Your site’s user experience has an enormous impact on its SEO rankings. A page that has a good UX will keep readers on there for longer. Your bounce rate will go down, which, in turn, will cause your SEO rankings to go up.
If your site loads slowly, which is another feature of a bad UX, your rankings will probably go down as well, as Google has confirmed that page load speed plays a role in SEO rankings.
If your SEO rankings are declining and your bounce rate is going up, your site probably has a poor user experience. However, you can improve your website’s user experience quickly and easily by following a few simple steps. Today, I will show you six ways to improve your website’s user experience. Let us get into it.
1. Keep Your Titles Straight to the Point
Improving the user experience isn’t just about improving your site’s load times or improving the design. The way your content is set up can also affect the user experience, for the worse or for the better.
It all starts with the titles of your articles. If they are clickbait, confusing, or just not eye-catching, your site will perform poorly. Nobody wants to land on an article with a title that says one thing when the article doesn’t conform to the title. This is known as clickbait. A title may also be poor if it is too wordy and not to the point, which will prevent people from understanding what your article is about.
Avoid straying too far from the main topics. The title should reflect the main topics of the article; if there are any other topics that are included in the article but which are not relevant to your main point, don’t address those topics in the title.
2. Break Your Articles Into Segments
Too much text in one block is not good. If people see a massive block of text when they land on a page, they will quickly leave the page. It takes a lot of concentration to read such a big block of text, and people online have short attention spans; they’re not university students studying essays.
Make the content skimmable. You can do this by breaking your article into segments and adding a sub-heading before each part. The sub-heading should summarize the following paragraph or paragraphs. Your goal should be so that if people read only the sub-headings, they should still be able to get the gist of what the article is saying. This will make your content very skimmable, as people will be able to skim through it and get your point at just a glance. If they are interested in learning more about a specific topic you mention in a sub-heading, they can always read the paragraph(s) following it.
Also, summarize each paragraph in the opening and closing sentences. This is another way to make your content skimmable.
3. Add professional looking images
It is also essential to add professional looking images. People are very visual by nature, and adding images will make your content and pages pleasing to the eye.
However, note the “professional” part. Anyone can go to Pixabay and download free stock photos, but those stand out as stock photos from a mile away, and they don’t look very professional. Instead, they scream “budget website that isn’t focused on providing truly unique content.”
Instead, invest in premium photographs from sites like iStock and Getty Images. They might seem expensive at first, but they are well worth it in the long run. You will thank yourself when your engagement rates go up.
Don’t forget your alt tags. When you upload an image to your site, you are allowed to add an “alt tag.” There is a space for that on WordPress when you upload your image.
This alt tag is basically a string of keywords that tells Google what your image is about. By targeting high-volume, low-competition keywords in your alt tags, you can increase your SEO rankings and get more organic traffic.
You can also include the keyword in the file name of the image. This is a trick that a lot of people don’t know about. Just change the file name of the image on your local computer before uploading it to your site. For example, instead of download.png, you might write keyword.png and then upload it.
4. Use Content Hierarchies
Content hierarchies serve two purposes. Firstly, they make it easier for people to find content they are looking for. For example, you can organize guides, lists, and how-to articles under different categories.
However, content hierarchies also help your SEO rankings. Your URL structure matters for SEO, because it helps Google understand what your content is about. For example, a URL structure like this – yourwebsite.com/maincategory/subcategory/blogpost – helps Google understand what the blog post is about. This will help it rank better for the keywords you are targeting.
Optimize categories and headers. The category names and headers should include your target keywords. They should also help the reader understand what the category or article is about. Of course, make the headers and categories eye-catching. Avoid wordy titles; be short and concise.
Optimize your URLs by keeping them short and to the point. Avoid wordy URLs; you don’t need to include the entire header or title in the URL. Instead, use your target keywords in the URL.
Make sure your titles are between 20-60 characters to avoid Google rewriting your titles.
5. Make Your Website Mobile Friendly and Responsive
This is perhaps one of the most important things you can do to improve your website’s user experience. Although your individual analytics may suggest a slightly different percentage, mobile traffic accounts for around half of all web traffic.
As more and more people buy smartphones around the world, and as more millennials and Generation Z members join the ranks of the online consumer, the mobile traffic share will only increase.
If only a small percentage of your website visitors are coming from mobile devices, it might be because your website is not optimized for mobile. Google can see that, and it will give your site lower rankings.
Diagnose your website and make adjustments. Google has a tool that you can use, for free, to diagnose mobile responsiveness problems on your website. It’s called the Mobile Friendly Test Tool.
Just enter your website URL into the tool, and it will tell you which problems you can fix. For example, you might find out that the content is too wide for the screen on mobile devices or that specific plugins are not fully compatible with mobile browsers.
You can also test code using that tool. Just copy and paste your code to see if there are problems with the coding that are negatively affecting mobile responsiveness.
6. Increase Your Page Load Speed
Finally, increase your page’s load speed. If your website takes too long to load, people won’t bother waiting around. Instead, they’ll leave your page and head to another site that does load quickly. When too many people leave your site quickly, your bounce rate will go up. When that happens, your SEO rankings will go down.
In addition, site load speed directly affects SEO rankings. Google’s algorithms take page speed into account.
So, how can you speed up your site? It starts with using a good theme that has clean code. In addition, limit how many plugins you have and avoid heavy plugins. You should also avoid hosting videos on your site and instead host them on YouTube and embed them in your site.
Using a CDN can help speed up your site, regardless of where in the world people are trying to access it. Cloudflare is a good CDN. If you don’t have a CDN, you can install a caching plugin to cache your pages.
Another way to speed up your site is to install the Google AMP plugin. AMP pages can load almost instantly, and making your pages AMP compatible will improve the mobile user experience.
Google has another tool to check for problems with page load times. It’s called Google Developers PageSpeed Insights. Just enter your URL, and Google will tell you whether your site is loading quickly or slowly on desktop and mobile devices. It will also show you why your website is loading slowly and give you actionable tips on how to speed it up.
Compress and optimize your assets. Your images don’t have to take up that storage space. You can compress an image’s size and still retain its original quality by using a plugin like WP Smush. The fewer things the page has to load, the faster it will load.
So, there you have it: six ways to improve your website’s user experience and boost your rankings. If you had to do just three of these things, I would recommend focusing on improving your site’s mobile responsiveness, improving the page load time, and breaking your articles into segments. However, doing all six of these is best and will get you the most rankings.
Looking for more ways to improve your website? Check out our blog here.