In the good old days, SEO was easy. We filled a page full of keywords, keywords, and we were ranked number one on all those keywords. Today, we are implementing complex page trees: semantic e-commerce cocoons . Why, because Google takes into account hundreds of factors to determine which will be the 10 best pages among hundreds of thousands of other pages ... How to rank them in its search engine results, the SERPs? Which ones are really relevant , which ones come from authority sites ?
In 2013, seo audits evolved, Google took a step forward in the search for the identification of "quality content" , it also began to seek to respond to the intentions of Internet users, to develop responses to questions. vocal and conversational research to enhance synthetic but very qualitative content. The post-2013 era is marked by machine learning, and by the update of its algorithm called “rank brain”. The most used search engine now seeks to learn the behavior of Internet users.
The analysis of the behavior of Internet users, and the optimization of navigation routes, this is what we call UX, the user experience.
Why is SXO so important today?
Prehistoric SEO with its meta keywords tags is dead. Long live the SXO!
Google has evolved a lot from meta keywords. Today, we have to work on a real web performance: technical, marketing and sales. We cannot do without high quality content, certain technical performance, especially in terms of loading times, and personalized navigation . If you are on an e-commerce site, a good sales dynamic is also an excellent asset.
1. Le SERP : Search Engine Result Page
UX starts in Google search results . Often neglected and misunderstood, the behavior of the Internet user in Google's SERP is nevertheless essential!
Many people think that the CTR is a factor taken into account but when you ask “ Vincent Courson , the delegate of Google France”, his answer is simple:
“This is not possible because we cannot distinguish whether the Internet user is a human or a robot!”.
That being said, we then wonder how to make this differentiation?
What justifies that a web page “almost empty of text but with the function“ reserve your activity ” passes in front of a well structured site filled with texts, translated into 4 languages, for a set of nearly 80 pages.
The answer is simple: the page responds to search intentions with the “book!” Function.
CTR, Click Through Rate: is the click rate an impacting SEO factor?
Click-through rate (CTR) indicates how often users who see your pages in google results (these are called impressions) end up clicking.
Click rate = number of users who clicked / number of impressions
Logically, the CTR is one of the basic measures to evaluate the performance of your pages in the natural, organic results of Google. The higher the percentage of clicks obtained, the better your performance.
This performance indicator in Google Adwords advertising could be an indicator in Google search, but the impossible distinction between robots and humans makes this indicator invalid.
Ranker is good. Generating clicks with a sexy and targeted meta description is better. Next step for merka-tic.com: add rich text snippets and customer reviews.
Is pogosticking an impacting seo factor?
In the context of SEO, the term “Pogo-sticking” refers to the phenomenon whereby a user consults several sites with different URLs offered by the same Google results page . In the case of “Pogo-sticking”, the user quickly returns to the engine results page by using the “back” button of his browser after having seen a single page.
For natural results, if the “Pogo-sticking” behavior on a website occurs too often, it can be interpreted by Google as a lack of relevance or quality of the visited pages in question and ultimately adversely affect the positioning of these pages. .
For each “request” or search of the user, Google already takes into account the average of “pogos”. So, if your website's “pogos-sticking” is far from average, it can end up harming you.
This therefore means that if your page meets the needs of the Internet user, it will rise in the search results.
In the example above: the reservation of a sporting activity meets the needs of Internet users better than simple informational pages.
In practice, Google does not use analytics data or those of chrome ... certainly those of Android since you are connected to your account and that it has more data than those of your research ... but that would require important resources for ultimately a simple adequacy: no return in the serp, the page responds to the intentions of the user!
Google search, like youtube likes to save resources
… And pulls back to you what you have already seen, read, or consumed. Google appreciates saving its resources by offering a response as close as possible to needs. The fact that a user does a lot of “pogos” does not suit him at all. Likewise, if you repeat the request , and you are logged into your Google account and your search history, you will first see the site you clicked on before.
This is normal, he considers that you may have booked or liked this content and that if you repeat the search, it is because you would like to see it again.
You have of course noticed this phenomenon if you listen to music in YouTube. It squeezes what you have listened to. This is the basis of its “free and economical” operation.
