The Unbreakable Connection Between SEO and User Experience

Search engine optimization and user experience are interconnected because search engines value user experience. Many of their algorithm updates aim to improve user experience, after all. Why do you think Google started penalizing sites for keyword stuffing? Searchers were frustrated that irrelevant content was showing up when they entered a search query. Continue reading for a more thorough explanation of how SEO and user experience are related.

Site Load Time Affects User Experience and SEO

If you're searching for a good chocolate cake recipe or information on how to motivate employees, do you want to land on a laggy, slow-loading website? Of course not. You will become annoyed with how slow it is and return to the first page of Google to find the information you seek elsewhere. There are so many websites out there that you usually don't need to tolerate slow sites to gather needed information.

Your customers feel the same way! They don't want to be on a website that takes too long to load and causes problems on their device. They want access to the information they need as quickly as possible.

Therefore, the site load time of your website is important for both SEO and user experience. Google knows that searchers want quickly loading websites, so they have included site load time in their ranking algorithm. You can test your website's load time free with Pingdom and PageSpeed Insights.

Your Site Must Be Easy to Navigate and Read on Mobile

As reported by Google, mobile traffic surpassed desktop traffic in 2015. This means that more searches are coming from mobile devices than desktop. If your site is not easy to navigate and read on a mobile device, then most of your mobile traffic won't stay on your site for long. Google will stop ranking your website in mobile search as well if it's not mobile-friendly. Although Google doesn't currently penalize websites in desktop search for not being mobile-friendly, you can still feel the effect of not having a mobile-friendly site because those users leaving your site too quickly will have a negative impact on your SEO.

Relevant to the Search Query

Another way SEO and user experience are closely related is your content must be relevant to the search query. If a searcher lands on a page of your website that doesn't answer their question or provide the information they were seeking when they typed a keyword into Google, then they will most likely hit the back button. Google's algorithm pays attention to this signal when ranking content. The fewer people who immediately leave your site, the better your SEO will be.

Clickback Rate and Bounce Rate

Your website should have low clickback and bounce rates because they are ranking factors in Google and reflect the quality of user experience. A clickback occurs when a website visitor immediately leaves your site without taking time to read the content. Possible reasons for clicking back include lack of trust (poor website design), slow load time, and difficulty reading the content.

Bounce rates, on the other hand, mean that a person left your site without clicking to another page on it. Perhaps the visitor took the time to read your article despite lack of trust or a slow load time, but decided to leave afterwards. Though they may have been happy with your content before leaving, you still want to retain as many visitors as possible as a business owner.


User experience and SEO are inseparable because Google strives to consistently improve its service for searchers. Internet users want to quickly find what they're looking for without being annoyed, spammed, or pointed in the wrong direction. Therefore, Google regularly thinks about how to improve their algorithm to ensure only the best content that solves customer problems based on the search query shows up on the first page.

Contact us to learn more about improving your SEO and user experience.