Optimizing your web site and blog content for search engine visibility has been important for as long as search engines have powered inquiry on the web, right back to the very beginning. Even before there was an organized industry, pioneering marketing professionals worked out ways to make sure clients with relevant information could connect with users searching the web for resources.
Today, SEO content writing dominates the conversation, providing everything from blog copy to backbone scripts used in the recording of video presentations, but it’s a large part of an ever-expanding content writing. That means appealing to today’s search engine results will require more than just good content writing. So what is the defining feature of SEO as 2021 rushes ever closer? User experience. From relevant and helpful content to providing accessible and fast-loading websites, everything that matters right now comes back around to user experience in the end.
Accessibility and Ease of Use
These two features are often mistaken for one another, but they are separate and vital parts of a whole approach to improving the experience of every person who finds your page in their top search results. Focusing on these aspects of your site design and social media profile ensures it’s a pleasure to interact with your brand, which in turn reinforces the usefulness of your materials and increases the chances that someone will return to find solutions to related issues in the future. That’s the kind of return user you want because they often go on to share and promote key content they found helpful. Some even provide great exposure through positive reviews on apps and their own blogs.
Accessibility Best Practices
When you focus on accessibility, you focus on making sure you take advantage of all the features that allow disabled users to interact with your page. When it comes to media, that typically means anticipating the needs of visually impaired and deaf or hard of hearing customers. Taking advantage of alt text descriptions for images with relevant and keyword-rich content is one of the best practices for web development and has been for some time, and it’s also key to improving user experience for a significant part of the population. On social media sites that don’t provide a field like that, image descriptions in the text of your post or its comments are helpful.
For deaf and hard of hearing users, audio alerts and videos that rely on narrative and discussion require extra accommodation. Combine audio alerts on sites or in apps with visual alerts of one kind or another to meet their needs, and make sure all your video content has captions. If you produce audio-only content like podcasts, consider making scripts available through your blog to provide an alternative method of access to the same content.
Ease of Use Best Practices
Focusing on ease of use means focusing on the design aspects that make reaching your content easy, no matter how it’s found. That means:
- Versatile site design that flows easily into the space it’s given, on screens of any size
- Optimized metadata for fast indexing by web crawlers and more relevant search results
- Fast loading site service that’s consistent across browsers
- Simple, automatically secured connection protocols for user safety and privacy
- Posts to third-party platforms that are optimized for both web and app viewing
As you probably already noticed, ease of use features dovetail a lot with accessibility concerns, especially where metadata and additional content for context are concerned. That’s because they both inform the experience of the user. Accessibility features often benefit a wider user base than predicted, too, because some people simply prefer subtitles alongside audio while they are learning. Similarly, others might prefer reading to an audio stream, even without a disability that necessitates the choice.
Making Great Content More Visible
You still need to write great content, because web crawlers are getting more and more sophisticated as they judge timeliness and relevance alongside keyword placement and other well-established features of your copy. That’s part of the user experience too, and quality content gets more social shares as well as better initial search engine placement, giving it a boost that helps you get staying power at the top of key search results. Nothing about that has changed. Instead, the range of important site features has simply expanded to take advantage of more sophisticated modern site designs as it has adapted to changing user behavior.