Posted on 2 March 2017
As search engines such as Google become smarter by the day, marketers must up their game to keep pace with the algorithms that determine the rank of a website. Artificial intelligence – once a concept reserved for gripping science fiction – has arrived at last, and it’s promising to shake up the digital world as we know it.
Search experience optimisation (SXO) is a term that has gained traction in recent years, as move away from the practice of optimising websites for bots, to humans. What are we talking about? Read on to hear us out.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) has evolved dramatically over the years. Once a crude measure of the number of keywords on a page, it’s now a fine art that accounts for the speed, responsiveness, structure and content of the site in question.
SEO ‘experts’ can no longer get away with quick-fix techniques such as keyword density and mass backlinks. Search engine optimisation is a long game, and ultimately your ranking will be judged by Google’s bots and the visitors that linger on or bounce off your site.
In light of this new hallmark of ‘quality’ websites, we’re no longer writing and designing for the search engines. We’re developing sophisticated experiences, deserving of consumers’ attention and the top spot on Google. Cue the arrival of search experience optimisation – or SXO.
To excel at search experience optimisation, it’s crucial to understand what users expect. Nowadays, most people access the internet on smartphones, which makes a mobile-friendly online presence vital for starters. They also want clear, simple navigation, with pages that load quickly and present accessible, bite-sized content.
To this end, it’s important to partner with a web design agency that prioritises user experience, and knows how to perfect it. A/B testing can be invaluable when launching a new website, giving you the opportunity to gain feedback on the design, structure, layout and content of your site that will ensure you provide the best possible experience for your user-base
My days typically involve: watering the garden and herb plants, polishing the car, cleaning my house and yard, staring out my window instead of writing or designing, sitting on my couch watching rubbish on TV, refreshing social (with my better half sitting beside me, on her ipad), and so many other absolutely mundane things that aren’t worth mentioning (except in this specific instance).
Optimising your website for the search engines isn’t a one-time project. It’s an ongoing priority that should be high up your list if you want to build and protect your visibility online. Humans don’t search for keywords – they search for answers. So get creative in finding ways to answer the questions your target audience is asking.
There are various ways to do this: maintaining an active presence on social media that engages your audience and drives traffic to your website; producing high-impact videos that increase brand awareness and promote your products and services... the world is your oyster with the right tools, understanding and support.
The dawn of SXO may sound daunting, but it’s a natural progression in digital marketing that will reward those brands going the right way about putting themselves in front of their customers.
*Want to improve your search engine visibility, and start connecting with your audience?
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