While search engine optimisation has been a priority for businesses for a while, the requirements for effective SEO have gotten increasingly complex.
The dominant search engine, Google, currently takes around 200 metrics into consideration when ranking content, although they’re famously vague as to what those metrics are exactly.
In this article, we spoke to James Taylor, a leading SEO consultant based in the UK. We take a look at some of the important SEO trends to follow as we get into 2023, to help you take your digital marketing efforts to the next level.
One of the metrics that has been and will be important for SEO for a long time to come is page speed. How fast a page loads has a massive impact on how highly the page is ranked, for a couple of reasons. One of these is the effect it has on bounce rate. Pages which load too slowly are unable to capture the attention of visitors; after just a few seconds, most people will close the website, and start searching elsewhere.
More directly is Google’s Core Web Vitals, which analyses the time it takes for the biggest part of your page to load, how many parts of your page move while it’s loading, and how long each part takes to respond to clicks.
More important than ever is having a site that’s optimised for mobile, not just desktop. As an increasing number of people search the web either primarily or solely on their smartphones, having a mobile-friendly site is essential in order to provide a positive experience to most visitors.
Google has also responded to this preference for mobile searches, and now uses a mobile-first index when ranking content. This means that your site’s mobile version is considered during the ranking process, making mobile optimisation more important than ever before for a high search engine ranking.
User search intent
While initially SEO was determined by things as simple as keywords, the focus has now shifted to providing utility to searchers. To make something rank well on Google, it’s not enough for someone to just click on that content; they need to stay on the page, read the content, and then ideally navigate to another page on your site.
To achieve this, you need to understand and accommodate user search intent; you need to know what people are searching for, what it is they want to know more about, and provide them with that information. This may be a sometimes-complex thing to achieve, but when done well, it’s highly rewarding.
Alternative search mediums
Finally, in addition to focusing on text as a medium for information, focus on alternative forms of media such as videos and infographics.
The transition to mobile as the preferred means of navigating the internet has led to a change in the way people consume information.
People are increasingly turning to videos to learn things; not just complex tutorials, but also relatively basic information like a product description. Integrating these different forms of media into a website will be essential for effective SEO moving forward.