Why UX Design Matters and How it Affects Ranking

User Experience design, more commonly known as UX design, is the process of designing interface that provide meaningful and relevant experiences to users, with a focus on usability, accessibility, and intuitive interaction with the product, and is more important to SEO than you may think.

UX design encompasses more than just web design and development. UX design also includes elements of visual design, user research, information architecture, and other disciplines that are focused on the overall experience a website or app delivers to users.

Simply put, UX design is the whole process of clearly outlining the target audience for your app or website, and then asking how they interact with your site, inlcuding the when, where, and why.


Why Does UX Matter to SEO?

It is a given that SEO plays a vital role in the digital marketing space, but not a lot of people know that UX can have a measurable impact on website traffic, search engine ranking, conversion rates, and even leads.

In June 2021, user experience design became even more important due to Google’s Core Web Vitals update bringing page experience to the forefront of the Google algorithm. Google’s Core Web Vitals are a set of three metrics that site owners should focus on to improve user experience. The better the experience you are providing for users, the more Google will favour your site and improve your rank.

Creating a website is an exciting process, and it can be easy to get caught up in the aesthetics or visual design without much thought to user experience. This is a mistake; UX should be considered from the very beginning as it is a crucial part of how well your website will perform. While SEO seeks to improve your ranking with search engines, UX focuses on improving performance for your users. Essentially, there’s no point increasing your website’s organic rankings if your visitors are landing on a poorly-designed website that hasn’t taken user experience into account.

Webmaster Trends Analyst for Google, John Mueller, had this to say about UX:

“If you make a good website that works well for users, then indirectly you can certainly see an effect in ranking.”


Metrics for Evaluating UX

When UX is working as intended, it can increase user dwell time, decrease bounce rates, and indirectly increase your ranking on the SERPs.

There are plenty of ways to evaluate just how user-friendly your website is, so let’s go through a few of them:


1. Bounce Rates

Bounce rate is the count of how many users visit your site and leave after seeing just one page. This typically happens when your main landing page isn’t relevant to your target audience to begin with, but it’s also possible that the home page’s design or content hasn’t been designed with UX in mind and doesn’t immediately give users a path forward to the information they are looking for.

High bounce rates are often cited as a metric that Google tracks to decide whether or not to promote a page in the SERPs. If Google notices that your audience is checking out straight away, it may draw the conclusion that your website is irrelevant to the search terms that are leading people there, and this means a potential decrease in rankings.


2. Session duration

Another metric that’s used for evaluating UX is session duration, and this measures the time users spend on each page of your website. If session times are longer, Google can infer that users are finding your website’s content relevant and valuable. On the other hand, if session duration is low, user engagement is also low, and this impacts organic rankings negatively.


3. Page views per visit

This is a measure of how many web pages a particular user or group of users clicks on or views on a single website. It’s a broad indication of how well your site’s navigation is arranged, and how valuable your content is to your site visitors. E-commerce sites in particular will want to maximise page views per visit, to ensure people are viewing (and buying) more products on the site.


UX Matters for SEO

Implementing a well thought out UX strategy can ultimately shape your website is perceived and consumed. Maximising the power of good UX design will lead to increased interest from users, a gain in links, and eventually help your website rank better too.

For best results, you should create web pages that are well-designed, easy to navigate, and have a seamless conversion funnel, starting with these goals in mind during the initial stages of web development.

Want to know more? The team here atPure SEO specialises in search engine optimisation to help you attain your businesses’ goals. Talk to us today about taking your website to the next level.

Ruby Garner

Ruby joined the content team in August 2021. An avid reader and writer since she was young, Ruby always knew she wanted to work with words. After leaving high school, she studied a Bachelor of Communications majoring in journalism at Massey university. She spent a few years working as a journalist for a news app in the area she grew up in, Matakana, before joining the team at PureSEO.

Ruby also worked part time as a preschool teacher to save money for travelling. So far she has ticked Vietnam, Cambodia, and Bali off her list, and she hopes to be able to travel again soon.

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