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About UX and SEO: Top 10 Things to Keep in Mind

About UX and SEO: Top 10 Things to Keep in Mind

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If you want to rank higher in Google and other search engines today, you need to shift your mindset. User experience optimization must become your primary SEO strategy.

But where to start? With endless UX elements to consider and technical SEO factors still mattering, it can get overwhelming. You need clarity on which key principles to focus on.

That’s where this article comes in! I’m going to boil down the most crucial things to remember when aligning UX and SEO into an easy top ten list.

Consider it your handy cheat sheet for integrating user experience design with search engine optimization.

These best practices come from my decade of hands-on experience juggling UX and technical SEO at organizations of all sizes. So, they’re totally practical and actionable tips – no vague theories or jargon here!

Let’s count down the top ten things to keep in mind when tackling UX and SEO together:

#10: Always Think of UX as SEO

First and foremost, banish any notion that UX and SEO are somehow detached disciplines.

User experience optimization needs to be your actual SEO strategy now, as I [covered here].

With Google using metrics like Core Web Vitals as direct ranking signals, excelling at UX is what will lift your pages in results.

So anytime you brainstorm ways to improve website performance – whether through new features or redesigns – think holistically about enhancing UX and SEO together in one motion.

Don’t compartmentalize them as separate pursuits. Every UX win should be valued as an SEO win simultaneously.

#9: Obsess Over Site Speed

Of all the UX optimizations with proven SEO benefits, improving website speed might offer the most immediate bang-for-your buck.

And it makes total sense why site speed matters to both users and search bots:

  • Faster loads = happier users. People abandon slow sites instantly. But fast loads encourage engagement.
  • Slower pages historically rank lower. Google has explicitly warned that sluggish sites will drop in mobile rankings. Page speed is a confirmed ranking factor.

So, if you do nothing else initially, at least optimize website performance. Compress images, minify code, purge caches, leverage browser caching, go lightweight…

Just get those pages load times down. Your users and search rankings will thank you!

#8: Mobile Matters Most

Piggybacking off site speed, seriously prioritize the mobile experience over desktop. Why?

  • Most searches happen on smartphones now. If your mobile UX falters, you’re invisible for a majority of queries.
  • Google boosts fast, mobile-friendly pages in rankings. Non-responsive sites that frustrate mobile users risk Google’s wrath.

Minimize typing and tapping required on mobiles. Simplify page layouts. Use responsive design. Test on various devices.

With mobile driving the bulk of searches, excellent mobile UX is mandatory for SEO success. Don’t leave potential visibility gains on the table.

#7: Keyword Targeting Still Matters for UX and SEO

Now you might be thinking: If UX is so critical for SEO, do keywords even matter anymore?

Great question. While Google is increasingly emphasizing user experience signals, keywords definitely still influence rankings.

You just want to optimize pages for target terms holistically through UX-boosting tactics like:

  • Including keywords naturally in headings, meta titles/descriptions, URL slugs, etc.
  • Updating site architecture to match user search journeys.
  • Expanding thin, vague content related to keywords.
  • Adding related keywords to contextually relevant pages.

So, keep targeting high-value SEO keywords, just do so primarily through enhancements that improve real visitor satisfaction.

#6: Links Remain Crucial

Similar to keywords, attracting external links through great content remains hugely important for UX and SEO.

But the focus needs to be on earning links by creating resources that answer user questions and provide value. Not old-school shortcut tactics.

To build high-quality backlinks while satisfying users:

  • Produce in-depth, engaging content on topics your audience cares about.
  • Promote that content through organic outreach and partnerships (avoid paid links).
  • Monitor what types of content earn links and double down on similar themes.

So, keep link-building – just recognize great UX that helps users is what will ultimately earn links with positive SEO impact.

#5: Leverage Structured Data

Structured data markup enables you to annotate page content to describe key elements like:

  • Company info (name, address, etc.)
  • People details (location, job titles, social profiles)
  • Events (dates, location, schedules)
  • Products (price, features, ratings)

Adding schema markup improves on-site SEO. But mainly, it enhances UX by enabling handy features like:

  • Rich results snippets in Google listings
  • Integrated maps and contact info
  • Product rating overviews

So, leverage schema everywhere possible. Just confirm the markup actually benefits users, or else remove it.

#4: Guide Users with Content

One of my favorite UX optimizations that lifts SEO is adding informational content to guide users.

Sometimes your visitors need a bit more hand-holding to successfully navigate sites and complete key actions. Providing that helpful guidance through copy and media directly improves conversions and engagement.

But it also signals to Google that your pages satisfy searcher intent by answering questions and explaining concepts thoroughly. More satisfied searchers equal higher rankings.

Some easy ways to add valuable instructional content:

  • FAQ schema and libraries
  • Product docs like manuals
  • On-page guides and tooltips
  • Tutorial videos

So, take time to identify gaps where additional tips, definitions, and how-tos would aid users – then fill them to boost UX and SEO together.

#3: Simplify Key Tasks

Another way to direct users through excellent UX is simplifying key site tasks and workflows.

For example, guides and checklists that break complex goals like “plan your wedding” or “build a website” into step-by-step sequences.

Task simplification improves real conversion and engagement metrics. But it also signals to Google that your pages truly fulfill searcher intent by enabling users to easily accomplish goals.

Some ideas for simplifying UX to benefit SEO:

  • -pruned category architecture that narrows options
  • -stripping unnecessary fields from forms
  • -minimizing steps in payment checkout flows
  • -interactive calculators or configurators

Anytime you can distill complex processes into linear, idiot-proof sequences – do it. Your future search traffic and rankings will thank you when conversions skyrocket.

#2: Obsess Over Site Architecture

Here’s an easy win that requires no copywriting or coding to boost UX and SEO in one go:

Take time to thoughtfully organize your website’s architecture and navigation to help visitors intuitively find what they need.

A site IA that elegantly guides users also typically enhances organic visibility by:

  • -logically grouping related pages together
  • -using descriptive taxonomies and URL slugs
  • -reflecting typical user journeys and searcher intent

Re-mapping your site structure requires some upfront strategizing. But smooth site architecture massively elevates real conversion rates and search crawler comprehension simultaneously.

#1: Always Be Testing!

Topping our list of things to keep in mind when optimizing UX for SEO is rigorous testing – both before and after deployment.

Why? Because even theories that sound amazing in your head often prove ineffective (or even detrimental) when actual humans interact with them.

Some ways to continually test the impact of UX changes on user satisfaction and SEO KPIs:

  • Google Search Console user behavior reports
  • Google Optimize A/B tests
  • Session recordings and heatmaps
  • Support call and NPS feedback
  • Split URL crawl bot experiments

So never assume your UX or SEO instincts are automatically correct. Let real user and search bot data guide your optimization path at every step.

Testing might seem tedious, but it’s how you avoid huge pitfalls. And it uncovers improvement opportunities you’d never discover otherwise. Make testing the cornerstone of your UX and SEO programs.

Infographic about ux and seo and the top 10 things to keep in mind

UX and SEO – Transform Your SEO Approach Through UX

There you have it – a handy top 10 checklist covering the key principles to remember as you build synergy between user experience optimization and search engine optimization.

I know overhauling processes to intertwine UX and SEO can feel daunting initially. But I promise the payoff is massive if you stick with it.

Focus on quick early wins first. Build buy-in across teams and leadership through demonstrated SEO lifts. Then expand initiatives with bigger budget impacts over time.

And feel free to refer back to this article anytime you need a quick refresher on the core mindsets and best practices to lock in.

At some point, aligning UX and SEO will become second nature. Your entire approach to search optimization will transform to obsess over site experience.

Soon you’ll forget how you ever saw UX and SEO as disconnected!

The results will speak for themselves: Happier users that convert more often. Lower bounce rates and longer time on site. More links and social shares. And most importantly – your key pages steadily climbing Google’s rankings!

So, are you ready to step into the future where exceptional user experience drives higher SEO? I hope so!

Remember, UX is now your competitive advantage in organic search. Wield it strategically to pull ahead while others remain stuck in the outdated mindset.

The opportunity is yours for the taking. Now get out there and start making that UX and SEO magic happen! Let me know if you have any other questions.

We can help you with your UX and SEO!

Jesus Guzman

M&G Speed Marketing LTD. CEO

Jesus Guzman is the CEO and founder of M&G Speed Marketing LTD, a digital marketing agency focused on rapidly growing businesses through strategies like SEO, PPC, social media, email campaigns, and website optimization. With an MBA and over 11 years of experience, Guzman combines his marketing expertise with web design skills to create captivating online experiences. His journey as an in-house SEO expert has given him insights into effective online marketing. Guzman is passionate about helping businesses achieve impressive growth through his honed skills. He has proud case studies to share and is eager to connect to take your business to the next level.