How to balance between SEO and UX?

If you’re trying to monetize with ads as a website publisher, you always have to ask yourself: What makes my website valuable to advertisers?

No need to be surprised that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Building a site that provides measurable value to advertisers is a multifaceted undertaking game. It must provide your core audience with the positive user experience (UX)that they expect while having a strategy that attracts a constant inflow of website visitors as well.

To Be Found.

It’s clear to see that your website has no advertising value if it doesn’t attract visitors. Building a strong SEO foundation so your site starts appearing in your targeted search results is very important.
One of the most dependable strategies to improve SEO value is the diversity of content is. For example, if you’re running a site for triathletes, you may not want to just focus all of your content around triathlons—consider breaking out into the topics of swimming, running, biking, nutrition, and general fitness. This can also help you attract a wider base of advertisers, and this will lead to higher bids and more revenue overall.
Another importance is to develop keyword-dense content that your target users search for. More likely, that content would be centered around high-traffic, low-competition phrases.

Be User Friendly

While findability is important, it’ll all be nothing without a rich user experience. The keys to great UX typically are:
Effectiveness – Can users engage the way they want to on your site?
Layout – Is your content too cluttered, or clear and simple to use?
Navigation – Is your site easy to navigate?
Load Speed – Will visitors leave your site because it takes too long to load?
Learnability – How easy is it to learn how to use your site?
Satisfaction – Do users like the site and recommend it to others?

Searcher-Experience-HoneycombShari Thurow offers a great overview on the elements of user experience over at Marketingland. For instance, from an organic search perspective, you should consider whether your site can be described by the adjectives in the “User Experience Honeycomb.”
It will be a long-term benefit to give your visitors a positive user experience which leads to a lower bounce rate, better click-through rates, and more conversions for advertisers, and that leads to higher bids for the ad space. So in the long-run, you’ll generate more revenue per site visitor!

Think Out Of the Crawlers

While traditional SEO is an important element of a balanced ad publishing strategy, there are other issues at play. Most importantly, search engine rankings are no longer determined exclusively by algorithms, so ad publishers can capitalize on this by crafting engaging, optimized content for people—not bots. This can have a measurable impact in how search engines evaluate your site’s SEO value.

In the past couple years, using dynamic code like JavaScript and jQuery provided site owners with little findability benefit, as algorithms primarily examined a site’s HTML code to determine its value. This wasn’t ideal for ad publishers, as JavaScript, jQuery, and Flash, all required lots of extra coding legwork to produce search value while also providing a rich user experience.

But today, Google currently employs human search quality raters, who manually visit websites and evaluate their SEO value. This is good news for publishers looking to enhance the user experience while still providing value to advertisers. Although we certainly don’t recommend embedding some of your site’s most valuable content in a Flash animation, publishers can now invest in a richer, more interactive user experience—with some payoff, instead of none.

If your SEO strategy isn’t enough, it can be tempting to buy cheap traffic from other ad networks. Keep in mind, there are many bad sources of traffic out there that utilize bots or spam to drive illegitimate site visits. Quality should always be in question, so make sure it’s a trusted network first. (hint: More choices at!)


The campaign can be structured and complex as an online ad monetization, advertising is still about people and their needs. And as a publisher, it’s your job to please everybody. Provide your core users with a useful, positive experience, and provide advertisers with quality visitors and broad reach. You’ll find substantial revenue gains that will please the most important party of all the publishers if you get the balance right.

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