What to Choose – Bot or User Experience

by Guest Author on February 4, 2018

in Guest Posts

What are the main factors governing the popularity of a website? One of the main factors is the ranking on the SERPs. A good local SEO strategy can propel your website to the top of the SERPs. This strategy includes both on-site as well as off-site SEO tactics.

One of the main on-site factors affecting your SEO is the quality of the content you have on your website pages. The search engine bots play an active role in scanning your content and picking up vital information from it to rank your website on the SERPs. Imagine if the bots were not able to crawl through the website. What will happen? Under such circumstances, the site will not be indexed and hence will not rank on the SERP. This makes crawling through the website an important task.

JavaScript – Challenges and Solutions

When you speak of search engine bots, JavaScript comes into the picture. JavaScript can be challenging for your SEO. Let us look at the primary reasons behind the concern and the measures you can take to fix them.

  • Crawlability – This factor concerns the bots ability to crawl through your website. If the bots are not able to crawl through your website, the ranking takes a beating because the pages cannot be indexed.
  • Obtainability – This situation can arise when the bots are able to access the website but are not able to parse the content. The end result is the same because in the absence of parsing the content, the site will not be indexed. This will affect the ranking of the website on the SERP.
  • Critical Rendering Path – This situation happens when your JavaScript files clog the page’s ability to load. This is also known as perceived latency.

How do you fix these issues and have a better SEO experience?

  • In case your search engines are blocked from crawling JavaScript, you will not get the full experience of the website. This reduces your website’s appeal to the search engines. Hence, you rankings get affected. You have tools like ‘Fetch as Google’, ‘robots.txt’, and ‘Fetch and Render’ to test and identify the resources the bots are blocked from.
  • The easiest solution is to provide access to your search engines to such resources. Internal linking is one way to do so. This is why a strong internal linking strategy is essential for any local SEO campaigns.
  • Creating fresh content that is not plagiarized is also a solution. The bots will have something new to contend. The more the bots crawl through the website; the better is the page ranking. This is possible only if you have fresh content.

You have seen the importance of the bots in ranking your website pages on the SERP. The bots are mechanized tools. Studies show that out of every 5 visitors to a website, 3 are bots. This is why they are dominating web traffic today. Bots can be good or malicious. One way of subverting the situation is to ask the user to confirm that it is not a bot. It could be inserting as simple an arrangement as a check-in box. Many websites do so to prevent hacking. We can conclude that bots do have a role to play in SEO.

User Experience – Concept and role in SEO

The role of bots is clear enough now. There is another aspect that is very important in a strong SEO campaign. That is known as user experience (UX). This is a new concept with many websites adopting measures to improve user experience. The better the user experience, the higher will be your website ranking. Let us look at this aspect and compare which of the two, Bots or UX, is better for local SEO.

When you talk of UX, the concept of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) comes into the fray. Let us see how UX can help your local SEO strategy and ensure that you get a high ranking on the SERP.

  • Use Proper headings: It is always better to use proper heading tags (H1, H2, and H3) while writing content. The advantage is two-fold. One is that the website becomes easy to read. Remember, that there are other visitors to your content. They might not be human. We are referring to the search engine bots. Using headings allow them to parse the content easily thereby ensuring a higher rank on the SERP.
  • Ease of Navigation: User experience concerns ease of navigation and the structure of your website. This is because not every visitor enters your website through the homepage. An easily navigable site allows the user to navigate from anywhere. The site structure is important because it should allow easy accessibility to the website. There are examples of poorly structured sites that block everything on the screen when you click on the Menu option. This is more evident in case of viewing websites on mobile devices. People do not like to visit such websites as it presents an unpleasant user experience.
  • User signals: User signals on websites play an important role in search engine rankings. You can have click-to-call features on the mobile-friendly websites that allow users to contact you from that particular page by clicking on the link. Do you have consumers posting positive reviews to your website? These factors do play a great role in improving user experience.
  • Site speed: No one likes to browse a website that loads slowly. The speed of loading the web pages is of utmost importance. This is one of the UX factors that play a big role in local SEO. It affects your ranking a great deal. A website that loads faster is always preferable. This increases the user experience factor thereby ensuring a higher rank on the SERP.

We have looked at the aspect of UX and understood its importance in local SEO.

Bots or UX – Which one is better

We can deduce that a good SEO strategy requires both bots as well as UX factor to ensure a higher rank on the SERP. It could be difficult to choose one over the other because both these factors have their individual importance.

Guest article written by: Shishir is an ex-startup entrepreneur currently working on kickstarting inbound marketing for a Silicon Valley startup. Cracked the code of generating 750K monthly traffic in 10 months by using creative content.

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