Search engine optimization (SEO) is constantly evolving. You must have a good grip on the most recent trends and changes to retain high exposure and rankings on search engine results.
With the ongoing AI revolution and consumer behavior shifts, there are several SEO trends that digital marketers should be aware of to stay ahead of the competition.
Understand these trends and optimize your platforms to ensure your business can generate organic traffic, increase conversions, enhance user experience, and stay relevant.
Benefits of SEO to eCommerce Business
Search Engine Optimization involves everything that helps a business enhance the visibility and rating of its website and content in search engine results pages (SERPs).
SEO aims to make your website more accessible and relevant to search algorithms – so when people use certain words or phrases, your website will appear first in search results.
Excellent SEO strategies help a business significantly improve the amount and quality of traffic to its website, which can ultimately result in the following:
increased brand visibility,
higher engagement & conversions,
ability to attract more targeted traffic,
Improvement in the content and design of the website,
Promotion of the company as a reliable and knowledgeable source in its sector.
And all that can be decided using pertinent keywords and phrases, the website's structure and organization, site speed and responsiveness, and link-backs from other reliable sources.
But as the best practices and trends keep evolving, staying on top of SEO trends helps you avoid penalties or algorithmic changes that could harm the performance of your website. Knowing how search engines like Google update their algorithms to give users the best results helps you avoid spammy actions.
Below are the top 10 SEO trends you need to optimize for in 2023.
#1: Domain knowledge and expertise
Google produced a guide earlier in February of 2019 on how they fight disinformation, fight fake news, and make it easy for high-quality results to appear in the search results. And in the language of SEO, the technique that helps you showcase your domain mastery to rank better on Google is called EAT, an acronym for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
EAT is a framework that Google uses to evaluate the quality of a website's content. Websites with high expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness will likely rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) than others.
Let’s break down the EAT principle into its composites and how to demonstrate it to search engines like Google.
Expertise deals with the level of knowledge and ability that a website's content authors have in their respective fields.
Authoritativeness refers to the reputation and authority of the website itself and that of the content creators.
Trustworthiness accounts for how trustworthy and reliable the website and its content are; factors such as accuracy, transparency, and user feedback are essential in determining reliability.
Focusing on producing top-notch content that exhibits your subject-matter expertise and establishes your website as an authoritative source of information will help your website's E-A-T.
How to optimize your website so that ranking systems can ID your site as having high expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.
Create a solid brand identity and ensure content authors have an author bio.
Get expert recommendations by establishing relationships with other traditional websites in your niche.
Consistently produce high-quality content that is well-researched, accurate, and engaging.
Ensure your website is trustworthy, reliable, and transparent about your identity and how you collect and use user data.
Be transparent about affiliate relationships or other potential conflicts of interest.
Have indexable, easy-to-find info on refund policies.
Improve your reputation with reviews, blog posts, & other online content.
E-A-T is a fundamental SEO framework. By emphasizing your domain knowledge, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness in your content and website, you can get more eyeballs on your website.
#2. Core Web Vitals
These metrics include:
a. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
LCP is a performance metric that evaluates the loading efficiency of a web page. It measures the time it takes for the most significant content element on the page (such as an image, video, or text block) to load and become visible to the user.
The LCP metric is crucial because it reflects the user's perception of the page's loading speed. A slow LCP can negatively impact user experience, bounce rate, and search engine rankings.
To optimize for LCP, do the following:
Minimize the most significant content element's load time by reducing image and video sizes. For pictures, you can use TinyPng to shrink their sizes.
Implement lazy loading techniques so that the most vital aspects of your website will load first.
Optimize server response times to minimize bounce rates.
Reduce the number of HTTP requests. You can use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix to identify any issues slowing down your website.
b. The First Input Delay (FID)
FID is a performance metric measuring the interactivity of a web page. FID calculates the delay between a user's first interaction with the page (such as clicking a button or link) and the browser's response.
First Input Delay is a vital metric because it reflects the user's perception of the page's responsiveness and interactivity, and a long FID can negatively impact user experience and engagement.
