SXO: the improved version of SEO 2021?
When we talk about SEO, SEA and website, we immediately think of SEO and this, and rightly so, since it is the latter that allows webmasters to increase the visibility of their site. Lately however, it seems that SEO has reached its limits as an improved version has emerged. This is the SXO. How SXO is different from SEO and what does it involve?
A little reminder on SEO
SEO or Search Engine Optimization has always been (and still is) the foundation of natural referencing. Its techniques improve the positioning of a site in the SERPs and increase its visibility. Each action taken aims to convince search engine crawlers (including Google) of the quality of the site and its pages. When the robots are seduced, they make the site appear on the first page of the SERPs when a corresponding request is launched by an Internet user.
What is SXO?
SXO or Search eXperience Optimization is based on the same bases as SEO, but with a particular interest in UX or User eXperience (user experience). In French, it means “optimization of the user experience”. From this definition, it should then be understood that SXO groups together techniques that aim to improve the user experience from research to conversion. In other words, it takes actions to meet the expectations of Internet users.
To simplify the formula, we will say that the SXO = SEO + UX.
What are the differences between SXO and SEO?
The SEO is the basis of SXO, but it will add more UX. This means that SXO shares the same techniques as SEO namely:
- The search for relevant keywords
- The writing quality content with the natural integration of key phrases
- Optimization of the content and page structure
- The implementation of a netlinking campaign
- The SEO images, videos …
The SXO applies these same techniques, but aware that they are mainly intended to seduce robots, it deemed more relevant to apply other techniques to also seduce Internet users.
The reason is that even if the robots improve the positioning of the site, they are not the ones who will buy your products or subscribe to your newsletter. To achieve these goals, you need to address humans who are none other than internet users. It is therefore normal that we want to treat and welcome potential customers and welcome robot crawlers.
While robots improve the visibility of the site on the web, customers bring in money and optimize the ROI (Return on investment). This is why the SXO has adopted a broader vision ranging from research to conversion, even customer retention.
SEO is therefore responsible for convincing search engine algorithms while UX is responsible for convincing Internet users to take action.
What are the techniques that the SXO has in addition?
In addition to the SEO techniques mentioned above, SXO also ensures:
- Present smooth landing pages
- Offer a fast loading time whether on Desktop or mobile
- Make it easier for Internet users to navigate the site
- Present a nice design
- Facilitate access to the various information on the site
Basically, it ensures that UX Design seduces, retains and brings back Internet users. Obviously, font, structure, color, quality of content, site structure… all of this plays a major role that should not be overlooked.
How do you know if customers are satisfied or not?
There is already the conversion criterion. If no internet user clicks on your call-to-action buttons, you can already be sure that the UX is negative. And if you are relying on statistics, you should pay attention to the following KPIs:
- The bounce rate: if this figure is high, it means that a large number of Internet users have clicked on the link that leads to your page, but left immediately after a few seconds. Bounce can be caused by various things: a page that takes a long time to fully display, a design that scares… In other words, a high bounce rate is equivalent to a lack of relevance.
- The click-through rate on the links displayed in the SERPs: thanks to SEO, you managed to land on the first page of the SERPs and yet the number of clicks obtained is very low. This proves that it is not because we are well positioned that customers will flock. A low click-through rate can be explained by the irrelevance of your titles or your metadata. If those texts aren’t catchy, no one will click on your link, no matter how relevant the content of the landing page is.
- The conversion rate: if you have created a site, it is to take advantage of it and therefore convert average Internet users into customers or subscribers. If the conversion rate is low, your actions of seduction are not enough. More generally, your content is not convincing enough in the eyes of Internet users, which explains their reluctance to buy or subscribe.
Besides these three indicators, other factors can also indicate the dissatisfaction of your customers. In any case, the SXO is keen to remedy this by introducing other techniques of seduction especially focused on Internet users and no longer only on robots.
How to set up an SXO strategy?
As you will have understood, we are launching on the web, not only to attract traffic thanks to SEO, but also to make turnover thanks to UX. To do this, it is important to adopt a more user-oriented strategy without rushing the content-technical-netlinking triptych. How to develop such a strategy?
