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SEO & UX: So Happy Together


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When SEO and UX practices are combined, the results can be extraordinary. Rand walks through how the practices have evolved to have far more combined value than tensions and tradeoffs, and some ways for each to learn from the other.

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SEO & UX: So Happy Together

  1. Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish | SEO & UX: So Happy Together How to combine the practices of user experience and SEO for greater shared value, traffic, and visitor satisfaction
  3. Once upon a time… SEO and UX were enemies (sorta).
  4. SEO: Keywords Everywhere!
  5. UX: Gah! My eyes… They burn!
  6. SEO: Jam in the Links & Text!
  7. UX: Oh god… It’s horrible!
  8. SEO: Static HTML only
  9. UX: But, we could do so much more…
  10. As search engines evolved, UX & SEO converged
  11. Goals of Modern SEO: #1: Drive high quality traffic from search engines #2: Help understand what searchers are seeking #3: Identify missed opportunities to influence searchers #4: Positively impact brand reputations in search #5: Create long-term value with minimal risk
  12. Goals of Modern UX: #1: Help users accomplish their tasks easily & enjoyably #2: Help organizations w/ their user-influencing goals #3: Positively impact access & reach for every potential user #4: Improve desirability, credibility, findability, & usability #5: Uncover potential needs & fulfill them Source
  13. In 2017, Google’s ranking inputs bolster, rather than compete with, UX priorities
  14. Search Engine Ranking Inputs Accessibility ContentRelevance SearchQueryKeywordUse ExternalLinks VisitorEngagement Site&URLStructure BrandMentions&Citations CTR+Pogo-Sticking InternalLinks Outlinks SpamAnalysis MobileFriendliness PageLoadSpeed HTTPS Temporal/SeasonalFactors Thin/Duplicate Content Strong Influence: Some Influence:
  15. Accessibility C’mon Google…
  16. Content Relevance Phrasing like “differences between” Words like “tatami,” “yukata,” “onsen,” “kaiseki” and “Japanese”
  17. Search Query Keyword Use For most search queries, using the searcher’s language still helps
  18. External Links
  19. Visitor Engagement
  20. Site & URL Structure Subdomain Root Domain Subfolder Totally unnecessary subfolder Page
  21. Brand Mentions & Citations The brands most talked about on the web usually rank highest
  22. CTR + Pogo-Sticking If many searchers click #2, then click back & choose a different result, Google may not rank LuckyPeach as well in the future
  23. Internal Links
  24. Outlinks Outlinks not only help users, but are correlated w/ more inlinks & higher rankings.
  25. Spam Signals
  26. Mobile Friendliness Source
  27. Page Load Speed Source
  28. HTTPS Source
  29. Temporal Factors QDF (Query Deserves Freshness) biases Google to rank recent content higher
  30. Accuracy Factors Uh oh… Source
  31. Phew!
  32. Thin/Duplicate Content Google filters duplicates, and may depress rankings of sites w/ lots of thin or useless content
  33. How can UX professionals get more value from SEO?
  34. 1) Recognize Google is Often the First Point of Navigation to Your Site Source
  35. You Can Control the Brand’s Experience Here with SEO
  36. 2) Serve People the Content They Want Keyword research tells us what people are actually seeking, and how they’re looking for it.
  37. The relative volume & phrasing with which people search for varying queries can lead us to better serve their needs. Via Moz’s Keyword Explorer
  38. e.g. If you’re offering “bartending certification,” but people search 10X more often for “bartending classes” & “schools,” might be time to update your language.
  39. 3) Serve Content in the Ways People Want
  40. Google only shows these different types of results when they get decent levels of interaction.
  41. 4) Use SEO to Help Make the Case for UX
  42. 5) Google Uses User, Usage, & Engagement Data to Determine How to Rank Content I hate bullet points, but this slide from Google Search Engineer Paul Haahr, shows how clicks are used to grade performance Via How Google Works on Slideshare
  43. How can SEO professionals get more value from UX?
  44. Just saying!
  45. 1) Find & Remove Points of Friction Via
  46. 2) Eliminate Content that Fails to Help Whoa! Either the content or the UX needs some serious help…
  47. Broad search Narrower search Even narrower search Website visit Website visit Brand search Social validation Highly-specific search Type-in/direct visit Completion of Task 3) Enable the Searcher’s Full Journey
  48. Broad search All the sites (or answers) you probably would have visited/sought along that path Completion of Task This is Google’s Ultimate Goal:
  49. If Google sees that many people who perform these types of queries:
  50. Eventually end their queries on the topic after visiting Ramen Rater… The Ramen Rater
  51. They might use the clickstream data to help rank that site higher, even if it doesn’t have traditional ranking signals
  52. UX Research Can Uncover Exactly This! Via Marta Fioni @Prezi
  53. 4) Balance UX and Conversion Goals Via Craig Kistler
  54. Managing Tensions & Tradeoffs Between SEO & UX… (thankfully, there aren’t very many)
  55. Keyword Use vs. Natural Language
  56. Great vs. Done… Source
  57. Consolidation vs. Segmentation SEO best practices dictate that only a single page be indexable for a single keyword target & searcher intent. But there may be UX reasons to have multiple pages serving the same or similar user intent
  58. Internal Linking & Navigation Source There may be SEO reasons to link that aren’t as useful or high priority for users.
  59. Search Engine-Parseable Content
  60. Source
  61. Because Google can’t parse the interactive elements of the page, 538 misses out on this featured snippet opportunity 
  62. For every bit of tension, there’s 10X more opportunity when UX & SEO work together
  63. So Happy Together!The only one for me is you… And you for me…
  64. So happy together!
  65. Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish |