Does a Site with Great UX Rank Higher?





Blog Date

June 6, 2024


UK, Manchester

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Does a Site with Great UX Rank Higher?

Does a Site with Great UX Rank Higher?

Can you believe it’s been over a decade since Google’s Panda update? Back then, the SEO community was in an uproar. Suddenly, writing keyword-stuffed drivel wasn’t enough to rank anymore. Google wanted us to create something…useful.

Google’s core ranking systems have only continued down this path. These days, they’re looking to reward content that provides a great user experience (UX) across the board.

But what exactly does that mean? And more importantly, how can we leverage UX to boost our SEO? Well, buckle up my friends, because I’m about to take you on a wild ride through the wonderful world of search engine optimization.

The Need for a Holistic Approach to Page Experience

As the Google docs state, site owners seeking SEO success shouldn’t just focus on one or two aspects of page experience. Instead, we need to ensure we’re providing an overall great experience across many different elements.

So what are some of those key elements? Well, Google suggests asking yourself questions like:

  • Is your page fast to load?
  • Is it mobile-friendly?
  • Does it have intrusive interstitials?
  • Does it provide a secure browsing experience?

If you can answer “yes” to those questions, you’re probably on the right track in terms of page experience. But the search giant also warns that these aren’t the only factors to consider. There’s a whole world of UX nuances that can impact your rankings.

The Importance of Core Web Vitals

One of the biggest page experience signals Google looks at are the Core Web Vitals. These metrics aim to measure the real-world, user-centric performance of your site. Things like loading speed, interactivity, and visual stability all feed into your Core Web Vitals score.

Now, before you go chasing a perfect 100/100 on those metrics, take a deep breath. Google says that getting great Core Web Vitals scores alone isn’t a surefire way to rank at the top of the search results. There’s more to page experience than just those numbers.

At the end of the day, the goal should be providing an overall awesome user experience. The Core Web Vitals are just one piece of that puzzle. But they’re an important one, so definitely don’t neglect them.

Beyond the Metrics: Other UX Signals That Matter

Outside of the Core Web Vitals, there are plenty of other UX elements that can impact your rankings, even if they don’t directly help you climb the SERP.

For example, Google points out that things like easy navigation, mobile-friendliness, and secure browsing can make your site more satisfying to use. And while those factors may not give you a direct rankings boost, they do contribute to that overall page experience that search engines are looking to reward.

It’s also worth noting that Google evaluates page experience on a page-by-page basis. But they do have some site-wide assessments as well. So making sure your whole domain is user-friendly is important, not just individual pages.

The (Delicate) Balance Between Content and Experience

Here’s the thing – Google will always prioritize surfacing the most relevant content, even if the page experience is a bit lacking. After all, sometimes the best information is housed on a janky-looking site.

But in cases where there’s plenty of helpful content available, that great page experience can give you an edge. As Google puts it, “Having a great page experience can contribute to success in Search, in such cases.”

So the key is finding that sweet spot. Deliver mind-blowingly useful information, sure. But wrap it up in a delightful UX package, and you may just see your rankings soar.

Putting It All Together

Alright, let’s recap what we’ve learned so far:

  1. Google cares a lot about page experience these days, not just keyword optimization.
  2. Core Web Vitals are a major part of that, but they’re not the be-all and end-all.
  3. Tons of other UX elements can impact your rankings, even if they don’t directly boost your position.
  4. It’s all about finding the right balance between killer content and an amazing user experience.

So how do we actually put this into practice? Well, the first step is auditing your current site to identify any UX weak spots. Use tools like MCR SEO‘s website analyzer to get the full picture.

From there, it’s all about prioritizing and tackling those issues one by one. Boost your Core Web Vitals, streamline your navigation, make sure your mobile experience is on point. Whatever it takes to create a truly delightful user journey.

And don’t forget – it’s an ongoing process. Search algorithms are constantly evolving, and user expectations are always shifting. Stay vigilant, keep testing, and continue refining that UX. Because in today’s SEO landscape, great content and great user experience go hand-in-hand.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to ditch the keyword stuffing and focus on crafting a site that both search engines and humans will love. Trust me, your rankings (and your customers) will thank you.

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