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5 SEO Trends to Optimize for in 2023

SEO remains a rapidly evolving field in digital marketing, largely due to Google's constant algorithm updates aimed at improving user experience. Each year presents a new chance for marketers to adapt to emerging SEO trends.

Here are the top 5 SEO trends to monitor in 2023 and tips for aligning your strategy accordingly.

Revamping Image SEO

Images are frequently overlooked on websites, yet they have always been crucial for higher rankings in image search results.

These visuals offer chances to incorporate more keywords and contextually related terms through alt text.

Google appreciates the use of alt text and schema tags, which aid its crawlers in understanding the image content. This not only improves SEO but also enhances web accessibility, benefiting those with visual impairments or connectivity issues.

Diminished Crawl Frequency

In line with its ambitious climate objectives, such as transitioning to carbon-free energy by 2023, Google is contemplating lowering the frequency of its web page crawls.

This move conserves computational resources and aligns with Google's sustainability goals.

It's worth noting that a slower crawl rate will likely affect refresh crawls more than the discovery of new content. As a result, any updates to your website may take longer to register with Google.

Given this, the most effective strategy in 2023 is to optimize your content comprehensively from the start, including all on-page elements needed for ranking.

Content That Satisfies and Helps

Google's Helpful Content update in August 2022 is a significant algorithm shift that will influence content creation strategies in 2023.

While Google has consistently prioritized high-quality content, it's now emphasizing that users should feel "satisfied" with the content they engage with in search results. Measuring user satisfaction can be complex, but Google defines "helpful" content as that which is:

  • Human-centered, not just optimized for search engines.

  • Suited for the intended audience.

  • Relevant to the website's core subject matter.

  • Crafted by knowledgeable and authoritative creators.

  • Reflective of in-depth understanding of the topic.

So how can you align with this trend and make your content more helpful?

Firstly, aim for quality over quantity. Creating copious amounts of superficial content won't serve your ranking objectives in 2023.

Secondly, enrich your keyword research with more than just search volume metrics. Evaluate:

  • The kinds of content ranking for your target keywords.

  • The length of that content.

  • The questions it addresses.

  • Any explored subtopics or related questions.

  • The links incorporated within the content.

  • The expertise of the creator.

By going beyond simple metrics like potential organic traffic, you'll gain a more nuanced understanding of what quality content entails.

Additionally, utilize Google Search Console to analyze the search queries leading users to your blog posts, as this can offer further insights into user needs.

Rethinking CTRs Based on SERP Positioning

Prepare to reassess your understanding of the link between CTR (Click-Through Rate) and search engine rankings.

The introduction of infinite scrolling on both desktop and mobile platforms has made it simpler for users to sift through several pages of search results. Historically, the majority of clicks have been concentrated on the top three results, but 2023 is expected to shift these dynamics due to easier multi-page navigation.

As for the much-discussed zero-click searches, a recent SEMrush study revealed that only approximately 25.8% of searches end without a click. With Google's increasing use of featured snippets and "People Also Ask" sections, the impact on CTRs may be less detrimental than once believed.

While ranking on the first page remains the goal, appearing on the second or third pages now carries more value thanks to endless scrolling. Ensure you're fine-tuning your page titles and meta descriptions, and utilize features like schema markup to make your content more clickable and engaging in search results.

High-Speed, High-Performance Websites

Since Google's 2021 Page Experience Update, the focus has shifted towards prioritizing websites that load quickly and perform well. Although the update began rolling out in 2021, it wasn't fully implemented until March 2022, and Google continues to fine-tune the metrics that evaluate a page's performance.

In 2023, tools like Page Speed Insights and Core Web Vitals remain critical for assessing website speed and functionality.

Focusing on improving page speed, along with maintaining content quality, is likely to result in improved keyword rankings across a domain's web pages.

The landscape of SEO is constantly evolving, influenced by Google's frequent updates and shifting user behaviors. From content that genuinely helps and satisfies users to adapting to new CTR norms and enhancing website speed, staying ahead of the curve is more crucial than ever.

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