SXO: In-Depth Coverage of SEO & UX’s Lovechild, Part I

So you’ve heard about SEO, the ruler of Google hits, but have you ever heard about SXO, the high monarch of user hits?

There’s a strong possibility that the answer is no. But fear not, good friend: we’re here to set you straight.

What is the difference between SEO and SXO, anyway?

Dial or control knob monitoring User Experience

Time to level up your understanding of SXO.

Great question! 

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Meanwhile, SXO stands for Search Experience Optimization. It’s the addition of UX, or user experience, to the SEO brand. This takes the focus off of the search engine and onto your user. Click To Tweet

This slight shift in focus can make a world of difference when it comes to increasing and maintaining your clientele.

Ultimately, isn’t that who your site is really about, anyway?

If the search engines love you but your user base doesn’t, eventually the search engines will stop coming to your site, too. Le gasp! Their job, after all, is to serve their customers better. This means the people who use search engines. If you don’t both have the same goal, they won’t bring you to their customers’ attention.

It’s better to work together. If we all share the same goal and are working towards the same ends, it’s a win for everyone. Search engines get happy users, and you get delighted consumers. The evolution of SEO into SXO is becoming a win/win situation for everyone, and we couldn’t be more delighted with our growing industry.

So what does the customer want?

Business people shaking hands, finishing up a meeting

Time to meet and greet some customer needs. Hope you’ve caffeinated them!

That is an incredibly astute question. Someone has had their coffee today!

Because all of this takes place online, it can be challenging to figure out the customer’s actual end needs. While in a physical format you could talk to your customers and ask them about their experiences, in a remote format they have less incentive to give you any feedback whatsoever. Surveys take time, and complaints take time. Meanwhile, they could go back to Facebook and reply to a photo of their mother’s zinnias. And, hey, hasn’t it been a while since they called their mother? They really should spend more time doing that.

zinnia flower blossom

What fertilizer did you use again, Mom?

It’s better for you as a company not to disrupt their user experience because it could make them forget about why they even came to your website in the first place. Ugh to that. The trick of getting the type of feedback you need online is by tracking how people get to your site, what people do once they get to your website, and why they leave your website. An excellent place to start is by figuring out the questions that are already leading customers to visit your site. You can find this out by looking up your keyword data.

What’s keyword data?

Tablet with words Keywords on a wooden background.

*comment about the glorious woodgrain on this desk.* Yes, we love desks, but let’s also get those keywords in check, eh?

Keyword data is the search terminology that brought your visitors to your website. This can be collected through the Google Search Console, which can be found through Google Analytics. If you haven’t been keeping track of people’s visits to your website, you should begin now. Like… yesterday.

First, you want to look at the Google Search Volume. This explains how often the keyword or related keywords get searched. You’ll gain a better idea of the largest common denominator of what your customers want. Focusing on the most commonly searched keywords will provide you with a solid foundation to start your keyword targeting.

Second, you want to determine which keywords will reach the most people. This principle is the core of your keyword targeting. You do so with a combination of figuring out which keywords are the central search targets for your customers, and which ones are the ones you want to be associated with your website. This is what we call semantic search.

What’s semantic search?

Semantic search is the human touch to the cold input of keyword data. Click To Tweet

Essentially, it’s a human analysis of why specific keywords are repeated and others aren’t. While a million monkeys on typewriters could maybe someday pound out Shakespeare, that kind of random chance isn’t what you want your website to rely on as a primary strategy for attracting new customers.

Closed Red English Dictionary with Tabs Isolated on White Background.

Designed by humans, processed by computers.

No program could be intuitive enough to understand why keywords are grouped as they are. And besides, you have the data of your previous customers to compare these statistics against. You know what people ask for when they come in the door. It takes your brain to connect with your customers. It takes a human to process language use.

Keyword data only takes into account the real words entered into the search engine. Semantic search takes into account voice commands, search history, and the entire search query – and it’s the kind of thing that makes SXO so awesome as a tool. 

By bringing the personal touch to SEO, SXO makes your website an experience rather than a data point. Click To Tweet

It’s more convenient for your customers, and that’s the kind of thing that will make them happy before they even have time to think about why they’re not.

But all of this is what happens before your customer even gets to your website. What about when they are physically visiting your webpage? Once they get there, how do you know that they’re going to stay? You’re going to need to analyze click behavior.

Tune In Tomorrow for Part II

Tomorrow we’ll be back with more on SXO, including click behaviors and more on addressing and meeting your customer’s needs. For now, if you’re overwhelmed by the thought of SXO or SEO, reach out to us. We’re professionals and we’re happy to help you dominate your competition. If we can help you (and we can!), contact us today. We’re ready for you.

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