Website rankings can improve when users remain on your site longer, see more pages, and rehash their visits. The easier it is to use your site, the better those metrics become.
We will look at 13 elements that can improve user experience on your site, as well as improve Google rankings:
- Helpful, high quality content
“Stay time” is the measure of time guests spend on your site and this metric can help influence website rankings.
If your content is helpful, users tend to remain on your site longer to absorb all the information thereby improving your page “stay time” metric.
Content between 2,000 – 2,500 words appears to rank the best in the SERP’s (Search Engine Ranking Positions). However, keep in mind that correlation is of course not causation.
Even though word count is not a direct SEO ranking factor – no one will read your stuff if it’s not useful to them. Longer content typically has more substance and information for users to take in.
Another reason to create exceptional helpful content is that users bookmarking your content on Chrome can have a positive influence on your SEO.
- Page speed
Both Google and Bing consider page speed a direct ranking factor.
Users may leave your site on the off chance that they need to wait even for even just a few more seconds for a page to load. That would hurt your stay time, increase your bounce rate and have fewer pages visited – all of which could harm your SEO.
- Image Optimisation
You can optimise the size of your images to match what is required on your site. For example, do not use a full sized image if you intend to only use it as a thumbnail.
Different file formats can also help you lower the overall file size of the image, if using photoshop, use the “save for web option”. If using logos, I would advise to use SVG to keep file size down whilst maintaining the highest quality.
- Optimise Headings
No one likes running into a block of content.
A well organised and laid out content improves the user’s experience of your site. Most users skim content, and will only read the part of the content if the header catches their eye.
Appropriate use of headings can help separate your content into segments that are less demanding and easier to digest.
It is also theorised, with many case studies backing it that words/phrases used in headings have a direct influence on the website rankings. By using targeted terms and keywords in your headings, you are improving your SEO.
- Outbound links
To make your content more helpful and give it relevance, you can link out to authority sites and pages on the subject to back up your claims within your article.
Linking out to other experts increases the relevancy of your article to the topic by association. Provided the page you are linking out to is highly relevant, you are effectively improving the user’s experience.
Just be careful not to overdo it. An excessive number of outbound links can dilute the link juice going into your page back out to the other sites
- Use a mix of media
Pictures, videos, slideshows and sound can help improve users engagement with your content and enable you to convey information much easier. As they say, “a picture says a thousand words”.
Video marketing is one of the most powerful tools for driving engagement with your content. Research shows that sites utilising videos can accomplish a 4.8% higher engagement rate, contrasted with a 2.9% normal on sites that don’t use recordings.
- Broken links
Who wants to get a 404 page after clicking a link? Broken links are for awful user experience.
In addition to the users experience, Google also dislikes broken links as its bad for the users which they serve, and can have a negative effect on the sites SEO.
Thankfully, you don’t need to check every single page on your site for broken links, there are many tools out there that can scan your entire website for you, for example,
- Screaming Frog SEO Spider
- Google Webmaster Tool
- W3C Link Checker
Even if you had the smartest visitors, they most likely would prefer not to unravel a PhD exposition each time they visit your site and read your content. You don’t need them to quit reading your content and leave because it seems too complicated to read through.
Making your content simple to read and comprehend encourages your users to carry on reading. Some would say, and many SEO tools would rate your content based on whether a person with the comprehension level of a 12-year-old can understand your content or not.
You can use tools to test your content for readability:
- The Readability Test Tool
- Comprehensibility measurements in MS Word
- Design and structure
The correct structure and an easy to use design can help enhance users experience and make your content simple to read and process, so your readers will stay on your webpage longer.
- The content structure can help significantly improve a page’s readability:
- Use font sizes and typography that are easy to read.
- Use bold and highlights – sparingly and deliberately – to emphasize important information and make the content easy to examine.
- Use paragraphs, separate in sections and use sufficient line separation – no one loves a block of content.
- Use bulleted or numbered records for clearness.
- Use content formatting tools such as sliders, tabs, dynamic formats, organized frameworks, modular windows, rollover components, accordions and drop-down-menus to structure content.
- Separate content into areas with subheadings. Use of headings that incorporate keywords can improve rankings for those keywords.
- Get a contact us page
As per this Google report (p.98), sites that have adequate contact data are thought to be more trustworthy and subsequently may rank higher via search engines.
Having a Contact Us page on your site and putting the link in the menu not only makes for good user experience (particularly on the off chance that you have an online business website) however can likewise possibly improve your SEO.
- Site design and architecture
At any point when users can’t discover what they require on a site immediately, they will probably leave the site and this adds to high bounce rate, lower stay time and lesser number of pages visited.
A well-designed site with a clear structure makes it easy for the users to navigate the site, achieve their objectives and revisit. This, in turn helps the SEO of the site.
- Mobile Responsive
As of April 2015, Google has begun to punish sites that are not mobile responsive by ranking them lower on the SERPs particularly when searching from a mobile device.
An ever-increasing number of users are browsing websites on mobile phones and iPads, and if your website is not responsive, it will deliver a very poor user experience for those not on a laptop or desktop computer.
It is especially important for B2B businesses. Research has shown that 77 percent of users use their mobile phone to browse an item or service for their business.
The quantity of Facebook shares, Tweets, Pinterest pins and other online networking notices can impact SEO rank.
Introducing social sharing plugins on your site can help increase social engagement for your website.
Social sharing additionally helps drive sales: Nearly 4 out of 10 Facebook clients report they have gone from enjoying, sharing or commenting on an item to purchasing it, while 43% of online networking clients have bought items after sharing or liking it on Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter.
Author Bio: Hamza Shahzad is a freelance writer, experienced blogger, and a professional social media coach. Currently, He’s working with benguonline. Furthermore, Hamza assists in the business creation and control social media content planning.