User experience (UX) is a crucial factor that significantly impacts the success of a website in search engine rankings. While the concept of UX transcends beyond the realm of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), its influence on SEO has grown considerably.
From Google’s perspective, user experience is deeply integrated into its core ranking systems. Google aims to reward content that provides an excellent page experience, considering a variety of signals that align with the overall page experience rather than a single aspect.
To self-assess your content’s page experience, Google suggests asking questions like:
- Do pages have good Core Web Vitals?
- Are pages served securely?
- Does content display well for mobile devices when viewed on them?
- Does the content lack excessive ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
- Do pages lack intrusive interstitials?
- How easily can visitors navigate to or locate the main content of your pages?
- Is the page designed so visitors can easily distinguish the main content from other content on your page?
Google’s Core Web Vitals are user-centered metrics that measure critical aspects of user experience, such as load time, interactivity, and content stability as it loads. However, achieving good Core Web Vitals doesn’t guarantee good rankings, as great page experience involves more than Core Web Vitals.
Moreover, page experience is evaluated page-specific, but some site-wide assessments are also made. While having a great page experience can contribute to success in search, Google will always prioritize the most relevant content, even if the page experience is sub-par. However, in cases with multiple pages with similar content, page experience becomes more important for visibility in Search.
Google’s ranking systems continue to evolve, with a greater emphasis on user experience. This has led to the introduction a new signal that combines Core Web Vitals with existing signals for page experience to provide a holistic picture of the quality of a user’s experience on a web page.
To improve page experience, Google provides resources and tools such as Chrome Lighthouse and PageSpeed Insights that surface Core Web Vitals information and recommendations. Google Search Console provides a dedicated report to help site owners quickly identify opportunities for improvement.
As part of this ongoing evolution, page experience metrics have also been incorporated into the ranking criteria for the Top Stories feature in Search on mobile, providing a broader scope for SEO efforts.
How to Improve SEO With User Experience Factors?
Improving the user experience (UX) is an essential part of SEO as it not only aids in increasing user engagement but also positively affects your site’s ranking on search engines like Google. Here are some tips and best practices to improve UX for SEO:
1. Mobile-Friendly Design: With the rise of mobile internet usage, ensuring your website is mobile-friendly is crucial. Ensure your website’s responsive design adapts to the screen size of the device it’s being viewed on. Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test can help you assess the mobile-friendliness of your site.
2. Page Load Speed: Slow-loading pages can lead to high bounce rates. Aim to optimize your page load speed for both desktop and mobile users. You can use tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights to test your site’s speed and get suggestions for improvement.
3. Clear Navigation: Ensure users can easily find your site’s desired information. This includes having a clear and intuitive site structure, using breadcrumbs, and including a search function if appropriate.
4. Readable Content: Make your content easy to read and understand. Break up text into smaller sections with headers, use bullet points or numbered lists where appropriate, and avoid jargon when possible. Also, ensure your font size and color are easy on the eyes.
5. High-Quality Content: Ensure your content is valuable, unique, and relevant to your audience. This helps attract users and makes them stay longer on your site, reducing the bounce rate.
6. Use of Multimedia: Use images, infographics, and videos to enrich your content and make it more engaging. Ensure these elements are optimized, as large files can slow down your site.
7. Secure Website: Ensure your site is secure (HTTPS), especially if handling sensitive customer information. A secure site makes users feel safe and is a ranking factor for Google.
8. Avoid Intrusive Pop-ups: Intrusive pop-ups can harm the user experience, especially on mobile devices. If you must use pop-ups, make sure they are easy to close and don’t block significant content.
Remember, UX and SEO should work together. A good user experience can lead to higher engagement rates, which can improve your SEO, and good SEO practices can make your site more discoverable and usable, improving the user experience.