usertesting.com, for speedy feedback in a short time frame.