SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a term that has been known for many years. Organic search engine user acquisition is essential for virtually any business related to the digital world. Next to SEO, there is User Experience – a department dedicated to making the use of the website simple, pleasant, intuitive, and consequently facilitating the conversion. In this post, however, we will look at what an SXO audit is!
An effective website must effectively combine these two areas. You should take care not only to attract a potential customer, but also to encourage him to make a purchase, leave a contact, watch a webinar or other activity that has been planned and envisaged to achieve the business goal. SXO – Search Experience Optimization comes in handy, i.e. the concept of a comprehensive combination of SEO and UX, data analytics and conversion optimization. This means that thinking about positioning should take place simultaneously with remembering about building a positive user experience, based on web analytics, in order to optimize conversion on the website.
The first step in implementing good SXO practices is to conduct a comprehensive website audit in this regard. A professionally conducted SXO audit will show all the fields that are worth looking at to probably improve the website’s results.
But let’s start with a brief introduction to what user experience and website positioning are more specifically.
UX – User Experience
UX, or user experience, is what the user feels while browsing the site. It cannot be denied that even very similarly designed pages can evoke various impressions – UX deals with how to refine a website in such a way as to make browsing easier and more pleasant for the user, and at the same time increase the conversion rate. Due to the multifaceted nature of User Experience, it is in fact a mix of many areas – from psychology and its derivatives, through web testing, to issues related to technical optimization of the website.
A component of UX is UI – User Interface. These are all the elements of the website or application, along with their arrangement, by means of which the user communicates with the program. In this context, we most often talk about GUI – Graphic User Interface, i.e. a graphic representation of this communication.
When analyzing and designing UX, the user is put first – his needs, skills, habits and digital qualifications. The website addressed to teenagers will look and work differently, and differently to seniors – both in terms of the interface (color combinations, font selection, graphics), and in terms of the structure of the user path and shopping funnels.
SEO – Search Engine Optimization
Website positioning activities are aimed at making a given website appear higher in the search results of Google, Bing, Yahoo! and other search engines.
By entering a specific phrase into the search engine, we hope that we will find what we are looking for quickly. Regardless of whether we mean a specific product (preferably at the lowest available price), a service, information, contact details or a meme from years ago. We are committed to achieving our goal as quickly as possible. Recently, Google has become fixated on making its search engine “precisely execute the user’s intentions,” which means that the positioning algorithm is committed to delivering qualitative results. This was due to the fact that over 60% of Internet users do not find an answer to their question after first entering the website from the search results. Clickbaits only make things worse, and this is what Google is struggling with with almost daily algorithm updates.
The owner of the website counts on the fact that the website will be visited by Internet users, and then they will make purchases (e-commerce), leave leads (service industry) or read the materials contained therein (content websites). Good website positioning can significantly improve sales results. Often, the profitability of running a given business depends on the visibility in the search engine. Thus, the user hopes for quick access to the right content, the search engine hopes to ensure it, and the website owner hopes that his site will be found and visited.
The results of displaying in search engines are not set randomly – the constantly improved algorithm is responsible for the ranking. This one takes into account about 200 factors during the overall analysis of the website and direct links to it. What is it about?
Google places great emphasis on content and its presentation. On-site SEO means changes that can be implemented directly on a positioned website. They can be divided into two categories – content modification and technical layer.
As mentioned above, Google wants pages placed high in search results to meet the user’s needs. Ideally, the content on the page is well optimized and contains specific keywords surrounded by intermediate words – long tails and LSI. However, it is not about a random juxtaposition of phrases, but about a substantive and structured text on a desired topic. In order to properly present a given issue, the content on the subpage must be properly organized – incl. divided into paragraphs and supplemented with headings (H1, H2, H3).
It is also very important how the text is displayed and how quickly the page loads. Most users, when they have to wait more than a few seconds, will simply go back to the search results and select a different page. Therefore, the website loading time cannot be overestimated. The algorithm also takes it into account and checks it in particular according to Core Web Vitals guidelines.
Gone are the days when the Internet was only browsed on computers. Today, web developers have to deal with thousands of different devices, technologies, designs and resolutions. The website must look good on every hardware, should not generate errors, and ensure the correct display of many fonts or graphics. The Google algorithm is able to detect errors in the presentation, therefore the correct responsiveness is one of the keys to positioning.
Internal linking is also important, i.e. placing links to other subpages of a given website. Correctly solved, it not only increases users’ engagement by encouraging them to click, but also significantly facilitates navigation for web robots. Another important aspect is the so-called canonical links, thanks to which, despite different real URLs (for example in online stores), Google robots see this as one variant. This prevents duplication of subpages.
Extensive, comprehensive on-page content and technical perfection are very important, but not enough to position your page for more popular, frequently searched phrases. The algorithm assumes that if a website has many links, it is valuable for users – after all, when we find interesting content, we sometimes share the link with friends ourselves. Off-site SEO involves gathering multiple links from other pages that Google determines to be strong. It is important that the link structure is appropriately varied – next to the dofollow links containing keywords, there should also be links without keywords and sometimes with the nofollow parameter. Link profile diversification is sometimes referred to as link pillowing.
SXO audit – what is it?
The first step to improving your SXO is to conduct a comprehensive SXO audit. Specialists will thoroughly analyze various aspects related to positioning and UX, draw conclusions and propose necessary changes on the website. Many of the nearly 200 ranking factors of Google’s SEO algorithm relate directly to the UX on the page – for example, building pop-ups.
SXO audit – what is analyzed as part of it? The scope of activities includes, among others:
SEO audit and recommendations
– domain history,
– website performance and construction,
– keywords and their potential,
– visibility against the competition,
– link profile,
– the current condition of SEO on the website,
– website mobility and usability,
– Core Web Vitals parameters,
– SEO content on the website,
– meta tags, snippets,
– Google My Business card,
– crawl budget,
– search engine analysis, filters and sorting,
– and other!
Analytics audit and GSC
– correct basic configuration,
– the impact of organic traffic on conversion,
– traffic quality, click-through rate.
SEO – recommendations of actions depending on the type of website and industry
– Meta tags (title & description),
– On-site and off-site linking,
– SEO content (including headers),
– Rich snippets,
– Positioning the Google business card,
– Website optimization,
– Monitoring and optimization of activities,
– Keyword research with potential,
– and other!
UX and CRO – actions
– Analysis of the purchase path and cart from listing to order fulfillment,
– Analysis of the contact form,
– UI & UX analysis of main subpages,
– Widget and pop-up analysis,
– Heatmaps of clicks and depth of scrolling,
– Payment system tests,
– Support for the SEO department in designing changes.