25 February 2016
UX is the new way to optimize sites for search engines because Google said so. Google wants to serve its users relevant content that provides positive UX. Google decided that links are no longer as important as they once thought. Out of deep concern for its users that click on the search ads, Google has decided that user experience (UX) is a much better determinant of relevance.
SEO and UX have more qualities in common that they are given credit for. While SEO earns your site creditability and helps to attracts users to your site. UX earns credibility by pleasing users with a seamless experience that understands how they feel and behave. Both want the same outcomes: SEO wants to have high “average time on page”, low “bounce rate”, more “return visitors” and more ” Social Shares” as does UX.
So here are some six tips for improving a site’s UX
Simplicity is intentionally including the most essential pieces, and intentionally excluding unnecessary pieces. The design and visual elements should showcase the site’s purpose. People should immediately understand what your website is about, and what you want them to do. A homepage can be a summary of other sections of your site or simply guide people to the most important call to action.
The time it takes for your pages to load is incredibly vital to the user experience of your site. If someone clicks on your homepage and it takes more than a few seconds to load, there’s a good chance that they will hit the back button. This will cause your bounce rate to go up, which will do a lot of damage to your PageRanking. Keep quality images to web-friendly sizes by optimising when saving for web.
We don’t read web pages, we scan them. People absorb more content if the page is easy to understand in small bites. Content is also easier to share across social networks when it’s tightly packaged.
We use simpler words and terms, shorter sentences, paragraphs that focus on a single idea and bullet points to visualize lists, as the following shows its easier to read in the bulleted list:
Sitemaps make your website easy to index, navigate, scan, and crawl for both users and search engines. online readers don't read everything on the page, they scroll and scan. Footer is probably the last place they look at before exiting. Placing a sitemap in the footer may attract readers' attention and increase page clicks and views. By placing the sitemap in the footer rather than a separate page, you save the visitors a click. Having a sitemap in the footer allows users to quickly jump from page to page.
The use of pop-ups can be quite effective if used correctly. Another example, needs to to have read terms and conditions prior to ordering, having the text pop up without them having to leave the page is very convenient. The same is true of helpful buying guides, while in the process of researching a particular product
However, having pop-ups appear when you first arrive, asking to join our newsletter, would have to be our current no. 1 bugbear.
When you do use pop-ups, make sure that they close when users click outside of the pop-up box in case they can’t find the cross button. If they are having trouble getting rid of the pop-up, they will leave your site out of frustration.
The call to action (CTA) lays out what the user is expected to do.
Another helpful article on the subject can be found here: http://white.net/blog/the-relationship-between-seo-and-ux/