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UX & SEO - Building a Great Page Experience

UX & SEO - A Guide to Building a Great Page Experience

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) "is the process of increasing the visibility of website pages on search engines in order to attract more relevant traffic" (Source: Google Search Central). Part of the SEO puzzle includes providing a great user experience, referred to as 'page experience'. This blog post dives into the fundamentals of UX and usability, to provide context as to why improving user experience will increase your search visibility.

What is UX & Usability?

SEO, and most marketing initiatives, are primarily focused on driving traffic to websites. A lot of marketers are unaware of the importance of ensuring a great experience once users arrive on the site, or simply don’t have the experience or capacity to focus on this area of expertise.

If you have worked with front-end developers, UX specialists, web designers, or conversion rate optimization (CRO) specialists, you will have experience of their drive to create a great user experience.

This can involve designing mock-ups, wireframes, minimum viable products (MVP), user acceptance testing (UAT), user testing (UT), quantitative and qualitative research. All of these help craft and build the foundations that provides a desirable experience for users.

Thinking about users and involving users as part of the development phase will provide insight that would not have been obtained if this stage was skipped.

To provide a little insight into the detail that a typical user experience design process covers, you can view the diagram below:

User Experience Design Process

Definition of User Experience (UX):

  • As described by the Nielsen Norman Group, “User experience encompasses all aspects of the end-user's interaction with the company, its services, and its products.

As a result there must be a seamless interaction between all the different disciplines, including marketing, graphic design, interface design, and engineering.

Definition of Usability:

  • Usability is often mentioned alongside UX, and it’s important to understand the difference between the two. The Nielsen Norman Group define usability as “a quality attribute that assesses how easy user interfaces are to use. The word "usability" also refers to methods for improving ease-of-use during the design process.

Legal Requirements:

In Canada, and the USA, there are federal and provincial accessibility laws that require specific websites to comply to an agreed set of standards, many requiring websites adhere to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

Web Accessibility (WCAG)

WCAG has been established "with a goal of providing a single shared standard for web content accessibility that meets the needs of individuals, organizations, and governments internationally."

The reason for discussing WCAG is that there is a lot of overlap between web accessibility guidelines and UX/SEO best practices - if you build a website and optimize each webpage you will be creating the best possible experience, one that is inclusive and ensures everyone has equal access to the internet.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 1.3 billion people experience significant disability. This represents 16% of the world population, or 1 in 6 of us (data from 7 March 2023). As a result, if there are a significant number of websites that remain inaccessible, then they are creating barriers to a significant percentage of the population and potential users/buyers.

An Introduction to UX and SEO

Your page experience, outlined by Google, can impact how your site ranks in the search results. This is where SEO comes into play. Below, we will cover how you can evaluate your site to ensure it delivers a good page experience and how to improve performance within the search results. 

The first law of ecommerce

The criteria that Google uses to determine what provides a great page experience can be viewed in the diagram below. Core Web Vitals play a significant role, but so does being mobile friendly, having a secure site (HTTPS), and no intrusive interstitials.

Google Search Signals for Page Experience
UPDATE: March 12, 2024: Interaction to Next Paint (INP) has replaced First Input Delay (FID) as a part of Core Web Vitals. 

Google provides a Page Experience dashboard in Search Console to provide insight into how a website is performing, based on the criteria shown above.

Search Console: Page Experience Report
Search Console: Page Experience Report

This is a great place to start if you are looking to understand how your website is being scored.

How to Self-Assess Your Content's Page Experience

Google has created a wealth of information and data to help support users assess and monitor their website to ensure it provides a great page experience. Here are a few questions Google have provided, and a video, to help expand further on what users should be thinking about when they hear "page experience":

  • Do your pages have good Core Web Vitals?

  • Are your pages served in a secure fashion?

  • Does your content display well on mobile devices?

  • Does your content avoid using an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?

  • Do your pages avoid using intrusive interstitials?

  • Is your page designed so visitors can easily distinguish the main content from other content on your page? Source:

Best Practices for Improving UX & SEO

  • Keyword Research & User Intent

    • Keyword research is essential to understanding and targeting specific terms and phrases that your audience are using. By identifying and incorporating both short and long-tail keywords that match user intent, you can create content that resonates with visitors at various stages of their buyer's journey. This ensures that your content meets user needs effectively, improving both engagement and relevance, which in turn positively influences your SEO rankings.

  • Site Architecture & Hierarchy

    • A well-structured site architecture enhances both user experience and search engine crawling. A simple hierarchy allows users to easily navigate your site and understand where they are by simply looking at the URL. For search engines, a logical structure allows efficient crawling and indexing of every page - reducing the likeliness of 'orphan' pages.

  • Site Usability

    • Implementing clear navigation, such as a well-organized navigation bar and internal linking, ensures that users can easily find what they are looking for.

    • Breadcrumbs are particularly useful for helping users understand their location within your site, especially for those arriving from search engines to a category or product page.

    • Additionally, user-friendly forms and prominent call-to-action (CTA) buttons will guide users towards converting.

  • Page Speed (Core Web Vitals)

    • Core Web Vitals measure key aspects of loading performance, interactivity, and visual stability. Optimizing these metrics will ensure faster page loads, reduced bounce rates, and improve page experience.

      • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): measures loading performance. To provide a good user experience, LCP should occur within 2.5 seconds of when the page first starts loading.

      • Interaction to Next Paint (INP): measures interactivity. To provide a good user experience, pages should have a INP of 200 milliseconds or less.

      • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): measures visual stability. To provide a good user experience, pages should maintain a CLS of 0.1. or less.

  • Mobile Friendly & Responsive Design

    • A responsive design adapts to various screen sizes, providing a seamless experience across all devices. Implementing features like lazy loading and using optimized, smaller-sized images can significantly improve loading speeds on mobile devices. A mobile-friendly site not only enhances user experience but also positively impacts your rankings, as search engines have shifted to mobile-first indexing.

  • On-Page Optimization

    • Page titles and meta descriptions should be concise, relevant, and keyword optimized, helping to improve click-through rates from search results.

    • Proper use of headings organizes content effectively, this helps improve readability.

    • Image optimization ensures faster loading times and better user experience, whilst alt text helps assist those with screen readers.

    • Structured data helps search engines understand your content, enhancing visibility and potentially earning rich snippets in search results.


Building a great page experience is essential for enhancing both user experience and organic visibility. By integrating UX principles with SEO strategies, you can create an optimized, accessible, inclusive, and efficient user journey that meets both user needs and search engine requirements.

At CodeMasters Agency, we specialize in building and optimizing websites to achieve peak performance. Let us help you elevate your digital presence and achieve sustainable growth, contact us to find out more!


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