To optimize FID, do these:
Prioritize the loading of critical resources.
It's worth noting that FID precisely measures delays caused by user interaction, while other metrics such as Time to Interactive (TTI) may also measure delays caused by other factors like slow loading resources.
c. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
CLS is a performance metric that measures the visual stability of a web page. It calculates the total of all individual layout shift scores during the loading process.
Layout Shift occurs when page elements (such as images or text) move around as the page loads, causing a visually unstable and potentially frustrating user experience. CLS helps website owners identify and address layout shift issues by providing a numerical score that reflects the amount of layout shift experienced by users.
To optimize for CLS, do the following:
Use appropriate image and video sizes.
Reserve space for ads and other dynamic content.
Avoid inserting new content above existing content without reserving space.
By reducing the number of layout shifts experienced by users, you can improve the visual stability of your web pages and enhance the website’s user experience.
#3. Voice Search
With a predicted 55% of households having a smart speaker by 2022, voice search will become increasingly common, necessitating voice search optimization.
Optimizing for voice search readies your website's content for voice search agents like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant to find it more quickly.
Voice search is a convenient way for users to find information or perform tasks hands-free, without typing on a keyboard or navigating through menus –especially for busy professionals or people with mobility impairments.
Below are some recommended strategies for making your website fit for voice search.
Pay attention to long-tail keywords because voice searches are frequently more extended and conversational than conventional text searches.
Use conversational language. Unlike text searches, voice searches frequently sound more conversational and genuine – using everyday language will help you write your material naturally to make it more voice search-friendly.
Improve local search. Since many voice searches are location-based, improving local search on your website is critical.
Provide brief responses. Voice search assistants frequently give users' questions short replies, so make sure your content offers concise, understandable answers to frequently asked queries about your sector or niche to optimize for voice search.
Pay attention to mobile search. Due to the prevalence of voice search on mobile devices, ensuring your website is mobile-friendly is crucial.
Boost your chances of being seen in voice search results and heard by new audiences that use voice assistants to search the web by optimizing your website for voice search.
#4: Mobile Search
Making a website's design, content, and operation more appropriate for mobile devices gives you significant SEO benefits. 58.43% of website traffic comes from mobile devices, and 92.3% of internet users use a mobile phone.
Take mobile optimization into account. It enhances visitors' experience; unresponsive websites can be challenging to read and navigate on small screens, resulting in irritation and a high bounce rate.
Google gives mobile-friendly websites preference in search results, which raises your website's visibility in search engine results. A mobile-friendly website helps you stand out from the crowd and provide a better user experience for your visitors.
To optimize your website for mobile devices, do these:
Implement a responsive design with custom CSS to automatically change your website's layout to fit the visitors’ screen size effectively.
Improve your graphics and videos. Huge images and videos take longer to load, harming the user experience.
Make navigation easier for mobile devices by simplifying the menus.
Reduce the clicks needed to traverse your website by using drop-down menus.
Test your website’s core vitals with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
Minimize pop-ups to reduce interference.
#5. Local SEO
Localizing SEO helps your website rank higher in local search results. You optimize your website and content, meta tags, and backlinks for effective SEO localization to target local keywords and regions.
Local SEO is non-negotiable if you’re a business that depends on local clients – such as a restaurant, barber shop, or local service provider. The capacity of local SEO to make a business more visible in local search results is what gives it its significance. Potential customers are more likely to choose a company at the top of the search results when looking for a local store or service.
Further advantages of local SEO include the following:
Increased website traffic: Your business can attract visitors from nearby potential clients by placing better in local search results.
Credibility and trust: Localizing SEO helps your business establish credibility and trust with local customers by ranking your business higher in search results, boosting your chances of receiving favorable reviews.
Target specific geographic areas: Local SEO helps businesses focus on definite geographic regions, simplifying local client connections and competition with rival companies in the neighborhood.
Sales and revenue growth: The value of local SEO in digital marketing for businesses that depend on local customers is that it helps companies become more visible, bringing in more visitors and clients and ultimately boosting sales and revenue.
