SXO: Yet Another Buzzword or a Real Game Changer?

If you’re into marketing, you’ve probably heard of SXO, a hybrid of SEO and UX. Like any hybrid, also this one may seem strange: can you really combine pizza with pineapple or sausage with cheesecake? Is SXO just another buzzword that will soon be forgotten, or is there actually something more to it? Read on to find that out!

What Is SXO?

SXO – short for Search eXperience Optimization – is a combination of SEO activities (i.e., bringing traffic) with UX optimization (i.e., improving the user experience) on the website/in the online store. SXO aims to streamline all the user-facing elements for a convenient and effective experience resulting in a (repeated) purchase. In short: SXO is about straightening the path leading from the search engine through the eStore to the purchase.

How Does SXO Improve Conversion?

As we all know, there is a correlation between customer experience and the level of sales in an online store. Yet the customer experience begins much earlier than you think – it begins as early as using the search engine. Customers get their first impressions about the online store or a specific product by getting to know the results of their Google search. And these are influenced by elements that you are able to control.

First of all: make sure that some of your products appear in a special block at the top of the search results page, above organic links, on the so-called zero position. This distinction brings enormous traffic – if you manage to get there, you will direct many more potential customers to your online store.

Second: add specific product features to the headers of your product pages (e.g., material type, dimensions, color) so that they appear in the search results for specific, narrow phrases and stand out from other results.

Third: take care of the core web vitals, i.e., three metrics that prove the website’s user-friendliness. These are the page loading speed, browser’s reaction time to additional customer behavior (e.g., clicks) and the level of content stability while being loaded in the browser.

Don’t Forget About a UX-Friendly Website

Once you attract traffic to your website using the techniques described above, don’t waste it because of a poor UX. Stick to the basic principles of UX design for an eCommerce store:

1. Show the system status – the user should know what is going on at any time, e.g., thanks to appropriate messages being displayed to him.

2. Maintain consistency between the system and reality – make sure that data displayed (e.g., the stock levels of the products you sell) is always correct.

3. Give user full control – display the breadcrumbs and enable the forward/backward navigation.

4. Stick to standards and be consistent – use the same symbols, markings and terms across your entire eStore.

5. Prevent errors from occurring – not only can they degrade the customer experience, but also they can prevent them from finalizing the transaction.

6. Don’t make them remember things – let the client always see the key information in front of him.

7. Flexibility and efficiency – give users a choice of how to perform frequent, repetitive activities.

8. Take care of the aesthetics and keep it simple – less is still more, nothing has changed here.

9. Provide effective error handling – use simple messages that indicate the type of error and how to solve it.

10. Take care of the help section and documentation – if the client has any questions, let them ask someone.

When streamlining your online store, bear in mind that your customers verify less information than you think, rely more on easy access to it and simplify it. They also reduce the number of options compared and use less data in the decision-making process. Your online store must take all of it into account.

Get started today!

Now that you know what the SXO is and what benefits it can bring to your online store, start implementing it.

Good luck!

This article was written in cooperation with Jacek Dziura, CMO at Grupa ICEA.

Written by
Jarek Wasielewski
Digital Content Specialist at ExpertSender
After work: local historian. Double bass enthusiast.
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