Health IS Technology Blog

What is Search Experience Optimization?


“I believe that all brands will become storytellers, editors and publishers, all stores will become magazines, and all media companies will become stores. There will be too many of all of them. The strongest ones, the ones who offer the best customer experience, will survive,” (Renowned Businesswoman & Journalist Dame Natalie Massenet, MBE, DBE)

User Experience

 

What is Search Experience Optimization?

SXO a.k.a. Search Experience Optimization is the process of improving the ability of users to positively interact with and experience the elements within a website, such as its content and design elements. Many web-centric organizations leverage tools such as user personas, usability tests, UXA’s a.k.a. user experience assessments, etc. in order to deepen their understanding of their target user’s online expectations, preferences, and goals. In other words, it’s all about building a better, more user-friendly world wide web for everyone.

But how do you get millions of website owners and contributors to get on board this progress plane and commit to revamping and building websites with users in mind? Step one: You get search giants, like Google to prioritize and incentivize the process in order to get the ball rolling, worldwide. And Google is indeed beginning to encourage this by rewarding websites that put interaction and experience at the center of development, design, and content for the web with better ranking in their SERP’s (i.e. Search Engine Results Pages). As a result, Search Experience Optimization will be an increasingly important focus for today’s search and marketing specialists.

  • SXO is the practice savvy sites will emphasize to ‘win’ the search game and better serve their customers in 2016 and beyond.

“Search Experience Optimization means optimizing the user experience for the users we get, as well as the ones we want. Not only will that align with what Google wants, but a better understanding of all our users will help our business objectives, as well,” (Search Engine Land).

 

What Matters in SXO?

In order to measure and isolate areas for improvement through SXO, analysts will leverage information from the factors that are most likely to have a heavy influence on the willingness of a site’s target customers to visit and interact (e.g. read content, play videos, click links, share data, etc.) within it. This includes the website’s speed, navigation layout, mobile responsiveness, etc. Other influencing factors that have remained paramount are content, links, and metadata. All of these factors are taken into account by Google’s search algorithm, which directly impact the ability of different websites to rank within SERP’s, because they tell search engines (e.g. Google, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, etc.) how well the website answers a question posed by a customer in a way that is user-friendly. Site owners can succeed in this venture (answer question and serve customers) by collaborating with experienced search and marketing specialists, to analyze, review, and implement the changes necessary to maximize traffic to and user experience within the site.

Hire & Collaborate with an SEO

“Every customer journey is unique. While old SEO approaches were focused on machine experience, the new search experience optimization is all about offering value to end users. SEO is about people, not machines. Taking customers out of the one-size-fits-all sales funnel can increase web traffic, improve user engagement and raise conversion rates: all keys to a better bottom line,” (HuffingtonPost).

 

What’s the Future of Search & Marketing?

Just as SEO (Search Engine Optimization) has matured and expanded over the years, marketing strategies will be continually adapted and revamped as we forge further into an increasingly digital future. So, you can continue to stay ahead of the curve and better serve your customers by readily seeking new and more effective methods to improve your website to meet customer needs. Collaborate with search and marketing specialists to discover the various qualitative and quantitative insights you’ll need to implement responsive changes for your site’s visitors, successfully.

Pro Notes:

  • Content: “Google recently announced its latest algorithm named RankBrain. RankBrain is an AI change that attempts to “understand’ the context of the content on any given site. It essentially eliminates the idea of keyword density, because the challenge is to understand the content and its value to search engine users,” (SEMRush).
  • UX (User Experience) & Mobile: “Google is using more UX related factors in search rankings generally, and a good user experience is perhaps even more vital for mobile sites, given smaller screen sizes and variable mobile internet signals,” (SearchEngineWatch).
  • Links: “SEO has much of its roots in the practice of targeted link building. And while it’s no longer the only core component involved, it’s still a hugely valuable factor when it comes to rank boosting,” (Moz).