Finding a balance between UX and SEO

SEO or search engine optimisation is all about optimising a page and making it easier for the search engine to recognise and appropriately position the page. UX or user experience is all about providing every page visitor with good content and an excellent overall experience. SEO is about making things simpler for the machine, while UX focuses on making things simpler for human readers.

  • SEO and UX design might look like contrasting fields. However, it’s crucial to find the right balance between the two to stand out.
  • SEO attracts people to the website and helps branding. UX focuses on end-users’ interaction with the brand and aims at retaining them.
  • Some tips include moderating the content length, investing in keywords research, optimizing websites for mobile devices, paying attention to page speed and site navigation.

What is SEO and why does it matter?

SEO is all about fine-tuning various aspects of your web page such that the search engines can easily recognise the site for relevant searches.

  • SEO is critical when it comes to building traffic, especially organic traffic.
  • SEO is indispensable for branding
  • Most people trust the sites that appear listed on the first page of search results. So, with an optimised site, you make your site more credible.
  • With solid SEO strategies for your site, without paying for ad listings, you would be able to get your site listed above your competition, to capture the audience’s attention. Organic traffic, in turn, is a way to build a sustainable business.

What is UX and why does it matter?

UX or user experience includes the end-user’s interaction with your company, its product, and its services. Good user experience is almost invisible.

  • UX helps your website or business stand out in a competitive environment.
  • Good user experience can drastically improve the conversion rates on any site.
  • User experience has the most substantial influence on user retention. To help you maintain a loyal audience group, your website must offer a personalised experience for each user.

How to balance SEO and UX

1. Focus on the content — how much to present and how to present

Most visitors might get bored if you have pages and pages of content on your website. So, the key to a good UX is to keep the content brief and to the point. But when the content is too short, search engines might have difficulty understanding and listing your site during searches. What can you do to overcome both these challenges? Ensure that you have ample content on each page, but at the same time, present it in a lively and interactive pattern that any user would enjoy. In fact, most readers love exhaustive articles that give them all the information they need in one place, even if they are long. As long as the content is relevant.

2. Thorough keyword research

The time invested in keyword research would be an excellent investment any marketer makes. Having resourceful content will not matter if you are not able to get to the relevant audience. Consider exploring right up to the long-tail keywords (combination of 3+ keywords) to narrow down your focus and get to the appropriate audience. This will help you improve the conversion rates. Accurately utilised keywords would improve your site, and the right kind of customers would stop by. Keyword research would also help you understand how to frame content without keyword stuffing.

3. Loading times matter for both SEO and UX

Page speed affects the visibility of the site and the conversion rate as well. This shows how it is critical for both UX and SEO. A less responsive site would be a turn-off for the audience and be ranked poorly by the search engines. Ensure that compression is enabled on the page. You should also periodically monitor and minimise redirects. Ensure that the server response time is not bogging down the performance of the page on the whole. Working on all these aspects would help you maintain a good UX while also optimising the page for search engine ranking. The longer the page load time, the higher is the probability of bounces on your site. This would mean less traffic and poorer ranks as well. So, combine the files, work with efficient hosting options and perform compression audits to ensure that page responsiveness is good.

4. Focus on how users navigate across various sections

One aspect that makes UX and SEO inversely proportional is navigation. A complicated site navigation plan with several pages might make it possible to boost your site’s search engine ranks. However, most users would like crisp sites that do not give them too many confusing options to find the page they are looking for. So, if you wish to balance SEO and UX, you should reduce the complications in the navigation on your site. At the same time, make sure that you maintain as few pages as possible. This will make it easier for the readers to know where to find the detail they need. Clarity is the key when it comes to an optimised site offering better UX and performing well in search rankings.

5. Mobile optimised content ranks better and offers a better experience

Mobile experience has been Google’s focus since 2015, gaining more prominance in its algorithm update ever since.

What’s good for SEO is (often) good for UX

SEO and improved accessibility

The World Wide Web Consortium defines web accessibility as the ability of people with disabilities to access, navigate across, understand, interact with and contribute content to a website.

  • it provides a text alternative for search engines (good for SEO)
  • it is used by screen readers in place of an image, allowing the image to become ‘accessible’ to the users with screen readers (good for accessibility)
  • in case of image not loading, it allows for descriptive text to be shown in place of an image (good for UX)

Parting thoughts

UX and SEO do not have to conflict. Over the years, Google’s algorithm has been prioritising that which is better for the user. And it is unlikely to change.




Defining and informing the complex field of user experience (UX) through frequent publication of high-quality articles for experts and newcomers alike.

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Defining and informing the complex field of user experience (UX) through frequent publication of high-quality articles for experts and newcomers alike.