The Power of SEO: How Website Usability Affects SEO and Ranking
Did you know that how easy your website is to use can affect your SEO and your website's ranking on the search engine results page? Search engines strive to provide their users with the best possible results, not only content-wise, but in terms of usability as well. This is particularly relevant in the age of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. So, if you want to improve website SEO, chances are you’ll need to improve website usability as well.
How do search engines monitor usability of a website?
Search engines, despite being very smart, can’t look at a website the same way as a human can. For this reason they often rely on meta data about how people interact with sites and pages to make inferences into which sites are the best quality.
Google, in particular, does have another more human-based way of evaluating websites for user experience. It’s called the Panda update and it was introduced in 2011. For this update, Google used actual human evaluators to manually rate hundreds of websites and search for low-quality content. Then, it brought in computers to learn to accurately mimic the human evaluators and predict what they would judge as a non-user friendly site.
Link analysis algorithms used by search engines are fairly advanced, but they do operate mostly using the same basic idea. That is that sites that are higher quality and provide better user experience earn more off-page links than those are poor quality.
Related: The Power of SEO: What is Off-Page SEO and Why Do You Need It?
Engagement with the Site
Search engines judge the quality of a website based on how searchers engage with it from the results page. If users are clicking off the site immediately after clicking on it, it’s obvious that something about it is missing the mark for that search query. This measurement is significant when it comes to website usability for mobile devices.
How to Improve Website Usability
There are quite a few ways to help improve your website SEO by improving your website usability, but here are three important ones:
Keep Content Concise
Web users don’t have very high attention spans. Too much content on a web page will overwhelm them even if it’s very well written. Keeping your content concise and to the point will allow your readers to easily find the information they are looking for which means they won’t click quickly off your page, thus giving your website SEO a boost.
Optimize Page Layout for Readers
One of the best ways to increase your website usability is to make sure your page layout is designed specifically with readers in mind. Here are a few things to remember when thinking about your page layout:
People read from left to right.
This means you’ll want to make sure your important information starts on the left and moves to the right as it goes down the page.
People mostly read “above the fold”
Above the fold for websites means before scrolling. That means you’ll want to keep your most important information as close to the top of the page as possible so customers can see it without scrolling down.
People need navigation
You know where everything is on your site, but visitors won’t. That’s why its important to have an easy-to see and use navigation menu on your website.
Optimize for Mobile
This is one of the most important things you can do to improve website usability. The number of people who use a mobile device, such as a smart phone or tablet, rather than a desktop computer, is always increasing. And Google uses mobile-friendliness as a factor when ranking websites.
Make sure to view your website from multiple platforms and ensure that it is programmed to be mobile friendly or responsive to various devices and platforms.
Flawless Inbound is dedicated to keeping up-to-date with everything SEO, and we strive to ensure our client’s websites are always optimized for all search engines. We take particular care to understand SEO for B2B organizations and SEO for Technology organizations. If you’re interested in how, contact us for a Discovery Call today, and keep reading about the Power of SEO on our blog.