Strategies to optimize for local search
Below are recommended strategies for boosting your local SEO efforts.
Add your business to Google My Business listing to manage your company's online visibility across Google. By claiming and enhancing your Google My Business page, you can make your company more visible in local search results and give prospective clients crucial details like your opening times, address, and phone number.
Add geographically specific keywords to your content. Location-based keywords can increase your website's chances of ranking for local search queries by helping Google recognize the geographic relevance of your page.
Create trustworthy local backlinks. The authority and relevance of your website in local search results can increase by constructing high-quality backlinks from regional websites.
Make an appearance in web directories. Listing your company online in directories and Yellow Pages can help it appear more frequently in local search results and enhance the likelihood that people will find it.
Encourage client reviews, as customers can assist your business's online reputation and increase its exposure in local search results by leaving reviews on your Google My Business.
#6: Video Content
Videos have become popular content. And optimizing them can help your business reach and engage with your target audience better. Getting through to your audience, telling compelling stories, conveying emotions, increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, and ultimately boosting revenue are vital benefits of video content optimization.
That involves improving your content ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs), the title, description, tags, and transcript – and promoting the content on various channels, including social media.
As video content is more interesting to watch than text-based stuff, making the most of your video helps you tell gripping narratives and evoke strong feelings from your target market, increasing engagement.
More so, making video content more accessible to the intended audience gives you higher chances of turning website visitors into paying customers, driving more traffic, keeping users on the page longer, and improving the overall customer experience.
Tips to maximize video content for more significant impact, do these:
Research relevant keywords to ensure the title, description, and tags are aligned with your objective.
Create high-quality content for engaging, informative, high-quality viewership and improved engagement.
Craft your video titles and descriptions to reflect the content of your film appropriately.
Add closed captions and transcripts to improve accessibility and help search engines understand the content of your video better.
Optimize the video for mobile, as more and more people consume video content on their smartphones.
Promote the video on social media to increase visibility, engagement, and reach.
Monitor the performance of your videos and modify your plan as necessary to get better outcomes.
#7: Generative AI
Last year, AI content writing tools like Jasper and Copy.AI gained some traction, but none achieved the level of success that ChatGPT did. Google recently introduced its own AI chatbot - Bard - in February 2023.
But, Google is still trying to stifle AI content creation with its new content update, which rewards content that provides users with a satisfactory experience. To ensure you can be in Google’s good graces, use AI to speed up your process, not to replace your human intelligence. Creating entirely thin long-form content generated by AI is enticing. But it could backfire in the long run. Instead, use AI to produce short-form content such as FAQs and create general content with your unique insights.
Integrating AI into various stages of your content production process, such as research, can be incredibly beneficial. AI can also summarize existing content, allowing you to repurpose it for various channels.
But don't solely depend on AI to create your copy. Supplement the production process with an experienced human writer who can edit and add valuable insights. That approach will guarantee that the final output is both high-quality and engaging.
How to optimize for generative AI:
Use natural language and conversational keywords in your content to make it more relevant for voice search.
Use schema markup and structured data to provide search engines with a better understanding of the context of your content.
Using machine learning tools to analyze data and identify patterns can improve your SEO strategy.
Create high-quality, relevant content that meets the needs of your target audience.
Use AI-powered tools for keyword research, content optimization, and link building to automate repetitive tasks and improve the accuracy and consistency of your SEO efforts.
Leverage personalization by tailoring your content to the interests and preferences of your target audience.
#8: Structured Data
Using structured data is a standard method of providing search engines details about a page and its contents. It involves adding special markup to HTML code, which allows search engines to understand the content on a website better and display it in a more valuable and engaging way in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Structured data is essential for SEO because using structured data is a standard method of providing the meaning of the content on a website. It allows them to provide users with more relevant and valuable results. For example, structured data can give information about a business's location, hours of operation, ratings and reviews, and other details necessary to users searching for local companies.
