In the digital age, websites are a business’s first point of contact with potential customers. With so much competition in search engine optimization (SEO) and other digital marketing strategies, a company needs to stand out from the crowd to drive more traffic to its site and convert visitors into leads or customers.
Search engine optimization is the process of ensuring that a website is accessible to search engines, has relevant content and metadata, and can be found by searchers. A company’s website can impact its search engine ranking in several ways:
- If its well-designed, users are more likely to return
- if it contains high-quality content, users will spend more time there
- if it meets user needs, they’ll be more inclined to share it with their friends.
However, with so many details that impact SEO, from keyword usage to page load speed, designing a website that effectively drives traffic and conversion requires careful consideration of multiple UX principles. In this blog post, we will outline ten UX design principles that impact your SEO.
1. User Experience Is Foundational To SEO
A company’s website is typically one of the first points of contact for a potential customer and a bad experience can turn them away for good. Designing a website with a focus on user experience (UX) can help drive more traffic to a site and encourage existing customers to spend more time there.
For example, if your website loads slowly, your potential customers might get impatient and look elsewhere and customers who don’t like your website’s user experience are unlikely to come back. To improve your website user experience, you need to have UX design tools in place for better website performance.
It’s important to keep in mind that search engines, such as Google, have become sophisticated enough to understand user intent and the quality of a user experience. These factors are heavily weighted in determining a website’s search engine rankings.
2. Responsive Design Optimizes For Search Engines And Users
As more users access the internet on their smartphones, tablets, or other handheld devices, they expect websites to respond to their device preference. A responsive website design (RWD) is a website that is designed to respond to the screen size of the device used to access it.
If your website is not responsive, it will not display properly on handheld devices, negatively impacting your user experience and SEO. With RWD, the website automatically detects a user’s device and displays a version of the website that is optimized for that screen size and device.
While there are several ways to approach designing a website and not all of them are mutually exclusive, it’s important to consider what is most likely to appeal to your target audience.
3. Site Speed Affects User Experience And SEO
Site speed plays a significant role in a user’s decision to stay on your site and the time it takes for your site to load is directly tied to your SEO. Google even has a tool, the Mobile-Friendly Test — to help you determine if your site is meeting the speed threshold.
While there are no hard-and-fast rules around site speed, a good rule of thumb is to limit the amount of time it takes to load a page to less than three seconds. If your website is slow, you could be losing customers, as well as search engine rankings, due to the user experience issue.
If a site is too slow, internet users will simply abandon it, which could lead to a decrease in revenue for your business. By using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) and keeping your website’s code clean and efficient, you’ll improve the speed of your website and drive more traffic.
4. Copywriting Is Essential For SEO
Although a website’s design is critical for driving traffic, the content that appears on a site can make or break a user’s experience. To rank well in search engine results, it’s important to write for humans and search engines alike.
As SEO evolves, you should adjust your keyword use and content strategy to update your SEO campaign. For example, if you’re targeting the term “dog food,” but you notice that the top search results are only “dog food” with “pure breed” as a modifier, you may want to adjust your focus to “pure breed dog food.” In all likelihood, this shift in keyword use will result in a shift in your website’s position in the SERPs.
5. Content Offers Opportunities To Connect With Users And Search Engines
The design and copy of your website should be user-centric, yet offer the search engines information about your business and products. The content you produce for your website should be robust, engaging, and include keywords that will bring targeted visitors from search engines.
To optimize your website, it’s important to identify the needs of your target audience and incorporate these into your content. For example, if you’re selling a product that solves a common problem, such as dry skin, incorporate these needs into your content. It would be appropriate to write an article about how to solve dry skin or provide a guide to moisturizing your skin.
6. Integrating Ad Products Benefits SEO And User Experience
Advertising is a significant source of revenue for many websites. However, this can have an adverse effect on a site’s SEO, particularly if the ads are poorly placed and aren’t relevant to the page content.
Incorporating display ads, text ads, video, and other ad products that are seamlessly integrated into your website design can provide additional revenue and improve your SEO. For example, if you sell dog food, you could include an ad that directs users to a page that sells items related to dogs, like dog toys. This ad product has a greater chance of appealing to your target audience and receiving higher click-through rates.
7. Brightness, Contrast, And Color
While a company’s site design is an important factor in enticing a visitor to click through to the site and stay there, how you choose to dress up your website can have a significant impact on your SEO.
Incorporating colors with high contrast and brightness into your website’s design can help draw a user’s eye to certain areas of your page, such as the “call to action.” Incorporating the correct color scheme into your website design can also be helpful when it comes to SEO.
Certain colors have different connotations, and incorporating the right ones into your website design can help draw a user’s eye to the most important elements of your page.
8. Understanding User Needs
When users initially land on a website, they’re skimming for information. A user’s initial visit to a website is typically focused on two things: how to solve an immediate problem, or how a product or service could solve an ongoing problem.
To improve user experience and boost your SEO, be sure to incorporate important information on your homepage, such as:
- What you do:
- What products or services you offer and who they’re meant to serve.
- When you’re open:
- When you’re available to take calls, respond to emails, or conduct in-person visits.
- Why you’re different:
- What makes you unique, like a special touch or service.
9. Incorporate White Space
White space, or “negative space,” refers to the empty space on a page. It’s often used to break up sections and create a more visually appealing page, as well as make the page more readable.
White space can help divide content into sections and make them easier to read. It can also make a page feel less cluttered, leaving your visitors with a positive impression. White space can also be helpful in ranking for certain keywords, particularly longer ones.
10. Make Good Use Of Typography
Typography is a design strategy that helps to separate content from the main body of a page. It’s important to understand what your site’s typography is and how it affects your design. Don’t use too many different fonts, as it can be difficult to read if you’re using too many different fonts, which could lead to confusion.
Choose only one font for text and use it sparingly throughout the page. Make sure your typography is clear, so that when people read through your site, they don’t have to guess what you’re about or whether you’re a legitimate business.
Use strong bold type in all caps (e.g., “United States”). Bold type can also affect the layout of an area on the page and help guide visitors into an appropriate section of text. Use bold font sizes on buttons (e.g., “Sign up“).
Designing a website that appeals to your target audience and optimizes your website for search engines can be a challenge. The good news is that there are many tools and resources that can assist you throughout the design process.
Before you start designing your website, take the time to research how your industry peers are using their websites to drive traffic and leads. Once you have a clear idea of what you want your website to look and feel like, you’ll be well on your way to designing a site that successfully drives traffic and conversion.