Summary: The UX Force Awakens on #SEOchat

Moderator: @BruceClayInc

How do you define user experience?

@MatthewAYoung   Essential to SEO of course. UX is how real people engage and react to a site. Main question i ask of sites, Is it useful?

@EricLanderSEO   For me, UX is all about the subconscious feelings of a website visitor that we can influence with content, design, etc. A strong UX means that your (targeted) audience comes in, takes a desired action, and it’s a truly positive experience.
@Sonray   Time on site and pages viewed would be my second pick over desired action

@kim_cre8pc   User experience = all humans, no barriers, all devices, all search engines. The emphasis on human is one requirement. Most software and SEO ignores user experience with devices, search queries, video.
@steveplunkett   Would add search mode (i.e. voice) and need state (user intent) ?

@KristiKellogg   #UX = satisfaction of a customer interacting with your products & services. Are you findable? Usable? Aesthetically pleasing?
@EricLanderSEO   This is what I’m referring to as subconscious. An experience isn’t a direct thought, but a comfortability.
@amelm   UX start in SERPs & the experience should be pleasant from there to the last Page users’ visit.

@steveplunkett   A. Search Engine User Type (voice/typed entry) B. Device Type (mobile/tablet/desktop) C. Need State

@hussain4seo   User experience is how a person feels when interfacing with a anything

@Casieg   For me, UX is all about how a person interacts with their site. What they see, what they think, how they navigate, etc.

@AndreeaC_T   How a user interacts and identifying behaviors & patterns that lead to conversions

@TheBuyerGroup   It encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with your business & your services/products.

@CaitlinBoroden   Is it useful and it is intuitive?

@SarahMT1212   Every interaction that the user has with your product or website, either at your landing page or outside discussions.

@CaitlinBrehm   User experience = the more “human” reactions to a site (visually pleasing/ease of use/general feelings)

@ramirez_robert   User Experience = satisfying the visitor in every way possible. not only does a site have to be usable, it has to be remarkable

@DuaneForrester   It’s the impression visitors to your site are left with/presented with. First impressions count.
@steveplunkett   but.. what if they never click.. Google’s display is all hence no website interaction?
@DuaneForrester   Separate issue entirely – focused on UX on the site, not battling search monsters. 😉
@steveplunkett   ok coolness.. SEO focus switched from Websites to users.

@lisabuyer   Findable and usable many get with #UX, it’s the aesthetically pleasing that loses the game IMHO.

@BerkleyBikes   There are enough obstacles leading up to a conversion without a confusing homepage being part of the problem.

@ashleighnbarlow   UX is engaging your visitors reptilian brain and allowing them to effortlessly navigate your website.

@ExpWriters   User experience is what people get out of the website, the way they interact with it, what they are able to achieve through it.

Who is responsible for #UX optimization in an organization?

@EricLanderSEO   Is “Everyone” an appropriate answer? Many are involved, the key is who “owns it.” I find that varies by organization. If SEO is an in-house activity, it’s likely a creative, design and development team function. Agency? SEO’s and CRO’s lead. When no one “owns” UX formally, it’s up to the media channels accountable to results to pick it up and run.

@jennyhalasz   EVERYONE.

@ericward   There are times marketers are at the mercy of a UX they didn’t design. That’s when external inbound linking strategies can help.
@BruceClayInc   Great point! SEOs are lucky to have quite a wide and varied toolkit to improve rankings. None should be overlooked.

@Casieg   Unfortunately not everyone has a dedicated web designer or graphic design team. Sometimes we (SEO vendor) are providing UX recs.

@AndreeaC_T   Webmasters, designers, seos. What people fail to realize is that a website is a team effort.Everyone needs to be on the same page & educated on UX experience. Designers and SEOs need to be the best of friends for that reason.

@kim_cre8pc   Responsible for UX? Depends on company. Typically its the last thing considered, sadly. How many of you take your sites/software out in the real world during development? Do user testing? Use data based decisions?
@Casieg   More looking at data. Sadly not enough user testing (and by not enough I mean none).

@SarahMT1212   Everyone sould have a hand in it . some more than others. Everyone shoudl try to think of ux in either content design etc

@KristiKellogg   I think #UX is a part of everyone’s job. We should all take responsibility for it 🙂
@lisabuyer   Yes or else everyone blames the other.

