BALANCING SEO AND UX IS THE KEY TO SEARCH RANKING SUCCESS
By SCOTT TEHRANI
Google’s internal UX playbook has found its way online, bringing their idea of best-in -class UX to light and highlighting a potential shift in how their search algorithm ranks pages in the near future.
UX is key to SEO
While ‘core’ SEO signals will still be playing the key role in ranking, an optimised user experience may also become a more central part of the ranking process now that Google has solidified its importance within their essential retail principles.
Our expert view
Consideration for the user experience has been included as part of the best practice SEO strategy for some time now, but with Google turning more of their attention toward it now is the best time to capitalise on fully integrating UX and SEO.
"The best practice playback reinforces our thoughts that you make sure a design solution maximises opportunities from learned behaviour. Before overlaying that with a user experience that puts a smile on your customers face and keeps them coming back for more. An experience that caters for head and heart."
Guy Sharman – Creative Director
Unifying the two from the get-go ensures that can you maximise your usability metrics from day zero, clearly setting out what areas you should prioritise and tackle with a one-two punch – using SEO to connect people to your product, and UX to ensure they stick around and enjoy their time on your site.
Usability metrics have been around for a while, but Google’s 25 Retail Principles can be condensed into 12 key metrics that will likely play roles within the refocused algorithm. Since Google launched the now dominant Chrome browser they have been able to collect real-life user data and validate/refine their search algorithims to ensure they perform.
While some best-in-class features are easier to implement than others, looking at problem areas that your customers get stuck on and prioritising those will help get the ball rolling.
"The best way to measure behavioral effectiveness and experience strategy is to have some core metrics. There are some standard experience and usability metrics like time to task completion, and error rates, as well as softer experience metrics or sentiment-based measures that can give you a good overview. Pick a framework of hero metrics that the boardroom can understand and join those with your search acquisition metrics, so you can monitor this channel effectiveness and how this correlates to your experience scores to give you a trackable set of benchmark numbers to improve and use to help diagnose issues."
Richard Jones – Chief Strategy Officer
With this potential algorithm shift on the horizon, it’s important to consider how mobile factors into all of this. A frictionless mobile experience should be a priority for anyone looking to bump up their position with search rankings. Aside from mobile-first indexing making a fast, SEO-optimised mobile site absolutely essential, a frictionless and enjoyable user experience featuring the right content is just as important for that page one ranking.
"I feel that we've been ahead of the curve in this area for sometime. For me, SEO has always been about the end user....ultimately that's Google's goal - to serve the best, most relevant and accessible content for the search query. SEOs can get hung up on a host of lagging indicators and lose sight of the overarching aim. At twentysix, SEO, UX and Creative teams work closely to craft the best digital experiences for search engines AND users.
Scott Tehrani – SEO, Content & Comms Director
A great user experience is a critical performance factor for any digital experience. Affecting traffic via SEO and content visibility, conversion and engagement on site, and the overall customer experience. Follow both Google and twentysix best practice to ensure you succeed in this area, and if you need any help in the area then please get in touch.