Digital Marketing

Why is a Quality User Experience an SEO Ranking Factor? – Here’s Why with Mark & Eric

Giving your site visitors a great user experience can actually result in valuable positive signals for search engines. Providing valuable and unique content to your visitors is key to preventing them from leaving, or bouncing from your site. In this episode of Here’s Why, Mark and Eric will explain what it takes to create a truly great user experience.

Digital Marketing - The Digital Essentials, Part 1
The Digital Essentials, Part 1

A compelling digital strategy aligns customer experiences, business execution, and the right technology as the market and your competition constantly evolve. Our Digital Essentials highlight the most compelling aspects of all three to help you react and respond to this ongoing evolution.

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Full Transcript:

Mark: This place is sure nice, but I’m a little hungry, I could go for something to eat. Woah, that’s nice! Hmm, how ’bout a cold drink? How ’bout a COLD DRINK… ahh! Nice! That’s what I call a great user experience. Now, giving your site visitors a great user experience can actually result in valuable positive signals for search engines. Why? I’ll ask Perficient Digital’s Eric Enge to explain in just a moment.
Mark: Eric, what do we mean by a “quality user experience” on a website?
Eric: Great question Mark. There are of course a lot of possible definitions for quality. But here’s an easy way to think about it. Let’s imagine one hundred people come to one of the commerce pages on your automotive site.
They got there by searching on Google for a phrase like auto parts. Now, how many of those people end up being happy with their experience on your page? We all know it won’t be 100%. After all, no matter how good your page is, it won’t have exactly what some people are looking for, and they’ll quickly leave.
Others might like the products, but something is lacking about the page or site that causes a lack of trust, and they leave. The list of what people were looking for on your page might look something like this.
Mark: So, what are some of the reasons a visitor to the page might not be ready to buy?
Eric: You know that’s another great question. It may be several things. Some may be in comparison shopping mode, just looking or researching. Some may not like the way your site looks or find it baffling. Maybe you don’t have the specific product they were looking for, or perhaps they just got distracted by something else and wandered away. Hey Mark! Come back!
Mark: Oh sorry! I got distracted.
Eric: Anyway, my point is that there are many reasons people might leave your page, and not all of them are bad. But you should treat the percentage of satisfied visitors as compared to your competitors as a search-ranking factor.
Mark: Really? Why would user satisfaction be important to Google?
Eric: You have to always remember that Google is a business. They only make money if their users are happy and keep coming back. If people click on a Google result and have a bad experience on the page they land on, they tend to blame Google. That could mean loss of both users and revenue.
Mark: But how would Google even know users had a bad experience with a site?
Eric: Well, we’re pretty certain that Google measures things like how quickly someone bounces back to the search results after clicking on a result. And they probably really pay attention if a person comes back to the search results, and then clicks on something else.
We call this “pogo sticking.” Google can also do a content analysis of a web page and pick up if its too one-dimensional or missing key features that an eCommerce page should have; such as related products or a link to a privacy policy.
Mark: What other elements on an eCommerce page might contribute to a higher quality user experience?
Eric: Well, there are many. Some I could mention include showing related products or categories that anticipate the breadth of the needs someone arriving at your page might have. For example, somebody searching for motor oil might also be looking for oil filters or a funnel. Or a user might need to filter down the choices after doing a broad search.
Mark: Great examples Eric. So search engines are getting better and better at judging what makes for a quality user experience on a page or site.
Eric: That’s right, and that’s one more reason why we need to care more about providing a quality experience for our visitors. Of course, the best reason of all is happy users on your site are more likely to convert, more likely to tell their friends about your business, and more likely to return.
Mark: Well said Eric. Eric has a lot more on how to create a user experience that makes both search engines and customers love your site in his Search Engine Land column at the link on your screen.
Be sure to check out the Here’s Why page on our site for more videos where Eric and I explain the why behind the what of digital marketing. Thanks for watching.

About the Author

Eric Enge leads the Digital Marketing practice for Perficient. He designs studies and produces industry-related research to help prove, debunk, or evolve assumptions about digital marketing practices and their value. Eric is a writer, blogger, researcher, teacher, and keynote speaker and panelist at major industry conferences. Partnering with several other experts, Eric served as the lead author of The Art of SEO.

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Thoughts on “Why is a Quality User Experience an SEO Ranking Factor? – Here’s Why with Mark & Eric”

  1. Interesting script! How about this questions, Hey, I am hungry for ranking or listing my site on first page in SERP. Umm, it could be better questions but not feasible within short time of or on demand. We need lots of efforts. User experience play vital role in this. Looking forward to have any ranking factor explanation in coming videos.

  2. All the points are explained very clearly about user experience and boosting traffic of website, Great source of information. Thanks for en-lighting us with your knowledge, it is helpful for many of us.

  3. Well I totally agree with you that it is a positive signal for Search engine. Moreover your post is really nice and I must say it is appreciable and the video is also good. Thank you so much for this post.

  4. Thanks Eric,
    Great example of quality user experience . For me quality user experience is providing users of your website exactly the same thing for which they have visited your webpage . For example if a user have come to download a file from your site then that file should be there or if a user want to look at the review about the new phone in the market then a trustworthy review should be there for him. I know you know better than me but just sharing my views .
    Thanks for brilliant post
    Regards, Stuart

  5. Hi Stuart – yse, your suggestions make sense. It’s important to address user needs as full as possible, while still maintaining a clean interface where they can readily find things!

  6. Great post full of useful tips! My site is fairly new and I am also having a hard time getting my readers to leave comments. Analytics shows they are coming to the site but I have a feeling “nobody

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