Optimizing your website for SXO increases its performance and conversion. However, these are not its only advantages. Focusing on this area also positively influences the user experience and their reactions while using the website. What should be considered when creating optimization plans? What do you need to focus on in particular?
SXO, or Search Experience Optimization, is a combination of SEO and UX. This area includes not only activities that increase the visibility of the website and organic traffic. It also focuses on keeping users on the site longer and encouraging them to take action. Thanks to SXO, the site becomes fully friendly to both robots and people who decided to visit it.
More and more websites are being optimized in this respect. This has to do with the changes that Google has decided to make to its algorithm. In mid-2021, an update called Page Experience Update appeared, which includes, among others Core Web Vitals or mobile friendly indicators. It places a strong emphasis on factors that influence the user experience of their interaction with the site. The better your audience experience, the better your chances of converting and therefore of being successful online.
SXO is said to be an innovative approach to e-marketing. Thanks to it, the potential customer quickly finds the site because it is clearly visible. Due to the positive experiences that accompany him from the moment he enters the site, he is willing to perform a specific action. This includes, for example, purchasing a product or contacting us to inquire about the provision of a service. It is worth remembering that SXO activities also include CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization, i.e. optimization of the conversion path), analytics and UI, i.e. the user interface.
The first thing to consider when planning your website’s SXO optimization is audit. We are talking about SXO audit, of course, and not a regular SEO analysis. It includes many different activities focusing on usability and SEO. It’s best to entrust this task to a professional agency that knows exactly what to consider. SXO audit is a complex process that requires the cooperation of experts in several different fields. A person without proper knowledge and skills will not carry it out properly.
Properly performed analysis provides a lot of information about the site. Some elements, such as graphics or content, are double-checked, not only in terms of SEO, but also UX. The SXO audit focuses, among others, on:
– the structure of the website and the ease of navigating through it,
– internal and external linking,
– key phrases,
– page loading speed,
– technical aspects of SEO,
– adaptation to mobile devices, i.e. mobile friendly,
– meta descriptions, their correctness, quality and uniqueness.
Such an audit is the first step to introducing significant changes to the website. It allows you to collect data on the basis of which it will be possible to achieve the intended goals, and thus improve the visibility of the website and user experience. A careful analysis shows what needs to be modified, added, simplified or removed. It also makes you aware of how individual website elements affect user behavior and conversion.
SXO has different assumptions than SEO
Anyone who decides to optimize SXO must remember that the goals of this type of activity are different than in SEO. This strategy assumes that the website’s visibility on Google and other search engines alone is not enough to ensure the company’s success and higher profits. Potential customers should be encouraged to take a specific action, and the best way to do it is to refine the website in terms of usability.
The main task of SEO is to improve your website in such a way that it occupies the highest position in the search results. The activities performed in this area therefore focus on communication with search engine robots, link building, the use of key phrases and similar aspects. For SXO, the feelings that accompany users while browsing the website play an equally important role. Therefore, it is necessary to understand their needs, to look at the site from their perspective.
Of course, both strategies also have common points, such as website responsiveness, loading time, thoughtful navigation or substantive, high-quality content. Nevertheless, SXO is a broader strategy and at the same time a different approach to the site. It puts the user in the center of attention, because he is to perform an activity that will bring the company profit. The fact that it will go to the website because it is well visible in the search engine is only half of the success. It is equally important for the user to do what is expected of him, i.e. make a purchase.
Testing planned solutions
Already at the stage of planning the modification of a website in terms of SXO, you need to prepare ways to test the implemented solutions. It is necessary to develop hypotheses and create all possible test variants. Verification is important because without it it is difficult to plan fully effective actions improving the conversion. One of its forms is analyzing the heat map. It is a study showing how users behave after visiting the website and which elements of it are the most popular. Please note that heatmaps are not eye tracking. It tracks the movement of the eyeballs, for this you need to use specialized equipment. The heatmap is compiled using analytical tools that study cursor movement (eg HotJar or Crazy EGG).
The following are also helpful A / B analyzes of subpages showing which solution is more effective. Such tests play an extremely important role in the case of SXO optimization. Thanks to them, you can make informed decisions regarding changes made within the website, so they should not be ignored. Otherwise, it may turn out that the performed optimization will not provide such significant effects as it was assumed before the start of work. Tests indicate possible errors and elements that need improvement, which allows for more effective optimization.
SXO – what else needs to be considered?
When creating an SXO strategy, it is imperative to identify the website’s needs. Although the basic ones are higher conversion and better visibility, each company deciding on such optimization has also other points to achieve. Here, a lot depends, for example, on the industry. A business goal may also be, for example, increased sales of a specific product or a whole category of products, better recognition in a given target group or gaining the trust and loyalty of customers.
Optimizing SXO is not a process that takes only a few hours. It requires a lot of work and persistence, but the benefits obtained from it prove that it is worth choosing such a solution. The implementation of activities in this area often requires the reconstruction of the entire website. Changes are made both in terms of the content or key phrases, as well as functionality, and even appearance. It must be remembered that the user experience can be influenced by any, even seemingly insignificant detail, such as the color scheme or a too small CTA button.
The time consuming SXO optimization is due to, inter alia, with its complexity. The strategy includes many different activities, which are:
– website optimization – refining contact details and forms, improving the purchasing process,
– SEO of the website – ensuring good visibility in the search engine,
– content marketing – preparation or improvement of substantive content,
– UX and UI optimization – taking care of such issues as readability, navigation, responsiveness, attractive website design,
– analytics – testing solutions, controlling the effects,
– web development – refining the code, scripts and sitemap,
– CRO – conversion path optimization.
As with the implementation of an SEO strategy, SXO activities will not provide immediate results. The waiting time for the effects depends on the industry and many other factors, but on average, after about 3-6 months, the first favorable changes can be noticed. When planning SXO optimization, you should consider both this issue and the costs associated with taking such actions. It is difficult to precisely estimate the budget that the company should have at its disposal. The current condition of the site, its size, history and reputation, as well as the competitiveness of key phrases for a given industry play an important role here. However, there is no doubt that an investment in an SXO strategy is the right thing to do. The importance of this area will continue to grow, due to the continuous development of the Internet and modern technologies.
More and more people are wondering who should decide to implement Search Experience Optimization. Optimization in this respect is recommended in particular to businesses operating in the e-commerce industry. This allows you to stand out from the competition, and at the same time to adapt your sales platform to the needs and expectations of customers. However, it is worth emphasizing that SXO is the right strategy for any other website as well. The combination of SEO and UX allows you to gain the attention of the recipient, encourage them to visit the website and stay on it for longer in order to perform the desired action.