Handy SEO Tips: Balancing User Experience and SEO in Your Web Design
The Entrepreneur (@Entrepreneur) article, “Be Sure to Balance SEO and User Experience in Your Web Page Design,” highlights a very important rule (in fact, the first one!) in Google’s list of philosophies: focus on the user and all else will follow. However, many SEO practitioners don’t heed this rule, as they’re focused on creating web pages designed for search engine crawlers rather than end users.
Focusing on only one of two web design core pillars (which happen to be user experience and SEO) is not the way to go these days. While it’s true that the two concepts essentially complement each other (good user experience often results in better SEO, after all), there are specific elements of user experience that affect Google’s ability to “crawl” a webpage.
Ironically, SEO has become so complex that even Google itself needs a helping hand to navigate its own algorithms. SEO news sources, like Marketing Digest, have previously reported that Google is in need of an SEO program manager for its California headquarters. This manager will be tasked with improving organic searches for Google across the Web. Other tasks include website development and optimization, blog and social strategy shaping, as well as defining web structure for international websites.
While it appears that even Google is having trouble navigating the complex world of SEO, that doesn’t mean that you need to struggle as well. Here are a few tips and tricks you can employ:
Make Web Page Content “Indexable”
Make content on your web pages more “indexable” for the crawlers and you’ll improve your site’s organic visibility on the SERPs. While Google’s crawlers can read images (images appear on Google’s Image searches, after all), they need to meet the following criteria:
- Images should have descriptive file names
- Images should include appropriate alt text
- Images should be surrounded with relevant text
- Images should not hide important text
Make Navigation a Breeze
This is probably one of the most important SEO tips regarding user experience. Clean and clutter-free site navigation is the foremost benchmark of a website’s user-friendliness, and for good reason. If getting to various pages on your site requires a ton of effort from the user, how will they ever find your site desirable?
Spread those Keywords Out
Keywords are versatile enough to be used in copy, on-site articles, the very design of the site, images, title tags, slogans, bullet points, and even URLs—the possibilities are endless.
Make Your Site Visually Appealing
These days, aesthetics relies heavily on user familiarity. Using a basic two or three-column layout is commendable since it radiates consistency and professionalism (and also makes the site responsive). Using colors that radiate brand identity is also recommended. After all, who doesn’t like a good-looking website?
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