Every business wants to increase the visibility of its web pages with SEO, and the top positions of search engine result pages remain coveted as ever. The SEO industry is in a state of flux, with shifting patterns and trends at the whims of search engines. However, if there is one thing that’s staying the same for the SEO industry in 2023 and beyond, it is that change is expected.
Some evergreen SEO trends have taken root in recent years, alongside several new trends in SEO that seem to be derailing marketers in their steady tracks.
With everyone trying to stay on top of their game in this ever-changing SEO trend market, are you well aware of the critical SEO trends that are up and coming in 2023 to keep pace with your competitors?
Top SEO Trends
Here, we have summarised the 6 latest SEO trends you need to know in 2023 and beyond, that can help your business continue to top search engine ranks.
In Comes Voice Search Optimisation & Conversational Queries
Years ago, perhaps talking to robots felt like an unfathomable idea. Fast forward to today, however, voice search has infiltrated our daily lives. Many might have grown comfortable picking up their phones to ask Siri “How’s the weather like in New York today?” or puzzling Alexa with “Could you find the nearest train station?”. Indeed, voice search has a growingly indelible presence in our lives today.
Voice Search Optimisation is an area of technology that is expected to expand in 2023. One thing to note, however, is that voice search isn’t quite the same as text search. With natural language voice commands, users can easily search the internet using conversational queries. This means that we now have to adapt our content to cater to common verbal queries and colloquial texts.
Here are 3 techniques to help you cope with this rising trend:
Use conversational language and long-tail keywords
Voice searches tend to be lengthier, and more specific than text searches. For instance, we are more likely to say “Where is the nearest train station?”, compared to if we were to type “train stations near me”. To optimise for voice searches, you can target long-tail keywords that mirror speaking patterns. Simply put, long-tail keywords are key phrases that are more specific than more commonly used keywords.
Optimise your sites for mobile
As mentioned, most voice searches are conducted when users pick up their mobiles with intent to conduct a quick search for answers. It is hence vital to have a mobile-friendly interface with a responsive page and easy navigation.
Understand what your audience wants to know
Most voice searches begin with a question. “What are some cheap dining options nearby?” or “Which place serves the best Matcha pudding?”. Content remains key. Phrase your text to answer these queries or even build an FAQ page to appeal to voice searches.
AI-SEO Tools Are Staying In Trend
AI will continue to have a huge impact on your SEO strategies. Google is using AI to better discern search intent and needs. To cater to this, AI-based tools can discover the latest and trending keywords to optimise your content to top search engine ranks. With AI-powered content in SEO workflows, companies can better stay ahead of the game.
[Some examples of AI SEO tools that are flourishing in the market today include Surfer SEO, SEMrush and Jasper, which enable businesses to better analyse competition by recommending ways for businesses to improve their SEO.]
Start Developing Your Video Strategy Today
Video content is filling our digital landscape today, and very quickly in fact. Look around, and you’ll see many scrolling Tiktok, Youtube Shorts, and Instagram Reels, all on a short train or bus ride home. In 2022, 88% of people stated that they would like to see more videos from brands. Evidently, video content is likely to greet a welcoming audience, and the rise of video marketing is exigent. Unlike traditional text marketing, video content is less static and can better retain customer attention. Hence, it is no surprise that when asked how they would most like to learn about a product or service, 73% identified watching a short video, compared to 11% who would rather read a text-based article. With graphics, audio and storyboarding all a vital part of video marketing, it is unsurprising that many brands may be apprehensive to embark on this seemingly onerous task of creating videos. Yet, video content may prove to be a much more palatable source of information for many in this information-saturated digital space today. With a good video, you are likely to rise through the ranks of search engine pages to promote your page.
Here are 3 strategies to help you with your next marketing video:
Pick a strategic title and description
Determine your target search intent, and include these keywords in your title and description. While a video title may appear to be a menial task, just as much thought should be given to it as if you were writing a blog title. Make it action-focused, so that users know what they can take away from the short clip.
Optimise video clarity and loading speed
Research shows that on average, viewers consumer 84 minutes of video content per day. With a lagging or poor quality video, it is easy for viewers to lose interest and hit that “skip” button, before moving on to the next video.
Insert transcripts for your videos
While Youtube and Google may have automatic closed captioning functions, they are not always 100% accurate. To ensure your transcript is true-to-video, transcribe your video, providing greater context for your videos.
Video content provides a simple and digestible source of information for viewers today, requiring much less attention bandwidth than having to read a lengthy article. With videos as part of search rankings, it is a great marketing strategy for businesses to improve page visibility.
Pay Attention To Your Web-Design
Optimise your content for mobile searches. In 2022, mobile devices took up 63% of organic search visits, and this number is expected to increase in 2023 and beyond. Users today value fast and mobile-friendly web interfaces that are quick to load, and easy to read. To improve performance on mobile devices, you could check that your site was created with a responsive framework and coding so that it changes dynamically with the accessed device.
