There is no speculation that the user experience of every application is an important part of each user’s journey. To prove this point further, statistics show that 88% of users won’t return to an application with a bad UX.
Besides allowing the user to have a more enjoyable experience on the application, a good UX design can also prove vital for SEO. Well-performing UX design can increase your conversion and engagement with each page, allowing your website to rank better on search engines.
SEO is a vast field where people can learn new daily techniques for improving their websites. However, with hundreds of factors that Google uses to rank pages, many people might find it overwhelming. Considering that, you won’t make a mistake by starting off with improving your UX design, as it will certainly impact your ranking positively.
1. Google considers UX as a factor for SEO
The largest search engine in the world, Google, is constantly working on improving its algorithm allowing people to get the best possible results. With their Web Vitals, they started considering factors such as page speed and UX when they were ranking pages.
According to their report, there is a very significant decrease in page abandonment by increasing the load speed by 100ms, which might seem insignificant at first.
No matter the type of your website, the UX will be a part of each user’s journey when visiting it. Besides the fact that improving the UX will help your website rank better, it will also lead to more positive reactions from your visitors.
2. Page speed
Page speed has always been a factor when it comes to ranking on Google. However, while it has direct effects on SEO, mainly UX designers are responsible for this factor. As mentioned before, even 100ms can have an impact on the bounce rate. It’s obvious that unoptimized websites that require more than a few seconds to load have significantly less traffic and engagement.
There are various SEO tools that will allow you to test various aspects of your website and give you an insight on what are the things that require improving.
Page speed is the first obstacle that shows in the way of the visitor, and after you’ve done as much as possible to remove it, you can move on to other problems. You can optimize the page speed by compressing images, improving your code, or using a better web-host server.
3. UX affects bounce rate.
You wouldn’t want your users to leave your website as soon as they enter it. Various shortcomings of a poorly executed UX might lead to this. It’s important that you rank on search engines, but it’s just as important that users stay on the page, read your content, and explore it.
Websites that sell some product have a higher bounce rate since they are directing the visitor to a certain page where they will make the purchase. On websites where the UX/UI is done poorly, they might not understand clearly where they need to click to get to the product, or they might be discouraged from the purchase completely.
While, for example, affiliate websites want to have a higher bounce rate, the majority of websites are looking to decrease it. This includes blogs and similar websites that are supposed to provide the visitor with information on a certain topic.
A bad UX will lead to the user abandoning the website because some aspects of the UX discourage him from looking for the information that he was looking for.
4. Better navigation
A general rule for websites of all kinds is that the navigation needs to be straightforward and easy to understand. Every website has multiple pages and sections. A SaaS website and a personal blog won’t have the same layout, but the visitor should easily navigate both of them.
Making your navigation straightforward will have a positive impact on the user experience, and it will decrease page abandonment. Furthermore, the navigation element is one of the first things that the visitor looks for when visiting a website.
Well-designed navigation will help visitors, mainly in situations when they know what they are looking for. By making the process of navigating from one page to another, you are lowering the chances of them giving up their search.
With up to 70% of all web traffic coming from mobile devices, you are going to miss out on a lot of visitors if your website isn’t mobile-friendly. The importance of mobile-friendly websites can also be seen in the fact that there are companies that started utilizing a mobile-first approach.
The mobile-first approach means developing a service or a website first for mobile devices rather than first developing it for desktop computers or Macs. You don’t necessarily need to embrace the mobile-first approach, but you can improve many aspects of your website by perfecting the experience for mobile users.
There are two main reasons for implementing a mobile-friendly layout for your website:
- It improves the enjoyment of mobile users
- Not suffering ranking penalties
Even if the majority of your visitors are using a desktop computer, your website will be evaluated based on its mobile version. Google uses mobile versions of websites to index and rank them.
Tips on how to improve UX design
If you are an experienced UX designer, you are probably using some of these tools to some extent. However, it’s never too late to discover new ways of improving your work. Not all of these tips will have a direct impact on improving the SEO of your website, but they will all help you be a better UX designer.
Using UI mockup tools
UI mockup tools can seem like a novelty in the field of UI/UX design. The process of designing a product is separated into multiple stages.
Mockups are a completed visual representation of a product. They don’t have any functionality, but visually they are completed. Mockups can then be used to present the visual part of a product to stakeholders or developers.
Certain UI mockup tools have already finished layouts that only require some level of personalization. If you don’t have experience with the mentioned stages of product design, you can find a guide to UI mockups and understand the process of creating a good mockup.
Experiment with visuals
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for a UI/UX design. From niche to niche, there are people that are specific to every niche and that are looking for different things. To perfect your UX, you will need to experiment with the visual aspects of your website and try to find the approach that gets you the most engagement.
Try a minimalist approach.
Minimalism has always been one of the more popular approaches when it comes to UI design. However, just like with every other approach, there are bad executions, and there are good ones. Regarding SEO, a layout with too many things going on will make the website bloated and slow down the loading speed.
With a minimalist approach, you will create an environment in which the visitor can focus only on the most important aspect of your website. The user shouldn’t be presented with too many options, and everything should be concise and meaningful.
One thing to note about the minimalist approach is that there is a difference between a website that’s designest in a minimalist style and a website that lacks content and features. It would help if you didn’t leave the visitor understimulated or simply without an idea of what he should do.
Never overlook UX design for SEO
From portfolio websites to small businesses, SEO is a very important way of receiving organic traffic. The trick with SEO is that it’s a field that’s being constantly developed and requires you always to be up-to-date with the current guidelines that are being released by Google.
However, while doing things like link-building and releasing blog posts, you should not overlook your UX design for SEO. No matter how good your article is, people might close the website after they conclude that the website is too confusing or if the page took too long to load.
After understanding the importance of UX design, your next step should be learning about all the different ways that you can improve it. Innovative software solutions such as UI mockup tools will help you get to your final product much faster. Other general rules, such as using a minimalist approach and vocabulary, will always be useful when working on a UX/UI.