Whenever I design a website I always think about the colors, fonts, and type of design, which is the user interface of the site. But, things such as user flows, mobile and desktop layouts, architecture, and website structure, otherwise known as the UX, or user experience, are also be taken into consideration.
These elements function together to create a website design that is not only easy to use for the site’s visitors but on target and true to the company branding. And, for any website, the user experience (UX) is as important as the user interface (UI) when it comes helping your site’s rankings in Google and other search engines.
Often potential clients will think I am “blowing smoke” when I mention these terms and how important they are for SEO. Usually, it’s because they are stuck in the “old days” when things like keyword stuffing and links they either paid for or exchange with others were what got them clicks through on their site.
Those days are long gone and Google has long since caught on to the tricks that people used in the past to try to rank their pages with these techniques. Google wants to serve up pages to searchers that give them answers to the questions they are asking.
Design as a ranking factor…how does that work?
So, you may ask, okay, but how do UI and UX have anything to do with that?
Here’s the thing, a well-designed interface and website can increase the time spent on site from your visitors, which in turn increases your “authority” in Google’s eyes.
According to From The Future, an SEO company based out of Pennsylvania:
“UX helps to increase the “stickiness” of a page and increase user sentiment. Delivering the perfect online experience is what makes a visitor “stick” and not bounce. That “stickiness” sends the right quality signals back to Google and indicates that your website is the right result for a given search query. Our data is showing us that “stickiness” (i.e. UX) is often the difference between positions 1 and 2.”
Google watches for things like visitors leaving pages quickly (also know as bouncing away) because in their eyes that means the page wasn’t relevant or a good match to the searcher.
What causes visitors to leave a site quickly?
So, what causes a visitor to leave a site really quick? An outdated website design, which gives a perception of a business that just doesn’t care, or a site that is hard to navigate around on. Yes, people do judge a book by its cover still and if a site is hard to use, on top of having a bad website design, it makes it an even worse experience for them.
I could continue to wax eloquent about the advantages of implementing a good and well thought out website design, but I will let From The Future explain it instead. I recently came across an article they published that goes really in-depth into the reasoning behind we the look of your site is very important for SEO. They discuss in-depth not only how to implement your design into an SEO campaign, but also give some case studies to prove the methods and results.
Be sure to check their article out by clicking here. It’s well worth the read.