@MatthewAYoung   All involved in the organization, from web team, to SEOs, to marketing, sales, customer service. All play a role in UX.

@CaitlinBrehm   The responsibility is shared by all—designers, developers, copywriters, SEOs…everyone!

@steveplunkett   What is being optimized? Mobile App? Map listings? Videos? Websites?

@lisabuyer   Dun dun dun… Who’s in charge?

@BerkleyBikes   Obviously anyone who uses this Google Analytics thing.

@DuaneForrester   Ideally, content, seo, design & social all play a role. Centralize with a leader and bake into all projects.
@steveplunkett   Then.. is handled by UX lead and creatives before SEOs ever get involved. =)
@cmo4hire   When SEO isn’t planned before design + creatives do their thing, has led to expensive rework.
@steveplunkett   SEO research done BEFORE creative & BEFORE UX based on need state and path to purchase =)

@ashleighnbarlow   UX designers lead the charge while working with marketing and development to ensure all user needs are met and anticipated.

@rdnaylor   I guess this depends on how big company is. I’d say #Marketing + #Sales need to collaborate.

@amelm   Everyone should be involved in UX not just the Designers.There are things that they may not know.It’s a collaborative efforts.
@steveplunkett   10 times out of 10 Analytics and UX have separate budgets from SEO. =)

@matthewdiehl   Divide responsibility to those who know their audience segment best; big diff between product vs. industry experiences.

@ericward   The guy who gets fired if the site underperforms 😉

How do you identify UX problems on your site?

@Casieg   I’d love to say we have frequent user testing but often it’s looking at flows and funnels in GA. Old company used heatmap tools.

@DuaneForrester   Test that shizzle! Seriously, test, test, test – tools abound. #seochat Seriously – biggest missed opportunity right here.
@lisabuyer   Right on! @DuaneForrester No more – “He said, she said.” Collaborate to #UX success.
@DuaneForrester   Leader needs big-picture view, each team contributes w/input from others. Output is balanced.

@AndreeaC_T   Test! Test! Test! Then use @moz crawl report and other tools. Check webmaster tools in bing and Search console in google.

@SarahMT1212   Still a novice , but when creating my 1st websites & projects, I ask my mom to click around the site. Not a internet native.

@BerkleyBikes   I’ve recently been spending more time looking at user flow patterns. So basic. So complex.

@steveplunkett   Normally SEOs don’t the UX people get error logs from the Analytics team.

@KristiKellogg   Have a test group use your site to achieve a goal & survey the results. Study how they interact with your site in real time.

@MatthewAYoung   Analytics and ABT – always be testing. Shout out to my friends at @AdobeTarget. 5 Second Test is a good way to get quick impressions on usability
@amelm   UX Tip: Before making any changes to your site…Track than Analyze using Analytics.The insights R there.

How do you ID #UX issues? Real world user testing?

@SarahMT1212   If she became flustuered, bored or especially confused, I took that qritique seriously

@MichelleRobbins   Proactively – analytics and conversion data; reactively – users contact you because they can’t find what they’re looking for.

@matthewdiehl   @CrazyEgg was one of the best tools I have used to understand what and where users are engaging with a page.

@jennyhalasz   Identify potential issues: bounce rates, exit pages, time on site anomalies, and what customer service is hearing.
@steveplunkett   in agencies.. this is the analytics team.. not the SEOs =)
@jennyhalasz   That’s just sad.
@steveplunkett   Efficient. actually.. for the last 5 years.. i read the reports.. adjust search traffic accordingly. think 20mil budgets.
@jennyhalasz   IMO, SEOs should be looking at the end result of their traffic gen. Otherwise how do they know it works?
@steveplunkett   By reading analytics reports? Are you doing onsite SEO? or data mining customer experience & correlating sales $$$$$? Do SEO audits, user persona development psycological user behavioral studies to inform analytics, they do data mining.

@EricLanderSEO   As @kim_cre8pc mentions, you need real world testing. Not jaded eyeballs and mindsets. Also, analytics of measurable value. Most frustrating aspect of UX problem solving is the “We’ll find out the problems when we’re live.” attitude. That’s lame.

