“Content is king!”
This is a phrase that countless SEO experts have heard over and over again.
However, it is not unusual to see advertising agencies (ones that are less than specialized in the field of SEO) optimize the contents of their websites so as to favour Google’s indexing robots rather than the user experience of Internet surfers.
The irony in all this is that the primary purpose of these robots is to find content that is most likely to please the very same Internet users!
In reality, there are no shortcuts: quality content is the only thing that will bring your website pages to the top of Google search results.
In this article, we will take a deep look at the impact of user experience on the quality your website’s SEO.
Natural SEO: how do we define good user experience?
For several years now, new technology has been popping up, causing the upset of previously held conventions in the world of web design.
Let us note for example the emergence of responsive design as well as the arrival of technology used to increase display performance (for example the AMP project, which is increasing importance in some circles of web marketing).
In 2017, user experience has become a vital part of the success of any website wishing to climb to the top of search engine positions.
Indeed, it should be noted that Google’s algorithms are becoming more and more sophisticated; the tech giant is now able to identify exactly what content offers Internet users the best experience.
The 4 criteria for good user experience
The various criteria taken into account by Google when it runs its analysis of user experience can be covered by ensuring that your website:
- Provides Internet users with answers to their questions in the most thorough and effective way possible.
- Provides a fast and complete navigation experience adapted to all mobile devices
- Communicates information so that it can be absorbed as quickly as possible
- Does the 3 previous actions better than most of your competitors
In light of these criteria, user experience can be viewed as the user’s appreciation of their visits to your site; this appreciation can be analyzed as the sum of two central components, namely:
- The quality of the content
- The ease of navigation
We will focus on the specifics of each of these two factors in the remainder of this article.
Quality content: always and forever important for natural SEO
If there was a time when bloggers and webmasters could thwart Google’s vigilance and succeed in positioning dubious content on the first pages of search results, this time seems to be over with the arrival of Penguin 4.0, the latest update of the search algorithm, which came out at the end of the 2016.
After all, it makes sense when you think about it: Google has built its reputation on the promise to always offer its users the most relevant content; content that is most likely to satisfy the curiosity of Internet users.
It is therefore normal that each update of Google’s algorithms serves to further tighten such criteria of excellence, which allow the most prestigious sites reach the first page in search results.
Here are some recommendations to offer the best possible content to visitors of your site.
Offer unique and original content
Don’t try to copy or duplicate content from your competitors’ websites and don’t limit yourself to simply rephrasing it either.
To ensure that Google recognizes you as a reliable and relevant web source, you need to write unique content that is 100% distinct from what can be found elsewhere on the web.
Support your content with facts and credible sources
We all know that nowadays anyone can write whatever they want on their blog or via social networks.
Try to always support your statements with facts and statistics as well as with credible and verifiable sources.
Google also recognizes the value of inbound and outbound links on sites, so it would be wise to start with a link building strategy to demonstrate the relevance of your content to Google’s Internet users and indexing robots.
Optimize the important tags on your site
Even though Google is increasingly sophisticated in its analysis of web pages, the process is still far from perfect.
To make sure that indexing robots and web surfers easily find your content, it is crucial to do SEO optimization of all the important tags on your site’s pages.
This is the first step of any effective SEO strategy!
Write interesting and dynamic content
It goes without saying that a page with well-written content will have a much better chance of positioning itself quickly on the first pages of Google’s search results. Pay attention to grammatical errors and the structure of the content on all your pages.
If necessary, call on the services of professional web editors to help refine your content!
The performance of your site: an integral component of natural SEO
As we discussed above, the performance of your site in terms of display, compatibility, and presentation of content is now of the main determining criteria for what is referred to as overall user experience.
It is no longer sufficient to offer the most complete and credible information; it’s now also necessary to be able to communicate in the most effective way to Internet users.
To do this, take a look at some of our more technical recommendations.
Monitor the loading speed of your webpages
We do not call the Internet the “information highway” for nothing!
The more people that have to wait for your pages to load before they can view your content, the more they will be forced to leave your site to find the same information from one of your competitors.
Bounce rate is now an integral part of analyzing user experience quality, and a loading speed exceeding 1.5 seconds per page greatly increases your risk of being subject to a high bounce rate.
Ensure that your site does not become a maze
Nobody likes to be lost!
Too often, sites containing a large number of pages become a real labyrinth for Internet users. To prevent yours from belonging to this category, be sure to organize the structure of your site to always provide a quick way for users to access your most important pages.
Adding a breadcrumb trail, a visible element guiding a user’s itinerary as they explore your site, is also an effective way to allow users to better explore your site.
Create a 100% mobile friendly website using responsive design
It is no longer a secret: in 2017, access to the Internet is increasingly made via mobile devices such as smartphones and multimedia tablets.
Such is the importance of ensuring that your site offers an optimal display for screens of all sizes. A website is said to be responsive when it can be displayed clearly both on traditional computer monitors and on smaller screens such as on smartphones.
There’s no doubting it, without a 100% responsive display your site will soon be overtaken in terms of popularity by those of your competitors.
UX: the key to natural SEO success in 2017?
Hopefully this article has helped you better understand the ins and outs of user experience and its central importance to the SEO of your website.
If you think that your site could benefit from a small upgrade in terms of content or performance, please feel free to contact our team of experts to discuss possible improvements!
To stay on top of all the latest trends in the field of web marketing and SEO, make sure to check out our blog, which is updated on a regular basis.