It’s only the beginning of 2023, yet we’re already witnessing the emergence of new tools that are set to revolutionize the way search engines present their SERPs. The pace of innovation seems relentless, with each passing day bringing with it new technology and features that surpass those that existed last year—or even last month. Moreover, search engines are constantly updating their algorithms, resulting in a wealth of new information that demands our ongoing attention. In light of these developments, it’s crucial to reassess the top SEO trends that your brand currently utilizes.
As SEO professionals, we have a tendency to get trapped in the familiar and cling to strategies and efforts that have already consumed significant amounts of our time, money, and energy. However, this mindset can prove to be detrimental for brands that wish to align with their target audience’s search intent. To help you avoid this pitfall, we’ve put together a concise summary of the top 7 SEO strategies to utilize in 2023. Hopefully, this information will enable you to stay ahead of the curve and guide your brand to search engine optimization success!
With the current unavoidable tightening of marketing budgets in most organizations, the need for economical and effective methods of reaching your target audience is more vital than ever. This has drawn attention to the importance of SEO for every type of organization, no matter the size. In 2023, search engine experts have been transparent in indicating where online marketers need to prioritize their focus.
#1: Staying Informed on Algorithms
Google is frequently updating its algorithm to provide users with the most relevant and high-quality search results, and these updates can significantly impact a website’s search rankings. This involves staying informed on the latest changes and understanding how they affect website content, structure, and user experience. For example, the recent Google Page Experience update prioritizes website speed, security, and mobile-friendliness, so businesses that focus on these factors are likely to see improved search rankings.
Staying updated also enables businesses to identify and correct any potential SEO issues that could negatively impact their search rankings. This includes monitoring for broken links, duplicate content, and keyword stuffing, all of which can result in a penalty from Google’s algorithms. The most recent example of which is Google’s Helpful Content update from the end of 2022 that narrowed its scope on what was considered to be a helpful source for its users
#2: Optimizing for User Search Intent … again
Achieving a lasting high rank on a target keyword isn’t a surefire thing. The user search intent associated with keywords can shift quickly. Even if you searched for a keyword today and compared the results to those from a few months back, Google’s grasp of that keyword’s user search intent may have evolved. Therefore, when optimizing for search intent, it’s imperative to verify the current intent or emerging trends for that keyword by reviewing Google’s own results. Keeping up-to-date and aligning your target keyword with relevant user search intent is crucial to maintaining a top position in the rankings.
When it comes to optimizing your content to align with users’ search intent, staying on top of what search engines prioritize is critical. As previously discussed, Google’s Helpful Content update enabled its systems to automatically recognize content that offers little value to searchers querying specific keywords. This highlights the significance of regularly analyzing and updating your company’s targeted keywords and landing pages to maintain their relevance and superior quality. By doing so, you can ensure that your content remains optimized and provides users with the most relevant search experience possible.
#3: Considering AI Development
Each year, AI technology becomes more remarkable and more accessible to internet users from all walks of life. In April 2022, Google’s Multi Search feature was introduced, allowing mobile users to find relevant images or text using their photos. This feature heralds a new era of development in Google’s multimodal algorithms and AI technology. As a result, organizations will need to proactively plan by striking a proper balance between copy and visuals within their online content.
Companies are increasingly recognizing the potential benefits of certain AI tools in optimizing their online content. The most newsworthy example is ChatGPT, a conversational model launched in November 2022, which enables users to interact with the language model for ongoing dialogue optimization. ChatGPT can be an invaluable aid to the SEO process, facilitating content creation, keyword analysis, and offering insights into audience search intent. As Keiran Flanagan, CMO at Zapier and former HubSpot SVP Marketing, observes, “While Google attempts to answer your query, ChatGPT takes it a step further and will often improve on it.”
#4: Optimizing Core Web Vitals
As we mentioned last year, core web vitals have become crucial for website owners to consider and understand as Google now takes these metrics into account when ranking pages on SERPs. Loading time, interactivity, and visual stability are the key elements to focus on. In 2022, 33% of active websites were reported to have passed the CWV checks by marketers. Although this may seem like a small percentage, the fact that it has increased by 10% from the previous year indicates that this number is expected to continue to rise throughout the year.
This year, Google is placing even more importance on CWV tests as a crucial part of its search ranking guidelines. This is particularly significant for small businesses, which may need to allocate more resources toward optimizing their websites to meet these standards. If you haven’t already, it’s time to consider incorporating Core Web Vitals testing into your website maintenance schedule.
#5: Focusing on Credibility
Beyond organizations ensuring optimal user experience through loading speed and response time, Google has expressed that in 2023, aiming to make the search process as simple as possible is going to be especially important. In selling your products and services, organizations must be particularly transparent in showcasing their credentials. Why should you be the person to go to on a subject? Accompany all information with reliable research and reviews in an optimized layout to prove authenticity—and superiority—against competitors. This holistic technique will ultimately build trust with your audience, as well as search engines.
#6: Optimizing Mobile Web Parity
Mobile web parity, or the concept of ensuring that the mobile version of a website has the same functionality and content as the desktop version, is becoming increasingly important in today’s digital landscape. Having a mobile-friendly website not only ensures that users can access your website on the go, but it also improves your website’s SEO and increases your chances of ranking higher on SERPs.
With the majority of internet users accessing websites on their mobile devices, it’s crucial that businesses prioritize mobile web parity to provide a seamless user experience for their customers, regardless of which device they use. With the time users are willing to spend waiting for a page to load decreasing after each passing day, this is a feature that must be considered when creating and maintaining a website presence.
#7: Utilizing Video Content
Video content has been gaining traction for quite some time, but its popularity has surged significantly in the past couple of years. Social media platforms, including TikTok and Instagram, have seen a considerable increase in video content, both in terms of engagement and search volumes. According to Forbes, incorporating video content into a brand’s online presence can drive substantial traffic and increase overall conversions. The current trajectory and patterns indicate that video content is here to stay, and will continue to be an essential element of online marketing.
Video content is a versatile tool that extends beyond advertising opportunities. From showcasing customer reviews and testimonials, to creating product tutorials and providing tips, there are numerous creative ways to leverage video content. Given the growing popularity of video searches, it’s no surprise that Google is working to incorporate more video results into its SERPs to match user search intent. To capitalize on this trend, organizations should focus on building relevant feature content that resonates with their audience.
For a more detailed understanding of Core Web Vitals, we recommend taking a look at our comprehensive guide on How to Handle the Core Web Vitals Update.
Prioritizing these SEO strategies can be both cost-effective and constructive when properly implemented. Failing to adapt to the constantly evolving SEO landscape can leave your organization to fall behind your competitors. Gone are the days of static, unchanging SEO strategies. It’s essential to continuously optimize your approach and stay informed of the newest tools and features.