@emily_C27   Check your goal funnels and exit pages in GA.

@kim_cre8pc   I use very little tools and never have as a UX tester. Mobile has to be done manually. Software functional, manual.

@KristiKellogg   One idea is to try ! But, also, even people in your office CAN work 🙂

@BruceClayInc   Relevant #SEO prediction by @builtvisible: software cos entering transformative period to cope w mobile, apps & tracking models

@ramirez_robert   Survey. Any first time user should be able to easily navigate your site, know what you offer + your value add + how to buy.

@ashleighnbarlow   Analytics are key! Analyzing user drop off and cross device behavior can often determine user pain points.

@amelm   When you have high targeted Traffic BUT Conversions R very Low & Users R leaving at high Bounce Rate.

@ExpWriters   What is your website trying to achieve? Now what % of visitors leave your website before that goal is accomplished? Use data!

What is the biggest mistake you see businesses making when it comes to UX

@jennyhalasz   Easy. Not fully testing mobile.
@steveplunkett   SEO is involved in pitch and research prior to understand user needs states and buyer purchasing cycle, informs UX.

@DuaneForrester   NOT testing, but thinking guessing will lead to solutions. No. Test. Test or fail
@MatthewAYoung   Knowing an audience is so critical to this, and something a lot of orgs overlook

@MatthewAYoung   Hubris. Thinking they know what users want without without asking or testing.

@Casieg   Not testing. Tools like @Optimizely make it so much easier to try new things on a site & find what users respond to.

@kim_cre8pc   UX is not understood. Management does not see its value until something breaks or conversions die.
@EricLanderSEO   This is so true! No one wants to believe that their work has led a visitor to feel blocked or frustrated.

@Sonray   Doing all of the things.

@EricLanderSEO   Set it and forget it. For SEO particularly, not changing layout, designs and CTAs can simply ruin a great SEO campaign.

@emily_C27   Focusing heavily on the design aspects (making it look pretty) and less on the functionality/navigation.
@MatthewAYoung   Throwing it out of balance. Great looking site, but poor acquisition channels. What ever happened to holistic marketing.

@rdnaylor   I see many companies miss the “Benefits” side to UX. Stop telling what you offer, show me the why.

@KristiKellogg   Biggest #UX mistake: thinking it’s all about usability. No. Rather, it’s about captivating and delighting users.
@EricLanderSEO   Another great point here. As much as frustration can be expressed in analytics, it can be suppressed, too.

@Navahk   Their own personal experience. No data just what they “think”

@kim_cre8pc   Companies don’t understand target users or devices or study cultures, global bandwidth, accessibility, mental models.

@dan_patterson   Not getting actual user feedback. You might know how to use the design, but if users don’t you’re screwed. They don’t live in your world.
@CaitlinBoroden   Exactly! It’s so easy to get caught up in it. You need to put yourself in the mind of a new user.
@MichelleRobbins   Remember that you’re never the target audience of your own creation – and understand who is.

@Beymour   Using really long forms on mobile. No one is filling out 20+ fields on their phone. Also, using too many CTA’s can be really confusing, especially when they’re redundant.

@ericward   A comment I make to clients about UX: “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good!” Websites are living things. Analyze can = paralyze.

@lisabuyer   Looking for perfection.

@BerkleyBikes   There’s definitely an intangible component of UX. Like “this website looks ugly.”

@ashleighnbarlow   Lack of user testing and A/B testing. Just because you think a new design will perform better doesn’t always mean it will!

@VincentAmmirato   No user testing and, for phablets, leaving nav at the top where the thumb can’t reach anymore.

@BryantGarvin   Mobile, Mobile, Mobile!
@jennyhalasz   Yes, Yes, Yes!

@steveplunkett   Not doing audience measurement and user persona development prior to doing SEO/UX. $$$$$$$$$ expensive mistake.

@vlahogiannis   Making UX to look like what the other guys are doing & assume it is right for their needs. There is no 1 size works for all UX.

