Since DNA testing kits became widely available, there have been plenty of surprises. Maybe yours were relatively mild, such as finding out your ancestry was more Irish than German. Or maybe you came across a shocking discovery, like a cousin you didn’t know existed. For some marketers, that’s what happens when they begin to look at the relationship between search engine optimization (SEO) and user experience.
SEO is a complex, ever-changing science, the kind of thing that knowing just a little bit about can make for trouble. For instance, you may have been told that you should cram as many keywords into your content as possible and optimize your website as far as it could possibly go.
And in the process, you destroyed your user experience. Let’s dive in and see what the result is when SEO comes at the expense of user experience:
Bounce: Oh, that awful bounce. Your visitors can’t stand to wait for your slow-loading site with all of its over-optimized content so they go visit a competitor.
Engagement: An annoyed visitor isn’t going to share your content with anyone or hang out on your site repeatedly.
Click-Through Rate: It’s important that your visitors not only arrive at your home page, but travel through to other links and pages. A site with a bad user experience won’t encourage clicking through, which then negatively affects your SEO.
So, you discover that you’ve inadvertently tanked your SEO in trying to build it up. You simply went too far and your user experience suffered. What do you do? Here are some steps:
- Speed Up Your Loading Time. One of the best ways to improve bounce rates and SEO is through the speed and performance of your site. Talk to an experienced web designer about compressing images and video, optimizing server response time and more.
- Optimize Your Design and Layout. From your navigation structure to a responsive and visually appealing design, there is a lot that a web designer can improve to create a positive user experience.
- Optimize Your Content: Offer high-quality, well-structured content that is a mix of video, image and text. Make sure every content piece offers value to your audience.
- Analyze and Refine: The user experience and SEO are interrelated and each is complex, so it’s not a good idea to go with your gut. Use a data-focused strategy to see bounce rates, rankings and more. Then make adjustments to perfect your strategy.
You’ve heard so much about SEO that it can be easy to get tunnel-visioned about it and forget how critical the user experience is. If you’re surprised to find just how closely related they are, don’t stress. Just contact us at SJC Marketing and we’ll help you assess how your website is faring and develop a plan for improving both SEO and your user experience.