Valeriana Itenyo and Isaac Kimura


As end users become more demanding, they are placing a higher value on their website experience. Valeriana Itenyo, Business Unit Head and Tech Lead at Isobar Kenya, and Isaac Kimura, SEO Specialist at iProspect Kenya, believe that when UX and SEO work together, it’s a match made in heaven

Building a cohesive strategy

UX (user experience) and SEO (search engine optimisation) share a common goal: helping the user accomplish a certain task by providing relevant information. A few years ago, search results were ranked based on keywords and description, which are basic SEO strategies, but now search engines are configured to ensure that the user gets meaningful information as well as a better experience navigating through this information.

According to Search Engine Watch, “there is a common misconception that SEO simply involves link building and including relevant keywords in content. While these are two important strategies, search engines consider a lot more than this when ranking websites.”

Having a cohesive UX and SEO strategy ensures that the information the user is searching for is relevant, well-articulated, easily digestible, secure and accessible – regardless of the device or medium of access – which gives the user a better search experience. This is where SEO meets UX.

UX is about creating a user-centric web experience, and SEO is about doing your best to make your website visible online. Both practices strongly influence the website ranking and pairing them together maximises the SEO potential of the website.

Meeting user demand

Online users are more demanding and their satisfaction is becoming more important. They expect that if they give you the time, you give back quality. This has contributed to making UX critical to search engines. Take Google, for example – in an effort to ensure that the user gets the best search experience, they introduced penalties for any online content provider that does not adhere to acceptable UX and SEO standards. This has, in turn, put the content publishers to task ensuring that any content they publish meets certain UX and SEO standards, otherwise they risk being ranked lower in search results.

The change in user consumption

In recent years we have seen the emergence of interesting trends around UX and SEO marketing that have completely shifted the way users consume and navigate around content online.

Featured snippets that provide clear answers to common questions have completely shifted the way publishers approach and structure their content.

Influencer marketing has become increasingly important, based on the premise that people are most likely to relate to content from a well-known person than an ad, and this strategy has been proven to drive sales and conversions.

With a massive growth in e-commerce, and consumers on the African continent increasingly showing interest in making online purchases, user safety has become critical. The only way you will succeed in getting users to buy from your platform is if they feel safe transacting on it. So, ensuring that all websites are secure and safe is a critical factor in UX.

Other noticeable trends are around voice optimisation, mobile friendliness and video-format content, which stems from high user expectations and how users want content represented or formatted.

The impact on ROI

A common mistake is when UX and SEO teams don’t work together, but the marketing department invests in SEO for a website that doesn’t have a good user experience. This can lead to a loss in revenue and no ROI for the brands due to high bounce rates and low conversions. To make matters worse, if the website is overhyped with ads, but the experience leaves users disappointed, it puts the website at risk of social media crisis with a lot of backlash from disgruntled users.

A comprehensive UX and SEO strategy ensures that users get high-quality content that is safe, relevant, captivating and well-articulated, and with a clear call to action, which is bound to have a positive ripple effect on sales or conversions.