User experience, or UX, has become a significant factor to increasing search engine rankings, decreasing the importance of many traditional SEO techniques and strategies.
Excellent UX starts with a great website design. It’s the primary reason why web companies regularly also redesign websites – to keep users engaged and respond to their needs. If a website is immediately unappealing and difficult for a user to navigate around, you will see more bounces than conversions.
User experience can be a difficult concept to analyse and measure in terms that designers or developers can use. However, there are a few SEO ranking factors and practices that you can immediately review to improve a site’s overall UX.
1. Mobile Responsive
This year Google released an algorithm update nicknamed ‘mobilegeddon’, telling us that SEO rankings would differ for sites that are mobile responsive. This term refers to a site’s ability to suitably display itself on both desktop and mobile devices.
Handily, Google provides a ‘Mobile-Friendly Test’ tool to test whether a site meets their standards.
2. Intuitive Site Architecture
If a site is difficult for a user to navigate to find the information they require, this will significantly impact UX. The best way to address this issue is to implement an effective site navigation and a well-considered site architecture.
A good rule to follow is the ‘Three-Click Rule’, which suggests that a user should be able to find any information within no more than three clicks.
3. Page Load Time
Page load time has long been a SEO ranking factor, but is also very important to a site’s UX. If a user has to wait around ten seconds or more for a page to load, they will simply go elsewhere.