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How Website Usability Affects Search Engine Optimization

- Tuesday, May 15, 2018

For nearly a decade, search engine optimization (SEO) has been about more than keywords. Now, as algorithms inch closer to finding top quality websites, search engines take into account user experience, content, and website usability.

While search engine bots cannot accurately judge a website based on sight, they can use linking patterns, user engagement metrics, and website structure to determine the user-friendliness of any given website.

To avoid being targeted for having a “crummy website,” focus on creating a thoughtful user experience that encourages visitors to return, share, and bookmark your website. This will lead to a higher ranking and, in turn, more interested customers.


The Difference Between Usability and User Experience

Usability measures the ease through which your website visitors can navigate and complete tasks. User experience, on the other hand, focuses on every aspect of user interaction. It includes usability but isn’t limited to it.

Creating positive usability means removing roadblocks and minimizing the number of steps involved in completing a task. The task could be subscribing to a blog, finding contact information, or learning about a product or service. Your job – or the job of your website designer – is to make all actions, pages, and options easily accessible.

Building a strong user experience requires consideration of emotions, as much as structure. What does a user feel when visiting your website? Is that feeling positive or negative? How can you reinforce positive emotions? User experience aims to build a loyal customer base, bringing the same audience back time and time again.


The Effect of Usability on SEO

Usability has an indirect impact on your search engine ranking. It can help improve conversion, increase traffic, and encourage recommendations.

More often than not, small and medium business owners recognize a negative SEO influence from poor usability than a positive SEO influence from strong usability. When your website is difficult to navigate, you’ll struggle to engage visitors. This leads to an increase in exit rates and brings in fewer returns.

There has never been a more important time to invest in usability. As technology advances, search engines become more adept at measuring the experience of readers everywhere.

For example, with the help of Chrome user data, Google can track every single click made within its search engine. This means it can measure how many people are using your website, how many users are clicking through pages and immediately leaving, and how many users are getting lost while trying to navigate your website.

In this way, the structure and usability of your website has a direct impact on your search engine ranking like never before.


Improving Usability and User Experience

There are many ways to improve usability and user experience on your website. You should begin by contacting an experienced website designer. A seasoned designer will know how to improve navigation, speed up load times, and focus on relevant content.


Work With an Experienced Web Designer

Looking for a website design professional? At Inquisitek, we specialize in building engine-friendly websites that make a lasting first impression. Usability and user experience are at the core of every design we create. Contact our team to learn more!

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