Semalt Explains What SXO Is And How To Enter A Higher Level Of Positioning
Positioning is a marketing strategy that is currently necessary to run a business online, but it does not provide recipes for increasing sales on the website. The solution to this problem is SXO, providing a comprehensive approach to online promotion. Why is it worth being interested in?
SXO - what is it?
Search experience optimization is a concept that arose from the combination of SEO and UX. It includes several activities whose main goal is to attract the user to the website, provide him / her with relevant and valuable content, and encourage him / her to take the desired action. Most often it is a purchase, but the goals can actually be varied.
To understand the idea of SXO, you need to understand three concepts:
- SEO (search engine optimization)
- UX (user experience)
- CRO (conversion rate optimization)
SXO is a comprehensive strategy that includes actions and good practices related to the above concepts. An explanation of these is provided later in this article. So let's go!
How is SXO different from SEO? Sales as an important element of modern positioning
Being in the TOP 10 on the Google list and significantly increasing website traffic is the goal pursued by all companies investing in positioning. This is basically the end of what SEO can offer. From a sales point of view, however, this is only the beginning of the process. This is where the rest of the SXO elements come into play.
SXO - what is it?
Simply put, SXO is an SEO extension. It allows you to increase website traffic, but also answers the following questions:
- How to provide the user with exactly what he / she was looking for?
- How to provide him / her with comfort and intuitive operation?
- How to encourage him /her to buy?
As you can see, the two strategies are not separate concepts, but form a coherent whole. This comprehensive approach is the reason why SXO has an advantage over standard SEO campaigns.
SXO and conversion optimization
The Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) focuses on improving the conversion rate, so it is directly responsible for increasing sales on the site. This is the main and overarching goal of this strategy. Of course, there are various paths to it, and an indispensable element of the CRO is the analyst. Based on the available data, places for improvement are examined, as well as points in the sales funnel, which are characterized by the highest degree of abandonment of the path to conversion. SXO is, of course, a broader concept, but it is fully inspired by conversion optimization. Analytics, solution testing, and user behavior research are all part of it.
SXO ingredients - what to do and how to do it correctly?
To approach the topic comprehensively, of course, you should take care of all the listed SXO components. So SEO optimization is accompanied by providing quality content, preparing or modifying the website according to the best UX standards, and implementing advanced analytics and testing, which fall under the concept of CRO. What specific activities fall under these concepts?
1. SEO - website optimization for search engines
Search engine optimization activities cover three main groups:
- Technical optimization of the website - includes taking care of logical and uncomplicated website architecture, implementation of optimized meta tags, implementation of structured data, optimization of the robots.txt file and creation of a site map, redirection of errors, elimination of duplication of pages, creation of friendly URL addresses, checking the correctness of page rendering and its display on mobile devices.
- Content marketing - qualitative content created with the use of key phrases is important for a given business. It is about information and marketing content, descriptions of categories, products/services, as well as blog entries, guides, or answers to important user questions (FAQ). Not only the content itself is important, but also its formatting, proper division of headers, and a consistent internal linking strategy. You will find tips on how to create good content here.
- Off-site SEO - acquiring backlinks from valuable sources (preferably with the dofollow attribute), taking care of the optimal profile of external links, and posting sponsored articles on websites with high organic traffic.
2. UX - User Experience
User Experience, as the name suggests, is an SXO component that is responsible for the best user experience in dealing with a given website. What exactly is needed for good UX on a page?
- Short website loading time - this is the first and extremely important condition for a positive experience for the recipient. A slow loading page may simply discourage a potential customer from reading the offer or lead to the immediate disabling of the window and moving to the next result on Google.
- Eye-catching design and layout of the website - another point that influences the user experience is the appearance of the site. Transparent style and convenient placement of content, banners, windows, or other important elements affect the evaluation of the entire portal and indirectly the purchasing process.
- Simple, logical architecture - this does not mean, of course, that every online store should have only a few tabs from now on. In this case, the aforementioned simplicity applies to the possibility of finding interesting products, services, or information in as few clicks as possible (preferably aim at a distance of 1 or 2 clicks from the main page). The logic of architecture refers to the proper nesting of categories and subcategories, which will allow the recipient to easily find places of interest.
- Intuitive operation of the website - logical architecture and proper placement of categories will not help if the user has to guess how to perform individual actions on the website and it will not be natural for him / her.
- Readable content - the more convenient it is to scan the content on the page, the better the user experience. Content should also best answer your audience's questions, and transparency plays an important role in this process.
- Indicating individual steps based on the designed user paths - for the sales process to be optimal, it is necessary to make the purchase decision as easy as possible for the potential customer. Designing user paths and simplifying movement within them is an extremely important element of the SXO strategy.
It is not worth putting design above the convenience of use. If the page looks really good, but performing any action requires some getting used to, or is even difficult on the part of the user, the effect may be counterproductive. An internet portal can be modern and designed, but only if it is functional at the same time.
As you can see, some UX activities coincide with SEO guidelines - this is because Google robots take into account the convenience of the recipient as well as the ease of use of the website. Therefore, elements such as loading speed or logical website architecture will help both in improving the position and increasing sales on the website.
CRO - conversion optimization
CRO is the most analytical part of SXO, which allows you to monetize the traffic obtained through SEO and the positive experiences obtained through User Experience. The main activities under this strategy are:
- Advanced analytics - to improve the conversion rate, you first need to find out what the user behavior on the website looks like, create paths, and sales funnels, and set goals, including micro-conversions (e.g. subscription to a newsletter, clicking a banner). Based on this data, actions are taken to improve sales on the website.
- Improving elements in critical places - if at the analysis stage it turns out that a specific stage of the sales funnel leads to frequent resignation from the purchase, it is a signal to take a deeper look at a given subpage. Perhaps the buttons are not visible enough, the option to purchase without registration is missing, or the user does not want to provide specific data or does not know how to proceed to the next step - all these problems can significantly hinder the sales process.
- Encouragement to act and the use of Call To Action buttons - this is a very important element that allows you to keep users on the page or "help" them on the path leading to sales.
- A / B tests - they consist in changing a single element on the page (e.g. text on a banner, CTA content on a button, an image in a slider) and testing the effects by providing half of the users with the current version of the site, and the other half with the changed version. Based on this, you can come to interesting conclusions and create a website that will maximize sales. Google Optimize is an excellent tool for conducting such tests.
The analysis of user behavior is best done with the Dedicated Seo Dashboard tool. By setting goals and exploring specific paths, it is easy to identify places that need improvement.
Is SXO really needed?
A comprehensive approach to website optimization is something that can give you a significant advantage over the competition. SXO takes into account all the relevant factors that ultimately lead to an increase in sales. By taking care of the user experience, you can achieve satisfactory results even with less traffic on the site. Optimizing all essential SXO components allows for greater control of the purchasing process from attracting the user to the website, to the final conversion. That is why it is an increasingly popular strategy, both among online stores and service websites.