Search Experience Optimization: The Future of SEO is called SXO

Search Experience Optimization: The Future of SEO is called SXO

Previously, Search Engine Optimization (aka “SEO”) was mostly just keywords, backlinks, and technical SEO. The SEO measures of many agencies consisted of the technical and content optimization of the website with search engines such as Google in focus – and this is often supported by purchased backlinks and hidden text. The aim was to improve the page rank of your own site in search engines.

But at least since Google Panda Update (2011), Google wants to live up to its motto “The user comes first, everything else follows automatically.” pursue the so-called Black Hat SEO ) and unusable content. The Google algorithm is thus getting better and better at understanding the need behind certain keywords, and over the years Google has focused on one thing in particular: the search intention.

Why search intention is important for your SEO

Since then search intention has become an increasingly important factor for ranking among organic search results, the focus is shifting from SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to the SXO – the Search Experience Optimization, i.e. optimizing the user’s search experience. As with inbound marketing, the focus is on the customers, because the people who buy your product are not machines.

It is therefore paramount for companies and agencies to understand the intention behind a search query and to provide relevant content for this search query accordingly. An attempt is made to understand the needs of the users and to offer a solution for them. No one wants to wade through countless results before finding the answer to a question. So the principle is: the more relevant your content, the more likely it is to appear on the first page of search results.

What exactly is Search Experience Optimization?

Because Google itself seems to make customer-centric thinking more and more a condition for a good ranking, website operators have to follow suit. A purely technical search engine optimization of the website does not help much nowadays to get into the upper ranks of the SERPs and to expand the organic traffic. Search Engine Optimization combines search engine optimization with user experience (UX) – the equation for relevant search results is therefore SEO + UX = SXO.

If SEO measures are combined with measures of user experience optimization, your Website recognized by search engines as more relevant and placed higher in the SERPs than other sites.

The needs of the customers in the focus of the SXO

The classic keyword research including search volume, competition and CPC (“Cost per click”) has had its day in optimizing the search experience. On the contrary, using keywords with a high search volume too often can even be counterproductive, since Google and other search engines penalize so-called “keyword stuffing” by reducing your relevance.

Much more relevant When researching suitable keywords, the search intention is to be considered. Here the users are faced with a problem and feel the need to find a solution to their problem or an answer to their question by entering certain search queries in the form of keywords into the search mask of Google or other search engines. Because some searches have billions and billions of search results, it’s hard to find what he or she is looking for.

Let’s take a classic example: A person complains of a headache and wants to get rid of it. Instead of taking a pill straight away, she first wants to try home remedies and types in the keyword “home remedies for headaches” in the Google search bar. With more than 2 million search results, it is difficult to find the right result. Within a few seconds, users can use the preview text (the “meta description”) and the headline (the “meta title”) of a website to judge whether the website in question has the solution to their problem and whether they can trust the answer.

It is So it’s still important to research relevant keywords and integrate them into the text and meta tags. Once the person’s attention is caught, the next phase of the Customer’s Journey begins.

User Experience – The second ingredient for SXO

So the person has become aware of your website and your offer and has clicked on your search result at best. Now she is on your website and is looking for a solution to her problem. What is now important so that he or she does not leave your website and return to the Google search is the appearance of your website – i.e. the web design.

Forever loading times

The user experience and usability are already starting when loading your website in the user’s browser. If your website is taking too long to fully load or takes ages to display anything at all, most people have already gone back into the Google SERPs and are looking at the competition. So, in addition to high-quality and search-engine-optimized content, also make sure that loading times are as short as possible and, since search queries are increasingly being made via mobile devices, that your website is mobile-friendly. These points are an important part of technical search engine optimization.

Long walls of text

Another red flag in the UX optimization of your website is endless monotonous text deserts in sight. Since most users want a solution to their problem or an answer to their question as quickly as possible, these should be clearly recognizable the first time you look at your website. Use short paragraphs and meaningful headings that users can use for orientation. Ideally, you should also include graphics, images or videos so that your content appears to be of higher quality and more trustworthy. Images, videos, maps and news also play a role in universal search – user experience optimization also means universal search optimization.

No visible structure

Although the points text walls and structure overlap up to a certain extent, but the important thing to note about the structure is that visiting your site should feel like a red thread. As mentioned above, Google search is the first step of the customer journey. Your website should therefore be structured in such a way that interested parties, ideally, enter the purchase phase at the end of the website – for example with a call to action (CTA) or a further link.

And how does Google know how good the search experience is on my site?

Google and other search engines use different metrics to measure the UX and the search experience in general on your website. First of all, Google differentiates between two types of clicks, the short click and the long click. With the short click, exactly what was described in the three sections above happens: the person leaves your website and immediately returns to the SERPs without even having viewed your website. More important for you are long clicks, which are the result of your SXO measures – the users stay on your website and at best interact with it. So what kind of click it depends on the dwell time.

Two rates are also important metrics: On the one hand, the Click-Through-Rate (CTR), indicates the percentage of clicks on your website. The CTR is calculated by dividing the clicks by the total number of impressions. The result is multiplied by 100 and this results in the CTR in percent. The second relevant rate is the bounce rate, i.e. the bounce rate. This is calculated in a similar way to the CTR: Here, the visits without any interaction are divided by the total number of visits and multiplied by 100. Here it is said that the higher the CTR and the lower the bounce rate, the better.

From search result to search experience

In recent years, search engines have constantly improved and expanded their algorithms. They are increasingly trying to present a solution to their problem directly to the users. For online marketing, this means designing your measures holistically – from SEO to content to web design – customer-oriented. To do this, SEO managers and content creators have to deal more with the search intention than with the mere search volume.

So that your website will remain in the top positions in the SERPs in the future, your website must respond directly to the needs of potential customers and address them on an emotional level.

As an inbound marketing agency, we will help you and develop a holistic marketing concept together with you, starting with a strategy tailored to your target group and the selection of appropriate marketing channels. With our measures, which are completely oriented toward your customers, we help you to get more traffic and ultimately more leads.

Simply arrange a non-binding callback appointment for a free initial consultation with our marketing experts.

By Ephatech

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