SEO Is Always About User Experience
The MnSearch Summit was filled with talk about technology getting better seemed to have one theme in mind. Bing, Google, and Apple are trying to provide a great user experience.
When it comes to SEO we should be focused on the same thing. Unfortunately SEO has a history of being some kind of dark art where an SEO professional can make some little tweaks and you can rank for whatever keyword you want.
Lessons In User Experience
During Sean Callahan’s of LinkedIn’s session, he talked about how LinkedIn is using the knowledge of their audience to create and recreate content for better engagement. This has helped LinkedIn to continue to grow as a social network and reinforce their position as a place to improve yourself professionally.
Later Cyrus Shepard from Moz talked about advanced SEO, which was a very clever title. I walked in thinking I was going to learn something about code or some kind of special tweak that will help my clients sites. Instead he focused almost 100% on the user experience. He talked about how MOZ is so devoted to their users experience that they let their competitors post on the MOZ blog.
The Power of User Experience
The point that was made over and over again (and was even made last year by Lee Odden) is that when you focus on the user experience you have already won half of the battle.
SEO is many things. The technical aspects of your site are very important. Search engines need to be able to navigate your site and understand what it is about. But search engines rely heavily on user signals to understand how to rank your site. Providing the best possible experience for the user while having a technically sound website provides you with the best chance at winning when it comes to SEO.
Finally, user experience is heavily related to the quality of your content. This is an area where we can all be better.