If you know anything about SEO trends and strategies, staying up to date on search engine changes is like trying to hit a moving target.
Knowing current SEO is essential to determine what on your website and digital marketing efforts you need to improve to attract potential future clients and drive traffic through your sales funnel.
Put plainly, as long as people use the internet to search for information, SEO will be necessary. So, SEO needs to be part of your overall digital marketing strategy to grow your business effectively.
But how do you know if you’re keeping up with the right SEO strategies? To start, don’t blindly follow trends, do your research and make sure what you implement will help, not hurt, your website traffic and sales. Conveniently, we compiled the latest SEO trends and recommendations to implement in 2023.
While each SEO suggestion targets something specific, there are a handful of overarching themes with each SEO tip that you should always keep in mind.
Important Overarching SEO Ranking Factors
- Put humans first
- Original and engaging content
- Quality above all
- Expand keyword optimization
- Think outside the box
Voice and Mobile Search
Desktop optimization is essential, but mobile user experience is more important. Most searches happen on the go, and about 40-50% of US internet users search via voice assistant.
Furthermore, Google prefers fast, mobile-friendly sites. In fact, they prioritize mobile sites over desktop sites.
To catch mobile and voice assistant users, optimize your mobile site for UX design and mobile speed. For example, mobile pages typically should have fewer words and be easy to read on a small screen. In addition, check your site speed with a tool like PageSpeed Insights, as your mobile speed is vital to a good search engine ranking.
For voice search optimization, include long-tail question keywords in h2 or h3 that people might ask via voice assistant. For example, if you’re a pediatric dentist writing a page about a kid’s dental hygiene, include a question like “what toothpaste should a child use?”
You can use the “People Also Ask” google widget (which we’ll dive into later) to find long-tail question keywords.
While not a brand new SEO trend, Google released in their Helpful Content Update that EAT (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness) still matters when it comes to ranking higher. To optimize for EAT, add content no one else has, perform new research, cite your sources, only make statements you can back up with evidence, and try to earn as many quality backlinks as possible by sharing on social media and creating content people will want to share.
Long-tail Keywords and Keyword Clusters
Good SEO content will rank for more than one keyword, so optimize your content for multiple keywords related to the content’s topic.
Aim primarily for keywords that are 3-4 words long. Think about it: when you search for something, you usually use about three words to find the result you need. Also include longer keywords, five words or more, to be sure you’re covering all the bases on your topic.
These longer keywords are often easier to rank higher for, which can help your overall page ranking. However, be careful and stay away from keyword stuffing. Instead, only use keywords and phrases that make sense and flow naturally in your content.
Use Headers and Positive Headlines
You may have noticed that Google no longer generates a simple list of results. Now, Google has multiple featured snippets based on a page’s content (more on this later).
Google features snippets or “a passage” from a page section based on the header and not the page as a whole. So make sure that sections of your page rank in addition to the whole page, and organize your content with relevant headings in all h2, h3, h4, etc.
Good headlines matter as much as good headers. Recent studies show headlines that evoke positive emotions have more than a 4% higher CTR than negative or neutral headlines. Use positive words in your headlines, like best, coolest, healthiest, etc.
Note that there is a fine line between emotionally-charged headlines and click-bait. Avoid “power words” that can come across as “clickbait-y,” like crazy, unbelievable, and insane, on your website. Those emotionally-charged words are acceptable on social media posts but not so much on web page headlines.
In google’s helpful content update, they explained that content automatically written by AI is considered spam. Google now prioritizes original content with a human touch written for a specific audience. The more content speaks directly to humans, not robots, the better.
However, Machine Learning and AI tools are excellent for assisting with content creation. While using the tools, be sure you know your target audience and that the content resonates with them.
