What Is SXO?

Author: Harry Phillips - UX Analyst

Date: 21 November 2023

Welcome to the world of SXO, a blend of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and UX (User Experience), designed to give users the best possible experience whilst also keeping search engines happy. 

In this blog post, we'll delve into the fundamentals, exploring what SXO is, how you can integrate it into your website, and why it's crucial to do so.

What is SXO?

Search Experience Optimisation, or SXO, integrates SEO, CRO and UX practices. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, which is the practice of improving a website’s visibility in search engine results for relevant queries. It involves a range of techniques like keyword optimisation, quality content creation and backlinking, aimed at boosting a site’s credibility and relevance to improve its ranking on platforms like Google. 

UX stands for User Experience, which is the overall experience a user has while interacting with a website or digital product. It focuses on making interfaces as intuitive and efficient as possible, aiming to provide a seamless and satisfying experience for the user.

CRO stands for Conversion Rate Optimisation. This is a practice where you use other elements of digital marketing, such as SEO and UX, as efficiently as you can to convert a customer. This involves making a logical and smooth process for the user, from landing on the site to finally converting, without any obstructions and obstacles.

The aim of SXO is to create a seamless and engaging user journey that begins with a search query and ends with a satisfied user who found what they were looking for. Rather than merely focusing on keyword optimisation and backlinks, SXO thinks about the entire user experience, from the speed of the page loading to the intuitiveness of the website design.

Why is it important?

Let's get straight to the point. A well-optimised website might attract many users, but if the e-commerce UX is poor, you'll struggle to convert these users. Poor user experience can negatively impact your SEO rankings, as search engines like Google increasingly factor in elements like loading speed, mobile optimisation, and content readability. 

Failing to prioritise user experience can therefore, undermine all your other SEO efforts, causing lower visibility and reduced traffic. A user-friendly website is essential, but without high search engine rankings, most users may never find it. Since over two-thirds of online experiences start with a search engine, visibility is critical for attracting traffic and conversions. This is why user experience designers compile much research on the user and how they behave online before creating the final design. Therefore, combining SEO, CRO and UX design is not just a nice idea, it's essential for online success.

How to improve SXO on your website

One of the main ways you can improve your website using SXO is by focusing on user engagement metrics, such as click-through rates, dwell time, and bounce rates, which offer valuable insights into user behaviour on a website. They indicate not just the volume of traffic but the quality of engagement. For instance, a poor click-through rate could signal that the user experience (UX) isn't intuitive or enticing enough, potentially hindering users from effectively navigating the site. Additionally, if users are not staying on your site as suggested by excessive bounce rates or unusually brief dwell times, this might hint at deeper UX issues that must be investigated.

By delivering a well-designed layout, faster load times, and intuitive navigation, you can not only make the site more appealing to search engines but also create a more satisfying experience for the user. Implementing features like AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) and featured snippets can also offer an immediate boost to both usability and search visibility. 

When thinking about SXO, it's crucial to keep some things in mind. Firstly, content is still king, but it needs to be presented in an easily digestible manner. Long paragraphs might turn off visitors, while well-spaced text with bullet points and subheadings can improve readability. Secondly, always remember to consider the mobile experience. With more and more people accessing websites on mobile devices, a responsive design is essential.

Investing in SXO is a strategic move that pays off in both the short and long term. It ensures that your website is not just a tick-box exercise to appease search engine algorithms but a well-designed platform that provides real value to users. When users are happy, search engines are happy, making it a win-win situation. 
If you're looking to create a more seamless and engaging online experience that will not only rank well but also delight your users, don't hesitate to get in touch with us.

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