How to Align UX and SEO Goals for Higher Conversions





Blog Date

June 3, 2024


UK, Manchester

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Table of Contents

How to Align UX and SEO Goals for Higher Conversions

The Tug-of-War Between UX and SEO

Lately, I’ve delved deeper into the SEO world so I could better understand the conflict between user experience (UX) and search engine optimization (SEO). At the risk of oversimplifying it, the biggest issue comes down to one thing: content.

You see, SEO relies heavily on more content, whereas UX often prefers less. A key to ensuring a website and its pages rank higher in search engine results is the amount of relevant content they provide. Relevant means content that includes all the key words and phrases people use when researching a product or service. The more often these keywords are appropriately used on a website, the more relevant that content is deemed to be.

UX designers, on the other hand, have learned long ago that too much content on a site can slow user performance and sometimes kill it altogether. We’ve all heard the saying that no one reads on the web. Users, once they reach a site, are less interested in the content and more interested in solving their specific problem – the functionality of the site.

Finding the Right Balance

At first glance, it may seem like strong SEO and good UX are at odds with each other. But there’s no reason they need to be. In fact, there are many who would tell you that good UX is good SEO, and vice-versa. When goals and strategies are aligned, balancing SEO and UX can create powerful pages that dominate search engine results and inspire conversions at a high rate.

The key is finding the right balance. Every business is different, but each one needs to determine the approach that best serves their specific objectives. Some sites succeed because of their content, while others lean more towards the functionality side of the equation.

For example, boutique or lifestyle product sites typically benefit from more content, which plays into common SEO practices. More focused e-commerce sites, on the other hand, may suffer under the burden of too much content and profit more from a better UX.

Aligning UX and SEO From the Start

One of my veteran colleagues pointed out that one of his UX-oriented clients saw their conversion rates and profits suffer dramatically when they moved their UX team to report to the SEO team. It wasn’t until they separated UX and SEO again that things started to improve.

The lesson here is clear: SEO and UX need to work together from the very beginning. Rather than having these teams battling over “fixing” each other’s work, they need to align their goals and strategies upfront.

This means open communication and cooperation right from the start. The SEO team can present their keyword research to inform the UX team on which terms have the most relevance to the user. The UX team can then design dynamic page layouts that mix text with visuals to create an engaging experience that also satisfies search engine requirements.

The Power of Combining SEO and UX

When SEO and UX work together towards a common goal, the results can be truly powerful. SEO teams can maximize structure and keyword strategy to rank in search engines and drive traffic to a page. UX specialists can then design an experience that leads those users to perform a desired action and convert.

Ideally, you should be achieving a 10% conversion rate with 35% retention and an SEO strategy that keeps you on the first page of search results. But that’s not always possible. You need to determine what strategy works better for your business – more visitors or more buyers.

If it’s easier to increase the number of visitors, then focus on SEO. But if visitors are harder to come by, then focus on UX to convert the ones you can attract. Either way, make sure you have the right balance between these two crucial disciplines.

As the MCR SEO team likes to say, “Good UX is good SEO, and good SEO is good UX.” By aligning these teams and their goals from the very beginning, you can create a powerful online presence that attracts the right visitors and converts them into loyal customers.

The Importance of Adaptability

Today’s average buyer isn’t driven by traditional brand loyalty; so once you’ve developed a successful conversion rate, you need to continuously apply conversion rate optimization (CRO) practices to keep up with changing demands.

CRO employs a blend of SEO and UX methods and allows you to quickly respond to shifting trends in your market. Things will change, and your site must constantly adapt to those changes.

It’s not easy to find the right balance between SEO and UX, but it’s crucial for the long-term success of your business. Keep an open mind, foster collaboration between your teams, and be willing to experiment and adjust as needed. With the right approach, you can create an online experience that delights your customers and dominates the search results.

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