January 7, 2023

SEO Trends to Watch out for in 2023

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SEO Trends to Watch out for in 2023

If you have been doing SEO for a while now, then you know that it is an industry where the landscape is ever changing, the rules are always redefined. What worked five to ten years ago may not work today. Sure, the basic principles remain the same, but with the handful of algorithm updates happening, and as search behaviour trends evolve, we can’t just rest on our laurels and rely on past efforts. 

This 2023, what strategic changes should you implement in your SEO roadmap to keep optimising your web pages for the best result? What trends shall you piggyback on to improve your keyword rankings, drive more traffic, increase conversions to your website? 

SEO Premier rounds up the top 6 trends and strategies to help you win the SEO game in 2023: 

AI CONTENT

It used to be that AI-generated content was scorned by marketers as the content often came out poor in quality. In the past, Google put safeguards against websites that published AI-based content through two content algorithm updates. 

Today, the same algorithms find it difficult to distinguish AI-produced content, thanks to immense breakthroughs in the field of Natural Language Processing or NLP. Many webmasters discovered the potential of AI content generators to whip up decent copy and scale complex content requirements, without sounding robotic or unnatural. 

This 2023, expect a ton of websites that use sophisticated AI content for formats like website copy, email, chat support, and others. 

OPTIMISED IMAGES

While engaging written text earns you points for the crawlers, compelling and relevant images help you capture the attention of your target readers. The image optimisation trend is going to stay and will command more attention from webmasters and SEO specialists, as it will become another strong ranking signal this year. 

 Some of the ways you can optimise your photos are the following: 

  • Make sure all images are compressed. 
  • Infuse relevant keywords into the file name and alt text. 
  • Write image tags with both the search engine and users in mind
  • For faster loading time and higher-quality rendering, convert all your images into a WEBP format. 

UPDATED CONTENT

There’s a number of reasons why updating your content should be a vital part of your SEO strategy. One, fresh and updated content increases the frequency by which crawlers index your site. Two, it improves user experience which, in the long run, improves your ranking. Not to mention, updating your content is easier than providing new and unique content about a topic each time. This is particularly helpful for a page that previously delivered massive traffic to your website. Making the page up-to-date and accurate despite time will keep your high-performing page sitting at the top results. 

Do a content audit of your existing blogs and see which entries fall under ‘evergreen’ (content that stands the test of time) and content that needs updating every now and then. For example, Search Engine Journal keeps a Google Algorithm Update blog that is continually updated as soon as there is a newly rolled out update, especially major ones. 

A stale content can push down your rankings so make sure to include updating of content as part of your SEO action items this 2023. 

PASSAGE INDEXING

Passage indexing is a recent algorithm rollout from Google that harnesses the power of natural language processing. Instead of launching the crawlers to index entire webpages, Google seeks to understand the meaning of each passage within the text. 

This means that if an answer to a query is buried deep in the article, the specific passage will appear at the top results. Since 2020, Passage Indexing has been making a ton of impact on the results that show up in the SERP. This presents the users more direct results and prevents them from spending so much time finding ‘needles in a haystack.’

That said, website content that is sectioned well can benefit from this ranking algorithm. You can do this by fully analysing the topic and writing the content in a way that clearly and directly answers the questions that might be asked by the target readers. Be sure to optimise the copy based on both short-tail and long-tail keywords as well as question-based search words. 

CORE WEB VITALS

Prior to passage indexing, the SEO sphere was riled up about the concept of core web vitals. In Google’s attempt to push webmasters to create a better page experience for their visitors, it has released its own page experience algorithm in May 2021. So far, this update impacts ranking of websites from mobile searches more than desktop.  

Core web vitals are often defined by the following metrics: 

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) - represents the speed at which the web page’s main content is loaded. LCP measures the time from when the user loads the page until the largest image or textblock appears in the viewport. 
  • First Input Delay (FID) - measures the time between the user interacting with your site (click a link, tap a button, etc.) and when the system actually responds to that prompt. 
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CIS) - measures the visual stability of the site as it quantifies how much a webpage’s elements unexpectedly shift during its life. Some elements that affect CIS are videos, banner ads, and document object models that are loading slowly. 

LONG FORM CONTENT

Long form content will continue to be a major ranking factor in 2023. A well-written, comprehensively researched, and highly structured long form content can give you a leg up in the competition, especially if it satisfies Google’s E-A-T guidelines. 

There is great debate as to what constitutes long form, with many considering a copy long if it crosses the 2,000-word threshold. Others, take it one step further by releasing content that aims to reach 3,000 words and more!

Trends or not, SEO is always an evolving process. However, staying informed about the latest buzz and happenings in the SEO community will give you an idea and exercise judgement on how best to re-channel your efforts and allocate resources to get the best result out of your SEO campaign! 

May you ace the SEO competition this 2023 and beyond!

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