There isn’t just one ‘right’ way to handle search engine optimization, nor a single tool or tactic that will make or break a website.
In fact you have to treat SEO as the living, breathing, evolving beast that it is to have a chance of keeping up with it.
2022 brings with it a number of SEO trends, arguably the most important of which is the increased emphasis on improving the user interface and overall user experience. Let’s examine why UX and UI matter in this context, and what this means for organic optimization going forward.
Testing has been taken up a notch
One catalyst behind the uptick in importance of UI and UX for SEO is that the solutions and techniques used for testing the effectiveness of these facets have improved dramatically.
As this testing guide from Rainforest QA explains, building an effective strategy for putting UI design through its paces is being enhanced through the use of AI-enhanced automated testing, alongside manual methods.
In short, it’s easier to look for and fix usability issues in websites, and the positive impact on search rank that this brings with it makes it doubly recommendable.
Performance is of paramount importance
You might think that with connection speeds getting quicker all the time, and the 5G era being upon us, there was a bit more leeway when it comes to site design from a page load speed perspective.
The reality is that having a fast, efficient website which takes an imperceptible amount of time to load, especially on mobile devices, has never been more vital.
If pages don’t get delivered swiftly, it doesn’t matter how the rest of the UX shapes up, because you’ve stumbled at the first usability hurdle.
Accessibility is in the spotlight
Of course there are different levels of usability depending on the visitor in question, and the modern web is being geared more towards catering to every conceivable audience member, rather than only to those who are entirely able-bodied.
For example, better accessibility practices such as including descriptive alt-text for images so that partially sighted people can still consume every piece of content you publish will also result in SEO benefits.
The same goes for the way you format content. Implementing specifically-tagged subsections of articles augments readability for all, but also helps those with additional needs harness your site.
Content is in the UX category
You might assume by this point that this move to UX and UI being under increased scrutiny is a behind-the-scenes SEO issue. However, the quality of the content on your site is just as important as it was in the past, if not more so.
When someone lands on your site and is disappointed in the content they encounter, that’s a UX concern. So don’t just get things like the formatting right, but also invest in well written, relevant copy.
Likewise you can still leverage keywords, but stuffing content with high traffic terms is no longer a quick ticket to clicks. Instead, making sparing use of long-tail keywords and thinking about satisfying users rather than search algorithms pays dividends in 2022.
The future is user-focused
All of this feeds into the revelation that SEO has reached the point where businesses no longer have to play games to appease the fickle gods of Google. Instead, we’ve reached a stage where it genuinely makes more sense to focus on what’s right for the user, and trust that this will be reflected in a rising search rank.
There are still challenges involved, of course, but it’s freeing to realize that UX and UI taking center stage is good for site owners and visitors alike.