We are moving away from the era of SEO and into the era of, well, SEO. Yes, the acronyms are the same, but the intent is much different. Search Engine Optimization is no longer. Search Experience Optimization is what will achieve a better site experience and build a long term relationship between marketers and consumers.
Gone are the days of solely focusing on keywords and meta descriptions to attract users. The new SEO is all about site speed/load time, mobile optimization, site structure, and content. Users are also looking at minimal designs and social media engagement to determine a positive site experience. Search experience optimization targets the descriptiveness of users’ searches, which consist mostly of questions and detailed sentences as opposed to just keywords. Where Search Engine Optimization succeeded in terms of popularity, Search Experience Optimization will succeed in quality, creating an overall memorable experience for the user.
In other words, SEO is not about rankings, rather creating interesting and relevant content that will keep a user on your site, and beyond that, make them want to return.
If a user had a negative experience on your site, how can you find out and then fix the problem? Analytics is the answer. For marketers to track and manage that experience, using Google Analytics or similar services are key. From time on site and bounce rate to pages per visit, the devil is in the details.
“With traditional SEO becoming more difficult, marketers need to come to one realization to wrap their heads around the fussier and fussier demands: the search engines don’t work for you. They work for the searchers. And now, everything is about their experience.”
Search engines, especially giants like Google, are constantly updating their algorithms to cater to this new way of engaging users. Marketers will begin to realize that it is not about pleasing the search engine, but the user. We are moving into and adapting to the era of Search Experience Optimization, and with that we can better reach customers and clients to give them the optimal experience they were searching for.
For further reading on search experience optimization, you can refer to the handful of articles found on this emerging topic: