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SEO & UX: Finding the Balance - Rob Ousbey

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In this session, Rob will help to reconcile the sometime conflicting advice about UX and SEO. He'll cover the UX factors that can help boost your SEO performance, and bring words of warning about the UX best practices that might be damaging your rankings.
This was presented at the Ingeniux User Conference 2017.

Published in: Marketing
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SEO & UX: Finding the Balance - Rob Ousbey

  1. 1. brought to you by... SEO & User Experience: Finding the Balance
  2. 2. Rob Ousbey rob.ousbey@distilled.net @RobOusbey
  3. 3. Never has UX been more intertwined with SEO.
  4. 4. The Fastest Guide To SEO, Ever
  5. 5. When a website publishes content: @Distilled @RobOusbey
  6. 6. business economics salary statistics URL PageRank http://study.com/articles/Sal... 3.5 http://business.ku.edu/emp... 3.8 http://www.allbusinessscho... 5.3 http://www.theglobeandmai... 4.8 http://naceweb.org/salary-re... 1.6 http://www.indeed.com/q-... 9.4 When a user performs a web search @Distilled @RobOusbey
  7. 7. business economics salary statistics URL PageRank http://study.com/articles/Sal... 3.5 http://business.ku.edu/emp... 3.8 http://www.allbusinessscho... 5.3 http://www.theglobeandmai... 4.8 http://naceweb.org/salary-re... 1.6 http://www.indeed.com/q-... 9.4 When a user performs a web search @Distilled @RobOusbey SERP: Search engine results page i
  8. 8. Ranking Factors
  9. 9. 2005 Ranking Factors @Distilled @RobOusbey
  10. 10. https://moz.com/blog/ranking-factors-version-2-released 2005 Ranking Factors Is the page relevant to the term? Is the page/site authoritative? @Distilled @RobOusbey
  11. 11. Relevancy via: page content analysis + external factors Authority via: external signals @Distilled @RobOusbey
  12. 12. Google Search Quality Team @Distilled @RobOusbey
  13. 13. Google’s Goal: Portal to the Internet
  14. 14. Malware & viruses Paywall / registration-wall on landing page Out of stock products Out of date information Pages that make it hard to find information Pages that are full of advertising Bad User Experiences @Distilled @RobOusbey
  15. 15. SERP Quality Assessment
  16. 16. http://www.thesempost.com/google-rewrites-quality-rating-guide-seos-need-know/ Quality Rater Surveys @Distilled @RobOusbey
  17. 17. In-Result Surveys @Distilled @RobOusbey
  18. 18. User Behaviour Tracking
  19. 19. User Behaviour Tracking: Data Sources @Distilled @RobOusbey
  20. 20. User Behaviour Tracking: Data Sources @Distilled @RobOusbey
  21. 21. User Behaviour Tracking: CTR @Distilled @RobOusbey
  22. 22. User Behaviour Tracking: CTR @Distilled @RobOusbey
  23. 23. User Behaviour Tracking: Pogo Sticking @Distilled @RobOusbey
  24. 24. User Behaviour Tracking: Refinement @Distilled @RobOusbey
  25. 25. (This isn’t real data. I’m just illustrating a point.) 2017 Ranking Factors Links On Page Optimization Site Features Social Metrics User Metrics @Distilled @RobOusbey
  26. 26. If this were true, we’d see correlations between rankings & some of these factors…
  27. 27. Larry Kim’s research into click-through-rate’s influence on rankings: moz.com/blog/higher-organic-click-through-conversion-rates-rankings 2017 Ranking Factors @Distilled @RobOusbey
  28. 28. 2017 Ranking Factors Brian Dean’s conclusions about the impact of bounce rate on rankings: backlinko.com/search-engine-ranking @Distilled @RobOusbey
  29. 29. 2017 Ranking Factors Searchmetrics’ analysis of time on site’s correlation with rankings: www.searchmetrics.com/ranking-factors @Distilled @RobOusbey
  30. 30. SERP Click Through Rate Does it seem desirable? Is it credible? Bounce Rate Is it useable? Is it accessible? Time on Site Is it useful? Is it valuable? 2017 Ranking Factors @Distilled @RobOusbey
  31. 31. SERP Click Through Rate Does it seem desirable? Is it credible? Bounce Rate Is it useable? Is it accessible? Time on Site Is it useful? Is it valuable? 2017 Ranking Factors @Distilled @RobOusbey Peter Morville’s User Experience Honeycomb http://semanticstudios.com/user_experience_design/ http://intertwingled.org/user-experience-honeycomb/
  32. 32. Malware & viruses Paywall / registration-wall on landing page Out of stock products Out of date information Pages that make it hard to find information Pages that are full of advertising Bad User Experiences @Distilled @RobOusbey
  33. 33. EG: Ad-heavy Webpages @Distilled @RobOusbey
  34. 34. EG: Ad-heavy Webpages @Distilled @RobOusbey
  35. 35. 2017 Ranking Factors @Distilled @RobOusbey Peter Morville’s User Experience Honeycomb http://semanticstudios.com/user_experience_design/ http://intertwingled.org/user-experience-honeycomb/
  36. 36. Some uncontroversial, well-aligned tactics
  37. 37. Site Speed @Distilled @RobOusbey
  38. 38. 👍 Lower bounce rate 👍 Longer time on site 👍 More conversions Site Speed @Distilled @RobOusbey
  39. 39. Images @Distilled @RobOusbey
  40. 40. Images http://newyorkpersonalshopper.com/ @Distilled @RobOusbey
  41. 41. Images https://www.amandasanders.com/ @Distilled @RobOusbey
  42. 42. Images https://www.yourfitz.com/ @Distilled @RobOusbey
  43. 43. Remember to: keep the images lightweight • monitor your site speed • consider using alt tags for crawlers & accessibility Images @Distilled @RobOusbey
  44. 44. Internal Links @Distilled @RobOusbey
  45. 45. Breadcrumbs, Related Products shop.nordstrom.com/s/converse-chuck-taylor-shoreline-women/3367581 @Distilled @RobOusbey
  46. 46. Breadcrumbs, Related Products shop.nordstrom.com/s/converse-chuck-taylor-shoreline-women/3367581 @Distilled @RobOusbey
  47. 47. Breadcrumbs, Related Products shop.nordstrom.com/s/converse-chuck-taylor-shoreline-women/3367581 @Distilled @RobOusbey
  48. 48. Breadcrumbs, Related Products shop.nordstrom.com/s/converse-chuck-taylor-shoreline-women/3367581 @Distilled @RobOusbey
  49. 49. Mobile Considerations @Distilled @RobOusbey
  50. 50. Responsive Design @Distilled @RobOusbey
  51. 51. Mobile Friendliness @Distilled @RobOusbey
  52. 52. Mobile-first Index bit.ly/Mobile-first-indexing App Indexation bit.ly/app-indexation Progressive Web Apps bit.ly/progressive-web-apps Other Mobile Considerations @Distilled @RobOusbey
  53. 53. Page Structure @Distilled @RobOusbey
  54. 54. Content Above / Below the Fold http://www.virginatlantic.com/us/en/destinations/uk/london.html @Distilled @RobOusbey
  55. 55. Keyword Research @Distilled @RobOusbey
  56. 56. The process of aligning your offering with searcher intent • Learn what the user is expecting to experience Keyword Research @Distilled @RobOusbey
  57. 57. Keyword Research @Distilled @RobOusbey
  58. 58. Keyword Research @Distilled @RobOusbey
  59. 59. Keyword Research @Distilled @RobOusbey
  60. 60. Let’s get to some more troublesome parts
  61. 61. Web Apps @Distilled @RobOusbey
  62. 62. Web Apps https://www.itailor.com/designshirts @Distilled @RobOusbey
  63. 63. Web Apps www.itailor.com/designshirts custom shirts design a dress shirt @Distilled @RobOusbey
  64. 64. www.itailor.com/designshirts custom shirts design a dress shirt slim fit shirts blue checked shirt french cuff dress shirt ? www.itailor.com/?? @Distilled @RobOusbey Web Apps
