Role of UI & UX for SEO in 2021 — Rise

COVID-19 has pushed companies to focus more on building their products and services online, but many businesses are not on top of the changes that Google requires from them to effectively rank their sites, which in turn can hurt your business.

In May 2020, Google introduced its new ranking algorithm called Google Page Experience. In this algorithm, UX was the most influential factor for ranking.

Google updating its ranking algorithms isn’t a new thing. In fact, Google is constantly updating its algorithms, setting new standards for SEO rankings that digital marketing agencies and marketers need to stay on top of in order to remain competitive online. Google researches real human behavior to determine which websites and webpages should be served at the top of search engine rankings. This is where UI & UX have become even more central to the user experience.

When it comes to your brand’s online presence, my goal is to help you understand which aspects of UI and UX design you should focus on and how that affects SEO. Once you learn how to implement the best UX/UI design elements for your customers, you will enhance your search engine rankings and generate more visitors to your website.

Understanding UI/UX and why Google deems it necessary

UI and UX have been used together in practice, but now Google places more emphasis on UI. By definition, UI is the invitingness of a website’s interface. The more colorful, attractive, artistic, and animated you make your website, the more likely users are to stay on it, explore the content, and ultimately, make a purchase. Alternatively, the user experience (UX) refers to the entire experience that a user has while surfing a website or an app. It is a detailed effort to provide users a smooth, fast, comfortable, and fun experience while earning the trust of consumers to keep them coming back. It is also closely linked with all the brand elements of the organization and current or potential consumers.

According to Google, “Page experience is a set of signs that calculate aspects of how consumers perceive the experience of interacting with a website beyond its pure information value.”

With the right UX design tool, these five goals can be achieved:

  1. Increase conversions on your website. There are often hundreds of companies providing the same product or service as you, but users have an increased likelihood of selecting the product or service that can easily be found online and that has the best user experience. According to the experts, a well-designed user experience can enhance conversion rates up to 400%.
  2. Improve your SEO rankings. Every brand desires to rank at the top of Google search. A well-designed user experience can enhance the online presence of your business and get your web pages to the top of the results page on search engines. With an exceptional partnership between UX and SEO, you can enhance the web traffic and gain more users who are more likely to be interested in your services or products. An effective UX design supports your SEO techniques and improves your rankings on search engines.
  3. Create trust and credibility. Consumers these days are savvy, and often research products or services they are looking to purchase extensively before making a purchase. Building brand credibility with customers is not an easy task for businesses, especially those that are new to the market. Gaining their trust is essential to customer retention and loyalty, driving more business.
  4. Save money and time. It is important to adopt and apply an attractive UX design for your site at the get go because restructuring the website after the launch will cost more and take time away from you building your business.
  5. Increase revenue. Investing in the right UX design increases the number of visitors to your site and helps you increase the conversion rate. Therefore, it is the best option to hire a professional UX design agency if you don’t have an expert in-house.

UI/UX Design Trends for 2021

Did you know that 94% of the elements that determine the first impression of your product or service are design-related?

Your UX/UI design can make a strong first impression and get your users to become customers. There are various UI/UX design trends for 2021, where the edges between UI and UX are too blurry to tell apart. Nevertheless, they are important trends that every designer should keep an eye on.

Augmented and Virtual Reality

AR and VR have already enhanced the website and app design quite exceptionally, and it’s only going to gain more popularity in the coming years.

For example, virtual reality is being utilized amazingly in the real estate sector to create virtual tours. Potential buyers don’t need to attend an open house when they can go on a digital tour comfortably at their homes.

If you can create more value for your customers by including VR and AR elements in your design, it would be a smart move. Do it before your competitors do, and gain more fame as a thought leader in the industry.

Artificial Intelligence

The relationship between AI and UI/UX design is still building, but it has potential. Artificial intelligence can make UX research and the procedure of brainstorming exceptionally easier by processing more data than any human being. AI can also be utilized to enhance UX design. For some specific websites, an AI can be utilized to know user behavior and tweak their journey through the website to build a personalized user experience.

The Super App Uprising

“Super app” sounds super amazing, but realistically, the platform points to something that’s quite useful. Unlike websites, which are more comprehensive, apps are usually very uni-directional. And it’s often great for brands to split their site’s functionality into multiple apps (like Facebook did with its messenger).

