Likely, you already know the answer to this. We should continue to remember that SEO is important and why it is, but never forget that user experience is why visitors stay, and will come back to your site. Let’s look into why this is the way it is and how to balance the juggling act of optimizing the experience users have while keeping yourself high in the search results.
What you should consider initially
Well, there’s nothing better than going with the unofficial playbook of the internet if you get stuck. Stated by Google’s philosophy, they suggest focusing all your effort on the consumer, and then things will naturally fall into place. Despite this, many people still create sites and pages fully focused on getting indexed in each and every metric as high as possible. Google has always frowned upon this method of doing things and their actions of late dictate exactly this.
Although an SEO only strategy could game the system a decade ago, it is next to impossible to do this successfully with Google finally caught up. Thank god too, there was nothing more annoying than seeing a search result rank number one, thinking it was promising, only to find out that it was a display of impossible to navigate debauchery.
With these days firmly in the past, there is nowhere to go but forward. So in what ways can we optimize user experience while retaining a strong hold on SEO value? First, the do’s and don’ts.
Do’s and Don’ts
Don’t use Click-to-continue. You know the ones, sites like Buzzfeed with the “celebrities then and now” that make you click to go to a new page/image/blog only after reading a few words. Using this can improve visitor time spent on your website and overall clicks but beware, people generally do not like having to do this. It is especially unprofessional to use on pages that are supposed to appear as an authoritative source.
Don’t use tabbed content since it seems Google is not indexing it as of yet. If your website is centered on being minimalistic, then it’s not the worst thing you could do.
Don’t use endless scrolling. Endlessly loading content as the user scrolls down is frowned upon by Google as they are unable to craw and index it in their search results. They prefer full pages of content that are scannable for their algorithms. Don’t forget though, users do actually like to scroll down if they’re looking at something interesting. So make pages long if you want, just not endless.
Don’t go overboard on image use. It has been proven that text-only pages have the capacity to perform better than pages loaded with images. It is possible for pages stuffed with images to perform well but only when they are executed professionally, and aesthetically. If you haven’t taken a scroll through your site(s) in a while, you may want to consider looking them over once more and thinking about this.
Go Mobile already. Google’s Mobilegeddon was only the tip of the iceberg. Google plans to continue the emphasis they’re placing on making mobile friendly sites easier to find online. If you aren’t already optimizing your mobile pages, you absolutely have to if you want to be successful online. Google even made it known in their blog that mobile searching is more popular than pc’s in many countries, one of which is the US.
Just be Natural. So many people now are writing blogs and posts crammed to the brim with keywords that take away any actual value the content would have had if the writer had focused more on quality writing than having Google index them. This is more rampant now today than ever before. The best part is, you can keep cramming keywords to a point, just write it in a way that actually flows.
Remember to create with the user in mind
At the end of the day after you’ve gone home, your site will be hated by Google if you created it based on everything they hate. SEO brings your website visitors, and user experience keeps them there and keeps them returning. With these two branches optimized dependently, your website can be more powerful than ever.