What does user experience design (UX) have to do with SEO? EVERYTHING!!
Usability and user experience design can help improve your conversion rates, but this takes time and effort. Bad design can lead to a poor user experience. Tweaking your website’s UX can have big time payoffs for your SEO efforts, leading to more conversions and an increase in your bottom line.
A good UX design incorporating business and marketing goals while catering to your end user’s Experience isn’t easy and it doesn’t happen over night. The template and graphic tweaks can take a week to do and roll out. Then you have to wait a month to see test the results of your new UX design tweaking. One of three things will most likely happen: nothing will improve; your stats and conversions will remain steady (+/-3% on your conversions); you will have a modest gain in conversions (maybe 3-9% more conversions, which is a pretty good gain in conversions) or you will have a substantial gain in conversions (over 10%, up to 30% increase in conversions)
The key is patience and being able to afford tweaks and changes on your website. Who does User Experience Design and SEO tweaks on their website(s)? How about Google for starters. I recently listened to one of their podcasts and they had a 30% gain on conversions for one of their products, Picasa. Want to know why Google does so damned good? They spend time and money on good UX. And if Google doesn’t get the UX tweaks right the first time, they do UX tweaks again until they get the bump that they need.
Don’t just think you are going to make a website and get the user experience design right the first time. This is never the case. Every website is always in Beta, it just might not say it on the logo. If you care about keeping a healthy defensible competitive edge on your competition keep user experience design in your mind and your budget. Defending and improving your Defensible competitive edge like this can be dangerously awesome for your bottom line.