The SEO and UX Connection
In our current, digitally driven business climate, search engine optimization (SEO) and optimal web experiences are inherently intertwined. Each feeds off and builds upon the other.
SEO has worked its way into our widely recognized business lexicon, and it’s generally understood that better SEO translates into better organic (unpaid) search engine rankings. A far lesser-known fact, however, is that optimal user experiences enhance SEO.
Great UX drives SEO
In the early days of SEO, initiatives were largely focused on gaming the search engines, with a goal of landing at or near the top of a SERP (Search Engine Results Page). This led to tactics such as packing key search terms into title tags and meta page descriptions.
Google and the other search engines have gotten a lot smarter. Google now detects various degrees of user engagement as a key measure for search rankings, and Google’s ever-evolving algorithm is focused on indicators that search queries result in the correct, sought-after data. In this new environment, websites that are playing by outdated rules are actually getting penalized by Google as well as the other search engines.
2-Faceted SEO Strategy
User experiences that meet expectations are at the core of great SEO, but the fact remains that information still needs to be delivered in a format that grabs the attention of search engine crawlers. As such keyword research and strategic keyword deployment remains essential.
Keyword research helps in moving beyond assumptions concerning most popular search terms relative to a particular product or service. Take the example of a search for facilities that cater to for elderly residents. A website designed to target this market absolutely needs to factor in data concerning the search volume and relative popularity of each of the following search terms:
- Nursing homes,
- Memory care,
- Assisted living,
- Assisted living facilities,
- Retirement homes,
- Retirement communities,
- Senior adult communities, and
- Senior living facilities.
For insight into the most popular search terms, as well as the terms that competitors are using, Google Ads (formerly Google Adwords), SEMrush, Spyfu and Moz are among the leading providers.
Keep in mind that optimizing for search terms other than the highest volume search terms, is often the most effective approach to SEO. Companies that are operating in a field where the competition for the major search terms already appears to be an uphill of a battle, optimizing for the so-called “long-tail” (less frequent and more specific) search terms can be akin to a targeted, niche marketing campaign.
Examples of long-tail terms for senior living facilities could be “Westgate Senior Living,” or “Pet Friendly Retirement Communities.”
The main page header or the H1, is what informs Google of the subject of the page. The main header on every page is a key focus for SEO. It’s also important to be strategic about the deployment of keywords within page title tags, the page meta description and the secondary headers.
Focus on a different set of keywords for each page that is crawlable by Google. The Google algorithm is looking to differentiate among pages, and anything that can be done to help clarify will serve to enhance SEO.
Search engine marketing is a dynamic, rapidly-evolving discipline, that too often does not receive the attention that it warrants. In a business climate where organizations are increasingly defined by their digital presence, a finely tuned and constantly refined SEO strategy is an essential success factor for organizations of every kind.
Looking to fine tune your site’s SEO strategy and ensure that it is aligned with current trends and best practices? Contact us today.