Demystifying SEO: 3 Savvy Ways Google Ranks UX
Seasoned marketers know search engine optimization (SEO) has matured considerably in the 20 years it’s been part of the digital marketing equation. What was once the Wild West for data nerds, SEO has matured from a set of keyword-based site rules, to the content-driven search foundation upon which all areas of digital marketing are currently built.
With this in mind, it is worth noting keywords and content are not the only items search engines evaluate good SEO. Search engines with machine learning-based algorithms, primarily Google, are so savvy they also actively rank websites on overall user experience (UX):
1. PAGE LOAD TIMES
Slow page speeds not only frustrate the user experience but also means Google will crawl fewer pages, negatively impacting indexation. On top of that, pages with longer load times have higher bounce rates, negatively affecting conversions.
2. CONTENT LAYOUT
If a website is easy for users to understand and navigate the content presented, Google will in turn have an easy time crawling the site. More importantly, a website’s aesthetic design must work in tandem with the content itself to impress the Google page layout algorithm.
3. SITE NAVIGATION
Optimizing the navigation menu matters because Google will use it to understand the site’s classification and rank it much like how users will use it to move to different sections of the website.
As Google continues to improve its algorithms, the landscape of SEO will continue to change and evolve with them. As new technologies emerge, and best practices race to keep up with them, a sustained investment in user’s engagement and experience should always be at the heart of a brand’s SEO strategies.
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