With Google’s recent updates to its algorithms, user experience is moving to the forefront of design and SEO. Google has shifted the focus of SERP to the consumer, and it turns out that when the consumer wins, everybody wins.
The theory is simple – the more exactly Google can match search queries with user-friendly content, the higher the conversion rate. The higher the conversion rate, the more sales your company makes.
This result is a bottom-up process that starts with quality content written with the consumer in mind, and ending with happy customers and happy companies.
1. Quality Content
The first step in this process is the content. Stick to one topic, use a conversational tone, describe the problem, and offer a solution. If all of these things are done properly, on-page SEO takes care of itself.
Keywords will flow naturally from the conversation, titles will summarize content, and H1 and H2 titles are written not for bots, but to segment the content for easy digestion by the reader.
Of course you shouldn’t forget to include the CTA, but do so with the reader in mind, not the bottom line. Remember, you’re there to help solve a problem, not make a sale.
2. Clean Design
Good design is essential for a good user experience. The site should be designed to make navigation intuitive, make good use of negative space (instead of overloading the page with information), and be clear about the effects an action will produce.
Everything should be clear to the consumer: where they’re going, how to get there, and what they can expect upon arrival.
3. Load Speed
Remember, for every second faster the page loads, conversion rates go up 7%. Compress images and code whenever possible, and keep the ads to a minimum.
4. Accurate Meta
The meta tags should accurately reflect the content of the page. This doesn’t mean that titles and descriptions can’t take advantage of good SEO practices, but page rank should not be the primary concern. Keep it simple and straightforward, and better leads will follow.
Higher Page Rank
Better position on a SERP should flow naturally as a result of these things (it’s a bit more complicated than that, but we’re talking about on-page elements here).
Of course, best SEO practices can be incorporated into content, but content should never be designed around SEO. It’s not going to do you any good to get a site listed above the fold if you’re not converting those viewers to customers, and conversions come from quality content.
Websites that are designed with the user experience in mind are going to rank better on Google, be visited more frequently, and convert more of those visitors to customers. Google is leading the way in making user experience the basis of any good website. Focus on the user, and they (and Google) will focus on you.