Strawberries and cream. Haggis and neeps. SEO and UX. Some things just go great together.
This month, as we look at elements of digital working in perfect synergy, we return to the relationship of SEO and UX. Following on from the insights provided by our Head of Content, Gemma, in her 2021 piece “6 SEO factors that impact your UX”, this time we’ll take a big picture look at how applying those factors, and the on-page content they help produce, is the perfect combination for many businesses.
At Yard, we’ve written hundreds – nay, thousands – of pieces of content for clients over the years. That content spans a plethora of industries, and ranges from charitable to commercial, mysterious to informative, and heartfelt to hilarious; although I suppose that last one is a matter of opinion!
I can say with confidence that across each and every page written, SEO and UX considerations formed a key part of the process; that’s just how we roll. But we, like all the most innovative content teams across the industry, have developed a much deeper awareness in recent years of how to best apply those SEO and UX principles to produce the most effective content possible.
Less really is more
One area of SEO and UX that applies directly to content is that these days, less really is more.
Thankfully, we’re long past keyword spamming tactics being rewarded by Google, that fact is widely accepted, but for many, the common consensus is still that filling a page with thousands of words is the best way to go.
That’s simply not true, for two key reasons.
The first links directly to UX, namely the fact that nobody really wants to read thousands of words on a topic before making a decision these days. Well, maybe a select few do, the same group who read their instruction manuals from front to back before plugging in their new toaster, but not many.
Whether you’re seeking to buy a quality product, enlist an expert service or support a worthy cause, most people have short attention spans, particularly online. They want to be fed the most pertinent and profitable information in a digestible form, which links directly to our second point.
Light on your feet
The second key reason is rooted in SEO, and is the fact that not only does quality of content over quantity of content serve the user well in an informational respect, it also has technical benefits.
As our CIO, Paul, covered late last year in his piece “The weight of the web”, it is actually in your best interests to have streamlined pages that load quickly and don’t waste space on unnecessary wording and imagery. Not only does it appeal to users, but Google is a big fan as well.
That doesn’t mean there is never a cause for in-depth content pages, some topics of course need to be covered and presented with a fair level of detail. You should just be selective and tactical when you do so.
More bang for your buck
Then there’s the ROI element. How does return on investment factor into this? I hear you say.
Well, aside from the fact that ROI factors into everything we do at Yard, it is also true in the sense that every piece of content you create is an investment, whether you’re doing so in-house, enlisting a freelancer or paying a digital agency for their expertise.
So why make that initial investment more costly than it needs to be by working on the mistaken assumption that you need every page to contain thousands of words – bringing with it additional research, writing, proofing, editing and uploading time – when this could actively work against the success of the page?
Instead of wasting time, effort and budget, why not focus on being economical with your words, saying only what needs to be said? At the same time, make sure the page looks great – which, as much as it pains me to say as a writer, is often easier when the page isn’t flooded with copy – and ensure the page is technically proficient.
That way, you minimise the initial investment and maximise your potential return. It’s a win-win situation.
There’s a lot more that could be said but given that I said pretty clearly further up the page that less is more, I’ll leave it there. All that’s left to say for now is that if you want to speak to us about creating content that really does do more with less, we’d love you to get in touch today.