Web design also affects SEO. Hence, prioritise readability and easy navigation. Ensure that you keep a menu that is easily accessible even on mobile devices, and a search bar that could help readers get to their intended destination pages conveniently. All these help in creating an intuitive interface, enhancing the user experience. With Google indicating that they consider UX signals when ranking websites, an improved UX is a step forward in increasing your site’s rankings in the search results.
If you’re wondering how mobile-friendly your website is, you could ask a friend, or simply type “Google Mobile-Friendly Tool” into Google’s search engine. This would conjure a box for you to input your website’s URL to be evaluated by Google.
E-A-T represents Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
In establishing guidelines to evaluate the quality of searches, Google uses the acronym ‘E-A-T’, which stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. Google wants to ensure that substandard or spam content does not pervade its search engine results pages, and all content creators have hence come under their close purview to ensure quality content is produced for users.
With its E-A-T guidelines, Google essentially rewards sites where content is consistently helpful and relevant. Introduced in 2015, it is likely that E-A-T will play a major SEO ranking factor in 2023 as E-A-T guidelines have risen from several mere mentions to having a whole section dedicated to it in Google’s Quality Evaluator Guidelines document.
Furthermore, in 2019, Danny Sullivan, adviser at the search division of Google, tweeted that “We do use a variety of signals as a proxy to tell if content seems to match E-A-T as humans would assess it.” While there is still no clear rulebook about what would help businesses rank at the top of E-A-T metrics or if there is even one, it is evident that businesses adhering to the standards of E-A-T are likely to find themselves ranking higher on search engine results pages.
Here are some tips that might help you increase your E-A-T signals:
Review your content regularly (Expertise)
Ensure that the content you have written years ago remains relevant to your level of expertise and area of specialisation. Perhaps, your business has far grown beyond the scale it once had, and it is now time to update your old content blogs or opinion pieces to ensure coherence with where you are at now. You could also opt to remove redundant or outdated content pages, and replace them with newer content that is more relevant for your users today.
Audit your brand (Authority)
Listen consistently for signals and what people are saying about your brand. Are they aligned with your brand image and what you wish to portray as a company? If not, think about how you could reaffirm authority in your industry. One method could be to moderate user-generated content, to ensure that your comment pages are not filled with spam or unwarranted negative reviews that could be detrimental to your brand.
Credit your sources (Trustworthiness)
Attribute your information sources clearly, and ensure that these websites are of credible reputation. When you link your website to a particular site of information, you are ascertaining that you trust their information, and it is important that these links are not broken or spam pages.
SERP’s Featured Snippets Will Become More Popular.
Featured snippets are highlighted and short excerpts of websites that appear that the top of a Google search engine results page, commonly known to be in ‘Position 0’
So … what exactly do they do? Featured snippets provide users with quick answers to their search queries. Google displays them above the list of search results, with a relevant section of the website featured as a list, table or text.
If you’re wondering why you should be optimising for this seemingly elusive space, let us tell you why. Optimising for featured snippets can improve your site’s visibility. Since the featured snippet is placed more prominently than organic search results – right at the top, showcased websites in snippets are likely to expect a higher click-through rate (CTR) and more traffic. Now, the only thing that is between you and topping the SERP is only the paid ads.
Unfortunately, there is no one-push button that gets your site featured. Here are, however, some tips on how you can optimise featured snippets for your site.
Organise your information well
Try to organise your website content in clear segments, such that each segment caters to a specific search intent. For instance, this could mean having your product pages distilled into broad categories targeting different needs of users. This increases the chances that your page directly addresses a user’s query or search interest.
Add question keywords In heading tags
Where relevant, look for where you can add question words to your content. For instance, this could be having a “What Is [Keyword]” or “Why Is [Keyword]” segment as an introduction at the top of your page. Think about user search intent, and cater to this. Many featured snippets today adopt this format, and we think this could be the strategy for having your site featured.
Understand length of featured content
The Ghergich & Co./SEMrush research found that paragraph snippets tend to be around 40-50 words or around 300 characters. So, what does this mean? When creating lists, it might be good to create lists that exceed 50 words, prompting Google to display a ‘more’ button that users can click on instead of merely exemplifying all your content at first glance. This could increase clickthrough rates and engagement to your site.
However, we should be clear that you probably shouldn’t be creating content just to be featured. Instead, ensure you use keywords that are in demand and relevant to your business. Featured snippets – as they suggest – should merely remain a snippet of your SEO optimisation that adds embellishment to your already successful SEO strategy.
Helping Your Business Stay On Top of the SEO Trends
Google’s AI-backed search engine algorithm has become increasingly complex over the years. To stay atop of your game, businesses today need to have adequate knowledge of the local and organic SEO trends, and the potential changes we could be looking at in the near future.
This list has summarised 6 trends in SEO that can help your business stay at the forefront of this search engine competition. Indeed, no one can be certain of future SEO trends that could infiltrate this industry. With these tips, however, we are confident that you can better identify google trends for SEO for your business to inch up the search engine rankings.
If you are looking for a digital marketing agency to help your business remain ahead of the competition, contact us to find out more!