At the core of search engine optimization is the creation of quality and unique content that caters to the needs of your target audience while delivering a robust user experience. This is why many summarize the crux of SEO as focusing on user experience .
This, however, presents a dicey situation. More brands and businesses are edging towards the era of ignoring the complicated aspects of SEO and doing what they feel, will translate to improvements in the user experience and an increase in organic traffic.
“There is nothing wrong with treating user experience as the only focus of SEO,” says City Wide SEO SEO Specialists based in San Antonio . “However, this approach, can lead to devastating effects for your marketing as some changes to the user experience can do significant damage to your organic traffic. User experience is a factor considered by Google in ranking but before you go overboard with UX related changes, you need to consider the impact on the technical aspects of SEO”.
UX Changes That Could Lead to Bigger Problems for Your SEO
Combination of Site Pages or Moving to One-Page Setups
One of the easiest holes to get sucked into in the UX drive, is the combination of many relevant existing pages into one long, all-purpose page in a bid to enhance convenience for site users. However, existing pages may already be ranking for various keywords. Removing them and combining them without proper redirects can translate to a loss of rankings and organic traffic. In worst case scenarios, it could take years to fully recover from the damage. So when engaging in massive website restructures that will involve combining or removing pages, consider the impact on your ranking.
Changing page URL formats
If you must change URL formats , you need to ensure a thorough SEO redirect plan. During website updates, it is common for developers to change URL structure to make them look simpler and clutter-free. However, a change to the URL structure tells Google that the page is new. All existing rankings and search history are immediately reset. The only way to maintain the SEO value of the page is to apply SEO redirects from the old URL to the new URL. This is why changing URL formats for websites with thousands of existing pages is dicey and must be carefully planned.
Use of Ajax in Content Delivery
The Ajax technology is a technique in coding that allows asynchronous loading of content with the entire page being refreshed. This leads to a faster page load speed. The end result is robust user experience. However an Ajax page is considered “thin content” by search engines as it can’t be crawled. There are techniques for solving this problem but in some cases, these techniques are not applied.
Changes to On-Page SEO Factors
On-Page factors that can affect SEO include keyword density, internal links, rich snippets, headings and more. When any UX changes are made to a page, it is important to ensure that all of these factors are either unaffected or improved on. This is the only way to avoid massive distortions when the changes are rolled out.
User experience is important. However, it will never truly replace technical SEO. They must work in hand in hand to avoid huge (often negative) swings in SEO results.