@BruceClayInc   @mediadonis predicts UX is the focus of 2016, overtaking CRO.
@Navahk   Big picture quality
@VirginiaNussey   Yes! I totally got that too. CRO focuses on end of funnel. #UX optimizes the whole experience.
@BryantGarvin   I completely disagree. Good CRO focuses on the whole funnel. But most CRO peeps don’t.
@DuaneForrester   CRO has a different focus than UX – narower, tied closer to KPIs by nature. CRO focus “conversions”; UX focus “human interaction” – never totally in alignment. 1 human, 1 dollars. Conversion Rate Optimization – open more wallets wider. I maintain, less about site-wide usability.

@ExpWriters   Not giving people what they want. Your website has to be helpful and accessible to all kinds of audiences.

@thompsonpaul   Using a non-representational set of testers. Those most accessible to you are probably least appropriate.

@cmo4hire   Lack of up front plan that brings together marketing, SEO, UX, content, design, custom code objectives, best practices.

@keithgoode   Failing to test first and then developing in a silo without input from other teams.

@lisabuyer   “Don’t be afraid to put your product out there, -just launch,get feedback,iterate, rinse and repeat.” via @wikiwand best UX.

@ericward   Also, age of the user dictates perception of UX. My mom on Amazon vs me on Amazon produces different degrees of satisfaction.
@ashleighnbarlow   Age and gender play a huge role in UX. How I shop online vs. how my husband shops = huge difference.

@amelm   Sadly They have no idea why they need a #Redesign. They just use the word #UX as a Buzzword (no offense).

What is your biggest UX pet peeve as a user?

@MatthewAYoung   Lack of a mobile experience. Sites get an instant bounce from me. Egregious! Its 2016, c’mon!

@dan_patterson   I hate hate hate big menus that open when I hover and don’t go away!

@beaupedraza   When a page shifts down upon loading, causing bad clicks and frustration.

@KristiKellogg   UX Pet Peeve: Poor mobile experience: slow speed, tiny text, huge ads, or page elements that aren’t responsive.

@DuaneForrester   Not being mobile compliant. You are aware “hover” isn’t the same on mobile, right? And most devices don’t support it.

@kim_cre8pc   Ads…a constant argument in my world. And auto start videos, abundance of embedded links, sliders with no user controls.

@EricLanderSEO   Interruptive UI elements. Nav that fly out, CTAs that are pervasive. I’m an old man on the Internet. Crave simplicity 24/7

@bravomedia1   Big issue w/ UX Design is clients don’t understand it or its value. They choose CMS systems that reek havoc.

@matthewdiehl   Overly intrusive CTAs – like the one that popups up when you are trying to leave a site.

@jennyhalasz   I HATE being asked to give my email before I even get a chance to read the article. Wait! Give me value before you ask!

@ashleighnbarlow   Poor tablet touch screen experience. Not accounting for finger padding and scrolling. Prime example: @AEO filter menu.

@dan_patterson   Modals that take the whole screen and can’t close except for one tiny hard to see “x” in the corner.

@VincentAmmirato   Mega menus infuriate me. Stop designing for the desktop.

@ExpWriters   Not displaying a purpose of the website transparently as well as an ugly design are big minuses when it comes to UX.

@vlahogiannis   speed & page load time. Also: crippled mobile versions. Boo.

@dan_patterson   Videos that start playing automatically on a random place on the page. Sites that let ads pop up as you get further down the page, interrupting what you’re reading.

@lisabuyer   Dear @Forbes – the amount of effort to get to the article just isn’t right.
@steveplunkett   Actually @forbes does a good job, their purpose is to sell ads.. works one way on desktop and another on ipad.. sharing is easy..

@bill_slawski   My biggest UX pet peeve as a user? Poorly labeled site navigation.

@BerkleyBikes   Unnecessary landing pages! *cough* *cough*

@steveplunkett   Auto play videos, pop ups. bad responsive design. shyort social media URLs with no brand identification.

@BerkleyBikes   While I’m bitching about UX I don’t like…how about those ad-riddled image galleries where every photo is paginated!?!?
@BerkleyBikes   20 images = 20 pages = 20x the ad impressions! (Bounce rate? What’s that?)

@kmullett   Content that just…ends. Lack of CTAs.

