How Important is User Experience


How important is user experience in SEO?


We have all visited a website that is slow, unresponsive or difficult to navigate – causing endless amounts of frustration. The typical response to a site with poor user experience is to bounce to another site, which can have a major impact on its SEO ranking.  

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and UX (User Experience) have a significant impact, and directly correlate to one another. If users are quickly leaving a site, this affects its SEO ranking; it suggests to search engines that the content on your site is not relevant, or high quality enough, to satisfy search queries. The more time someone spends on your site signals to search engines that users have found what they were originally looking for, and that their search query has been answered. It then determines if the site is deserving of a higher ranking in the SERP.


What is SEO?

You may have some understanding of SEO’s potential, but what exactly is it? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, and refers to a range of tactics and digital marketing methods that are used to help you rank as highly as possible on the SERP and, thus, increasing visibility to a wider range of users.


What is user experience?

User experience refers to how intuitive and easy to navigate a user determines your site to be when using it as a source to answer their queries. This includes how visitors use and interact with a site. UX covers everything from the navigation and layout, to the design and load times of a website.

The aim is to give users the best possible experience, with the aim of inviting them to spend longer periods of time on your site. If users are satisfied with their experience, this subsequently improves the chances of them returning in the future. If users do not have an enjoyable experience, and fail to find what they were originally searching for, there is little surprise that they will ‘bounce’ from your site to another – negatively affecting your SEO ranking power

Providing an enjoyable user experience, with an intuitive and responsive website, means users are more invested in your site and its content, increasing the likelihood of them returning to your site and spending more time there. This is of utmost importance for e-commerce sites, where a positive user experience improves the chances of a purchase being made.



User interface

User interface (UI) refers to the layout and overall visual design of a website, and contributes to the user experience. The visual design of your website is very important. Ideally, your website should be as visually appealing and eye-catching as possible to attract attention and give users a positive impression of your company. Compare your site to your competitors, does it look clunky, tired, or outdated? Consider the fonts, images and colour schemes you are using: are they easy to read? For example, dark blue text on a black background will be considerably hard to read. Consider the impression that all these things will have on people who are visiting your website for the first time. Think about implementing designs, styles, and imagery that will fully compliment your content and company.


Load Speed

When it comes to loading speed, every millisecond counts! Slow loading speeds can deter visitors and affect your search engine ranking. Entering your website URL on page speed insights reveals what could be slowing your site down, on both desktop and mobile devices. It is vital that your page loading speed is at an optimal level, to prevent waves of users leaving your site in droves, and negatively impacting the search engine rankings.



Content is king in the SEO world. High-quality, unique and relevant content can elevate your site in the SERP rankings. However, if your content is poor quality, duplicated, or irrelevant, this can negatively affect its ranking potential. Essentially, you are rewarded by search engines for providing the answers that people looking for. If you have a lot of content on your site, ensure it is well-organised and formatted correctly. Thoroughly check for grammar and spelling mistakes, and ensure your content is well arranged into manageable paragraphs. The inclusion of visual media within your content can help to capture and maintain attention.

Yet, in some instances sticking to a specific word count for every article or piece of copy can be harmful– this can lead to a search engine crawler determining your site as unvaried and less original in its approach to knowledge sharing. Whilst it is beneficial to generally aim for the 500-word mark, if you are able to offer the same level of useful information to your user in a more concise way, it could position you as a nuanced, trusted source of information.


Mobile friendly

Mobile traffic is increasing, did you know that the majority of web traffic now comes from mobile devices? Mobile traffic is more popular in Africa, Asia and South America when compared to desktop traffic, and 64% of online retail traffic is from mobile devices.

These statistics are representative of how modern users consume and access the content they’re searching for. This makes it all the more important to optimise your site to be mobile-compatible.

Ensuring that any video content on your site is just as accessible on mobile as on desktop could largely improve the user experience across your website. Paying particular attention to the layout of your site on mobile-view is also a major factor. Often, adapting this design directly is the best way to translate your website on a smaller screen size.   



Navigation on your site provides direction - pinpointing the main pages of your site that prove to be most helpful to your audience. There are a number of things you can do to enhance your site’s navigation. Incorporating multiple navigation pathways you’re your user could improve your retention metrics, for instance, a search bar, a hamburger menu or using hover drop downs.

Consider how the accessibility of your website could affect its navigation and in turn, your SEO ranking. Those relying on assistive technology to read your website need clear, descriptive headings and effective navigation to use your site.

Bounce rate refers to the percentage of users who leave a page without interacting beyond the first page they land on. Having a high bounce rate should be avoided, and optimising the navigation of your site can improve the chances of visitors remaining on your site. Internal links are   hyperlinks to other pages on your site. Interwoven into the copy on your site, internal links can offer user a call-to-action to further explore the resources on your site. Introducing more interactive elements, such as sliders and clickable links, can help users navigate your site and encourage them to visit beyond their initial query.




With algorithms shifting from prioritising keyword strategies   towards the user experience, looking into the behaviour of visitors on your site is the key to major growth. An emerging trend “Search Experience Optimisation” (SXO), recognises that user experience and search engine optimisation combine to determine your rank. With more content than ever before, Google is becoming more stringent (as it can afford to do so) about what they are showing to users.

There is a clear correlation between user experience and SEO. It is paramount that your site is in provides useful information in an accessible, intuitive format. Ultimately, search engines want to provide their users with the most relevant and credible results that match their search intent and query, so creating a positive user experience is vital to generating an SEO strategy. When people visit your site, they want to leave having obtained a suitable answer, not with more questions.

At Verto our SEO Specialists are armed with a wealth of knowledge and techniques that can be used to drive high quality traffic to your site. If you are looking for up-to-date guidance on creating an SEO strategy, why not attend one of our SEO seminars? Or if you have any questions, please  complete our contact form or call us on 01536 411153.


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