What does improving the user experience mean?

One of the things we often read about improving search engine optimisation is to ‘improve the user experience’. But this is a bit vague. What does it mean?

The first thing may be to ensure that the page is being found for the right things. Use Google Search Console to see what searches are driving people to the page, and if they’re what’s intended. Sure, all visitors are nice to have, but you’re really not going to benefit long-term from hundreds of people arriving after making an irrelevant search. They’ll just leave straight away, and Google will probably be able to detect that, if it wants. If a substantial number of people are arriving for the wrong reasons, and your bounce rate is high, consider ways in which you could make the page less attractive for those irrelevant searches.

A related issue is keeping the visitor on the page, and the site. Ensure they have obvious next steps to take once they’ve decided the page is worth reading. These can be attractive internal links (e.g. to case studies from product pages) or any good calls to action.

Finally, keep trying to improve your page speed. Improve your code, use a better server, ensure you’re ‘mobile friendly’ and minimise the size of images.

Put together, these are how Google judges your page as having provided a good user experience, and there’s little that beats that in the SEO stakes nowadays.