  65. 65. www.itailor.com/slim-fit/ slim fit shirts blue checked shirt french cuff dress shirt www.itailor.com/checked/blue www.itailor.com/dress-shirt/french-cuffs Slim-fit shirts Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque. ● penatibus et magnis ● dis parturient montes ● nascetur ridiculus mus. Checked shirts in blue Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque. ● penatibus et magnis ● dis parturient montes ● nascetur ridiculus mus. Dress shirt with french cuffs Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque. ● penatibus et magnis ● dis parturient montes ● nascetur ridiculus mus. @Distilled @RobOusbey Web Apps
  66. 66. Big Landing Pages @Distilled @RobOusbey
  67. 67. www.ipsum.com/recruiting/ All About Recruiting Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque. ● penatibus et magnis ● dis parturient montes ● nascetur ridiculus mus. College Recruitment Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque. Hiring Veterans Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque. Inclusive Practices Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque. @Distilled @RobOusbey Consolidated Pages
  68. 68. www.ipsum.com/recruiting/ Recruitment Hub Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoqu Graduate Recruitment Hiring Veterans Inclusive Hiring Practices www.ipsum.com/college-recruitment/ www.ipsum.com/hiring-veterans/ www.ipsum.com/includsive-practices/ Graduate Recruitment Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque. ● penatibus et magnis ● dis parturient montes ● nascetur ridiculus mus. Hiring Veterans Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque. ● penatibus et magnis ● dis parturient montes ● nascetur ridiculus mus. Inclusive Hiring Practices Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque. ● penatibus et magnis ● dis parturient montes ● nascetur ridiculus mus. @Distilled @RobOusbey Consolidated Pages
  69. 69. We can make them work for SEO, with the caveats: You must be aiming to create the”best page on the internet” • You should have some chance at ranking for the head term • Treat it like a topic hub if necessary @Distilled @RobOusbey Long Landing Pages
  70. 70. Long Landing Pages
  71. 71. @Distilled @RobOusbey Long Landing Pages
  72. 72. Number of unique linking domains over time. Data via: Majestic.com @Distilled @RobOusbey Long Landing Pages
  73. 73. Infinite Scroll Webpages @Distilled @RobOusbey
  74. 74. www.ecom.com/category/lbd/ Black Dresses Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque.. @Distilled @RobOusbey Infinite Scroll Pages
  75. 75. www.ecom.com/category/lbd/ Black Dresses Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque.. @Distilled @RobOusbey Infinite Scroll Pages
  76. 76. www.ecom.com/category/lbd/ Black Dresses Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque.. @Distilled @RobOusbey Infinite Scroll Pages
  77. 77. www.ecom.com/category/lbd/ Black Dresses Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque.. These products are discoverable & indexable All these other products could have problems. @Distilled @RobOusbey Infinite Scroll Pages
  78. 78. We can make them acceptable for SEO Make it a ‘progressive enhancement’ @Distilled @RobOusbey Infinite Scroll Pages
  79. 79. www.ecom.com/category/lbd/ Black Dresses Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque.. Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 1 Show Google the version with pagination links Page 4 @Distilled @RobOusbey Infinite Scroll Pages
  80. 80. www.ecom.com/category/lbd/ Black Dresses Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque.. Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 1 Show Google the version with pagination links 2 Mark these up with rel = prev/next, and use canonical tags Page 4 @Distilled @RobOusbey Infinite Scroll Pages
