A user-friendly site is often also search-friendly

I am not advocating that you need to get on board the UX train and leave SEO, or vice versa, but I am advocating that you as the CMO, the project manager, or the product owner need to make sure these two disciplines work together and share the same vision.

As an experienced SEO consultant, my work has to be aligned with multiple other online channel strategies and marketing disciplines. SEO could stand on its own legs back in the day but is more dependent on the overall performance and strategy taken by the brand itself these days.

Everybody and their mum know that speed is vital. We all get that. No one has the patience to wait 7 seconds for a page to load or scroll past the mission and vision when we’re looking to buy a new bike for the nephew. The art of user-friendlifying (yes, let’s coin that phrase together) a website is not only making sure everything loads fast but also making sure everything works as intended and guides the visitor to the desired destination or goal. While making sure it looks good.

From the SEO perspective, this means focusing on loading times, clear navigation, structured pages with user-centric content, and relevant internal links. Basically, the UX consultant will be pushing parts of our agenda within a project. And if the output is not aligned with this, well – then you need to switch who gets to run the user experience workstream for you.

Both UX’ers and SEOs want to ensure websites have a clear site structure, gathering the same topics in clusters to get those little bots from Google and Bing to understand what the website is all about, and what expertise the brand offers.

Both want visitors to find crucial information fast, and have the possibility to find more with ease. Cutting out the noise for the main audience, but not removing it completely. 150MB press images should still be accessible, but maybe not linked to on pages where the intent is to get the visitor to take action A or contact company representative B.

UX’ers will die a little on the inside when they stumble upon pages with repetitive content optimized by the SEO rules before the birth of Facebook. Luckily, so do SEOs. We all know that bad content, misspelled words, and five miles of scrolling through “The History of Bicycles” will punch your conversion rate in the gut. The happy place is something called great communication, a good content structure, aligned with how the target audience actually searches for the topic or product this page is intended to serve.

As the marketing department leader or product or project owner, you must ensure that your SEO team is involved in most major changes and planned strategies. The best output is more traffic followed by leads or conversions, and the worst would be no additional traffic (but also no risk of running a project that negatively impacts your organic search acquisitions – which is a really good output if you ask me).

The same applies to UX. You don’t take something that looks good and works well and then make it worse. It is 2024, and we should have learned by now.

And if you ever wake up in the middle of the night screaming, “What about the experience!?” like Catherine O’Hara in Home Alone, don’t worry. Friends within ARC have your back when you need it. All you have to do is to reach out. I enjoy talking UX almost as much as I enjoy optimizing this or redirecting that.

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2 responses to “A user-friendly site is often also search-friendly”

  1. John Avatar

    Yeah making sure that UX and SEO is aligned in most planned changes are crucial, agree to one hundred percent. You sometimes get accessibility issues sorted along the way too.

    1. Per Pettersson Avatar

      I think the work environment is a lot better today compared to say, 6-8 years ago. Less siloed and more teams and different expertise working together towards the same goal. But this usually becomes a big hurdle if the organization is growing or already is a big beast in terms of staff.

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