User experience (UX) is a user’s overall experience when interacting with a website. It includes everything from design and usability to content, accessibility, and website performance metrics like webpage load times. There’s a strong connection between user experience and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Ultimately, Google and other search engines are looking to improve their users’ experience, so they elect to promote sites that help them do that.
When executed properly, UX and SEO work together to create an optimized website that helps drive traffic, increase conversions, and improve authority.
What is SEO?
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SEO is the process of ranking higher in search engines like Google and Bing. A website with good SEO will rank higher in the search results for specific keywords.
For example: if you’re searching for “pizza” on Google, your top result might be Dominos’ website or maybe even Pizza Hut’s website. Both of these websites have done a great job at optimizing their content for searches related to pizza delivery—so when someone searches for “pizza,” those companies are likely to pop up as one of the top results.
However, SEO isn’t just about the relevance of a specific keyword; it’s also about improving website performance and reliability.
What are Website Performance Metrics?
And how to measure website performance? Website performance metrics are key indicators of a website’s reliability or ability to perform, which can be measured using tools like Google Analytics and Google Page Insights (GPI). These metrics include:
- Page load time: Time it takes for a web page to render on a user’s screen fully.
- Bounce rate: Percentage of visitors who leave your site without making another pageview after visiting one landing page (or entry point).
- Page speed: Speed at which your pages load on different devices and platforms, including mobile, tablet, and desktop computers. Mobile-friendly websites will rank higher in search results than those that aren’t optimized for mobile use.
Why Do Search Engines Care About Reliability?
People use Google to search for anything and everything. The more relevant and reliable Google’s search results are, the more their users depend on the search engine and the more they’ll return to a website.
If Google sends traffic to a site that turned out not to be relevant or reliable or overall created a bad user experience, the user will trust and use Google that much less. Like any company, Google’s main objective is revenue and self-preservation, so they will continue optimizing their algorithm to show the best, most reliable websites.
Page Speed – How it Affects UX and SEO
As you may know, Google has used page speed as a ranking factor for years. The faster your webpages load, the better experience a user will have on your website, and the more likely they will stay on your site and perform other tasks, such as purchasing products or signing up for newsletters.
Again, Google wants to create the best experience for their users, knowing users react poorly to slow websites. Slow websites are penalized as “less reliable.”
Bounce rate is a website performance metric that measures the percentage of visitors who leave your website immediately after visiting only one page.
A high bounce rate can indicate that your site isn’t appealing to visitors or it’s frustrating them in some way.
The best way to reduce bounce rate is by improving the quality of your user experience (UX). Here are a few tips:
- Improve your site’s usability. A site that is easy to use will have a lower bounce rate. Use straightforward navigation and links to help visitors find what they want on the page. Make sure your pages load quickly and don’t display too many ads or other elements that could distract them from finding what they’re looking for on the page. Also, ensure all your pages are accessible by searching engines (SEO).
- Improve your site’s content and keyword usage by focusing on relevance. Include relevant keywords in anchor text when linking within the same website or from external sites to yours so visitors can easily find those topics throughout your pages. Linking between related topics within an article helps users navigate more efficiently and provides extra signals for search engines that may also consider these factors when ranking websites higher.
Reducing your bounce rate will signal to Google that the people who find your site via the terms they are searching for are happy with the results. Google, knowing that your site is reliable and has a low bounce rate/excellent user experience, will reward your site in their algorithm and show it to more people.
Mobile optimization is becoming a more significant and more critical part of SEO. For example, Google’s Mobile-First Index is an excellent way to improve your search ranking by providing users with a more mobile-friendly experience. This means that your site will be better optimized for both smartphones and tablets, which means more people can access your content on the go. Mobile optimization also improves user experience and conversion rates because it makes it easier for users to view the content they want from any device or location without having to zoom in on their screens or squint at tiny print! You may think that mobile optimization isn’t as important as desktop optimization, but think again—it can help improve customer satisfaction too!
Cross Browser Compatibility
Cross-browser compatibility* is when a website works across different browsers, operating systems, and devices. It’s important because if your site doesn’t load properly on other browsers, you could lose traffic as users will abandon your site and go to another one that loads correctly.
To test cross-browser compatibility, you can use tools like BrowserStack or CrossBrowserTesting. If possible, you should test your website on all major desktop browsers (Chrome, Firefox, etc.), mobile devices (iOS & Android), and even tablets. Once this is done, check out your own Google Analytics. It can give you insight into the percentage and number of users accessing your site through each device, browser, and operating system.
If you find any compatibility issues, it’s not too late! Many problems can be fixed with minor tweaks, such as adjusting image sizes or adding additional CSS code for specific browsers.
Monitoring Your Website Performance Metrics Can Make All the Difference to Your Search Engine Optimization.
While bounce rate is a metric that can significantly impact your website’s SEO, it isn’t the only one. Many other factors affect your site’s search engine ranking, including content quality and relevance, as well as user signals like time spent on the site or bounce rate. When analyzing your own data or working with an agency, it’s important to keep these things in mind
Tracking your website performance metrics can help you optimize your website to be more user-friendly. Google rewards sites their users love, so this can improve your search engine ranking and make it easier for customers to find you.
Understanding Website Performance Metrics with GOA-TECH
GOA-TECH strives to serve the South Florida community as a one-stop shop for all marketing, web design, IT, SEO, and graphic design needs. We are a full-service marketing company based in the Kendall area, working hard to serve our various clients.
To learn more about how you can use your website performance metrics to get the most out of your company, and how GOA-TECH can help you, reach out to our friendly and dedicated customer service team today!