If you are a website owner, or content manager, it is probably safe to assume you want to rank as high as you can in the search results. Also, it is probably a safe bet to state that you want to provide a high degree of usability and a positive user experience to your visitors. The good news is search engines want the same thing too! Looking from a different perspective they want the person who is using the search engine to find the most relevant, user friendly website there is, so you have to please the search engines if you want to please the customer. Let’s see some concrete “SEO genres”where usability and user experience can help your site rank better.
and with that, nobody will link to it. This is probably the biggest impact usability has on your search engine rankings. Let’s say you are a blogger with a dilemma of linking between a site that has a very cool design and another one that doesn’t. It’s an easy choice isn’t it? Usability WILL help you get more “do-follow” links and rank better in the search results.
SEO has always been about finding quality, relevant web content that will satisfy the end-user’s needs. This is an on-going SEO effort that should not be neglected. Even if by some miracle you start ranking well without quality and unique content search engines will pick up on this. They tend to measure how engaging the content of the site really is by measuring how long the user stays on the site. If a user clicks on your website in the search results page, than immediately closes it, or hits the back button, this is an indication that he is not satisfied with the content on the page.
Google has come a long way since the beginning, when they manually reviewed their search results for relevancy. Ever since the Panda update was introduced in 2011, the SEO scenery has changed. Now Google uses a machine learning language that filters what humans would see as a quality result, and what they won’t. This is definitely a horror movie for SEO experts, where Google is playing Jigsaw saying “I want to play a game, SEO experts”.
As we said in the beginning, search engines want to provide the best experience they can for their users. Here is when the comedy part comes in place: your well served customers will do your SEO! In the beginning, search engines must “guess” how user friendly and content-rich your website is, but in the end as they examine user behavioral patterns they will favor the websites that solve client’s needs. We know it’s easier said than done, but if your customers are satisfied, you can start worrying less about SEO.