The SEO landscape is ever-changing, especially with frequent updates to Google’s ranking algorithms. It’s crucial to revisit your digital marketing strategies frequently to ensure they are up-to-date and in line with trends to bring your business the best exposure possible. We cover the SEO trends and predictions you should keep an eye out for in 2023.
A Stronger Focus on People-First Content
In August 2022, Google launched the “helpful content update” to connect users with quality and original content written by people for people. This update aims to reward people-first material that brings value to searchers instead of content created primarily to attract search engine traffic. Search engine-first content is largely unsatisfying and unhelpful towards searchers, frequently relying on extensive automation on many topics without providing substantial information. Even implementing SEO best practices will not increase the value of such content.
Google has introduced a streamlined process focused on indexing only the most relevant and useful results while removing content that is duplicate or doesn’t provide sufficient user satisfaction, rendering it less likely to perform well in Search. Your webpage must have high-quality content demonstrating your expertise and unique perspectives in the relevant fields to be indexed, processed, and successfully ranked. A clear purpose for each piece of content, including facts and links to quality sources, is vital to ensure your webpage is an authoritative and trustworthy source. According to the latest SEO trends, removing unhelpful content will also help boost the rankings of the pages you wish to highlight in the long term.
The Rise of Voice Search
Unlike written search terms focusing on shorter and more specific keywords,voice searchhinges on complete phrases and questions normally used in conversation. Businesses must ensure content is relevant and adaptable to voice search, focusing on conversational keywords targeting verbal phrasing and natural language processing. Keeping answers short and to the point in your blurb gives users a quick and direct response to their query before diving into more detail after. Building an FAQ section is a great way to naturally incorporate conversational questions and optimise your webpage for this SEO trend.
Mobile-Friendly and Responsive Design
As of November 2022, there are an estimated6.64 billion smartphone usersworldwide, with mobile devices accounting for63% of organic search engine visitsin the fourth quarter of 2021. These numbers are growing yearly and are only projected to increase. More people are gaining access to smartphones which are easy to use and offer unparalleled convenience while on the go, easily outnumbering sole desktop users. A responsive site design will see your website adapting to your user’s screen size, preventing them from performing extra steps to access your content. Implementing this SEO trend reduces the need to create multiple websites for different devices, which can cause confusion and inaccuracies between links when making changes. Not only does responsive site design offer a better user experience, but you can also improve your conversion rates while reducing bounce rates. Google’s algorithm prefers websites optimised for mobile devices; your website will rank lower on desktop search results if it is not equipped for smartphone users.
Optimised Featured Snippets
Located at the top of a SERP,featured snippetsusually appear when a question is searched, displaying complete answers to the query in the form of a definition or how-to-guide without having to click through to the website. Optimising for featured snippets offers greater search visibility and allows you to appear at the top of the page, helping to boost brand recognition. Typically, optimised content highlighting questions that begin with ‘what’, ‘why’ or ‘how’ has the highest chance to be featured by Google.
Page Experience is Vital
The Core Web Vitals measure a website’s ability to offer the best browsing experience, utilising metrics such as page speed, responsiveness, visual stability, and more on mobile and desktop. You must optimise your webpage for the best possible user experience to achieve higher rankings for targeted keywords and attain prime real estate in search results, such as featured snippets or top stories. Check out Google’sPageSpeed Insightstool to see how your website performs on mobile and desktop and assess areas for improvement.
Usher in the new year with a freshly optimised website in line with 2023’s predicted SEO trends. No matter your business, implementingsearch engine optimisationstrategies at the forefront of your marketing efforts will undoubtedly see results for your website traffic and ranking.
About the author
Pure SEO is a Google Premier Partner, which means it's in the 3% top performing agencies in New Zealand.