  81. 81. www.ecom.com/category/lbd/ Black Dresses Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque.. Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 1 Show Google the version with pagination links 2 Mark these up with rel = prev/next, and use canonical tags Page 4 3 Allow capable browsers to replaces the pagination buttons with the infinite scrolling effect @Distilled @RobOusbey Infinite Scroll Pages
  82. 82. www.ecom.com/category/lbd/ Black Dresses Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque.. Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 1 Show Google the version with pagination links 2 Mark these up with rel = prev/next, and use canonical tags Page 4 3 Allow capable browsers to replaces the pagination buttons with the infinite scrolling effect 4 Don’t overlook the power of sitemaps for discovery & indexation as well @Distilled @RobOusbey Infinite Scroll Pages https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/1663744
  83. 83. Mega Navigation @Distilled @RobOusbey
  84. 84. @Distilled @RobOusbey Mega Navigation
  85. 85. Encourages crawlers to discover / index lots of pages. Strong control over internal anchor text. @Distilled @RobOusbey Mega Navigation
  86. 86. But it creates a very flat architecture. Are all these pages equally valuable? Are users really going to explore this far? @Distilled @RobOusbey Mega Navigation
  87. 87. The ideal main nav will: Be as complex as it needs to be, but no more • Show which pages really are most important • Help users find the best pages, on-site and in search @Distilled @RobOusbey Mega Navigation
  88. 88. On Page Markup & Targeting @Distilled @RobOusbey
  89. 89. The Gizmo 5000 Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque.. A popular alternative to the the Gadget 900 Pellentesque maximus lorem nec convallis lobortis. Aliquam Gizmo 5000 cursus elit nec metus eleifend, eget consectetur velit commodo. ★★★★☆ based on 42 reviews www.techstore.com/product/gizmo-5000 @Distilled @RobOusbey Markup & Targeting
  90. 90. The Gizmo 5000 Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque.. A popular alternative to the the Gadget 900 Pellentesque maximus lorem nec convallis lobortis. Aliquam Gizmo 5000 cursus elit nec metus eleifend, eget consectetur velit commodo. ★★★★☆ based on 42 reviews www.techstore.com/product/gizmo-5000 Things that impact the user experience: Keywords in headings • Images • Keywords in body copy • Ratings & Reviews @Distilled @RobOusbey Markup & Targeting
  91. 91. The Gizmo 5000 Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque.. A popular alternative to the the Gadget 900 Pellentesque maximus lorem nec convallis lobortis. Aliquam Gizmo 5000 cursus elit nec metus eleifend, eget consectetur velit commodo. ★★★★☆ based on 42 reviews www.techstore.com/product/gizmo-5000 Things that impact the user experience: Keywords in headings • Images • Keywords in body copy • Ratings & Reviews Things that the users can’t see: Keywords in title tag • Keywords in URL • Meta description • OG Tags • Image alt tags • Schema markup @Distilled @RobOusbey Markup & Targeting
  92. 92. @Distilled @RobOusbey Markup & Targeting
  93. 93. @Distilled @RobOusbey Markup & Targeting
  94. 94. Title tag ‘BreadcrumbList’ Markup ‘Offer’ Schema Meta description Table formatting ‘Name’ Markup in json-ld ‘AggregateRating’ schema @Distilled @RobOusbey Markup & Targeting
  95. 95. www.google.com/search?q=college+rankings Lists, tables and paragraphs can all appear here, but rely on appropriate markup on your site. (Among other things) @Distilled @RobOusbey Markup & Targeting https://getstat.com/blog/featured-snippets/ https://moz.com/blog/featured-snippets-from-start-to-finish
  96. 96. @Distilled @RobOusbey Markup & Targeting https://getstat.com/blog/featured-snippets/ https://moz.com/blog/featured-snippets-from-start-to-finish www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2015/10/value-un...
