By Brett Farmiloe
To help you understand how user experience impacts SEO and how to improve it on your website, we’ve gathered insights from nine leaders in the world of SEO. From embracing mobile-first design and core web vitals to creating engaging content for improved UX, these experts share their top strategies for enhancing user experience and SEO.
1. Prioritize CLS and stable layouts
“CLS stands for Cumulative Layout Shift, and it’s a metric that measures the visual stability of a page. In simple terms, it quantifies how much page elements move around while the page is loading. A high CLS score indicates a poor user experience, as it suggests that users might have difficulty interacting with the page due to unexpected movement of its elements.
“While content relevance and quality remain primary ranking factors, in situations where multiple pages have similar content quality, user experience metrics like CLS can act as tie-breakers. A page with a better CLS score may rank higher than a competing page with similar content quality but a worse CLS score.
“Good UX design prioritizes a stable layout by ensuring that elements are strategically positioned and sized from the outset. By proactively accounting for all elements and their space requirements, UX designers can prevent unexpected shifts and ensure a consistent, seamless browsing experience.”
—Dan Taylor, SALT.agency2. Enhance UX with infographics and visuals
“Good user experience (UX) indicates that a website is easy to navigate. As such, it comes as no surprise that people favor sites with a top-notch UX over ones that are not as easy to use.
“One can improve this aspect in many ways, but one strategy that stands out is the implementation of infographics and other captivating visual elements. Graphics are more appealing than text to most users, and Google knows it. That’s why it rewards sites with properly placed, high-quality visuals like infographics, images, screenshots, and presentations by ranking them higher in search results.
“This is best exemplified by the fact that content with visuals has much higher engagement than content without images. Besides, readers are 30 times more likely to read infographics than written content. So, if you’re looking for one way to improve your UX and get better traffic, focus on visuals as the main accessory to your written content.”
—Zeljko Mancic, HIREQUARTERS3. Optimize site architecture
“SEO, by its very nature, is structured around ease of use and user experience. Users are at the forefront of Google’s business model and quite literally power its success. How a user interacts with your website gives vital signals to Google about whether or not your website is actually of any value or interest to a user.
“Taking the time to improve UX elements on your website will lead to positive SEO results. One strategy for beginning to optimize for UX onsite is to take a deep dive into your site architecture. Far too many businesses have cluttered and difficult-to-navigate mega menus and internal linking structures, with actual pages of value buried too deep within the site.
“Begin by ensuring that none of your URLs require Googlebot to crawl through more than three subfolders to find the page. Always ensure your most valuable pages can be found by Google with minimum crawl depth required.”—Sam Prater, Zimple Digital4. Adopt a responsive layout
“User experience (UX) is intrinsically tied to SEO because Google prioritizes websites that offer a superior user experience. One key metric that reflects this relationship is the bounce rate. A suboptimal UX results in a higher bounce rate, signaling to search algorithms that your content may not be meeting user expectations. This can adversely affect your SERP rankings.
“To improve the user experience on your website, consider embracing a responsive layout that’s optimized for a range of devices. This not only satisfies Google’s mobile-friendliness criteria but also enhances user engagement across different platforms.
“Imagine you run an e-commerce site and a user visits via their smartphone, only to be deterred by a cluttered and complex layout. With a responsive design, the interface would adapt to a mobile device-friendly layout, keeping the user engaged and consequently improving both UX and SEO metrics. This alignment of UX and SEO isn’t a coincidence; it’s simple strategic synergy.”
—Luke Gibbeson, RGC Digital Marketing5. Maximize dwell time
“Through ‘dwell time,’ user experience has a big impact on SEO. When a user clicks on a search result, dwell time tracks how long they stay on the website before going back to the search results page. Search engines can tell that a page’s content is important and relevant if users stay on it for a longer period of time. Because search engines prioritize content that keeps consumers engaged and pleased, this can have a favorable impact on SEO rankings.”
—Nikolay Krastev, Nikolay Krastev.com6. Make your website faster
“Why do some websites rank better? A big part of it is the user’s experience. When visitors stay longer on a site, search engines take it as a thumbs-up, pushing that site higher in rankings. But if they leave quickly, it’s a red flag.
“Want to make your visitors happy? Speed up your website! Here’s how:
Use smaller, optimized imagesKeep your site’s code clean and minimalConsider using a content delivery networkDon’t forget about browser caching
“A swift site not only delights users but also gets a nod from search engines. Give it a try!”
—Jitender Ahlaawat, Jitender Ahlaawat SEO7. Ensure easy navigation
“Making your site easy to navigate is as important for user experience as it is for SEO. Methods for making your site easier to navigate usually fall into two main categories: site structure and internal linking.
“The site structure should include the major categories of the site as well as relevant subcategories to ensure users and Google can easily find the core pages of the site. The second area, internal linking, involves making sure it is easy to navigate between pages through links in breadcrumbs, articles, footers, etc.”
—Freddie Chatt, Freddie Chatt.com8. Build a high-quality user experience
“Google wants you to create content for your users, not for search engines. Because of this, they measure time on site and time to exit as major factors in their search engine rankings. If you don’t build a high-quality user experience into your pages, something that keeps the reader on the page because they have found what they are looking for, your page will drop in Google’s rankings.
“With the explosion of AI and the ability to get instant answers to any question, it is more important than ever to get your website visitors to what they are searching for as fast as possible.”
—Adam White, Serpple9. Create engaging content
“Engaging content is key to improving user experience and SEO. Ensure that whatever subject you cover, the information you provide is succinct, relevant to the user’s search query, and simple to read while still being engrossing. Developing powerful pieces of content based on your industry will not only drive more visits by showing authority on the subject matter, but it will also help you or your brand appear as a true thought leader.”
—Eric Hoover, Eric Hoover DigitalAbout the AuthorPost by: Brett FarmiloeBrett Farmiloe is the founder and CEO of Featured, a platform where business leaders can answer questions related to their expertise and get published in articles featuring their insights.
Company: FeaturedWebsite: www.featured.comConnect with me on LinkedIn.