User Interface and User Design: How do they Impact SEO
Long, long ago…when SEO was all about ranking top in search results, users were the least of the priority for any marketer. Perhaps, it would be better to call them SEO professionals, only and not marketers.
However, a lot has changed over the years, be it because of the updates like the hummingbird, panda, and penguin, or because of the user awareness.
Nevertheless, businesses and online marketers are more aware of the growing needs of the users. And likely, their role in SEO.
You might be surprised to know that, although the search engines cannot directly measure user experience, they still consider it to be a major ranking factor for web pages in SERP.
SEO is More Than Just Ranking in SERPs
As already mentioned, SEO is not only about ranking websites and digital properties in SERP. It goes a long way, especially when it comes to businesses.
To put this into perspective, simply search for any local service that you need on Google. Let’s say you search for ‘tailor services near me’. If you closely look at the results you get, most of them would be local businesses listed on Google or any other directory.
Search engines, especially empowered by AI algorithms, now pay more attention to what the user desires. Meaning, they wish to discover what the user is actually looking for. And, subsequently, present them with relevant solutions (search results).
The Role of Artificial Intelligence
Back in 2015, when Google first rolled out its AI platform and integrated it with its search algorithm, everyone suspected if it would be really helpful with SEO.
However, half a decade down the line, we all know that Google services can cater to personalized needs now.
To put this into perspective, Rankbrain mines data and assembles it to study user behavior. As the experts offering “the best digital marketing services” say ‘Google’s AI is one of the smartest artificial brains on earth’. It measures a user’s interests and choices, and accordingly presents them with suitable options to choose from.
By personalizing the search results, we mean that it is very likely that the results for two different users for the same keywords can be different. Well, that depends, however, on what the specific users prefer to see in their search results.
So, in short, AI can truly help understand the user behavior and accordingly improve user experience.
Designing a User-Friendly Interface
If you’ve been following the content until now, your next question would be- how you can design a user-friendly interface, that also helps with SEO?
Well, here are some steps you can follow.
Focus on user intent
Primarily, when you wish to rank your website for your ideal customers, you need to understand what they might search for, on the internet.
In simple terms, you must try to create a user persona and accordingly try to understand the user’s intent behind every search. For example, if you are a shoe seller, you need to focus on people searching for terms like ‘buy shoes’ and so on.
Target semantic keywords
While you take up keyword research for your website, you shouldn’t stick to exact match phrases only. In fact, SEO pros really believe that using similar phrases and terms, as your keywords, can help rank for a wider range of queries on SERP. For example, SEO services can also be mentioned as SEO tasks or website optimization.
Rankbrain establishes the correlation between semantic keywords, and thereby also rewards synonymous keywords with better ranks in SERP.
Another key feature to include in your SEO for a better user experience is easy navigation. Studies show that websites with deeper-rooted internal linking receive more bounce rates.
Although internal links are good, over optimization can be equally harmful. So, you need to create an easy to operate navigation for your website.
Optimize for conversion
Lastly, you need to create your content while keeping your target audience in your mind. Not only that but also what you wish your users to do when they land on your website.
For example, if you are a seller, you’d want your users to buy something when they come across your website. Likewise, if you’re a service provider, you’d want them to leave a query or contact you. In short, you must optimize your content for conversion. And it can only be done when you’re aware of your users’ intent for their search.
To sum it up, SEO is no longer only about ranking in search results. Indeed, it is more about ranking for the right searchers at the right time. And that is what user experience is all about. Creating valuable bonds for your brand by nourishing your users.