Search engine rankings matter. That’s for sure.
But, they shouldn’t be the primary reason for optimizing your website.
We now know that there are more than 200 ranking factors in Google’s algorithm.
This means that the search engine giant analyzes your website down to the tiniest detail in an attempt to determine whether it’s helpful and relevant enough for particular search queries. However, the purpose of getting your SEO right isn’t a goal in itself – Google’s main idea behind it all is to provide the best experience to its users.
In other words, we can’t talk about improving your SEO separately from UX.
It’s the synergy of these two tactics, also known as search experience optimization or SXO, that will improve your WordPress website and make it more visible in searches, more user-friendly, and more relevant to your target audience.
What Is SXO and Why Does It Matter?
In a nutshell, SXO refers to the experience users have when they’re searching the internet. Google holds it in high regard because this strategy is what makes the search engine more effective and allows it to serve only relevant and useful results to its users.
This means that Google will reward the websites implementing best SXO practices with higher rankings.
Here’s what you should pay attention to in order to improve your SXO:
- Content usefulness. Is your content in line with your audience’s search intent? In other words, is it what they expect to find when looking for an answer to a particular question?
- Website usability. Make sure your website is intuitive, easy to use, and fast, as all this will affect your user experience.
- Findability. Is your content easy to find through search engines? Help your audience and Google find your content by structuring it properly, adding meta tags, and connecting related web pages with internal links.
- Accessibility. Optimizing your website so that it can be accessed from different devices, as well as by people with disabilities, is an important factor.
- Credibility. Visually appealing websites make a much better first impression as people tend to perceive them as more trustworthy. Adding industry reviews and customer testimonials will also make it more credible.
Speed Up Your Website
Did you know that a 1-second delay in page load time reduces page views by 11% and customer satisfaction by 16%?
So, yes, it’s that important to speed up your WordPress website and make sure that it doesn’t take more than 3 seconds to load.
Otherwise, your impatient visitors will be annoyed if your website is sluggish, while Google will limit your exposure in the search results because of poor user experience.
Here are a couple of tips on how to optimize your website for speed:
- Compress your images. Large images can consume a lot of bandwidth. But, you can’t afford to reduce the size of your images at the expense of quality. Luckily, there are compression tools that can minimize the size and keep the quality of your images.
- Streamline your code. Keep your code clean and simple to prevent code bloat and clutter.
- Opt for a fast web hosting provider. Don’t cut corners when it comes to picking your server as an affordable provider or a basic plan can turn out to be very slow.
There are many more ways to increase the speed of your website, but these three are relatively easy and convenient, so try them out first.
Implement a Conversational Chatbot
No matter what kind of product or service you’re offering, the odds are that your potential customers will need some help when it comes to purchasing, setting up, or using it.
And this help should be instant – as we’ve already mentioned, people have become increasingly impatient. Your support reps can handle only one call at a time, and they’re not available 24/7 or on holidays.
By implementing a chatbot, you’ll significantly boost your user experience as your potential customers will get the answers they need without having to wait for an available support rep. It’s worth noting that AI chatbots are capable of automating your customer service while reducing your costs.
When it comes to SEO, conversational chatbots are very engaging, which means that they can significantly improve your dwell time by keeping your visitors interested in your product or service by offering relevant information about it.
Make Your Website Mobile Responsive
It’s already common knowledge that an increasing number of people use their smartphones and other devices to search the internet.
And if your website isn’t responsive, that is, if it doesn’t display well on devices with different screen sizes, many visitors will bounce off and go to your competitors. Just imagine someone unsuccessfully trying to click a tiny, fiddly call-to-action - pretty annoying, right?
As a matter of fact, almost 50% of people believe that if a website isn’t mobile-friendly, the business doesn’t care.
The fact that Google rolled out its mobile-first indexing back in 2019 means that the search engine giant predominantly uses the mobile version of the content for the purpose of indexing and ranking. If your website isn’t mobile responsive, it can negatively impact your rankings.
Structure Your Content Properly
Without superb content that will engage your audience and resonate with them, your website doesn’t stand a chance when it comes to attracting quality traffic and climbing the SEO ladder.
Besides producing high-quality content regularly, you also need to pay attention to how you structure it. Namely, readability plays an important role when it comes to user satisfaction.
To improve the readability of your content, you should avoid the so-called “wall of text” that’s harder to get through. Instead of that, divide your content into smaller segments and paragraphs using subheadings and bullet points.
Multimedia, such as images, charts, infographics, and videos, can be a great way of breaking up the text and giving it some breathing room.
Optimize Meta Tags
Again, creating exceptional content isn’t enough, because it matters how you present it in search results.
Meta tags are snippets of code that help both searchers and Google easily identify what the content on a particular page is about and decide whether that result is relevant for their query.
The trick is in using a compelling language that will encourage your potential visitors to click your result and explore further.
Start by crafting captivating title tags and meta descriptions.
- A title tag is a clickable link displayed in the search results. It can be challenging to condense all the relevant information into approximately 70 characters – you don’t want your title tag to be truncated.
- A meta description is a short paragraph that appears under the title tag, and it allows you to additionally expand it. Use these no more than 150 characters to summarize what the page is about. This valuable real estate is what makes a difference when it comes to whether your potential customer will decide to visit your website or not. What can help you capture your prospects’ attention is addressing their pain points and needs to indicate that they will find the answers and solutions if they decide to click on your result.
- Alt tags are added to image tags in order to provide alternative text describing what’s in the image. This practice helps people with disabilities to better understand the visual elements of your website and is good for your SXO.
It’s obvious that having a great UX and SEO is a must for your WordPress website. All these tips will help you to make Google and your potential visitors happy, which will result in better rankings and more visits.