Today, effective online marketing requires a comprehensive approach to your strategies. The same goes for SEO. SXO, or search experience optimization, is exactly the kind of complex set of SEO activities that should be included in every marketing plan for 2021. So what is SXO and how does it work?
Table of Contents:
- What Is SXO?
- SXO. How To Plan It?
- SXO Audit – What To Pay Attention To?
- SXO Costs – What Do They Depend On?
- SXO. Is It Worth It?
What Is SXO?
It is a comprehensive set of on-site and off-site SEO, CRO, and UX activities that aims to attract the attention of as many users as possible through organic traffic from Google, provide them with valuable content, hold their attention, and eventually encourage them to take the desired action: convert, make a purchase, submit a form, or download high-value content. All this is possible with the right SEO and conversion optimization, and a keen understanding of your personas in marketing, their expectations, and needs.
What Does SXO Involve?
SXO consists of:
- SEO – the process of optimizing a website aimed at achieving high rankings in search results, increasing visibility in search engines, and boosting web traffic;
- Content marketing – creating content that supports the user at all stages of the purchase decision and conversion path, and that responds to specific keywords and queries entered into Google; the layout of content on a page, as well as its quality, length, formatting, headings really matter;
- CRO (conversion rate optimization) – optimizing the conversion path so that as much web traffic as possible generates leads and purchases;
- Web development – optimization of web pages: improving page load speed, finding and fixing errors, optimizing files on the page, debugging HTML and CSS, updating robots.txt and sitemap files, introducing SSL;
- UX/UI optimization – providing users with a friendly interface, visually pleasing design, and easy navigation from the landing page to the conversion (e.g. making a purchase or filling out a form); at this stage, you need to make sure your website is intuitive to use, the user journey is well-defined, your visuals are attractive and impressive, your content is legible and formatted correctly;
- Analytics – observing and drawing conclusions from statistics (e.g. from Google Analytics or A/B tests) or user behavior on the website (e.g. with Hotjar).
How and When SXO Emerged?
The concept of SXO emerged when it became apparent that most web traffic and purchases have shifted from desktop to mobile devices. It is the combination of SEO, CRO, and UX activities that gives the best experience to business website users and online store customers.
Why Do I Need SXO?
There are several specific reasons supporting SXO:
- More conversions and higher sales with better Google rankings and a better customer experience,
- More returning customers – if their experience was satisfactory, they are more likely to return to you,
- Consistency in online marketing activities regarding content, SEO, UX and web development,
- Better content → more pageviews, longer sessions, higher CTR.
SXO. How to Plan It?
In a nutshell, the plan of your SXO activities should look like this:
- Optimize your website so that users are more willing to spend time on it, fill out your forms, get in touch with you or make a purchase;
- Plan your SEO process with the relevant keywords that you can use in metadata (title tag and meta description) and content;
- Get as many visitors as possible from Google’s search results with the help of well-planned SEO activities both on-page and off-page (link building) – generating valuable web traffic is the core of SXO;
- Give users what they came for: deliver valuable content that attracts their attention and gets the most out of their session;
- Encourage customers to take an action and continually optimize customer journey maps and site architecture to maximize conversions with good CTAs and full responsiveness of all components of the purchase process – show users the direct way to complete the transaction;
- Encourage the most engaged users to return to your website and make more purchases.
SXO Audit – What to Pay Attention to?
To plan a journey well, you need to know where are your starting point and the final destination. Just like SEO, your SXO strategy should be driven by data and recommendations from your SXO audit report. Such an audit, that is an in-depth analysis of your website, is based on, among others, A/B tests or Nielsen’s heuristics. It primarily verifies page navigation and internal linking between pages, content quality, page load speed, or mobile-friendly and SEO-friendly elements of the website. Simply put: SXO audit = SEO audit + UX audit + CRO audit.
With the SXO audit, you’ll find out if your menu, page layout, or buttons are actually meeting their intended purpose. You will check if your content encourages users to take any action, if all interactive elements are working properly and if the customer journey goes smoothly from the first interaction with the website in the organic search results to complete the transaction. You can conduct such a simple SXO audit on your own or outsource it to a professional agency.
SXO Costs – What Do They Depend On?
Similar to SEO services pricing, the price of SXO activities also depends on many factors. Among the most important ones it is worth mentioning: how big is your website or online store, whether it has ever been optimized, what’s the domain history and reputation (e.g. Google penalties), or how competitive keywords are for your business.
SXO: Is It Worth It?
Can a comprehensive and well-planned SXO strategy help you grow your business? Yes. The importance of SXO, the end-to-end approach to a website’s interface and SEO, will continue to grow as e-commerce is on the rise and more and more users around the world reach websites from mobile devices. Those who want to stay offline will soon just be off. If you take care of SXO now, you’ll stand out from the competition in the future. I guess you don’t want to stand still, right?
Choose an agency that can provide you with effective SEO, UX, and CRO strategies all at once and plan the data-driven SXO process. Investing in SXO really pays off, but only with the excellent quality of work done.