The importance of user signals is gradually increasing in search rankings because search algorithms become ever more complex. Find out below the implications for SEO professionals
It seems that we begin to apply Moore’s law to search engines. Due to the advancements of machine learning search engines can now not only deliver the most relevant answers to queries but also deliver a vastly improved customer experience (UX).
There’s a subtle but powerful connection between the consumer and organic search performance, especially in the light of machine learning becoming ever more important for search algorithms. Currently, machine learning combines content quality, search sequence, structure and sentiment – obviously the most important features of an organic search.
The question is what to do to keep up. As I write these words, both agencies and individual marketers try to find solutions to expand their SEO approach, concentrating exclusively on UX across the full range of assets. Continue reading to find out more about two central areas making this possible.
1. Expand the SEO skills into UX
We all know that ever since its start Google explicitly stated mission was to deliver the best possible user experience. And, considering the most recent technological developments, Google and its competitors are coming closer to fulfill this idea. Moreover, the efforts will only heighten in the coming years.
Yet for all its current spotlight, UX has never played a major role in the SEO galaxy. Currently, SEO professionals are in a weak position as personal experience and professional development programs may prove insufficient for them to offer pertinent advice regarding UX.
Therefore, it’s no secret that SEO professionals need to adapt. As the field becomes more inaccessible due to machine learning that can efficiently predict and interpret consumer behavior, SEO professionals have to acquire more skills to stay relevant.
The problem is the following: if SEO is not in the position to influence brands’ UX approach, then one of its major current features will be out of its control. Therefore, this is a call to action: UX should be or urgently become your highest priority.
2. UX must not be confined to a single evolution pattern
Consider the following personal experience: Having worked with a variety of UX teams, I can affirm without hesitation that one major issues that consistently resurfaced was their stubborn inflexibility regarding the starting point. It always had to be the home page. My reality, however, showed that more than 50 percent of the customers start their site exploration from a different page. Thus, taking a linear approach to UX is just a bubble that sooner or later will explode and reveal the point made above.
User signals, a logical outcome of the growing use of machine learning, will get a more important status in search engines rankings. Therefore, subpar UX experiences could sever the connection between brands and their target audience in organic search results, which in turn would prevent conversion performance.
If choosing not to improve user experience at several key points might cause consumers to looks in other places. Consider the examples below:
Landing on a relevant tabbed page but unable to access the content because all info is concealed within a tab
Multiple subtopics crawled within a single URL which automatically leads to permanent scrolling. Consequently, there’s no effective procedure to land directly on the topic relevant to the search
If the final goal is to provide excellent user experience then never confine anything just to the home page. Gather data and focus on the most important entry points taking into account all possible variables.
To better integrate the UX and SEO teams focus on these entry points, which, in addition to greatly improving the site’s user experience, will also be better situated in respect to organic search success.
Everyone wins if the paradigm shift becomes the norm
Everyone should work to constantly improve and get better results. For this reason there is a need for a permanent transfer of skills: the SEO professionals should improve their UX skills and the UX teams should broaden their event horizon beyond the home page. Collaboration is the key term in this instance, and it can lead to finding the optimal solution for better search to landing page and conversion experience.
In conclusion, learning the UX skill set will soon be unavoidable in order to remain relevant. In this way SEO professionals will be better equipped to deliver the best possible user experience: from the search to the final purchase.
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