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Why User Experience Matters – Here’s Why #96

You can get bogged down trying to optimize for the hundreds of possible Google search ranking factors, but far better to spend your time on those we know matter.
One of those is user experience. User experience is made up of things like page load speed, ease of navigation, related resources and more. In this video, Perficient Digital’s Mark and Eric help you understand why user experience is an SEO factor, and what you should do to improve it on your site. You’ll find all links mentioned and a transcript below the video.

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Mark: Eric, we often hear that Google has over 200 ranking factors. Now, are they all important? I mean, that is, should we try to find them all and optimize for all of them?
Eric: First of all, we don’t even know what a lot of those factors are. Of course, we do know some of them, either because Google’s confirmed them or we’re certain enough through extensive testing.
Mark: And some others we can probably make educated guesses about.
Eric: Then, there are who knows how many factors about which we have no idea.
Mark: It sounds like fretting over every possible ranking factor that may or may not be in play isn’t a good strategy.
Eric: No. In fact, apart from the important and ongoing work of good onsite technical SEO for the success of your business, there are really just a few things that should get most of your attention.
Mark: In other episodes of “Here’s Why,” as well as some of the articles you’ve published, you’ve covered two of those, at least. I mean, links to your site, and quality of your content. What’s another key area that we should make a priority?
Eric: After those, I’d invest in improving the user experience of your site and pages.
Mark: Meaning?
Eric: For websites, user experience covers such things as page load speed, ease of navigation, related resources and things like that.
Mark: What’s the benefit of optimizing user experience? And why is it worthwhile prioritizing that?
Eric: Let’s look at some data on just one of the aspects I mentioned, page speed. Google ran a test where they intentionally delayed page load of a high-traffic page, in their search results, by increasing amounts of time to render those results, and then they measured various user responses.
Notice that as the delay of loading increased, user satisfaction went down. But even more importantly, revenue per user also went down, the longer it took for the page to load.
Now, look at that first column again. When I said delayed, we’re talking about a difference measured in microseconds, so our maximum delay here is only two seconds. But notice also that the effect of increased user dissatisfaction with measurable revenue loss began as little as half a second of delay.
Mark: If one of your money pages is taking several seconds to load, you’re almost certainly leaving money on the table?
Eric: Yes! We’re hearing from Google that many of these user experience factors can even affect your SEO directly. Stay with page speeds for a moment. We know that Google is making it a ranking factor already, but they plan to do more of it with the changes that they’re making in the mobile index. And a number of other user experience items probably figure into Google’s overall assessment of the quality of a page.
Mark: Thanks, Eric. For more on why user experience should be considered an essential part of SEO, view Eric’s Moz Whiteboard Friday video here.
Don’t miss a single episode of Here’s Why. Click the subscribe button below to be notified via email each time a new video is published.

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Thoughts on “Why User Experience Matters – Here’s Why #96”

  1. Lol if you can’t figure out how to do SEO on an enterprise site you are truly a pathetic SEO. Try working on middle market with higher expectations and lower budgets.

  2. John, each level of SEO has its own challenges. Our content here isn’t about “doing SEO” on an enterprise site, but more about the kinds of internal challenges (office politics, approval levels, education, bureaucracy etc.) unique to enterprise-level SEOs.

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Mark Traphagen

Mark Traphagen was our Content Strategy Director for Perficient Digital until February of 2019. He has been named one of the most influential content and social media authors in numerous industry listings.

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