SEO stands for search engine optimization, is a digital marketing tool offered by search engines. This helps your website to come upfront when users search for it but if you are not ranking in search engine research pages (SERP), you might end up leaving many potential customers behind. It was in the earlier times that search engines optimize your website based on keywords but now google has introduced core web vitals to measure the quality of user experience and rank the websites on this basis. Moreover, these core web vitals contains 3 metrics which are:
- Largest contentful paint (LCP): It measures how long your website takes to load your landing page, a maximum of 2.5 sec has the higher chances of ranking
- First input delay (FID): It measures how long it takes to respond when a user has first interaction with your website, a maximum of 100 ms is considered fine.
- Cumulative layout shift (CLS): It measures visual stability and shifting of layout during loading of the website with a score of 0-1 where 0 is no shifting and 1 is most.
How poor UX can ruin your SEO: Bounce rate: It is when users visit your website and leave it without any interaction at the same time because they did not understand what actions to take or how your website functions which increases your bounce rate. Dwell Time: It is the amount of time users spend on your website, when it has a difficult navigation or it’s not solving users’ problems easily then the user will leave your website and will come back to the search engine which indicates your website is giving a poor experience to user’s hence decreasing dwell time. Designers these days are making great efforts to make the website more user-centric, easily accessible and delightful for their user and it is one way to correct this focus on creating easy navigations, making it more user friendly and keep it engaging hence focusing on the overall user experience to boost your SEO.
Ways in which UX can help:
- Simple URL and Navigation (Simpler navigation is understandable): UX helps to simplify website navigation and hence provide an SEO friendly navigation that makes users stay on websites for a longer period, on the other hand, if your website has bad navigation users will get confused and end up leaving it.
- Page Speed: When users interact with your website they want it to respond in a minimum time, to overcome this issue you should not be using heavy images, GIFs, lotties which might increase the load time and instead keep them minimal to give the best experience. For eg. https://www.smithfieldfoods.com/ used large images and fancy animations which ended up increasing their loading time.
- Using visual cues: The easiest way to interact and understand a website is through images, videos, icons, illustration, infographics. The user gets to connect with the visual content and enjoy it while surfing a website. If you load your website with large headers and heavy deep content that will make it boring for the users to get their work done. Even fancy loaders and engaging error pages help you to be on the safer side.
- Using CTA’s: In the age of tik-tok and Instagram reels, the attention span of people has decreased drastically so helping them find the right information/action is more important. So CTA’s help in getting the user’s attention and work as one of the main interactions with the user. When you do not have any CTA on your main landing page, specifically on the very first fold of your page that will make users confused about what to do for the next step and make a negative impact on UX and SEO. Using CTA’s will guide them further on your website and will keep them engaged because the user wants you to take them to the page where their task is.
- Quality of content: The content you are providing on your website should have great value to offer and answer the readers’ questions because the content is everything. UX writing is something which focuses on empathy and can create greater impact on users, For eg.https://www.apple.com/in/airpods-pro/ how apple has used humor to explain the features of new airpods pro . Users search for something when they require a solution and if you mess up in providing invaluable content just to fill your pages that will ruin your UX. Also, Google optimizes your content based on keywords, headings, and internal linking are some factors which help you get a good ranking in SERP.
- Strong Layout: Good layout makes it easy in scanning the website for users and it can also help in breaking the monotony and make the experience more engaging. The layout helps the user to understand everything hierarchically and provides a better user experience and SEO. But if your website layout is not proper like it does not have any CTA, difficult navigation, jargon in headings then it’s not a user-centric website and will negatively impact your SEO and UX because if your design is not intuitive it would not help users in any way.
- Mobile responsiveness: In today’s world with a huge number of people using mobile phones, it is very important to have a responsive website. In India, out of total web traffic 73% of the usage are from mobile and if your website is not responsive it can be difficult to operate on mobile and hence will irritate users and give a bad experience. Also, Google ranks those websites higher that have mobile responsiveness because of the increasing number of mobile devices so it’s better to have a mobile-friendly website.
How we helped Kapiva to increase their conversion rate: We have conducted an audit for one of our client named Kapiva, an e-commerce platform that offers ayurvedic products. When they visited us their overall performance score was 38. After going through opportunities of improvement we got 50 score on the landing page. Before: After:
Tools to measure: There are several tools offered by Google to measure core web vitals, through which you can check and fix your user experience. These tools explain insights about your website and will inform you about which part needs focus, what needs to be changed. To measure groups of pages from your site use google’s Search Console, It collects field data from Chrome UX Report which helps you measure the site’s search traffic and overall performance with your site’s impressions, clicks and position on google search and it will update you with an email if any issue is found. The report is based on 3 core web vitals that are LCP, FID and CLS. When you get to know which pages require more attention use Page Speed Insights, this tool gives you specific reports on a particular page. It contains reports on both field and lab performance of the site and recommends you for the improvement on the page to give the user's best experience.
Conclusion: Google’s algorithm for optimizing websites is continuously updating based on how a user is experiencing the pages. The core web vitals introduced also focuses on making websites user friendly and providing content with set standards and quality. Business owners these days have very tough competition as the competitor is only one click away. So, if you want your website to rank under the top 5 in SERP you need to consider UX and SEO equally important. While designing your website take care of both UX principle and SEO metrics such as core web vitals along with traditional practices like keywords, page’s content and internal links.