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Technical SEO vs. User Experience - Bastian Grimm, Peak Ace AG

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My kick-off talk for a webinar titled "Technical SEO vs. UI/UX" which featured a panel of speakers discussing if and how SEO should work (more closely) together with UX. Enjoy!

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Technical SEO vs. User Experience - Bastian Grimm, Peak Ace AG

  1. 1. Are we designing for algorithms – or humans? Technical SEO vs UI/UX Bastian Grimm, Peak Ace AG | @basgr
  2. 2. I have a confession to make…
  3. 3. I am really, really old!
  4. 4. pa.ag@peakaceag5 When I started in SEO, Google looked like this: This was end of the ‘90s, and Google! Was! Excited! To! Be! Here!
  5. 5. pa.ag@peakaceag6 And search result pages used to look like this: That was a bit later, around 2006-2007
  6. 6. pa.ag@peakaceag7 Back then I used to explain SEO to C-suites like this: 1. Build an (optimised) site that is easy for crawlers to understand, plain and simple HTML wins! 2. New content daily (quantity over quality, as long as it’s read- able text it’ll do!) 3. Most importantly: links, lots of links! Quality doesn’t matter - a link is a link, isn’t it?
  7. 7. At the time, I honestly couldn’t have cared less about a site delivering a decent experience…! UX? Never heard of her.
  8. 8. It had to be good, when it was ranking highly – right!?
  9. 9. Well… things change.
  10. 10. pa.ag@peakaceag11 In a presentation in 2015, I used a slide like this:
  11. 11. pa.ag@peakaceag12 Or this to explain “known principles” – also for SEO:
  12. 12. Some UX trends really made me mad though!
  13. 13. pa.ag@peakaceag14 Seriously, these trends could get insanely annoying:
  14. 14. Google started pushing various topics in parallel…
  15. 15. pa.ag@peakaceag16 How Google's focus on machine learning is changing SEO “Will time-on-site (ToS) become the most important KPI?” (that was back in 2018) Source: https://pa.ag/2Zeem5t In my perception, Google uses a combination of several metrics (whose individual weighting cannot be precisely determined from the outside), e.g. bounce rate, click- through rate and views-per-session - and these have very different effects depending on the vertical.
  16. 16. But there is more…
  17. 17. For me, there is nothing worse than having to wait for anything to load! I'm really impatient
  18. 18. GDPR is actually pretty cool!
  19. 19. pa.ag@peakaceag20 USA Today created a super fast GDPR-compliant domain 500 vs 34 requests, 140 vs 0 JS files, 6 vs 1 CSS, 5.01 MB vs 356 KB in size, etc. EU US Start Render 0.300 sec 1.700 sec First Interactive 0.345 sec 3.604 sec Load Time 0.995 sec 19.26 sec Speed Index 443 8,792 Total Requests 34 859 Bytes in 356 KB 5,092 KB
  20. 20. pa.ag@peakaceag21 Your users’ expectations are clear: Obviously, slow page loading time is a major factor in page abandonment. According to a Nielsen report, 47% of people expect a website to load within two seconds, and 40% will leave a website if it does not load fully within three seconds.
  21. 21. Fast loading time plays an important role in overall user experience! “Performance = user experience”
  22. 22. pa.ag@peakaceag23 Revisited: page speed (load time) is a ranking factor Source: https://pa.ag/2iAmA4Y | https://pa.ag/2ERTPYY
  23. 23. pa.ag@peakaceag24 Highlighting great user experiences on the mobile web Fast page labelling is now available in Chrome 85 (currently only Chrome for Android) Source: https://pa.ag/31CChgi "Fast page" labelling may badge a link as fast if the URL (or URLs like it) have been historically fast for other users. When labelling, historical data from a site’s URLs with similar structure are aggregated together. Historical data is evaluated on a host- by-host basis when the URL data is insufficient to assess speed or is unavailable, for example, when the URL is new or less popular.
  24. 24. pa.ag@peakaceag25 User experience to become a Google ranking factor Core Web Vitals to evaluate perceived user- as well as page experience Source: https://pa.ag/3irantb Google announced a new ranking algorithm designed to judge web pages based on how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page. That means if Google thinks your website users will have a poor experience on your pages, Google may not rank those pages as highly as they are now i
  25. 25. pa.ag@peakaceag26 So, maybe it’s not that much of a debate? We (sometimes) do certain things for search engines, but they (almost always) require those things because they have learned it actually is what their users want.
  26. 26. What do you think? Is it still one or the other - or not so much anymore? Let‘s discuss!