User experience is one of the most important aspects of web design, but many overlook the fact that UX is not just about websites. User experience as a concept encompasses all aspects of the interaction between the end-user and your company.
This means that you need to develop the right UX strategies for all aspects – from your homepage to your email marketing to your listings on Google. Here we’re going to explore some of the ways you can apply UX principles when researching your customers on search engines.
Why your search engine listing (SERP) matters
Let’s start with the basics: 89% of users begin their research or buying process with a search engine. This means that if you are creating an online shop to sell your services or building a website for a customer: the first contact a customer has with your company is not on the homepage. Before you can excite your audience with a beautiful website design or CTA offer, you need to convince them to click your google link.
When investing in user experience, think carefully about the user journey a user goes through when interacting with a brand. This often means taking into account aspects like the user’s intent, needs, and pain points.
The same principles apply to creating a good search engine listing.
UX on a website is about giving your audience what they need, in an informed and strategic way; the UX in search engine results works the same way.
How to make your search engine listing stand out with UX
So how do you start applying the principles of UX to your Google search results?
Step 1: Show Immediate Value
Providing an excellent website experience often means providing end-users with the information they need as quickly as possible. Imagine you’re designing a landing page; You wouldn’t want your audience to have to scroll forever to find what they need. Instead, you’d make the page’s value immediately apparent.
When creating an image for your search engine listing, you need to take the same approach. This often means there are two things you need to think carefully about your headline and your meta description.
Around 8 in 10 users say they only click on an SEO title if it is convincing. This means that before doing anything else to improve your SEO strategy, you need to make sure that your website title is getting your audience’s attention.
The best titles deliver immediate benefits. These titles tell the audience exactly what they will get when they click on the page. The promise stimulates action and emphasizes the character of the brand.
The great thing about an excellent title for a page is that it doesn’t matter where you rank in search results. Whether you’re ranked number 2 or number 5, your customers will click when they find something they want.
It’s just like having a CTA on a landing page. Make sure your title:
- Are informative – show your audience the value right away
- Are optimized for mobile devices – keep in mind that your audience may not be able to fully see your title on some screens; this means that the first few words are most important
- Easy to read – keep it short, simple, and clear, speak the language of the end-user
Step 2: Build Trust With Your URLs
Trust factors are another essential part of a good UX. When you’re designing a website for a new brand, you know it’s your job to keep visitors comfortable. Even in today’s digital world, many customers will not feel comfortable giving their money or data to a new business.
Within the website you design, you can incorporate trust symbols, reviews, and testimonials to increase the credibility of the brand. With search engines, it all starts with your URL.
Search-friendly URLs that highlight the nature of the page will be trusted by your users. When they click on a “What is SEO” page in the SERPs, they want to see a URL that fits, rather than a bunch of numbers and symbols.
Use search-friendly permalink structures to make your listing appear more trustworthy. This increases the likelihood that your customer will click through to your page and makes it more likely that they will share the link with friends.
Once you’ve decided on a link structure, make sure it stays consistent across the website. If a link doesn’t match the rest of the URLs your audience sees on your website, they might think they’re on the wrong page. That increases your bounce rate.
Step 3: Be Informative in Your Meta Description
To deliver excellent UX on a website, make sure that your visitor can find all the answers to their most pressing questions as quickly as possible. This includes providing the correct information on each page and using the correct navigation structure to aid the visitor’s journey.
In the SERPs, you can deliver the same informative experience with a meta description. While meta-descriptions are often ignored, they can offer a lot of value and help you or your client make the right first impression.
How to create your meta description:
- Use the full 160 characters: make the most of your meta description by including as much useful information as possible in this small space
- Include a CTA: Just as CTAs help guide customers through the pages of a website, they can help get clicks in the SERPs; a call to action like “read here …” or “click here” is useful if you want to improve your search image
- Focus on the value: remember to give your customers a glimpse of what it means to them when they click your listing.
Don’t forget that adding keywords to your meta description is often helpful as well. Not only will keywords increase your chances of ranking higher, but they will also show your audience that this is the right result.
Step 4: create awareness with rich snippets
You have probably noticed that search engine results pages have changed quite a bit over the past few years. As Google strives to make the results more relevant and informative, we’ve seen the rise of rich snippets. Rich snippets are great for telling your visitors where to look.
On a website, you would use design elements like contrasting colors and animation to draw your audience’s attention to a specific area. In search engines, rich snippets can produce the same results. The difference is that instead of telling a visitor what to do next on a page, you want them to click on your website rather than a competitor’s.
