The Role of User Experience (UX) in SEO Rankings

When we analyze a new client’s SEO rankings, the specialists at our digital marketing agency are often puzzled by the low results. The keywords are well researched and the content is properly optimized. But then, as we look over the client’s site, we notice the main issue: poor user experience (UX).

Since this is such a widespread issue, we decided to explain how UX influences SEO and why your site cannot rank high if your site visitors cannot get a smooth browsing experience.

The Google Page Experience Update Changed the SEO Rules

In 2023, Google made one of the most major changes to the way it ranks websites. The Page Experience update included, for the first time, user experience as one of the most important ranking signals.

The update introduced the Core Web Vitals ranking factors, which refer to:

  • How fast a web page loads after a user clicks on a link
  • How fast a web page gains visual stability after fully loading
  • How quick a page responds to a user interaction (such as clicking on a menu button)

Defining the Main Elements of User Experience in Web Design

Now, let us explain what UX means in a website. At the present, web designers and developers define four key elements:

  • Page speed – fast loading websites are not only preferred by Google, but also by users. The average person will not wait more than 2 seconds for a web page to load
  • Mobile responsiveness – smartphones and tablets have become the primary devices for browsing the internet, leaving stationary desktop computers and laptops behind. A website should offer an optimal browsing experience on any screen size.
  • Navigation and structure – even someone who never browsed a website must be able to understand how the site is structured and how to find the page they need quickly and intuitively
  • Accessibility – websites must allow even people with various impairments to browse them. Thus, users should be able to switch from white to dark mode, change the size of fonts, and have access to transcriptions on each video

UX design is essential for improving SEO rankings

How UX Impacts SEO Rankings beyond the Page Experience Update

Experienced digital marketing specialists know that poor UX does not have a negative impact on SEO efforts only in view of the Google Page Experience update. Google continues to rely heavily on analytical data obtained from how the users interact with websites to determine rankings.A site that does not follow the most recent best practices for user experience will have poor performance on several important ranking metrics:

1. Bounce Rate

This metric measures the percentage of visitors who leave a website very quickly, without interacting with it. This usually happens because the website does not load fast enough. A high bounce rate is a significant issue for any website.

2. Dwell Time

The dwell time is a strong indicator if a user found what they needed on a website. A long dwell time on a website means that the visitor took the time to read the content and even browse several pages.

If the dwell time is short for a significant percentage of users, Google will interpret this as a sign that the site has poor user experience, content or both.

3. Click-Through Rate (CTR)

The CTR is calculated as a ration of users who click on a specific link to the total number of users who view a page, email, ad, etc. For example, if you send an email newsletter to 1,000 people and only 10 clicks on a link inside the email, you get a poor click-through rate – just 1%.

Poor UX is one of the culprits of low CTR values, together with other factors, such as poor user targeting and technical website problems.

The EverConvert Specialists Can Improve UX on Your Website!

Relying on a multi-disciplinary team of web designers, web developers and SEO specialists, EverConvert can help your business website improve its SEO rankings. We do not leave any aspect unchecked, including user experience.

Reach out to us today to schedule an appointment with one of our consultants!

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