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Peak Ace on Air Episode #18 SEO & UX: best buds or worst enemies?

In this episode of “Peak Ace on Air”, Bastian and Domi look at the relationship between SEO and UX, and whether or not we’re designing for the algorithms or for humans. Here are the main takeaways of Bastian’s presentation:

  • “Back in the day”, so early 2000’s, Bastian used to explain SEO to the C-suite with the following three guidelines:
    • 1) build an optimised website
    • 2) publish new content daily (quantity over quality)
    • 3) get links and lots of them – doesn’t matter if they’re good or not!
    • UX did not even come into it, because sites were ranking regardless of their design.
  • Fortunately, we have come a long way since then. Today, the relationship between SEO and UX is much closer: you should follow the basic usability principles, to make sure your site is easy to read, as this helps SEO. E.g. making things easy to click on is a UX element, but it benefits SEO too.
  • UX trends: don’t just blindly follow them, as they don’t always make sense. For example, everyone rushed to make burger menus when they were in vogue, but they have low visibility on desktop.
  • How Google’s focus on machine learning is changing SEO
  • Page speed: it’s hardly news that people are impatient. So page speed is essential! Example: USA Today made a GDPR-compliant website just for the EU, and the results of the much faster page speed than the US site were striking. According to a repost from Nielsen, 47% of people expect a page to load in 2 seconds, and 40% will leave the site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to fully load. And finally: page speed is a ranking factor!
  • Latest version of Chrome shows “fast page” labels for applicable pages –> could this be coming to the search results pages as well?
  • User experience is to become a Google ranking factor, meaning Google will take the time spent on the site into consideration when assessing a page
  • In summary: search engines “require” us to have certain features on the website, because they have learned what the search engine users want. So, if we are designing something to please the search engines, we are most likely also pleasing the user. Involving UX/UI teams in the content creation process, especially when planning websites and bigger landing pages, is therefore very important.

Link to the full presentation here.

Core web vitals: speed test for CMSs and shop systems are examined in a long study by Sistrix, so here is a summary of the core findings:

  • Fastest websites in Europe are Switzerland, Sweden, Norway and Germany (woo!)
  • Jjimdo is the fastest and Wix is the slowest CMS, and WordPress is close behind
  • Lightspeed lives up to its name by being the fastest shop system, Shopify is only in the bottom half of the list, WooCommerce, a WordPress add-on, is the slowest shop system
  • Programming language is not that crucial for speed (but Argular really is slow)
  • Having an AMP website does not automatically mean the website is also fast

You can read the whole study here.

Structured data testing tool alternatives:

  • Google does not offer this tool anymore, but Sitebuild has created a list of good alternatives for the tool. The guide also shows e.g. what the alternatives can do and the pros and cons of each. Access the guide here.

Google Bot will soon speak HTTP/2

  • Starting November Google bot will be starting to crawl certain HTTP/2 sites. In their Webmasters blog Google explains what that means, why is it happening and how the crawling actually works.

SMX Munich is looking for future speaker talents!

  • The next SMX Munich is taking place at the end of March and they are seeking new talent for their 2021 roster. They have set up a coaching programme for future speakers: our own Bastian Grimm, among other experts, will mentor participants in public speaking and developing their presentation skills.
  • Interested? Apply by completing the application form here.

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