@dan_patterson   Sites that don’t have share buttons on their articles so i have to share to Twitter manually for example. Sites that don’t have their share buttons set up to actually include the title of the article so i have to input it myself.

Who’s doing 10X better UX

@lisabuyer   See what winners of best #UX @TheWebbyAwards, @wikiwand had to say.

@KristiKellogg   Best UX? Can we talk about @soulcycle? out of this world #UX! Bow down to whoever does their site, branding and marketing.

@EricLanderSEO   Is a tough one for me. I don’t notice great #UX normally, I just interact with it and do something. It’s bad UX that’s memorable.

@jennyhalasz   I <3 Redbox. Super useful and easy app and desktop site.

@VincentAmmirato (this is a sarcastic answer)

@DuaneForrester   Probably everyone who outranks you. 😉

@MichelleRobbins   Apple

@KristiKellogg   Seriously — going to is like going to a party. Even their email marketing — I open every email.

@dan_patterson   Sites where the “Sign Up” button is huge, but the “Sign In” button for members is tiny or hard to find.

@lisabuyer   Well I guess @wikiwand must be doing something right with UX since they won the 2015 @TheWebbyAwards for UX.

@ashleighnbarlow   This is hard – more do it wrong than right. I would say @Nordstrom does a great job with cross device cart transferring.

@BruceClayInc   Now we’re going to dive deeper into specific aspects of UX — first up, speed. Speed is critical. Did you know Amazon found that they’d lose 1.6 billion dollars a year if their site slowed down by ONE second?

How are you decreasing load time?

@MatthewAYoung   Optimize your images, people. Especially on mobile!

@CaitlinBoroden   Optimize your images! No need for huge file sizes.

@EricLanderSEO   On mobile, Page load times and server efficiency is key here. Serve it fast, efficient and clean. Use CSS & HTML5, not images.

@KristiKellogg   Decrease load time: focus on the top of the fold. These should load in under one second. Rest of page can take longer.

@Sonray   Not loading a 2500 x 1500 pixel image and then displaying it at 250×150.

@steveplunkett   By going to user need states, mobile specific IA based on used intent. contact vs.catalogs on mobile.

@DuaneForrester   Build for mobile, strip code bloat, limit repetitive anything, massage images, short videos, examine your host.

@EricLanderSEO   I feel like I bring this up weekly, but we use Foundation and Grunt minify scripts to reduce bloat. Of course, Foundation is now recommending something newer than Grunt – but still – compress that code!

@kim_cre8pc   In addition to how to reduce load time, add Why. In USA, more people leaving Internet and relying on mobile phone only. More countries are just now getting online. Bandwidth different. Apps slow things down.

@MatthewAYoung   Many pages can decrease file size by ridding themselves of unnecessary code and white space in the HTML

@bill_slawski   Decreasing Page speed on sites by using the heuristics on Google’s online Page Speed tool.

@oc2015   An average site loses 70% of user population for every 1 second a page takes to load

Best secrets for getting people to scroll

@ExpWriters   Be visual and be interesting. Try to make people want more. Constantly provide value.

@KristiKellogg   Keep it scrolling by engaging users w/ top of fold elements. Start to fulfill the visitor’s needs out of the gate.

@beaupedraza   A good page outline with images and content to keep people hooked. If e-commerce, sections highlighting perks of product

@EricLanderSEO   Design in a way so that elements just slightly occupy the edge of the viewable area. It’s a visual tease.

@kmullett   Split content (so they see hinting of more) at common resolutions. Don’t disappoint them when they do scroll.

@kim_cre8pc   Provide good reasons to keep scrolling.

@steveplunkett   Thin content OR compelling CTA above the fold with blazing speed load times.. works every time.

@BruceClayInc   Another big factor in #UX is optimizing for #voicesearch. Stats show 55% of teens & 41% of adults use voice search at least 1X/day.

@amelm   Decreasing Load Time by Making sure you are not using unnecessary Scripts on your pages.

@ramirez_robert   Begin to fulfill query/ user intent above the fold. Make sure users know they found the right page when they hit your site!

@bill_slawski   Get visitors to scroll by increasing confidence that they will find what they are looking for on a page.

How have you adjusted your strategy to serve users searching via voice?

