UX vs. Technical SEO – The Best of Both Worlds

3 Henry Kingston

Image of User and RobotWhen it comes to designing a website there is often a minor battle between User Experience (UX) and technical SEO for a very obvious reason: UX is all about the users while technical SEO focusses on search engines’ robots. This is why it is essential that every single time you create a website you not only think about how visitors will use it but also robots: a proposition that can be daunting for some.

Trying to keep real human beings and automated robots happy therefore requires a level of compromise, however once this compromise has been met you will have a website with true potential. So how can you keep both UX and technical SEO in mind when creating a website? Here we explain:

User Experience – Keeping Visitors Happy

User experience is becoming increasingly important these days as most users will leave a website straight away if they find it too hard to navigate. The whole point of a website is to ensure that your users can achieve their goals as quickly and easily as possible, whether this is buying a product, getting a quote or finding a certain piece of information.

In order to achieve this there are a number of optimisations that need to be implemented including a sensible navigation structure (don’t hide your products or no-one will find them), simple conversion funnels (too complicated and users will abandon their purchases) and visually appealing layouts (too much or too little text/images can be off-putting and make your site look sub-standard).

Even though this might sound simple at first, one thing you need to keep in mind is that all of these aspects of your website will also affect its overall SEO strategy. This is why you sometimes need to think like a robot…

Technical SEO – Get to know your Robots

One thing to always keep in mind when it comes to technical SEO is that Google and other search engines’ robots are designed to think like humans. For example, when it comes to your navigation structure it will assume – like most people – that whatever is at the top are the most important pages of your website.

However, Google’s robots go one step further – unlike users, Google’s robots are not on your site to buy a product or service but to determine what products and services you are offering your customers and therefore where to rank you for certain search terms. Furthermore, these robots have automated tasks, which means that they won’t look into your website in as much detail as a user may.

Another thing to remember when it comes to robots is that they can’t understand images or certain types of code, so while adding images to your website may be visually appealing it won’t necessarily help the bots understand what product or services you are offering your users.

Finding the Right Balance

As Google’s bots are “programmed” to provide information on which websites are the most relevant for certain search terms one thing they look out for is user experience. In fact, Google has said that focussing on user experience is becoming increasingly important and is now a considerable signal to Google that your site is of a high-quality and delivers what it promises.

So how can you determine that perfect balance between UX and technical SEO? The answer is “simplicity”. In order to keep both robots and users happy your site needs to be as simple and easy to use as possible. Think of it like a cupboard filled with products or information: if you keep it tidy it will be easy for anyone to find what they need in next to no time – the same applies to both users and robots when it comes to designing your website.