UX Is the Most Underrated Ranking Factor in SEO — And This Is Why



If you wish to rank high in the search engine result pages (SERPs), naturally, you want to cater to the search engine’s algorithm. Google is your senpai, and you want it to notice you.

So you stuff your pages with keywords and focus on link building to show the search engine that you have what it takes.

However, Google is not the only one you need to impress. No matter how high up in SERPs you end up, if your visitors don’t like your site, you’re through. In other words, you need to take care of the user experience (UX) factor as well.

What Is UX, and Why Does It Matter?

UX shows how your visitors perceive your site. Is it difficult to find? Can they access it quickly? Can they find what they’re looking for there? Do they believe it and find it useful? Are they enjoying the website aesthetics? Do they find it easy to navigate?

These are some of the essential questions whose answers make up your UX factor.

You can see how catering to your visitors is important in and of itself. Ultimately, you want them to stay, enjoy the experience, and convert. If they don’t like or trust you, they’ll just leave and turn to your competitors.

However, search engines can also measure your UX factor and reward or punish you in terms of your site ranking accordingly.

How UX Affects Your Ranking

So how does this factor affect your rankings in practice? While its effects may seem unmeasurable to you, they actually show through various metrics, the most important ones being the following:

  • Click-through rate
  • Bounce rate
  • Dwell time

Click-Through Rate

The click-through rate is a metric that represents the percentage of users who click on a link (to your site) or a call to action after they are exposed to it. It shows whether users are generally interested in what you have to offer.

Bounce Rate

You may be successful at attracting visitors and enticing them to enter a page on your site, but that still doesn’t necessarily mean that your UX is great. Sometimes, users enter the site and leave immediately before exploring it any further.

The metric that shows the percentage of users who do that is called bounce rate.

Dwell Time

So you want to lure visitors in by offering them what they want. You need to know the user intent for relevant search queries and match it. Doing this will ensure that your visitors linger on your website after they enter it.

This phenomenon is known as dwell time, and it’s another indicator of how people experience what you have to offer.

As you can see the search engine can actually figure out if your visitors are enjoying your website based on various metrics. It will then take this factor into account when deciding on your rankings.

Here are some practical tips on how to improve your UX.

Don’t Let Loading Speed Ruin Your Potential

We’re all familiar with the deadly three-second rule, i.e., the fact that visitors tend to leave if a page takes more than three seconds to load. This could be the main reason for a high bounce rate that could kill your ranking potential.

Today’s internet users are spoilt for choice, and you have to fight for every second of their time. That’s why you need to make speed a priority.

Quality Content That Matches User Intent

Your website’s content is usually what draws visitors in. You need to know what your potential customers want to see, read, or find out and offer them just that. You can have various articles, pictures, and videos, and anything else you can think of.

Remember that your content will have to compete with possibly thousands of other pages online. Try to make it as unique and useful as you can.

Your Website Design Matters Too

Sure, you can design your website using an uninspired, well-worn template, but what are your visitors going to think about it? They will perceive you as lackluster and unprofessional, and your brand will suffer significantly.

On the other hand having a slick, modern design will show them that you take your business seriously and inspire trust in your brand. No matter what anyone tells you, appearances are important.

Make Your Site As Intuitive to Use as Possible

It’s not a bad idea to test your user interface before you launch the site. That way, you will see if visitors have a difficult time navigating your site and finding what they need. If they have to go through a labyrinth to get to where they want to arrive, they’ll probably get frustrated and give up.

Make it as easy as possible for them to go from page to page and ultimately convert.

Offer Guidance Through Conversational AI

It’s great if you can have customer support agents manning the chat rooms 24/7, but for most people, this isn’t doable.

However, you can still do a lot to further improve your user experience by employing the power of smart chatbots. They can message your visitors and offer assistance. These intelligent AI-based bots can answer any questions and provide guidance quickly and efficiently at any time of the day.

Don’t Forget to Optimize for Mobile Users

Since everyone’s on their smartphones all the time, people are increasingly using mobile devices to perform searches. Consequently, the internet traffic through these devices has skyrocketed.

If you don’t want to miss out on a large pool of potential customers, you need to make the mobile experience of your website just as good as the desktop version.

UX May Be the Missing Ingredient of Your SEO Strategy

As you can see, search engines have become much more refined, and UX is getting more and more relevant for search engine optimization every day. Luckily, it’s not that difficult to figure out whether you’re falling behind in this department and fix your issues following our tips.