Long considered the hard core of online visibility, SEO is being overtaken. If not, it almost is already. Web referencing is now organized by the principles of SXO, the unexpected successor of the famous SEO. And as you can guess, between SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SXO (Search eXperience Optimization), the difference is not just one letter. It’s a whole new philosophy, a whole new paradigm.

What is SXO, and what future does it hold for SEO? Let’s see together.

The weak points of SEO

Still known as natural referencing, SEO is one of the main components of marketing focused on positioning in the SERPs . Although its effectiveness has been proven in SEO optimization, over the years it has been noticed that SEO is less and less able to ensure websites a place at the top of the rankings. And here is what this state of affairs is due to.

Frequent search engine updates

From Google to Bing via Yahoo , search engines are constantly updating their algorithms. We still remember the updates, Panda, Penguin and also RankBrain from Google.

The impact of these updates was often felt in the web referencing of several sites. Immediately after these updates were made, there were thousands of platforms that, once at the top of the rankings , had suddenly dropped.

The opposite phenomenon has also occurred with many other sites. While some went down the rankings, others went up, just like that.

Because they are unpredictable, these updates create enough difficulties, even for web SEO experts who had placed SEO at the heart of their digital strategy . They therefore find themselves forced to scramble for days, if not weeks. All this to see their sites regain their pre-update position.

Strong competition on the web

Have you ever heard of the popo-stincking phenomenon ? It is indeed the phenomenon by which Internet users return to search results almost as soon as they have clicked on a link.

With SEO, it was noticed that over time popo-stincking had become frequent. Web referencing specialists who understood how natural referencing worked , implemented all the necessary means to seduce search engines. Thus, we made use of all SEO strategies, just to satisfy the search engines.

But websites, there are now a whole host of them; the competition is tough. And it often happens that even when certain sites occupy the best positions on the SERPs, they do not manage to satisfy the needs of Internet users.

Surely you have already clicked on links and then landed on pages that did not really answer your request. Every Internet user has experienced this once. As a result, the websites managed to get clicks , but the conversion rates were often not there. In addition, Internet users spend very little time on these sites. Even if we don’t make a big deal out of it, it was a big imperfection in the operationalization of SEO that the entire web community tolerated for a long time.

Today, the steam has reversed. The trend is more at SXO.

The SXO: a new era in web referencing

With SEO, Google is indeed a search engine. However, Internet users do not just want to do research, they especially want answers. For this, the kings of the web (Google) have decided to be more than search engines.

Above all, Google wants to be a “response engine”. It is therefore a question of helping the Internet user to have satisfaction as soon as possible. Since it was necessary, search engines have changed their paradigm: Search eXperience Optimization has been the fashion in the web referencing sector for some time.

What is SXO?

The SXO or Search eXperience Optimization is a new method of web referencing which gives priority to the user experience , even if the triptych contents-technique-mesh will not be relegated to oblivion.

It is actually a kind of “discipline” grouping together different techniques that help to optimize the user experience , from the moment he types his query in the search bar until the moment he is converted into a buyer.

You could even say that SXO is a combination of SEO and UX (User eXperience or User eXperience). The most important thing here is the ability to get more conversions.

Indeed, the UX, which dates back a few years, makes it possible to focus more on the feeling of each user when faced with the machine when doing a search. It pays particular attention to a number of factors such as:

  • clear understanding of the expectations of Internet users;
  • ergonomics, which makes it easier to find information;
  • optimized accessibility for various user profiles;
  • the quality, relevance and exclusivity of the content as well as the interest of visitors.

The advantages of the SXO

Why does user experience matter so much in SEO? In fact, here is the reason. While SEO focuses on the positioning and ranking of sites in the SERPs , Search eXperience Optimization broadens its scope by paying particular attention to the user journey . Well thought out, the user experience allows you to:

  • convert visitors into buyers for e-commerce sites;
  • collect email addresses;
  • generate pages for advertisers;
  • get visitor clicks on ads.

Today, as soon as he does his research online, the Internet user can already know just by looking at the SERP, if the link on which he is going to click will allow him to have the answers he needs. For this, it is necessary to optimize:

  • display in search results by adding items such as videos, images, maps, snippets;
  • the site and the page linked to the Internet user’s request;
  • the internal link;
  • conversion pages.

