So, one sunny morning, you are having a meeting with your colleagues, and ask them how your company can increase its SEO ranking on the internet. You hear many good ideas, but one makes a unique observation, “We could improve the user experience of our website.” The room goes quiet. How could he say that? We’re talking about SEO, not web design. You slowly turn your head to your colleague, stare deeply into his eyes and soul, and you say to him, “Really? Tell me more.” For you are an intelligent businessperson that welcomes growth and new developments.
Afterward, you did some research, probably typed “Orlando SEO services” into a search engine and landed on our post. Another wise move, because we’re here to say: your colleague is correct. SEO is changing to not only include keywords and locations; it will soon include how Google and other search engines rate how well users enjoy visiting your website. Fortunately, we at MyCity Social strive to keep up to date on such changes, so we can help our clients get the best SEO services in Fort Lauderdale. With that said, read on to learn how user experience will boost your SEO Branding.
New Developments That Affect Your SEO Branding
Before we get into how user experience (UX) will affect your SEO rankings, we need to dive into a little history. You see, in May 2020, Google announced an introduction of Web Vitals. This is after two other updates Google recently made to improve its ranking system. In 2010, the update included the speed of webpages. In 2018, it included the speed of mobile webpages. Why these changes? Because Google wants users to be happy with their search results. Therefore, not only must websites include things users were looking for when they conduct the search, now, like a technological psychologist, Google asks, “How does this site make you feel?” Introducing Web Vitals.
What are Web Vitals? Web Vitals are metrics Google will use to determine how they perceive the user experience to be. These metrics include:
- Loading –
- In this high-speed world, even a millisecond can make all the difference. Whether by winning a race, getting the most amount of popcorn without burning it, or getting that webpage to not take forever to load. This is affected by the LCP or Largest Contentful Paint.
- The Largest Contentful Paint tells how long it takes for the largest content piece to load. Incidentally, this designation can change as the page loads. Why? Because an object only gets the designation of Largest Contentful Paint once it has been rendered.
- Interactivity –
- Okay, so your page loads a bit. You see something on the page, and you want it. You click on it, thinking it doesn’t matter whether the page is finished loading or not. It should register your click and move on to something else. This is determined by the FID or First Input Delay.
- The First Input Delay measures how quickly the site can register that you clicked on something. How long will it take for the website to respond and do as you requested? Imagine you went to a restaurant and asked the waitress what’s on the menu. She starts reading the meals, and you tell her to go ahead and skip to the desserts. For some reason, she keeps reading the dinners. Then she stops, stares at you for a moment, and then reads the desserts. You hear lava cake and say you want that, and she does it again! She reads on, looks at you, and then says, “Okay.” Now, Google is trying to measure if your webpage does that to people.
- Visual Stability
- Lastly, a client is browsing on your webpage now. While assets load, text and images jump. Your view has now lost place of what was being read. Now he or she needs to scroll and find that place again. This movement of content on your page is affected by CLS or Cumulative Layout Shift.
- Cumulative Layout Shift is how the text moves in response to some other content being rendered. The best (or worst) example I can give is: you are on a website, and you see an interesting link. You decide to click it. However, some image appears, and the link disappears. Or worse, some new link, image, or pop-up appears at the place of your mouse and redirects you to another unwanted page.
Older Developments That Affect User Experience
When considering these new developments, it is important to review some of the older measurements that will still affect your SEO ranking.
- Safe Browsing and HTTPS –
- Whether your site is safe for users and whether it is secure will affect your ranking. Users don’t want to visit a site and learn they either have a nasty virus or they’ve lost information.
- Interstitial Use –
- Most users hate pop-ups. Not only do they obscure content and make users feel like their time was wasted, but there is also a history of these pop-ups leading to other malicious destinations. Therefore, Google now measures if you have such things that will jettison users to some other website.
- Bouncing –
- Bouncing is when a user visits your website and immediately presses the “back button.” Your goal is for users to stay on your site as long as possible. This can include if the user stays on the page for a while or clicks other links to read more content on your site. Google wants to know how long it takes for users to decide whether they’ll stick around for your content.
- Quality Content –
- Still, Google wants to know that whatever is on your site is appreciated by the user. Therefore, they still measure whether your website contains keywords and information regarding what users search for. All the other metrics boost your ranking, but content is still king.
User Experience and Web Development
Upon reading through these new challenges, your initial reaction may be to communicate with your web development team for your Orlando SEO services (if you have one) and tell them what you need. However, this may not be the best choice. You see, user experience is not necessarily web development. While web development is about creating a page that works, user experience is about organizing the page to fit the tastes of the user. This requires research and an understanding of your potential audience. Diving more into art than programming science. This is something most web developers and programmers are not taught in school. To explain the difference, let me include a few techniques a UX designer would use:
- WireFrames –
- WireFrames are rough layouts of your webpage. They are drawn before any code is written. These frames that determine where each piece of content is located is drawn with the users’ aesthetics in mind. Often, they are interactive prototypes created in programs like Axure RP.
- User Testing –
- User Testing utilizes users to test your website or app. Depending on the feedback, you will change many factors of your site. This feedback includes things like how easy or difficult the site is to use, aesthetics, etc. Accessibility is a factor for people who don’t have normal functions. Meaning, if a user is blind, is the website still usable? How about paralyzed? Missing fingers? User testing requires various types of users.
- Personas –
- Personas are fake identities used to represent the users you want to attract. This is where the research comes in. In order to understand whether your website is palatable to users, you need to know how they think.
- Scenarios and Storyboards –
- These will provide information to your users rather than on them. This is to get them used to how and why to use your website. However, this information is also useful in constructing your site. Perhaps your users want something from your website that was not what you had considered. Now, you have information to craft your site to meet the demands of your potential clients.
Reading these techniques, you may see one thing in common. None of them have anything to do with programming. Yes, programming is also a necessary component of user experience. However, there are some things your programmers are not yet trained for.
This is where we come in. We, at MyCity Social, are here to meet all your web development and UX needs. To best assist our clients with SEO branding, we have formed teams to cover all areas of SEO. With our web development team, you can be assured we will take care of the front-end and the backend. Also, we know the importance of communication between teams. While programmers specialize in programming, UX designers specialize in how the user feels, and our SEO specialists know how search engines decide how these will affect your ranking. That is why we keep our web development team in constant communication with our SEO team. We pride ourselves on giving the businesses of Orlando SEO services they can appreciate. So, if you’re near Fort Lauderdale, contact us, and let’s work together to give your business an edge.