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Managing the Tensions & Tradeoffs Between UX & SEO – Whiteboard Friday

July 07, 2016
Aaron Polmeer

By randfish

UX and SEO Whiteboard

Posted by randfish

We don’t live in a world where we have the luxury of thinking about just user experience or just SEO. The two share many of the same spaces online, working in tandem and sometimes even clashing. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand details the considerations and compromises that must be made for UX & SEO to coexist in harmony.

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Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re chatting about managing tension between user experience and SEO. This is a topic we’ve touched on a little bit in the past, but we’ve seen it come up quite a bit as many more folks are thinking about user experience and working with user experience designers and product and project managers and SEO. They’re trying to reconcile some of these differences.

So it is the case that a lot of the things that positively impact user experience also positively impact SEO. In fact, we have a whole Whiteboard Friday about those kinds of things. But UX touches on lots of things that impact rankings in the search engines.

Affecting SEO with UX changes

Certainly spam, to a certain indirect degree, Google can be looking at pages and sites and may say, “This fits in our template of what spam looks like.”

It affects links, especially because user experience helps to predict whether someone might link to you. If you have 1,000 people coming to your site, by improving the user experience you may go from 1 link per 1,000 people coming to your site to 2 or 3, which could dramatically increase the links that come to you, affecting your search engine rankings.

Obviously, content is being impacted here. User experience affects how search engines judge content just as it affects how users judge that same content.

User and usage data. Naturally, of course, technical issues certainly in some respects, especially with things like page load speed, mobile friendliness, these are big UX elements that impact.

Probably less so with things like query interpretation and user context. Those are generally less impacted signals that search engines might use.

But regardless of this, nearly everything you do that’s on a site or a page that’s going to positively impact user experience or negatively impact user experience will have a corresponding impact on SEO, with a small handful of exceptions. The small handful of exceptions is where we see a lot of these tensions and challenges coming into play, and that’s what we’re going to discuss today, specifically four kinds of tension that can exist.

So what I’m going to do is ask you to imagine two worlds, one world in which there is no SEO. It’s before search engines. We’re just worried about the user experience. People only come to your site through the site itself, and they only navigate through the website. They don’t …read more

Source:: Moz Blog