Dental marketing, SEO & UI
Can't we all just get along?
Among Digital Marketers, and those tasked with Search Engine Optimization, there is a widely held belief that "Content is King." When we carefully craft content that has the magic ratio of keyword frequency and associated keywords, our hope is to impress upon Google that this particular site will quench the user's thirst for knowledge in regard to a particular query. After all, Google is really just an army of bots that comb through the sites and get signals from those who have optimized the sites for SEO as to what exactly the page is about, right? For many years, Google has been saying that their "mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful" and digital marketers have followed suit by making sure that their sites were optimized to-the-teeth in regard to organizing the data content to please Google's bots, which crawl through servers seeking the definitive answers to any given query.
The world has moved on
With the recent evolution of Google algorithms, it is no longer enough to appease Google's bots and spiders with well marked up content. User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UE) have emerged as strong indicators of importance for the sites that Google deems worthy of first page results for a given query. On the Google Company page, they have a list named: "Ten things we know to be true." The very first item on the list is: "Focus on the user and all else will follow." Using a tool that Google has named "Google Trends," we can see that in April of 2013 the search terms "UI" (User Interface) and "seo" were in a dead heat. Since that time UI has consistently surpassed the search term "seo" for search volume.
In recent years Google has been giving more importance to factors such as:
Rather then to the strict interpretation of a site through its text and image content. Notice that these more recent suggestions from Google cannot be misused nearly as much as it's ranking suggestions in the past (ie. black hat link farming and keyword stuffing).
The rise of the user
It appears that Google is attempting to get away from the cold calculating method of determining Search Ranking though content, keywords, and linking and toward giving more weight to the User's complete experience. Google wants to deliver answers to queries that not only completely and utterly give the best information available, but also gives the user material that is delivered and presented in such a way as to make the User experience as rewarding as possible. Google pays very close attention to such factors as:
|How Long the User Stays on the Site
|How Many Pages the User Visits
|Whether the Users are Getting the Information They are Seeking Without Too Many Clicks Within the Website
|Page Loading Time
Google has made it is obvious that it is time for Search Engine Optimization and User Interface/Experience to all get along. SEO is what brings the user to the site and UI/UX is what keeps them there and makes them satisfied once they have arrived. Google is taking note of which users seem satisfied, and which do not, and rewarding the sites with truly satisfied users accordingly. No longer can the user be ignored and all the attention paid to the site's SEO mark-up. Google has clearly crossed the Rubicon in what some are calling: "The Rise of the User." Google has made it clear how important the end user's experience is, and those who do not heed Google's call will find where Jimmy Hoffa's body is hidden, beyond page 2 of Google.