SEO in 2022 Search Experience Optimization

We all know that SEO is a critical part of any Digital Strategy. But is SEO just about ranking at the top?

No, it’s not!

To understand this better, let’s look at how Google works really hard to present results in different formats based on what we are searching.


To summarize:

  • ‘pizza deals’: Google shows local 3 pack map results and popular sites
  • ‘how to tie a tie’: Google shows image + video tutorials
  • ‘web 3.0’: Google shows a Featured Snippet or a Quick Answer
  • ‘men printed green tshirts’: Google shows image + shopping results

Clearly Google is continuously working to present the results of a search query in the most suitable form, be it web listings, maps, images, videos, quick answer and more.

Now let’s assume that the first position for the keyword ‘how to tie a tie’ was a website that hosts textual content (a 300-word article on how to tie a tie), would it get traffic at all despite of the high ranking? And even if it did, would users read it or go back to SERP to find something more relevant, like a Video?

This whole evolution of SERP and Google experimenting every day to make results as relevant as possible is the reason why all brands need to re-think SEO, not as Search Engine Optimization but as Search Experience Optimization

“Search Experience Optimization is a process where you first understand the intent about each keyword you’d like to target, followed by the SERP analysis to find out the most suitable form of content and then optimize or create content accordingly using all the SEO best practices.”

Below is the top-level summary of the approach brands must follow to optimize for search experience:

  • Ongoing keyword research: Never stop doing keyword research, users are still finding your business using many keywords variations you haven’t considered yet
  • Intent mapping: Use available tools such as SEMrush to identify and map intent for every keyword you want to target
  • SERP analysis: Always look at SERP to find out the most suitable form of content that Google rewards
  • A/B testing: Promote the culture of A/B testing in your business. There is no one way to optimize and you wouldn’t know if you wouldn’t try
  • Engagement metrics: Do not just look at rankings or traffic. Use engagement metrics such as exit rate, heatmap to identify and fix any issues with user engagement


This blog is authored by Deepak Mankani, SEO Director at Dentsu iProspect MENA