If you want suggestions according to your tastes, that requires a greater effort, therefore more resources, therefore a paid service!
“It is with the YouTube Music Premium subscription at 9.99 euros (14.99 euros per month for the family version up to 6 members) that the service takes on its full meaning. The application then no longer displays any advertisements, allows the downloading of music offline, and especially playback in "audio only" mode and therefore in the background. In this, the service comes very close to what Deezer and Spotify can offer. The difference comes from the catalog. Where the latter two are limited to the catalogs of rights holders who have signed up, YouTube Music Premium offers all music published on the video service . This includes music videos, concerts, covers and remixes, but also music that is less known or not widely available from us and which is often excluded from major services. ” Extract from FRandroid
Does “dwell time” also have a seo impact?
The original source of the term “Dwell time” is in marketing. This is the time that a user or potential customer spends in a store looking at a storefront, product, etc. In Google's online world, this is the time between when a user clicks on a search result and when they return to the SERPs .
So it's a user experience-driven metric that combines sessions, web time, and CTR in search results.
It is the same principle as the pogo sticking but it is a longer period of time. There is a period beyond which the Internet user is no longer in research but in navigation, which is very different.
SXO at the heart of SEO strategies
SXO is the alliance of marketing and SEO. Today, structured content for everyone will always be less relevant than designed for a target, a specific profile. We can also deal with a set of targets.
In fashion stores, there are many categories for Men, Women and Children. This principle must now apply to all sites!
In addition, there are not 50 solutions to penetrate a generalist market. We must focus on a niche and become the specialist. The verticality of the specialist thus makes it possible to compete with very powerful but generalist sites. It is the most economical way to get out of the “deep web” to reach the main players in the market.
Extract from the cartography workshop website
Becoming a leader is not that complicated
If you can, be the first. If you can't create the niche you can be number one in! We all suffer from a strong tropism in terms of visualizing success by always looking at others, instead of focusing on who we are, which sets us apart and makes us unique, like our values, our superpower.
What will make its quality is not the quantity of content but their adaptation to the target
This is the whole difficulty of a multi-target approach: it is necessary to produce intelligent and adapted content.
A popular offer that will appeal to the greatest number will often rank better in Google than high-end products without “aggressive” promotional dynamics. The example of Velobecane Electric Bikes is very telling on the request “electric bike” where they are 20th. There is nothing that matches UX on this site except a great sales momentum . It's the basis of an e-commerce site, isn't it?
UX and User eXperience in the website, what is it?
Sherry Bonelli on November 17, 2017 at 4:48 p.m. SEO best practices these days include taking user experience (UX) into account. Columnist Sherry Bonelli explains how SEO and UX work together to help search engines and users.
This new reality means that elements of user experience (UX) have been incorporated into SEO best practices. Is your site easy to navigate? Do you have quality content that makes visitors want to stay and engage? Is your site secure, fast and mobile?
Think of the SEO / UX alliance this way: SEO targets search engines, and UX targets your website visitors. Both share a common goal: to provide users with the best possible experience.
Here are some common website elements that impact both SEO and user experience.
Just as the titles of a printed book make it easier to find information, the titles of a web page make it easier for visitors and search engines to understand and analyze the content.
Headers also help users if they get lost on a page.
Use only one h1 tag on a page - which lets search engines and users know the main purpose of the page. H1s are normally the first piece of content on a page, placed near the top. (Think of h1s as a chapter title in a book.) Adding keywords near the beginning of a topic can also help rank.
The other headers (h2 to h6) should follow the h1 to structure and organize the rest of the page appropriately. The other titles can be used more than once on a page, as long as it makes sense. You don't need to use them all, either - sometimes your content only needs a h1 and a few h2s.
Easy navigation and site structure
It may sound crazy that we are still talking about easy site navigation… but we are. There are far too many sites out there that just don't get it. The structure of your site is not only important to your users, but also to the search engines.
Remember that many of your visitors will not enter your site through your home page. This means that your site should be easy to navigate - regardless of what page a searcher (or search engine) lands on.
Navigating your site isn't the place for fancy popups, a long list of options, hide-and-seek games, or a dead-end place where the user doesn't know how to get back to a another section of your site or return to your home page.
