I’m totally on board with the redefining of SEO to “Search Experience Optimization.” I’m not the first to suggest such a change in the meaning of SEO, but I think that it is a much better definition of what true SEO is today.
Search “engine” optimization is all about rankings. If we are optimizing sites for search engines, then it implies that rankings are the goal, rather than an avenue to drive traffic. But the search engines are not our customers, people are. So talking about SEO in terms of search “experience” optimization is much closer to the mark. The goal is to optimize our site for the visitor that comes through search. It covers rankings and usability of the site.
A term I’m even more fond of is Web Presence Optimization. That’s yet to catch on in the common web marketing vernacular, but, in mind, that does a better job of covering… everything. Everything online at least.
Our goal is to help clients not to just get traffic, but to grow their business online. Rankings? Check. Social Media? Check. Conversions? Check. How do you get there? By establishing and building a web presence people love.
Search engines don’t want to pick winners by ranking them high in the search results. They just want to put people there who have proven they deserve to be there. And how do they deserve it? By having a great web presence that people already know and love. Rankings are merely the confirmation of your web presence optimization efforts. You are not a success because you’re #1 on Google, you’re #1 on Google because you are already a success.
So stop thinking about how you can get top search engine rankings and start looking at how you can optimize your entire web presence. You’ll get rankings when when you’ve build a web presence worthy of being placed at the top.