Why UX Design Matters and How it Affects Ranking

User Experience design, more commonly known as UX Design, is the process of designing products that provide meaningful and relevant experiences to users, with a focus on usability, accessibility, and intuitive interaction with the product.

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 process of clearly outlining the target audience for your app or website, and then asking the what, when, where, why, and how they interact with your site.

Why Does UX Matter to SEO?

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

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 on 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 rank on the SERPs.

While SEO seeks to improve your ranking with search engines, UX focuses on improving experiences for your site’s users. There’s no point increasing your website’s organic rankings when your visitors are landing on a poorly-designed website, that hasn’t taken seamless 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 affect your rankings 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 now:

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 into your site, or the information they are looking for.

High bounce rates are often cited as a metric that Google tracks in order 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, meaning a decrease in page rankings.

2. Session duration

Another metric that’s used for evaluating UX, session duration measures the time users spend on your website. If session times are longer, Google can infer that users found 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.

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.

Conclusion: UX Matters for SEO

Implementing a well thought out UX strategy can ultimately shape how you want your website to be perceived and consumed. Maximising the power of good UX design, can certainly lead to increased interest from users, a gain in links, and eventually help your website rank.

For best results, create web pages that are well-designed, easy to navigate, and have a seamless conversion funnel, in the initial stages of web development.

Our Pure SEO team specialises in search engine optimisation to help you attain your businesses’ goals. Talk to us to learn more about how you can achieve online success by calling 0800 SEARCH today!

Rachel Matela

Rachel is a Filipino Kiwi with a passion for the arts. Having graduated with an Arts Degree in English from UoA, she found writing work at PureSEO as a Junior Copywriter and quickly moved on to the role of Editor. In her spare time, she reads Austen and teaches dance classes in the weekend.

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