Thanks to the combination of these four techniques, the Internet user no longer clicks on a link simply because it is at the top of the search results , but because it contains probable answers.

Deployed, such a strategy will allow:

  • to increase the rate of clicks on your link, which optimizes your positioning in the results;
  • increase the time that each Internet user spends on your site after having been led to it;
  • to increase the number of pages consulted by the Internet user;
  • reduce the bounce rate;
  • benefit from much more targeted traffic;
  • to increase the conversion rate in fine, etc.

You want to know more about the method to deploy a Search eXperience Optimization strategy to improve your web referencing, we give you all the details you need for this in the following section.

How to implement SXO for your site?

If you plan to mount a successful SXO strategy , the main thing to do is not just to provide the content they are looking for, but not to give the Internet user a single reason to leave your site to return to Google. This is achieved by combining three main techniques.

SXO Technical Optimization

The goal here is to ensure that the technical elements of your website provide the best possible user experience . It will mainly be a question of implementing means for:

  • reduce the loading time of your pages on both mobile and desktop. The optimal page load time should be below 2 or 3 seconds for good SXO optimization. To achieve this, you will have to prefer very light images, avoid exaggerating the internal mesh and optimize your source code;
  • make sure to optimize the display and ergonomics of your site for all devices. Your platform must be responsive. Colors, styles, and fonts should be chosen carefully;
  • use the HTPPS protocol rather than HTTP : your SXO positioning in the SERPs will also be determined by this detail. This is the guarantee that you ensure the protection of your users’ data;
  • structure your data as well as possible : here, you will have to use schemag.org micro-data to refine the markup of your pages. You also need to embed meta tags .

Apart from the technical aspect, you will also have to optimize your content.

Content SXO Optimization

The key words are relevance, quality and precision . Indeed, your content must be skillfully developed, not with the sole intention of satisfying semantic requirements (even if this aspect counts), but above all to allow easy reading and understanding of your articles. It is therefore necessary to include:

  • hats at the top of the page, to summarize the content of the page in order to quickly capture the attention of the Internet user;
  • a table of contents , to give an overview of the outline of the articles, which makes it easier to navigate, especially if you have long articles;
  • Hn tags as in SEO, to provide more structured content to search engines and visitors. And if you can favor bulleted lists, tables, etc., it will only be an advantage for your web referencing;
  • questions that reveal and resolve unspoken misunderstandings. Formulate some that are related to your keywords and provide the corresponding answers. This will guarantee your site a level of depth that will be rewarded with good positioning.

Apart from techniques and content, links are indeed the third element of the triptych that guarantees a better Search eXperience Optimization.

Link SXO Optimization

Here, the emphasis is on the quality of navigation offered to the Internet user. It is essential that the latter has ease in navigating from one page to another. For this, it will be necessary to offer:

  • a tree structure , to allow the Internet user to know exactly at what depth he is on the site;
  • a breadcrumb trail , useful for guiding users and bots to your site;
  • a menu , to display the various categories and provide links to pages of various levels;
  • Call To Action and adequate networking . Each link provided in each article must lead to content relating to the same subject. In addition, you will need to add Call To Action to get the visitor to take specific actions, which will improve your conversion rate .

Conclusion

As you will have noticed, the days when, to obtain the best SEO positioning, you just needed a host of keywords on your pages and investing in netlinking are over. Updates to search engine algorithms , added to the tough competition in your field, can no longer guarantee you, in a sustainable way, the best places in search results.

Right now, Search eXperience Optimization is what it takes to get there. But it doesn’t really bury SEO. Rather, it comes, starting from the strengths of its predecessor, to redirect web referencing efforts towards optimizing the user experience on the site .

The SERPs now display the links of the sites , with a small preview of their content (images, statistics, figures, tables, videos, etc. ), so that the Internet user has a rough idea before clicking on the link. It is therefore the best tool to make each click as productive as possible.

When user experience becomes your focus, and you’re not just writing for search engines, your chances of gaining visibility are increased tenfold.

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About the Author

SAKHRI Mohamed

The blog of a computer enthusiast who shares news, tutorials, tips, online tools and software for Windows, macOS, Linux, Web designer and Video games.

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