See how health giant Anthem's menu goes beyond the screen - on desktop and mobile - when you click the menu:
With the menu literally filling the entire screen, a user cannot read the content that is below the navigation. This creates a very bad user experience. When people are on mobile devices, chances are they don't have the patience to deal with menus like this.
In addition, proper navigation and site structure can also lead to the appearance of site links in Google search results. Sitelinks can help you take over more real estate on search engine results pages - which means less room for your competition (and hopefully more clicks for you).
Google's algorithm decides which sites get sitelinks (and which don't). They largely base this decision on the structure of a site:
We only show sitelinks for results when we believe they will be of use to the user. If your site structure does not allow our algorithms to find good site links, or if we do not think the links on your site are relevant to the user's query, we will not display them.
I believe that user signals will become more and more a big factor in search engine rankings. Do you have any posts on Google My Business that visitors click on? Are visitors on mobile devices using the click feature to call your business? Happy customers leave you five-star reviews - and do you respond to those reviews?
Although Google has denied that user signals such as time on site or bounce rate are direct ranking factors, studies have shown that there is a strong correlation between these signals and top rankings. In other words: Google sees and knows everything. Every touch point and interaction your visitors have with you (and you have with them) shows Google that users are interested in and interested in your content.
Site speed has long been a ranking factor for Google search, and the company has even announced that mobile page speed (rather than desktop) will soon be used to determine this ranking factor. So not only is it important to have a website that loads quickly, but your mobile experience should also be fast.
Google's PageSpeed Insights tool lets you enter your URL to see any issues your site may be having with mobile responsiveness. PageSpeed Insights measures how the page can improve its performance on both top-than-fold load time and full page load time, and provides concrete suggestions for reducing page load time.
Surprisingly, even large sites with presumably large development and IT budgets have speed issues. See the poor results from the Harvard Business Review site:
Content-rich sites and news sites should pay special attention to speed concerns, as these sites are often viewed on mobile devices for convenience.
When you think of “mobile experiences” speed is certainly a factor, but so is your mobile website as a whole - look, feel, navigation, text, images, etc.
Since Google launched its mobile update in 2015, webmasters and SEOs have had to consider “mobile mobility” as a ranking factor. And now, with the Mobile-First Index slated to arrive in 2018, your mobile site will be considered your “primary” site when Google's algorithm calculates rankings, making a good mobile experience all the more crucial.
Navigation is one of the most important components of a mobile experience - users and Google need to be able to quickly find what they're looking for. Even the size and design of the buttons can influence user interaction on your mobile website. Every element of your mobile website impacts the user experience and directly (or indirectly) affects SEO.
While looking for an example of a local business mobile website, I found the one shown below. For this company's mobile site, more than half of the above real estate is occupied with unnecessary information like huge logos and social media buttons. Plus, their menu is tiny and doesn't even say “Menu” - it says “Go To…” and contains the actual link to the menu on the far right. It doesn't make the experience very user-friendly.
This company would be better placed to remove the clutter from the top of the screen and make its menu, products and services more visible to its mobile users.
Simple, smart design decisions like this will go a long way in making not only your visitors happy, but Google, too!
SEO and UX: A winning combination
Hopefully, you can see how SEO and UX go together in creating a successful website experience for your human visitors and the search engines.
But what do you think? Do you think about the users of your site when you create content? How do you work with your design team to make sure your site provides a great mobile experience for your users? What's your balance between SEO factors and UX factors? We would love to know!
Sherry Bonelli has 19 years of digital marketing experience. She specializes in SEO, reputation marketing, social media, content marketing, retargeting and display advertising, and other integrated digital marketing strategies that help make local and national businesses successful online. She loves to combine digital strategies to get results! Sherry has a Masters Degree in Internet Marketing and is a frequent speaker at industry events and webinars. She is also a guest columnist on leading digital marketing websites. As a SCORE Mentor for the SCORE East Central Iowa Chapter, she enjoys volunteering her time to help small and medium businesses with their digital marketing strategies. Sherry is the owner of Early bird digital marketing, a digital marketing agency that helps companies get noticed on the internet. She is also a BrightLocal local research evangelist.
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