Most modern marketers might feel a bit unsettled when we are creating a web page based solely on user experience—placing SEO second to value, usability, adaptability, desirability. Not to mention all of the other important elements of an exceptional user experience.
How could we just brush off the mechanics of ranking high on a search engine when there are keywords stuffed and scattered everywhere?
The good news is, now more than ever, Google and the engineers behind the algorithm want nothing more than high-quality content developed with the user in mind.
Let’s format, strategize, and conquer both at the same time. Let’s create a better experience all around. Here are a few thought leaders who have chimed in about the balance between user experience and SEO — even Google.
An aesthetically satisfying site is useful for your business and guests as long as you don’t overdo it.
Keep in mind the old saying “keep it simple, stupid”–you can definitely tone it down and still have a beautiful site.—Problogger
For years, Google has been completely transparent in the way they use their algorithm updates, such as Panda, to maintain the highest level of quality content available on the internet. Their commitment to providing only the highest levels of content in the top rankings of search can be explained best by the 23 questions they released as a basis of ‘thinking like Google’.
“As far as the customer is concerned, the interface is the product.” – Jef Raskin
The questions focus on maintaining quality while providing new and innovative ways to communicate a particular message. The questions are meant to provide insight as to how the algorithm and the Google infrastructure work. Remember Google has a mission to provide value to its searchers, our job is to ensure articles being published hold up that end of the deal.
Our advice for publishers continues to be to focus on delivering the best possible user experience on your websites and not to focus too much on what they think are Google’s current ranking algorithms or signals.—Google Webmaster Central Blog
As you read on in this piece “More guidance on building high-quality sites,” Google stresses the importance of quality over rules, frameworks, or the SEO hacks that some ‘affordable SEO services’ hide behind.
We encourage you to keep questions like the ones above in mind as you focus on developing high-quality content rather than trying to optimize for any particular Google algorithm.
Anca Bradley, an Entrepreneur.com contributor, details the industry’s past disregard for the requests of the user and Google over the years. She also reflects on the effort it takes to have both a search engine optimized site and still put the user experience first.
In particular, Google’s sophistication is such that designing for UX (user experience) is much more valuable than designing just for SEO (search engine optimization).
That said, totally abandoning SEO in favor of a UX-focused approach is misguided. While it is true that SEO and UX have become more and more complementary and that designing for UX does often result in improved SEO, there are some UX elements that affect Google’s ability to crawl a website and some areas in which they benefit each other.
Read more about how search engine optimization, SEO, is utilized in different aspects of your business below:
And don’t forget the User Experience, UX:
It may seem like there is no right answer for the balance between a website with an unforgettable user experience and a website with exceptional search engine optimization. But there is, it just takes a little research and strategy. If you are looking for a way to improve your SEO and user experience, the articles below may help. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, subscribe to our blog, and send us a shoutout on Twitter.
“To design is to communicate clearly by whatever means you can control or master.” -Milton Glaser
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