The Sixth and Final Pillar of SEO Success? User Experience

Learn how accessibility, relevancy, popularity, authority, and trust work together to give your audience the best user experience.

by Jason Bagley

Podcast

| 6 min

Jason and Justin are discussing the sixth and final pillar of SEO in our 6 part series – User Experience. 

In the past 5 episodes, the team has discussed Readability, Relevancy, Popularity, Authority, and Trust. All of these add up to User Experience!

Subscribe

Full episode transcript


About the Smart Marketing podcast

Whether you’re a business owner, seasoned marketing professional, or just starting out, the Smart Marketing podcast will help advance your knowledge by sharing the latest in SEO, paid advertising, email marketing, content marketing, social media, and conversion optimization.

Your hosts — Jason Bagley and Justin Lester — bring you regular, actionable digital marketing tips, tactics, and strategies that you can use to improve your marketing.

Jason Bagley is the VP of Digital Strategy for SiteCare and Justin Lester, the founder of Ruby Digital, a digital marketing agency from Cape Town, South Africa.

Subscribe

If you enjoyed listening, consider subscribing to The Smart Marketing Podcast. We’re available wherever you subscribe to your favorite podcasts.


Full episode transcript

Justin:
Jason.

Jason:
Justin.

Justin:
What’s up?

Jason:
What’s up, my man? No. Today’s a good day because today’s the sixth part of our six pillars. It’s the last part, sorry, on the six pillars of SEO… what do we call it?

Justin:
Yeah, six pillars of SEO, yeah.

Jason:
And today’s the sixth one. And what is the sixth one, Justin?

Justin:
Is user experience. So we spoke about readability, relevancy, popularity, authority, and trust, and user experience is a big one. So yeah.

Jason:
Cool.

Justin:
I’ll kick it off, I’ll kick it off.

Jason:
You kick it off.

Justin:
So I think user experience actually starts when you literally land on the search engine results page. So if for instance, your meta title, your result is not captivating enough and not interesting enough, and doesn’t generate enough clicks, then it’s ultimately going to affect your SEO. So think about it like this, right? If I’m Google and I always want to serve my customers the best experience, and I then go and put you at number one, but your title is just not enticing enough or it’s not relevant enough to what the user is looking for. And let’s say number two and three are just getting above average clicks and their title is so much more engaging. Well, Google’s going to go, “Why would I put you at number one? I’m clearly going to get a lot more traffic, it’s going to be a lot better experience for my users.” So that’s actually where your user experience starts.

Jason:
Exactly. I think, as you mentioned around those meta title descriptors, I think a lot of people don’t even focus on that. They have their standard way of just laying out their titles and things like that, and they don’t realize people have to read those results first before they’re actually going to click on them. So that’s super important.

Jason:
The next one I’ll talk about, I think, is site speed. So the experience of your website is also really, really important. And ultimately, and I think we all know this. Like Amazon, I think, and I can’t remember that stat. Maybe you know the stat, Justin. But when Amazon shaved like half a second off their load time, the increase in conversions and the increase in sales annually is in the obviously hundreds of thousands of millions of dollars. And so site speed also, it’s part of the experience.

Jason:
If you get to a site and it’s really slow and it’s not loading, like the actual page you’re trying to get to just doesn’t load, what do you do? You click back. You’re like, “Ah, it must be the website that’s broken,” and head back. So that’s part of the user experience. And once again, Google’s tracking the fact that you’ve clicked, and now you’re right back on their results. So something didn’t work there, and so that starts potentially, they will start penalizing you for that.

Justin:
Yeah. I mean, if you think about it, the reason why site speed makes such a difference is sometimes you’re on a mobile device and the reception isn’t great, and you’ve got the dreaded one bar. And there, those extra seconds are going to make a difference, because our attention span is… I think it’s divided by 50%. It used to be you catch my attention in eight seconds, and I think everyone’s is less now, and it’s getting worse, and worse, and worse. Side speed’s massive.

Justin:
And the other one, clearly is going to be mobile, and this will also come down to your user experience. I know we talked about this quite a few times, and most websites should be, we do still see that… Not that your website is not mobile responsive, because we see most sites are mobile responsive, but it’s about when you develop your website, are you developing for mobile first?

Justin:
So bear in mind that around 2010, 2012, the amount of traffic that Google had for mobile eclipsed that of desktop. So if that’s the case, why are we developing still for a desktop? It should be for mobile, because that’s your priority device. So doing that, then it’s ultimately going to deliver a best experience. So think of it like when you’re trying to optimize for a browser, so many people optimize for things like Chrome and Safari, versus trying to optimize for, rest in peace, Internet Explorer. So why would you do different? Yeah, those things are going to play a big role.

Jason:
And I think that what you can definitely do, and this is in mobile side of things, test your site. So Google has a mobile-friendly test. You just pop in your website. And so search for that, Google mobile-friendly test, pop in your website URL there, and it’ll give you a result on how friendly… How friendly is quite a strange way to think of it. But what the results of the score, you’ll get a score. Your website will get a score, and there’ll be things that you can improve on.

And all those little incremental improvements from, whether it’s site speed, whether it’s your meta tags, whether it’s the title of your pages, and obviously, your site being accessible on mobile and being easy to use on mobile, all count towards that experience that a user has. Not from you just ranking in Google, but just from an experience of somebody going through your website and experiencing your brand and actually having a good experience, which then ultimately gets them to become, whether they become customers of yours, whether they start talking more about your company, sharing. All of those things, they all add up to the user experience.

And often, we forget to put ourselves in our customer’s shoes, in our client’s shoes when looking at our stuff. We’re always looking at everybody else. We’re never analyzing our own stuff enough. And there are always little things to improve, and simple things often. Really, we overlook the simple things. So yeah, that’s what I got.

Justin:
No, no, I agree. But I think that the key takeaway here is we’ve got the other… Just to wrap up on this, these six pillars. If you focused on one, two, three, four, five, and six, and you’ve addressed those areas… I mean, look, the reality is we could go into talk about conversion rate, optimization, and user experience. Those are extensive, but at least you know if you’ve covered the first five pillars, you’ve got user experience, and you can continue to focus on that more, and more, and more. And like I said, there’s a huge amount of depth you can go into, from eye-tracing technology, to drop-off funnels, to user behavior flows. But conceptually, those are ultimately the six pillars. If you focus on those areas, I guarantee you guys, you will rank, you will succeed. You will generate traffic, and you’ll generate quality leads. And that is it.

Jason:
That has been a good six, the six pillars of SEO. I’ve learned a ton from these myself, just talking to you about this, Justin. It’s a good series.

Justin:
Cool.

Jason:
Cool. Thanks for listening, guys. If you enjoyed this episode, you know we need those five stars. That would be amazing. And we shall see you in the next episode, peace.

Justin:
Laters.

Jason Bagley | Vice President, Digital Strategy

Jason Bagley is the VP of Digital Strategy at SiteCare. For more than 12 years, Jason built and ran a highly successful lead generation agency, which SiteCare acquired in 2020. Jason heads up SiteCare's lead generation team, overseeing email lead generation campaigns for global companies.