Improved Onboarding Features

Millennials adopt the latest technology quickly. That said, a big part of the workforce and our society is still made up of older generations who are not as technically sound as the younger generations. So transitioning to remote work is a challenging job for them. In order to accommodate older generations and make remote working and collaboration tools easier to understand, many brands are overhauling their existing U/UX design with some onboarding features.

Performance and Speed

UX/UI designers will be working on speed and performance in 2022. With 5G rolling out, and the average Internet speeds enhancing, designers have more “room” in a way. Due to the fast speed of the internet, heavier websites might open just as rapidly as light-weight websites, and they might not feel “heavy” while navigating. This allows designers to experiment with 3D and add AR/VR in the design.

Remember the Voice

UI/UX designers can enhance the reach of a site by incorporating VUI into the design. They will have to build a separate user journey, identify VUI-unique user touch-points, and analyze and use the anatomy of a voice command.

Think for Yourself

This is one of the most popular UX/UI design trends, which speaks volumes about its importance. Whether you are building a website now, in 2022, or beyond, you shouldn’t let the latest trends steer you away from what you know works.

How to implement UI/UX into an SEO campaign?

As mentioned above, SEO and UX have common end goals – user engagement. SEO will resolve a person’s query, while UX will take care of their navigational queries once they reach the website.

The best example of UX and SEO design is IKEA. We all know what IKEA stands for. Their website builds a story at every step. It guides the visitors to the right landing pages and keeps them engaged. The color palette, their tags, and categories make a visitor stay longer and engaged on the site.

Let us understand some critical factors that influence the SEO + UX ranking:

Understanding your audience

Once you know your target audience entirely, it can lead to a page getting clicks and some action taking place if you are on the top of Google search results. From addressing a website’s color preferences to the design and messages, everything you develop should be tailored to your customers and their personas.

Keyword research

Understanding the objectives of potential users landing on your website through search is another important factor that makes up for a high-performing UX and SEO strategy. If your website is not completely optimized with the right collection of keywords, there is a bleak chance of it ranking well in search engines or even leading to any action.

Google keyword planner, Keywordtool.io, Moz keyword explorer, Ahrefs Keywords explorer, or SECockpit are the best tools used widely to search for the right keywords.

Site architecture

The website’s architecture is how the web pages flow on your site. From the SEO point of view, a perfect website architecture means Google will easily find and index your web page. Links should help Google to navigate easily from high to low authority pages. Google Search Console has updated a lot since its early days and become highly informative to SEO experts or analysts, helping them to understand how web pages are indexed and appear to Google.

Mobile responsiveness

The mobile responsive design has gained exceptional importance for both UX and SEO. Over 50% of all traffic is now driven by mobile search, and sites that are not mobile-friendly will not have the best user experience.

According to Google, mobile-friendly sites have priority access to appear above in search rankings. A key aspect of bettering the mobile experience is optimizing the user’s readability through font family and text size selections.

You can check a site’s mobile responsiveness by utilizing Google’s Mobile-friendly testing tool.

Getting searchers to click

SEO is what brought them to your web page, but what will make them click on the call-to-action?

This can be done by making a UX design that holds the users’ attention and combines features that encourage them to click and take action.

Final Thoughts

In the era of online digital marketing, there will always be room for improvisation. Naturally, you can’t be perfect at everything all at once.

SEO and UX is an iterative process that begins with research, continues with design and execution, is combined with consistent analysis, and concludes with research.

Implementing SEO with UX design may seem a little challenging initially; however, it is crucial to boost rankings and build a great brand.

This approach will require lots of testing, analysis, feedback from customers, and technical skills. So, unless you’re an expert yourself, it’s good to hire a professional or an agency to ensure your website is optimized for SEO via the best UI/UX design practices.

It’s a worthy investment when it means your brand will rank higher on search engines and therefore provide your website with more users.

Anurag Byala
Guest Contributor

Transitioning from being an electronics engineer to an IT guy was one of the biggest transformations of my life (Techies Infotech). I started my entrepreneurial journey at a point when my friends were earning in millions by being a part of multinational corporates.

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