What’s the relationship between SEO and UX (or search engine optimization and user experience?) Often times entrepreneurs see SEO tasks totally separate from UX design. But you need both. To attract and bring your ideal online client over to your site, then hold and convert them into your list, tribe and sales funnel. It’s like having a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
They’re Like Peanut Butter and Jelly …
Eating your sandwich without one of the ingredients creates a totally different tongue sensation. Read more below about how you can combine search engine optimization and user experience design goals to build the perfect before your online visitors come to your site and after they land there experience.
What is SEO and UX?
SEO and UX should be part of your overall online marketing strategy because together they help online businesses and entrepreneurs to successfully attract and convert online visitors. Where SEO (search engine optimization) is focused on pleasing search engines and human browsers, UX (user experience) fully focuses on pleasing and converting online visitor on a website.
What Is SEO?
SEO, also known as search engine optimization, helps you to optimize your website for best ranking results on the search engine results pages. The better the search bots, software programs sent by the search engines, can access your site, the easier they can understand what you want to be known and ranked for and the better are your listings on the search engine results pages (SERPs). Only listings displayed there are seen as relevant to the search terms an online searcher types in the search bar to start a search.
What Is UX?
UX is also known as user experience or user experience design (UXD or UED). It is described as the process of improving customer satisfaction and loyalty by providing greater usability, an easier usage of the website, and a pleasant interaction between the online client and your product or service. I think by now you can see why implementing both makes sense. A well performing website is properly indexed, tagged, ranked, and visited. The website can convert traffic easily into paying customers and clients. The results you gain are depending on which value, time, energy and attention you give to your user experience design and search engine optimization efforts. With all the benefits of implementing a balanced combination of SEO and UX tasks brings, what are the challenges?
The Challenges You Come Across When Implementing SEO and UX
SEO and UX: They don’t always have the same goals
Your goal by using SEO is to gain proper SEO positioning, higher ranking results and more targeted traffic. To reach these SEO goals making sure your meta tags are filled out properly and your content is keyword optimized are crucial. Because in this way search engines can easily index your content and rank you faster. UX thinks this process is boring. And the content created by following SEO guidelines dead. UX wants to see attractive and engaging content, content that WOW’s you. SEO just wants to be ranked.
You need to design common goals for SEO and UX. Boring, keyword stuffed content could still brings you rankings but not clicks to your website. An awesome looking UX designed website with no traffic brings you not paying clients. The common goal needs to be getting online conversion, and then breaking down what tasks each of them, UX and SEO, need to be executed to make this happen.
SEO and UX: Who Is Better?
SEO and UX are competing for attention. Everybody is important. And sometimes, one person wants to be more important than the other. Like in real life, the same happens with SEO and UX. Both compete for attention of the online visitor, especially when they are already on the website.
- What should be on the navigation bar?
- How should the nav bar look?
- What are the next steps an online visitor should take when they click on a nav button?
A great looking navigation bar with an anchor text button (“anchor text” is the text on the navigation bar button that provides an indicator to the search engines what they will find when they follow the hyperlink) like “CLICK HERE” that has no meaning from a search engine optimization perspective perhaps let’s your online visitors click there but they, nor the search engines, know what to expect. And perhaps leave your website because what they found by clicking the button does not fit the expectation they had. Voila, another bad bounce rate (bounce rate is the percentage of people that leave your website unsatisfied, immediately as they arrive there). It would be better to name the button in a way that you as a human immediately understand what you’ll find by clicking the button so both, SEO and UX are satisfied. For this, both, SEO and UX, need to be given the same attention to make this work.
SEO and UX: Different Online Focuses
SEO is focused on content. UX is focused on design. As easy as this. SEO wants that the content is clear, relevant, easy to digest, keyword focused. UX’s desire is looking good, or let’s say awesome, mind blowing. A header one perhaps does not fit into the desire of UX who only wants sliders, images, blurbs, or testimonials.
SEO brings online visitors in and shows them where to go and how to navigate. UX holds them engaged and attracts the clicks plus conversions. Both need to have the same online focus, leading online visitors through and holding them on the site successfully.
What Are The Most Common SEO and UX Conflicts?
- Keyword Stuffing versus No Keywords.
- Dry and Boring Keyword Focused Content versus Engaging Content with No Keywords.
- Small Images with Alternative Tag (so the spiders can read what the image is all about) versus Big, Amazing Images not Tagged at all.
- Keyword focused content is often seen as dry and boring. User experience is not always the first focus but how to get the best ranking positions.
- Many options in navigation bar to lead the visitor deeper into the website but also to make sure that relevant pages are displayed on the navigation bar versus simplicity and an easier navigational structure.
- Content above versus underneath the fold.
- Sitemaps created for the search engines (XML sitemaps) versus sitemaps created for human browsers (HTML sitemaps).
I think by now, you can see why SEO and UX are like jelly and peanut butter.
They cannot live with, nor without each other. But … you can make it work.
- Make sure your content is keywords focused written in a way that the search engines understand what you want to be found for.
- Fill out the meta tags on your website to help the “blind” spiders tag you properly.
- Design an attractive website and make sure your content is engaging and persuasive.
To convert your targeted traffic into paying customers and clients.
And don’t forget, have fun growing your online business and making a difference in the world.