Where SEO and User Experience Meet – Tips to Get More Visitors To Your Website and Keep Them Engaged
We all understand the importance of SEO for high search rankings, but too many people assume that that’s the primary goal. Talk to any knowledgeable search engine optimization company and you’ll see that high rankings aren’t the main goal. Attracting the right kind of traffic and providing a positive user experience to this traffic is what brings success.
Some might think creating a fantastic user experience comes at odds with regular SEO practices. Tweaking your site for effective, organic search results means creating something unenjoyable and uninteresting for actual people, right? Wrong, and there are plenty of ways to accommodate and engage your users without sacrificing your SEO.
Sitemaps and Navigation
Sitemaps and navigation play an important role in SEO. Search engines have a crawl budget, which means they only index a set number of pages with each visit. If, say, Google has trouble navigating your site due to a lack of internal links, you risk wasting that crawl budget as the spiders waste their time trying to get from page to page.
Sitemaps and navigation aren’t just for search engines though. Users need a simple, clear navigation. They should find what they’re looking for without having to look through every single page. It stands to reason that if a search engine has trouble crawling your site, a person will have trouble finding his way around as well. Create an effective sitemap and implement a simple navigation. As a general rule of thumb, a user shouldn’t take more than three clicks to get to any single page on the site.
No More Flash
Back in the day, Flash seemed fun, a way to create animated, interactive text, images, graphics, and video. Now, the only accurate description for Flash is outdated.
The main problem with Flash is that search engines have trouble managing it. Search engines have evolved enough to recognize and parse out different pieces of content in Flash objects, but they still can’t process information correctly all of the time. You’re essentially filling your site with junk that search engines can’t even understand, which is a problem if the main points of your information are embedded in that junk.
Users have also evolved to the point where they are not impressed by moving objects and animated text. Users don’t want to sit through long Flash introductions. They want information and they want it now. Then there’s the fact that certain mobile devices don’t have Flash support.
You really have no good reason for using Flash in this day and age. It’s not helping users and it’s practically making your site invisible to search engines. Eliminate Flash objects from your site and everyone will be happy.
Content is king, but some people assume that “content” should consist of large blocks of keywords. Content that is stuffed with keywords sends a red flag to Google and other search engines that your site may not be as legitimate as it appears, knocking you out of the rankings. To users, keyword stuffing looks like spam, and with Google’s recent algorithm updates, you can actually report sites that appear spammy.
Keywords certainly matter, but keyword inclusion should sound natural. Your main goal should be writing high-quality content. The keywords are secondary.