The world’s biggest search engine, Google, is increasingly placing a greater degree of importance on a positive user experience (UX). Recent updates like Core Web Vitals look at how a user experiences a web page. After all, if a user doesn’t have a good experience on a page, there is little point in the search engine sending other users there.
By combining the power of SEO and UX, it is possible to boost a website’s reach and profitability. As Boris Dzhingarov, founder of ESBO SEO explains, striking the right balance between creating a positive user experience and making a web page appealing to search engines like Google, is critical.
“It’s easy to get sucked into filling content with keywords, but that doesn’t always make compelling copy,” he says. “Writing web content that is keyword optimized might help the search engines work out what the page is about, but it can make content hard to read. And if content looks unnatural, most people will quickly click away.”
How do website owners find an acceptable balance? Dzhingarov has some useful tips to share.
Create Useful Content
Focus on creating content that is concise and to the point. Articles, blogs, and website content need to be on-point and useful. Too many website owners focus on producing content that fills the page and then some. They mistakenly believe that the longer the article, the more likely the search engines are to attach importance to it.
While there is some merit in thinking sparse content is bad for SEO, Dzhingarov says that too long can be deadly if it isn’t useful and is full of fluff purely for the sake of including keywords.
Focus on creating rich content that answers a user’s questions. Divide the content up into sections, to improve readability and make a longer article easier to navigate. Include lots of useful links, images, infographics, and anything else that adds value to the reader.
Improve Website Navigation
Plenty of site owners ignore UX when they add pages to their sites. Dzhingarov always makes a point of reminding ESBO’s clients that adding too many pages that make a site more complicated can often backfire. While a larger site looks better from an SEO perspective, it doesn’t always make for a good UX.
Most visitors prefer simple sites that are easy to navigate. The harder it is for a website visitor to find what they are seeking, the faster they are going to click away. Have a clear menu bar where visitors can access the different sections of your site.
Prioritize Keyword Research
Most people understand the value of keyword research, but as Dzhingarov reminds us, throwing all somewhat relevant keywords at a page and hoping at least some work is not the answer. It’s much better to spend more time on keyword research, so you can identify the best ones that fit naturally into content and actually improve conversion rates.
It’s important to remember that UX and SEO are not mutually exclusive. There is a strong overlap, and what works for one usually helps the other.