  97. 97. Testing
  98. 98. Ranking Problem Algo change Read some article Typical SEO Process @Distilled @RobOusbey
  99. 99. Ranking Problem Algo change Read some article Make a proposal for SEO changes Typical SEO Process @Distilled @RobOusbey
  100. 100. Ranking Problem Algo change Read some article Make a proposal for SEO changes Debate it for a while Typical SEO Process @Distilled @RobOusbey
  101. 101. Ranking Problem Algo change Read some article Make a proposal for SEO changes Debate it for a while Get asked to justify changes and estimate improvements Typical SEO Process @Distilled @RobOusbey
  102. 102. Ranking Problem Algo change Read some article Make a proposal for SEO changes Debate it for a while Get asked to justify changes and estimate improvements Typical SEO Process @Distilled @RobOusbey
  103. 103. Ranking Problem Algo change Read some article Make a proposal for SEO changes Debate it for a while Get asked to justify changes and estimate improvements Proposed changes added to development queue Typical SEO Process @Distilled @RobOusbey
  104. 104. Ranking Problem Algo change Read some article Make a proposal for SEO changes Debate it for a while Get asked to justify changes and estimate improvements Proposed changes added to development queue Changes implemented Typical SEO Process @Distilled @RobOusbey
  105. 105. “You don't use science to show that you're right. You use science to become right.” Randall Munroe
  106. 106. A New Approach @Distilled @RobOusbey
  107. 107. A New Approach @Distilled @RobOusbey
  108. 108. A New Approach @Distilled @RobOusbey
  109. 109. A New Approach @Distilled @RobOusbey
  110. 110. A New Approach @Distilled @RobOusbey
  111. 111. A New Approach @Distilled @RobOusbey
  112. 112. A New Approach @Distilled @RobOusbey
  113. 113. A New Approach @Distilled @RobOusbey
  114. 114. A New Approach @Distilled @RobOusbey
  115. 115. A New Approach @Distilled @RobOusbey
  116. 116. This is the graph we really care about @Distilled @RobOusbey
  117. 117. The ‘fans’ show margin of error @Distilled @RobOusbey
  118. 118. The test is significant when the fan crosses zero @Distilled @RobOusbey
  119. 119. In this case, it happened here: @Distilled @RobOusbey
  120. 120. 1. Adding ALT tags 2. Removing SEO category text 3. Using JS to show content 4. Adding structured data
  121. 121. 1.Adding ALT tags 2. Removing SEO category text 3. Using JS to show content 4. Adding structured data
  122. 122. “ALT tags on images are good for SEO” - Established Wisdom @Distilled @RobOusbey
  123. 123. We found adding ALT tags to images had no effect @Distilled @RobOusbey
  124. 124. 1. Adding ALT tags 2.Removing SEO category text 3. Using JS to show content 4. Adding structured data
  125. 125. How does SEO text on category pages perform? @Distilled @RobOusbey
  126. 126. E-commerce site #1 - No effect @Distilled @RobOusbey
  127. 127. E-commerce site #2: 3.1% increase in organic sessions @Distilled @RobOusbey
  128. 128. 1. Adding ALT tags 2. Removing SEO category text 3.Using JS to show content 4. Adding structured data
  129. 129. “We can render Javascript!” - Google @Distilled @RobOusbey
  130. 130. Javascript DisabledJavascript Enabled What happens if your content is only visible with Javascript? @Distilled @RobOusbey
  131. 131. Making the content visible increased organic sessions by 6.2% @Distilled @RobOusbey
  132. 132. 1. Adding ALT tags 2. Removing SEO category text 3. Using JS to show content 4.Adding structured data
  133. 133. These category pages had lots of images and not much text @Distilled @RobOusbey
  134. 134. Add structured data to the category pages @Distilled @RobOusbey
  135. 135. Organic sessions increased by 11% @Distilled @RobOusbey
  136. 136. DistilledODN.com @Distilled @RobOusbey
  137. 137. Thank you! distilled.net/blog distilled.net/odn bit.ly/RobIGX Rob Ousbey rob.ousbey@distilled.net @RobOusbey  free content & resources  SEO testing platform  leave your feedback  your new SEO friend

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