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UX for SEO – Tips from Google Documentation

Aug 16, 2021Digital Marketing0 comments

I’ve been reading a lot of Google Search Central lately. It’s not the most exciting read on the web, but it certainly helps me stay sharp in the SEO game. As I read the documentation, some things screamed UX to me. Topics that we have touched on in class that I never associated with SEO, yet they were right there in black and white (or whatever hex code Google is using for font these days). Let’s dive into some of these topics, shall we?

Information Architecture

We know that good information architecture (IA) creates good UX. “One of the most important factors of UX design is information architecture. When a user has an easier time finding what they are looking for, there’s a reduction in the total amount of effort they need to invest in interacting with a product.”[1]

Using Breadcrumbs

Just like Goldilocks, you should leave a trail of breadcrumbs to let your users know where they are and where they came from. Breadcrumbs also give users the ability to navigate backward quickly in the event they get lost. Google recommends using breadcrumbs. The use of breadcrumbs satisfies the principle of front doors, the idea that not everyone will arrive at that page from your homepage or root. In fact, with excellent SEO, you could see many entry points that are not the homepage.

Focused Navigation

The Principle of Focused Navigation states website navigation should be focused, meaning what they contain has more importance than how they look. Turning to Google, they echo this statement: Controlling most navigation from page to page on your site through text links makes it easier for search engines to crawl and understand your site.[2]. Don’t overcomplicate things with your navigation. The simpler the better. Users are familiar with text navs, and light design. Think Honda Accord, not Tesla for website navigation design.

Building Trust

Simply plastering “We’re trustworthy” on a homepage will get you nowhere with users; in fact, it would likely have the opposite effect. Good UX builds trust into the experience subtly. One of the easiest ways to do this is to make sure your site is HTTPS. Google recommends that websites use HTTPS rather than HTTP to improve user and site security. Sites that use HTTP can be marked as “not secure” in the Chrome browser.[3]

Another subtle way to build trust is by showcasing your clients and awards. If the user sees your business has helped businesses’ they are interested in and familiar with, they are more likely to buy from you.

(Optimizely, Inc,)

Yet another strategy for trust doesn’t happen on your website; it happens in the SERPs – Google Reviews.[4]

Google offers a review snippet for developers, and if they find valid markup, they could enhance your organic listing with rating stars.

Core Web Vitals

UX has always been important when it comes to ranking with Google. With the addition of Core Web Vitals, the search giant is more up-front about it. “Core Web Vitals are the critical metrics for understanding and delivering a great user experience…” [5]. Read more about core web vitals here.

Google will continue to dominate search, and user experience is only going to become more critical. Be sure you are designing your site with the user in mind. User first design will usually translate to good UX with your brand in the SERPs.


[1] “Information Architecture (IA) | Learn & Explore | Adobe XD Ideas.” Ideas, xd.adobe.com/ideas/process/information-architecture/.Walton, Philip. “Web Vitals.” Web.dev, 21 July 2020, web.dev/vitals/.

[2] “Google Search Central (Formerly Webmasters) | Web SEO Resources.” Google Developers, developers.google.com/search. Accessed 26 July 2021.

[3] “Google Search Central (Formerly Webmasters) | Web SEO Resources.” Google Developers, developers.google.com/search. Accessed 26 July 2021.

[4] “Review Snippet | Google Search Central.” Google Developers, developers.google.com/search/docs/data-types/review-snippet. Accessed 26 July 2021.

[5] Walton, Philip. “Web Vitals.” Web.dev, 21 July 2020, web.dev/vitals/.

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