What is website User Experience (UX) and why is it important for SEO?

ux user experience seo

UX and search engine optimisation (SEO).

In the context of websites, User Experience (UX) refers to the overall experience that a person has when visiting a website.

Generally, it encompasses the user’s perceptions, feelings, and reactions as they navigate through a site, interacting with features and functionality, and consuming content.

For obvious reasons, a positive user experience is crucial for the success of a website because it influences user satisfaction, engagement, and the overall perception of the brand, product or service.

10 key elements that contribute to a positive website user experience.

  1. Usability: Websites should be intuitive and easy to navigate with users able to find information or complete tasks efficiently. This isn’t always the case. Intuitive navigation, clear menus, and a well-designed interfaces all contribute to good usability.
  2. Performance: Slow website loading times or delays in responsiveness can lead to frustration and a poor user experience. Users expect websites to load quickly and respond promptly to their actions.
  3. Content:  Content that is relevant, well organised and well written is an essential for a positive user experience.  Website content should be informative and well presented so it meets the readers expectations.
  4. Design: A visually appealing and consistent website design enhances the overall user experience with the website’s colour scheme, typography, images, and layout all contributing to this.
  5. Accessibility: Websites should be accessible to users of all abilities. This involves designing with considerations for individuals with disabilities, such as providing alternative text for images, ensuring keyboard navigation, and implementing other accessibility standards.
  6. Interactivity: Engaging and interactive elements contribute to a more dynamic user experience. It is important that these elements enhance, not hinder, the usability of the site.
  7. Mobile Responsiveness: With the increasing use of mobile devices, websites need to be responsive, providing a seamless experience across different screen sizes. Mobile-friendly design is an important aspect of a positive user experience. Mobile friendly website design »
  8. Consistency: Consistency in design, navigation, and branding across different pages and sections of the website helps users feel familiar and comfortable when using a website.
  9. Feedback and Error Handling: Providing feedback on user actions and effectively handling errors is crucial. Clear error messages and confirmation notifications help users understand the outcomes of their interactions.
  10. Security and Privacy: With security and privacy a growing priority among internet users, visitors to your website must believe their personal information is secure and protected. Clear privacy policies and secure data handling contribute are important in this regard.

Highlighting to Google that your website has been designed to create a positive User Experience appeases their ranking algorithm and, therefore, means you’re rewarded with a higher search engine ranking. Importantly, it ensures your customers have a positive experience when visiting your website, leaving them with a positive impression of your business.

7 reasons how User Experience (UX) affects search engine ranking.

  1. Alignment with User Intent: Search engines aim to provide the most relevant and valuable results to users. Part of a positive user experience (UX) is to ensure that the content on your website aligns with the user’s intent thereby leading to higher user satisfaction and, important, engagement.
  2. User Engagement Signals: Search engines like Google may use user engagement signals (click-through rates, social signals, interactions) to gauge the relevance and popularity of a webpage. A positive user experience will contribute to positive engagement signals.
  3. Retaining Users: When people visit your website, if they have a poor user experience, they are likely to leave quickly. This is considered a high bounce rate. Search engines like Google interpret a high bounce rate as an indication that the page did not meet the user’s expectations. Websites that retain users for longer and have lower bounce rates will be rewarded with a higher search engine ranking.
  4. Low Bounce Rate: A low bounce rate, which is the percentage of visitors who navigate away from a site after viewing only one page, is often associated with a positive user experience. Websites with low bounce rates are generally considered more valuable and relevant, which can influence search rankings.
  5. Dwell Time: Dwell time refers to the amount of time a user spends on a webpage before returning back to the search results.  Based on the user’s keyword search, if they visit your website but return back to the search engines quickly, then Google will consider the content as being irrelevant and invaluable. A positive user experience contributes to longer dwell times.  A poor user experience leads to lower dwell times.
  6. Mobile-Friendliness: With the increasing use of mobile devices for internet browsing, search engines prioritize mobile-friendly websites. A positive user experience on mobile devices, including fast loading times and responsive design, can positively impact rankings, especially with the emphasis on mobile-first indexing.
  7. Core Web Vitals: Google Core Web Vitals is a set of website experience metrics that Google considers crucial for User Experience or user satisfaction.  They measure various aspects of a webpage’s speed load times, interactivity and visual stability. Websites that perform well in these metrics are more likely to rank higher in search results. Google Core Web Vitals »

In summary, search engines like Google prioritise user experience because it aligns with their goal of providing the best possible results for website visitors. Websites that deliver a positive, relevant, and engaging experience are more likely to rank higher in search results and, in turn, attract more organic traffic.


If you’ve still got questions about whether your website is creating a positive User Experience, contact me for advice. I have been building websites for 25 years and have worked with hundreds of small businesses around Australia.  I offer cost effective website solutions that fit with your budget and requirements.

Contact Rebecca Mitchell

No ongoing fees | No lock-in contracts | I do not outsource to overseas contractors