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Demystifying UX and SEO for Digital Product Developers

User experience (UX) and search engine optimization (SEO) play an essential role in digital and information product development and as a product manager, it should be a big item to think about when you are in the process of developing the next big thing, whatever that thing may be. SEO helps ensure that products are made visible to the right people, while UX helps ensure that they are intuitive and enjoyable to use. Without either,  your product will be a disappointment and likely fail. 

So what are good SEO practices? Good SEO practices help make a product more discoverable and accessible online. SEO techniques involve optimizing content for keywords, providing meta tags, and engaging in link building to gain visibility on search engines like Google. This will maximize the amount of traffic driven to a website or app where users can access the product.

Now let's talk about user experience. UX design focuses on user needs while taking into account ease of use, intuitiveness, and aesthetics. Simplifying navigation paths and creating user-centric designs will help increase customer satisfaction.

Taken together, UX and SEO are two critical aspects of product development as they ensure maximum visibility of the product while providing enjoyable experiences for users. A successful product requires a good mix of SEO and UX strategies which will lead to improved customer satisfaction and increased conversions over time.

By taking into account the user journey and incorporating feedback, digital and information product developers are better equipped to create engaging experiences that customers can enjoy and, ultimately, products from which they will find great value. 

Harnessing the power of User Experience (UX) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO), teams can conceptualize, design, and create effective products that meet customer needs. Through various UX research methods such as ethnographic field studies, tree testing & focus groups - valuable insights can be gained into how customers interact with a product, giving companies an edge in creating desirable yet functional offerings for their consumers.

UX and SEO share a lot of common elements such as discoverability, user experience, and keyword research. UX and SEO share a lot of common elements such as discoverability, user experience, and keyword research.

Earlier this year Google finalized its implementation of Web Core Vitals, which uses user experience as a key performance metric for its search algorithm.

Web page loading time, interaction processing time, and UI stability are key performance indicators that have a direct impact on user experience. To measure these metrics in depth, organizations can leverage them.  Here are the benchmarks you need to pay attention to: 

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) - LCP measures the time from when the user initiates loading the page until the largest image or text block is rendered within the viewport.
  • First Input Delay (FID) - This measures the time from when a user first interacts with your site (i.e. when they click a link, tap on a button, or use a custom, JavaScript-powered control) to the time when the browser is actually able to respond to that interaction.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) - Is a measure of the largest burst of layout shift scores for every unexpected layout shift that occurs during the entire lifespan of a page. A layout shift occurs any time a visible element changes its position from one rendered frame to the next.

By monitoring the values of each metric regularly product managers gain insights into potential bottlenecks or issues with their system to ensure maximum customer satisfaction.

As Google looks to user experience as a key performance metric for its search algorithm, it is more important than ever to focus on creating a positive UX to rank higher in search results and be discovered by more people. This means designing with the user in mind, understanding their needs and wants, and providing a smooth, seamless experience that encourages them to engage with and purchase products or services.  

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About John McBride

Scratch Writing contributor John Mc Bride is the principal UX manager at SAE International, a global standards and training organization. John is an award-winning, UI-UX, mobile, and multimedia designer, and has worked on a variety of UI UX and SEO projects spanning 25 years. Of note, John had worked for New York City where he created, managed, and administered the intranet and internet sites for the largest municipal childcare agency in the country: NYC ACS (Administration for Children’s Services). In addition, he created the official brand for ACS, and also created the brand and website UI-UX for Joe Simon (Creator of Captain America). John can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

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