Optimize for SERP Features
Especially on mobile, searches in Google often result in zero clicks, meaning a user finds an answer to their search without clicking on a link. How? Search engines like Google and Bing display SERP features, like Featured Snippets, Video Carousels, Rich Snippets, Sitelinks, People Also Ask, Local Packs, Knowledge Panels, Image Packs, and Top Stories.
You can optimize your content to pop up for one of these snippets. For example, an optimized video can show up in the video carousel, a page with good long-tail keywords can pop up for People Also Ask, and pages with stellar local SEO can show up for a Local Pack.
Search trends show more support for small and local businesses, which means more searches for region-specific websites and services. For example, a high-traffic page in Texas might have more or less traffic in Utah. To optimize for local searches, use localized keywords, like the city or state your business serves, in your meta description, headers, and image alt text.
Next, double-check your Google Business Profile is accurate and up-to-date. The address and phone number on your website should match the information Google has for your business.
There’s no denying everyone loves video content, whether movies, TV shows, or online videos. For search, videos are great visual aids for “how to” search queries, product reviews, and more. Plus, Google will include a video featured snippet for search queries where a video visual aid might give the best answer.
To optimize for featured videos, use YouTube to your advantage. Upload relevant videos and treat your video like a web page; add titles, descriptions, meta descriptions, tags, and other SEO best practices, like linking to your page and adding a CTA.
Next, add chapters by breaking up the video into sections by topic and organizing sections with timestamps. Also, use closed captions (CC); YouTube automatically generates captions, but double-check their accuracy and make edits where necessary. Not only do closed captions help Google understand your content, but it helps with accessibility.
Once your video content is ready, embed the videos in your blog posts and web pages. Not only do videos decrease bounce rate, but there’s a chance your page will pop up alongside the video, increasing organic CTR.
Create Interactive Content
Rather than passively consuming content, like reading an article, more users want to interact with the content and its creator.
To keep your target audience engaged longer, try content like embedded Ebooks, relevant calculators, original infographics, quizzes, virtual reality, and any other interactive content you can think of.
Update Existing Content
While these SEO tips are great for future content, you can also use them on past content. For example, reviewing your pages older than a few years and giving them a content refresh can help improve page rankings since Google prioritizes fresh and relevant content. Plus, users trust sites with up-to-date and accurate information more than outdated ones.
Include updated information, add more rich content, and see what your competitors say on the same topic. When you look at competitors, make sure your posts and pages have even more useful information than theirs. Aim for 1000+ words on blog posts and 300-500 on web pages. Then, double check all the links still work and that they link to an https site.
Use More Than One Platform or Format
Devices of all types are ubiquitous. With more devices comes more ways to consume content. One of the best SEO tips is to diversify your content, so branch out and include video content, podcasts, and more to reach consumers who don’t read to consume content.
You don’t need to create something new; you can repurpose existing content for another format. For example, take a high-ranking article, and read it for a podcast, or take a listicle and create a video with chapters.
Keep in mind your audience and how they consume content. Only create content in different formats that make sense for them. If your audience loves movies, they might enjoy long video content. However, if they enjoy bite-sized social media posts, you may want to create much shorter videos.
Furthermore, Google added a multisearch feature that allows users to use an image and add text on top of it to perform a search query. With multisearch, adding relevant images and using image-rich platforms will be more critical than ever for SEO strategy.
Future Algorithm Updates
Keeping up with algorithm updates is essential. However, while staying current with Google’s latest algorithm updates (and there will likely be many more in 2023), don’t get lost in the weeds. Read the updates, and optimize your content for the algorithm update, but always focus more on creating content that your target audience will love.
New and future SEO trends come and go. Above all, remember to put people first when creating content. Create pages you would want to find when searching on Google. Answer the questions, create a logical content flow, and design user-friendly pages that grab and retain attention.
If you want assistance or guidance with new SEO trends and strategies, contact a local digital marketing agency like Aroluxe in Nashville, TN. We’ll take your new or existing business and elevate your online content strategy to put you at the forefront of your audience to grow your business.