@KristiKellogg   Pose and answer questions on your ranked landing pages. FAQ pages are horrible at converting customers – stop relying on them.

@DuaneForrester   Put content just below the fold & tell them exactly where it is. Maybe half-expose it – it had better be compelling content tho. Voice search is still new – actual changes are limited because the algo focuses on select keywords, not every word. #exactmatch

@EricLanderSEO   Our clientele thankfully believes in long tail search – and with natural language selection more prominent, it’s an “easy” sell

@michelljernigan   Not only UX, but SEO in general as well. The way people search is evolving because of the rise of voice search.

@EricLanderSEO   To support audible queries, we’ve found that it’s okay to lead off with a question you intend to ask. It earns rankings

@BruceClayInc   Engagement objects are also integral to #UX … images, videos, #webdesign, etc. Wielded correctly, they can increase dwell time.

@michelljernigan   Voice search increases the importance of understanding the intent behind queries. we’re searching full sentences, not keywords.

What engagement objects are working best? Depends on client/niche, of course, but share successes you’ve seen.

@kim_cre8pc   Several of my clients swear by offering free downloads, ebooks, 1 hour consults. Big juicy button or popup (I hate popups)

@oc2015   Understanding user flow is the best advice I can give. Having a direct buyer path with minimal friction is the best engagement

@DuaneForrester   The usuals – images, video, reviews/ratings. Things that exactly match, or extend their original idea play well.

@ExpWriters   Provide a box where they can leave their email address for your newsletter. Its a great way to continue engagement.

@bravomedia1   Engagements seen on #LP built w/ clear call to action.

@matthewdiehl   I know someone said they hated mega nav but I’ve seen direct to conversion CTAs perform well in them #streamlineconversion.

What are your tips for creating video when a client’s budget is limited?

@kim_cre8pc   My locals hire young people who are amazing with their Apple devices and video. I edit and upload, but the kids are naturals.

@TheBuyerGroup   Make it authentic and showcase the inner fun of your company

@oc2015   Using #gifs! either those or short forms that can be used across platforms like #instagram or #twitter. Easy, fast, cheap.

@DuaneForrester   GoPro, authenticity – limit recording time as most cost is in editing time, less polish, more “real”. Learn to edit yourself.

@MichelleRobbins   Check your local college/films schools for students to hire as well.

@lisabuyer   With videos or images the biggest mistake is trying to be perfect. Just do it. Done is better than none.

@VirginiaNussey   SEO prediction by @richardbaxter how 10x #content isn’t even an option.

Best suggestions for creating graphics that don’t look stock photo garbage?

@KristiKellogg   Take your own photos, or use a site like 🙂 Get creative!

@EricLanderSEO   Get local and familiar. Personal. Online activity feels distant enough. Use your own imagery and make an immediate connection.

@kim_cre8pc   Play with Photoshop or photo editor. I always ask for natural settings, faces, smiling, people doing what they do in action. People like credible, authentic and can tell fake. You can be professional and fun..Raven Tools site is like that. Careful when copying site designs…their business and target market requirements may be very different.

@DuaneForrester   Learn the basics of photography. Repeat after me: a cell phone is not a camera! Get a decent camera, practice.

@ExpWriters   Try to learn as much as you can about design and practice a lot. No other way but through commitment.

@oc2015   Opting for animations or SVGs can be a great, engaging alternative to #shittystockphotos.

@beaupedraza   For e-commerce biz where warehouse & office are detached, take a visit and use nature. Set lighting, keep natural & applicable.

@kmullett   Hire someone who either knows what they are doing or can teach you. Learn how to shoot and edit. Get close! Please, please, I beg of you, learn to understand copyright. Don’t open your business (clients) up to risks.

@lisabuyer   Use @canva for images – Or repuropse @Snapchat videos saved to your camera roll – real-time experiences and moments. Good #UX is Good #PublicRelations. So Bad #UX is _________.

@ashleighnbarlow   @StocksyUnited is a great resource for more artistic images at affordable prices.

@VirginiaNussey   Copy designs you like & use @canva templates


  1. […] on for highlights from #SEOchat, or head over to Search Marketing Weekly for a full transcript of the chat pulled together by Lyena […]

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