No good website can exist without proper optimization. That said, sometimes focusing on SEO too much can lead to lackluster UX design. Believe it or not, the two are more connected than you think.
Whether you’re working on startup branding or reworking a well-established company into a new chapter, UX design and SEO play a vital role in the process. Here are a few key considerations that show how UX design and SEO work together for an optimal digital experience.
What Do SEO and UX Design Have in Common?
There’s a common misconception that UX design and SEO exist in different realms. Really, they have a lot more in common than you might think. SEO, or the practice of designing a website to rank higher on search engines, is all about proving to Google, Bing, and others that your site is valuable. While that often means things like keywords and load times, it also includes UX design considerations.
The best digital experience for audiences isn’t just some keyword-filled website that Google can see works operationally. In reality, Google and others also want to know that you’re creating value for audiences, not just their search engines. Here are a few ways you can optimize both for search engines and your website visitors.
Keywords and UX Design
The first thing most people think of when we talk about SEO is keywords. Yes, keywords matter, and not just to search engines. Let’s say you want to know what pizza restaurants are in your area. You’re likely going to type into a search engine something like “best pizza near me.” This process, as you may know, is something you can brainstorm as a company to include that phrase on your site so users find you faster.
Carefully planning keywords matters for UX design as well. While these words and phrases indicate to search engines what your site offers, it’s also an important tool for giving users what they want. UX design includes the need to help users have a great experience. If you use the wrong keywords, they might not find you. If they do, they might feel misled or confused if you’re not offering what you connected them to on their web search. Take time to think about keywords carefully!
Headings and the Visual Element of Text
Headings, like the ones in this article, are not just for users. Google also seeks to see the use of headers in blog and text-based posts to help determine what a site is talking about. Here’s the thing: you can do headings wrong in a way that hurts both your SEO and UX design.
For example, an H1 header is your top heading that indicates the most general, umbrella description of what a site or page offers. Including a bunch of H1s in your website are going to confuse Google and overwhelm visitors. That’s where smaller headers come in handy. Use things like H2 and H3 headers to get more specific with what you’re discussing.
Site Speed and Responsiveness
One more consideration to think about is site speed. Users don’t want to waste time on a site that loads slowly, and Google also sees this as an issue. If your site is running slowly because of too many plugins, poor programming, or other impacts, this is going to hurt you on both SEO and UX design.
All in all, both elements of a great website take into consideration the value you offer. When you’re not prioritizing one, you’re harming the other. That’s why it’s so important for startups and established businesses to always strive to improve their UX design and SEO.