Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has changed dramatically over the past few years. Thanks to changes made to various search engine algorithms, websites are now required to focus on more than just cramming in the right keywords. The UX, or user experience, is now a major driver for how sites are ranked through searches on Google and Bing.
This means that web crawlers will now be focusing on how usable and appealing your website is to your core audience. You’ll need to consider essential elements of your web design such as ease of use, navigation and formatting of content even closer than before, particularly as the likes of Google will be measuring various elements of UX to push you further up their rankings.
Search engines such as Google will measure UX based on a number of factors. For one, they’ll be able to tell how long visitors stay on-site. The longer visitors stick around on certain pages, the more likely it will be that Google thinks they’re worth highlighting in certain search results. You’ve also got to consider the bounce rate – that is, how often do your visitors click away from your site after only reading a page or two? It all adds up, and if you’re not leading with a relevant site that’s easy to use across multiple devices and browsers, you could be risking serious SEO potential.
Big factors that should come into play with good UX include mobile responsive design – so that your content can be accessed and easily read absolutely anywhere – and page loading times. On the whole, these are the two main areas you should arguably be focusing on in modern SEO.
Navigation, linking and ease of use should all be high on your agenda – and while keywords are still hanging in there behind the scenes, it’s high time you put yourself in your visitors’ shoes if you’re hoping to scale Google’s heights.