Sometimes SEO and user experience (UX) can seem conflicting to Webmasters. We know that users are supposed to come first and SEO is supposed to come second, but this can be difficult at times when you need quick rankings in order to get traffic. Ideally Google is trying to merge the two and make good SEO mean good UX, but this isn’t always the case and can get people frustrated. How can you create a strategy where the two work together for success?
The truth is that while it may be frustrating sometimes, UX always needs to come first and then SEO can follow. Even if you have to spend a little bit of extra time on SEO that didn’t necessarily improve your UX, it’s worth it in the end. However, there are several things you can do that will help both at the same time; thus helping your bottom line. The sooner you can get these methods perfected, the better.
Top Ways to Help You Strategy Cater to Both SEO and UX
As discussed above, there are a few scenarios where you can benefit both UX and SEO to the same degree without sacrificing quality. Consider some of the following ways where SEO and UX can work together for success:
Use quantitative and qualitative data to make decisions.
Social sometimes has a direct impact on SEO. This was an example from Moz’s Rand Fishkin about distribution. He said, “for example, website A receives 1 share for every 1,000 visits to the site, and a substantive UX improvement can help that move up to 1 share per 200 visits, sharing of that site will grow by 5X. In other words, improving one could have a positive affect on the other, which creates a positive move for your website altogether.” Thinking about both different types and kinds of data and how one can help the other really shows what a crucial connection the two hold when looked at together.
This will help your SEO because search engine bots cannot always parse content found within Flash, but what many people forget is that this also isn’t needed to improve UX. People want to see quick lists and infographics—not wait for a large graphic to load. Use the SEO benefits to fuel your efforts and watch the UX benefits follow.
Write Content that Works for SEO and UX
It is possible to think about how to write content for UX while still earning SEO benefits. Internal linking or externally linking to relevant articles is, of course, something that will help both parties, but how and where you publish content on your website is also a great option. According to an Inc. article, it’s a good idea to focus on quality for UX first and then place the short, image-driven content above the fold and the longer-form content below the fold. Both are good for both parties, but you’re being strategic about where you place it. Google bots don’t care where the content is placed so long as they can crawl it, and while users still need long-form content, that’s not what they want to see right away. You want to make a good first impression, so it’s a good move.
Use XML Sitemaps
This is a pretty obvious one, but worth mentioning nonetheless. XML sitemaps help improve your navigation, which can offer you direct benefits for both SEO and UX. Nobody wants to be confused when visiting your website, and a sitemap will help ensure that it never takes ore than 4 clicks to get to any one page on your website. It’s easier for bots to index and it’s easier for users to find what they need. It’s as simple as that. Visit this article to learn more about creating and implementing an XML sitemap.
The tactics listed above are a great place to start if you’re unsure where to begin with SEO and UX. Once you have these covered, you can begin to focus on creating quality content and adding quality links within that content. UX should always come first, but as Google continues to evolve the gap between UX and SEO should get smaller and start making things easier.
Do you have any tips regarding SEO and UX? Let us know about your strategy in the comment section below.