Here are a few tips :
To remember: “User First”
Before even creating the site, you must remember this important point: the site is dedicated to your targets. Who are they? What do they want? What do they aspire to? How do they live? What do they need? What are their problems? What could make their life easier? What media do they use to connect to the internet? …
You need to think about the users first, because they are your potential customers, not the bots. This is why you must get to know them, identify their needs, adapt your strategy to their lifestyle, etc. Knowing the targets then allows you to determine some key points of your strategy, in particular the tone to adopt, the jargon to use … Each detail of the site therefore counts to make the visit pleasant for Internet users, think of:
- Optimize the quality of your content, whether textual or visual
- Remove anything that could complicate navigation on the site
- Shorten the sales funnels and the procedure for filling out subscription forms
- Speed up the loading of your pages
- Use legible characters and font size
- Integrate features that can facilitate access to your services …
To apply: fast loading speed
It has been proven that beyond a loading time of 3 seconds, Internet users find the page irrelevant and close the tab immediately to move to another. More specifically, 25% of Internet users close the page after 4 seconds, while 53% of them leave after 7 seconds.
Yes, it’s about seconds here, so if your page is taking too long to fully display, you can say goodbye to a lot of potential customers. To avoid this, it is necessary to optimize the loading whether on desktop, tablet or mobile. How to do it?
- Choose a powerful web host
- Choose a fluid theme
- Reduce the size of your videos and images
- Lighten your code …
Once these actions have been taken, go to the various existing media and test your site. You will then see if other improvements need to be made.
To design: a responsive site
To facilitate access to your site, try to make it responsive. This means that it must be able to adapt to all existing screen sizes (PC, tablet and smartphone). You can check Screen Size of Website By Using this Free Webpage Screen Resolution Simulator Tool before publishing your website. What should be avoided is that the user consults your site on desktop and comes across a miniature version on display or that he consults your site on his mobile and has to drag his screen from left to right to have a complete display of your pages.
To put into practice: structured data
Do not forget to display all the data concerning your company such as contacts, history, prioritization of your staff, your address… This information easily attracts the trust of users and thus improves their UX. Google can also use it to increase your visibility and display this information when needed.
To be preferred: images and videos
Of course, you will still need to post textual content, but did you know that visuals are more engaging and expressive than words. Internet users are moreover more fond of images and videos than texts, so when possible, offer them and don’t forget to reference them.
To adopt: quality content
Whether it is your texts, your images or your videos, the quality must always be there. For texts, quality is reflected in the relevance of information and the structure of the text, while for images and videos, it relies above all on the quality of images and sound.
To insert: the hat and the summary
Internet users are always in a hurry. When arriving on a page, they’ll always start with a diagonal reading to make sure they don’t waste time reading the entire content. In addition to making reading easier in F, you should also include a chapeau and a summary on each of your pages. The latter inform them from the start of the information they will find on the page. And to optimize these points, think of a clickable summary that allows the Internet user to go directly to the point that interests him.
Do not overlook: titles and subtitles
They are the ones that allow the famous reading in F about which we spoke to you above. Each title and sub-title must be relevant and give precise information. Like the summary, they give clues to the content they are about to read. Don’t forget either that these points play a major role in voice search, which is booming today. Then try to formulate them in the form of a question using the terms used by Internet users.
To improve: the site tree structure
The tree structure includes the different menu items such as categories and subcategories. It is generally highlighted by the breadcrumb trail. Sometimes we tend to think that by establishing several categories, navigation will be easier. Of course, it will be easier, but did you know that with too long a path, internet users may lose patience? To avoid this, make sure to keep the number of clicks to a product or service to a minimum. On average, it takes three clicks, because beyond that, the circuit becomes too long.
To set up: clear CTA buttons
The CTA buttons are used to convert internet users. You must then make sure that they are clearly visible and placed in the right place. Also, remember to phrase them in a catchy way that visitors are really determined to take action.
And these are not the only rules of SXO, because being broader than SEO, it embeds other actions that focus on users.