When Google introduced Rich Snippets, it wanted administrators to have a way to showcase their best content. Rich snippets are most commonly used today on product pages and contact pages as they can show reviews.
Ideally, if you want to be at the top of search results, you should aim for a full rich snippet. Most featured snippets have both text and an image. It would be helpful to use both by writing great content and combining it with a relevant image.
Step 5: add a variety
As a website designer or developer, you will know that different people are often drawn to different things on a website. Some of your visitors may immediately see a series of bullet points and use them to search for the answer to their question. Other visitors want pictures or videos to guide them. So how can you provide this kind of diversity in the SERPS?
The easiest way is to take up more space on the search results pages. Google offers several different ways for customers to get the answers they want. If you search Google for “How to Use Google Business”, you will see links to blogs, a list of YouTube videos, and a “Related Searches” section.
Making sure you have different content that is ranked for the same keywords can greatly improve a customer’s search engine experience. Oftentimes, the process of spreading your image in the SERPs is as simple as creating different types of content.
To take advantage of video, make YouTube videos for some of your most frequently asked questions or most covered topics. Make sure there is an FAQ page or a way to quickly and concisely answer questions in articles so they are more likely to appear in Related Searches.
Step 6: Authority through Google My Business
Speaking of which, Google My Business is another great free tool that is perfect for improving UX in search results. It enables business owners to control how information appears in search results.
This service allows you to manage a company’s position on Google Maps, the Knowledge Graph, and online reviews. Determining a company’s location is one of the most important things you can do to help your customers find a company quickly. Remember that half of the customers who do a local search on a smartphone visit the store the same day.
Start by setting up the Google Business listing for yourself. All you have to do is hit the “Get Started” button and fill in all the relevant fields offered by Google. The more information you can add to Google My Business, the more your listing will stand out. Make sure, that:
- You choose a category for your business (e.g. “Grocery”)
- You upload high quality and high-resolution images
- Your information is the same on all platforms
- You are using a local phone number for contact
- You encourage customers to give ratings to give your listing a five-star rating at best
Using a Google My Business listing ensures that your audience has all the information they need to make an informed decision about your business before they click through to the website. This means that you will receive more warm, pre-qualified leads and fewer people will stumble upon your website who may not want to buy from you.
Step 7: use structured data markup to answer questions
If you are already using things like rich snippets in your Google listings, then you should plan for a structured schema markup as well. Schema markup on Google tells search engines what your data means. That means you can add extra information to your listings that will guide your customers more precisely to the support they need.
As you add additional schema markup information to your entries, they get that extra fine-tuning to help them stand out from the competition. You could add something like a “product price” to a product page or information about the availability of the product.
Alternatively, you could offer other options to the people who see a search result. This could be an excellent option if you are concerned that some of the people who come across your listing may need different information. For example, you can give Google the ability to list other pages in addition to your search results that customers can “jump” to if they need additional information.
Including structured data in your design process has several positive effects. It makes the job of the search engine easier so you can make sure that you or your customer will rank higher in search results. Besides, it means your web lists will be more thorough and useful.
Since user experience is about giving your audience the best possible experience with a brand, it starts with making sure they get the information they need in search results.
Improve and experiment
Remember, when you start adding UX elements to your search engine listings, it is important to be aware of relevant developments. After all, the needs of any audience can change very quickly. If you pay attention to your customers and which links they click most often, you will get a lot of valuable data. You can use tools like Google Analytics to run A / B tests, e.g. B. Titles, Images, Featured Snippets, and other things that can affect the UX.
At the same time, it should be noted that Google search algorithms are constantly changing. By doing split tests on different sides, you will get a glimpse of what your customers want. However, you need to keep an eye on the latest documentation on Google Search if you don’t want to fall behind the competition.
As with most UX aspects, optimizing your SERP position is not a one-off project. You need to constantly expand your knowledge if you want to show your customers that you can effectively combine UX and SEO.
It’s easy to forget that UX is about more than making your buttons clickable on mobile devices or making sure the scrolling feels smooth. For a designer or developer to deliver a wonderful UX for a brand, they need to consider every interaction between business and customers. In most cases, this means starting with the way a website will appear when it gets listed in the search engines.
If you design your SEO listing well, you not only increase your chances of getting a good ranking. This strategy also improves your reputation with your audience and ensures more meaningful moments in the buyer journey.