Being a veteran in SEO, we have seen the changes in the SEO landscape over the years. What was once important faded out and what was unheard of became important.
User Engagement is one such factor for an SEO friendly website. But, why did this become such an important factor that even as years go by, it also grew stronger – in fact, is still growing stronger?
The success of a basic Search engine provider lies in giving right answers to the questions that the user asks. But a good search Engine provider would go further more to give not only the correct answer but even more useful information to the question. Here comes the very idea of User Engagement. Thanks to Google’s algorithms which have matured over the years and is recognizing and giving higher rankings to the pages which engages the user effectively.
Having said that, how can one improve User Engagement?
User engagement in simple terms begins with Quality Content – yes, ‘quality’ – in your website and then moves on to the way in which the content is presented.
Before we talk further about improving User Engagement, let’s be clear on what is not User Engagement. As weird as it sounds, in some educational systems quantity of answer sheets was equated to quality – and that was the only one yardstick – Absurd! Similarly, some people do the same with their Websites to impress Google or other search engines that they provide quality. Make sure you don’t do this mistake with your Website. The search engines have a far improved algorithm to figure this out. Our simple suggestion is not to waste time on such efforts.
Improving the User Engagement:
There are 2 major factors that you need to keep in your mind.
- Content Quality: The focus here is to provide apt and precise content related to your business product or service that you offer. More often we have seen websites boast on the history of their company etc. Though it is important to build the trust by such information, the primary requirement of the user is not to hear about past performance.
The pressing need is what needs to be provided
- Is the product available
- Further details of the product
- What is the cost involved
Make sure that this is given crisp and clear. If this is not communicated upfront, you may loose your prospect.
2. User Experience: This concerns mostly the way UI (User Interface) is designed and other effects – like the page loading style or the way the call outs etc.
Keep in mind the below
- UI design can range from colorful complex ones to very minimalist.
- UI needs to be usable
- The user navigation needs to be seamless.
- The user should be able to browse the site with minimum mouse clicks.
- The effects that are used need to be non-intrusive. There is nothing that is more irritating than this!
- The technology used to design the page needs to be in a way that the pages will be loaded pretty fast. Remember – nobody likes to wait!
Some common mistakes:
- Content & UI is out of Sync: Quite a bit of effort needs to be put to make sure both Content and User Experience are kept in sync to make the user engagement effective. We have seen cases where the user experience is awesome with almost nil useful information! The reverse cases are also present, where the content will be very useful for the user and the presentation of the same is so flawed that users wouldn’t want to trust the content or even worse – they may not be able to access the content! Make sure to keep the two in sync.
- Aping UI models: Another common mistake that we have seen is that people tend to ape UI models from a different industry which may be apt for their content. The people in a certain industry likes to see things presented in a certain manner, which may be absolutely a no-no for people in another industry. We don’t need complexly designed websites used by web design companies to be used for an online shopping site. Just because one UI works well for one business, doesn’t mean that it has to work well for any other business!
3. User Engagement & ROI:
User engagement is not only an important SEO factor but very much a Business factor. It is obvious that, unless the users are engaged effectively, the chances are that we will lose them. More than looking it as an SEO factor, we would encourage you to look at User Engagement through your websites as a key business decision that you will make in 2017.
In closing, let us say this – User Engagement is not going to go away in the near future. In fact, we believe, more improvement will happen on this particular factor.
If you have any queries related to SEO and User Engagement, please feel free to get in touch with our team – firstname.lastname@example.org