Ahead of our next LEARN: UX & Conversion Rate Optimisation workshop, we discuss why it is important to align UX and SEO strategies. In the early days of search engines, results were produced largely through quantitative methods; for example, an analysis of how often a given keyword appeared on a page. Sadly, this approach was only too easy to manipulate using “black-hat” methods, which is why the search engines started to try to incorporate more qualitative methods into their algorithms.
Search engines are becoming increasingly adept at recognising which sites are providing a high-quality user experience (UX) versus those which are not. Here are some specific ways in which user experience can feed into your search-engine optimisation (SEO) strategy.
Page load time is explicitly measured in Google’s algorithm
A slow page load time has a direct impact on a site’s bounce rate. As we know, sites with high bounce rates are unlikely to rank very highly organically. Google has now also confirmed that a slow loading landing page directly impacts the ranking of a website.
Websites should be designed with loading Anything that slows down page load time has the potential to have a negative impact on SEO rankings so great website design that is designed to load quickly, along with super fast web hosting, should be top of the list when looking at priorities in site design.
The longer users stay on your website, the more your Google ranking improves
When people stay on your website, Google takes it as an indication that they were happy with what they found there and views this as a positive sign for your search engine ranking. There are several keys to persuading users to spend time on your website; here are three to start with:
- Provide great content
Luxury brands really need to set the highest standards in content creation and, in particular, they need to remember that different people have different preferences for consuming content. Because of this, brands must make certain that they provide content in a variety of different formats, such as photos, videos, text and audio, to make sure they engage with their target audience as much as possible.
- Make sure the content can be found easily
In other words, make sure that your website is easily navigable. In this context, it is worth noting that the Equality Act 2010 requires companies to provide goods and services to the public without discriminating on protected criteria such as disability. Making sure that your website is easy to navigate by anyone who wishes to use it, including those with disabilities, will, therefore, keep you on the right side of the law as well as on the right side of Google. It is also rare enough that it will impress those customers who need that accessibility.
- Make sure your website adapts to the screen
Even though many websites, particularly those relating to luxury brands, have become multimedia-rich, the fact still remains that old-fashioned, text-based content is still crucial to online communication and as such it needs to be completely legible, including being legible on the smaller screens of mobile devices and to those using text-to-speech converters. Similarly, videos and images should display appropriately on mobiles and tablets.
Resist any temptation to be overly expressive with colours, contrasts and fonts and focus on the elegance of simplicity.
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