SEO is constantly evolving. Each year, we see new changes and trends in the way that Google ranks websites. To stay ahead of the curve, it’s important to be aware of these changes and adapt your SEO strategy accordingly. As we head into next year, Think gaze into the crystal ball and aim to pick out some of the top SEO trends and predictions which we think will dominate the landscape.
SEO trend 1 – voice search
One major trend we predict will continue to dominate further over the year ahead is voice search. Over the last few years, more of us are turning to our smart speakers and utilising voice search to find the information we need. Voice search can nowadays be easily performed all around us. This is possible thanks to common devices such as the Amazon Echo, Google Nest Home or Sonos One Smart Speakers. We can also use our smartphones, smartwatches and virtual assistants such as Siri, Cortana or Google Assistant to perform voice searches.
This trend is being driven by the ever-increasing popularity of these devices and the convenience they offer. It’s now quicker and easier to ask Alexa or Google to find something for us than it is to type it into a search engine. Even our TVs or Sky remote controls can be used for voice search.
With the rise in popularity of smart speakers, it’s no surprise that the number of people using voice search is on the increase. A recent study found that 71% of consumers prefer voice search over typing. This means that it’s becoming increasingly important for websites to optimise their content for voice search. To make it easier for search engines to crawl your content, it is necessary to use natural, conversational language. This should include ‘long-tail’ keywords which are longer and more specific keyword phrases that visitors are more likely to use when they’re closer to placing an order or when they’re using voice search. This will help your website to rank for voice search queries.
SEO trend 2 – visual search
Another major trend that is set to continue in 2023 is the prevalence of visual search, a type of search where users take an image as their search query instead of a text-based one. This is made possible by the use of sophisticated visual search tools such as Google Lens and Pinterest Lens.
With these tools, users can simply point their smartphone camera at an object and get results related to that object. This includes similar products, information about the object and where to buy it. This is a convenient way of shopping for those who know what they want but don’t know the name of the product or where to find it.
As visual search becomes more popular, businesses need to optimise their content and images for this type of search. This means using high-quality, relevant images which are optimised for SEO. It’s also important to ensure that your images are captioned and tagged with relevant keywords, using Alt text so that they can be easily found by visual search engines. Alt text is the text that appears in place of an image if it can’t be displayed, for some reason. This text is used by search engines to understand what an image is about and index it accordingly. It improves visitor experience for those who may be visually impaired as it helps them to understand what an image is showing.
SEO trend 3 – user experience (UX)
Whilst User Experience has always played a role in SEO, it is set to become even more important in 2023. As of May 2021, Google now uses ‘page experience’ signals as part of its ranking algorithm. These signals include things like mobile-friendliness, safe browsing, visual stability (lack of intrusive pop-ups), lightning-fast site speed performance and the presence of a secure SSL certificate. All of these factors contribute to a positive user experience, which is what Google wants to promote.
To ensure your website has a good page experience, it’s important to focus on the above factors. In particular, you should ensure that your website is mobile-friendly as this is now one of the most important ranking factors. You can do this by using a responsive design which automatically adjusts the layout of your website to fit the screen size of the device being used. Another way to improve your website’s UX is to use AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), a Google-backed project which aims to improve the speed and performance of mobile web pages.
SEO trend 4 – reviews-based content
There are several benefits which come from obtaining customer reviews. Not only do reviews create fresh content which is good for SEO but they also help to build trust and credibility with potential customers. In fact, 92% of B2B consumers are more likely to purchase after reading a trusted review. Customer reviews provide a chance for people who know your brand to tell the world what they love about your products, services and customer experience. Having reviews readily available shows that you’re trustworthy and reliable. Even if reviews are negative, they can be responded to which will show other potential customers that you’re willing to listen to feedback and make improvements.
There are a few ways in which you can encourage customers to leave reviews. The most common way is to simply ask them! You could do this via email, social media or even in person. Another option is to make it easy for them by including links to review their experiences with the business. By displaying reviews prominently on your website, you’re not only providing potential customers with relevant information but also increasing the amount and quality of your site’s content – both of which can help improve your position in search engine results pages. Ultimately, Google wants to present the most reputable search results to deliver the best possible experience for its users.
SEO will continue to be an important part of any digital marketing strategy for the year ahead. If you want to stay ahead of the competition, make sure you’re keeping up with the latest trends! By following these tips, you can ensure that your website remains visible in organic search results.
If you need help optimising your website for SEO, contact our Digital Marketing team today! We can help you create a customised SEO strategy that will help improve your organic search ranking and drive relevant, targeted traffic to your website.