Structured data also enables rich snippets and enhanced search results, including additional information beyond the page title and meta description. Rich snippets can include images, videos, ratings, and other elements to help a website stand out in search results and increase click-through rates.
How to optimize for structured data:
Use schema markup to tell search engines what your content is about and provide additional context that can help improve your search rankings. Schema markup is a standardized format for providing structured data to search engines.
Use Google's Structured Data Markup Helper to provide a user-friendly interface for generating the code you must insert on your website. Google's Structured Data Markup Helper is a free tool to help you create structured data markups for your website. It can help you choose from various data types, including articles, events, and products.
Once you've added structured data to your website, test it to ensure it works correctly. But ultimately, when choosing data types for your structured data, choose types pertinent to your content. Using appropriate data will help search engines understand your content better and improve your chances of appearing in relevant search results.
As your content changes over time, updating your structured data to reflect those changes is essential. Structured data will ensure that search engines have the most up-to-date information about your content and can display it correctly in search results.
#9: Featured Snippets
A featured snippet summarizes an answer to a search query at the top of Google's search results. They provide users with quick and concise answers to their questions without requiring them to click through to a website.
The impact of featured snippets on search results can be significant since they appear at the top of the search results page. Featured snippets can attract attention and clicks – and that’s vital as two-thirds of Google searches end without a click.
Additionally, appearing in a featured snippet can help create a reputation for your website as a leader in your sector. Since Google selects featured snippets based on the quality and relevance of the content, featuring your website can be a strong indicator of the value and expertise of your website.
On the other hand, since featured snippets provide users with quick answers, they can reduce clicks to websites offering similar information. As a result, websites that rely on traffic from informational searches may see a decrease in traffic and engagement.
To optimize your SEO for featured snippets, do these:
Look for search terms that result in featured snippets of content linked to yours. Use programs like SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Google Search Console to locate pertinent questions.
Provide helpful, high-quality content that succinctly and comprehensively addresses visitors' inquiries to optimize for highlighted snippets.
Create high-intent, targeted materials for Google to crawl, comprehend, and organize your content using tables, headers, and bullet points.
Target long-tail keywords relevant to your content. Using structured data on your website can increase the chances of Google choosing a featured snippet for your content.
Keep an eye on the results of your featured snippet optimization, content, and monitoring efforts. Increase your chances of appearing in a featured snippet by improving the quality and relevance of your content.
#10: User Experience (UX)
Google aims to deliver the best possible user experience, and as such, it factors in UX when determining search rankings.
Websites prioritizing UX have better engagement metrics, such as lower bounce rates, longer session durations, and higher click-through rates. These metrics signal to Google that the website is providing a good user experience, which can lead to higher search rankings. In addition, a positive user experience can lead to better brand perception, increased customer satisfaction, and higher conversion rates.
Optimizing your website for UX is a crucial SEO strategy for better user engagement, higher search rankings, and improved business outcomes.
Tips to optimize your website for a better user experience:
Enhance your graphics, compress files, and remove extra code to ensure your website loads rapidly.
Use simple navigation for intuitive navigation. Users should be able to swiftly and efficiently find what they want.
Ensure your website is responsive on mobile devices.
Use excellent copywriting to make your website texts easy to read, straightforward, and brief. Use headers and subheadings to divide the text into manageable chunks.
Use a clear and straightforward design to increase user engagement and simplify information accessibility.
Use HeyDay's intelligent site search to ensure users can quickly find what they're looking for on your website.
In conclusion, SEO is an ongoing process, and change is the only constant. Although these changes are beyond your control, making the tweaks stated above can help you respond adequately. If you found this piece helpful, share it so others can see it.
What is Search Engine Optimisation?
Why is SEO crucial for eCommerce Businesses?
SEO helps eCommerce businesses to improve their visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs) by optimizing their website content, structure, and keywords to rank higher on search engines. This increased visibility can lead to more organic traffic and higher sales. Businesses can attract more potential customers when they improve their search engine rankings. SEO gives a company a competitive advantage by helping it stand out and allows eCommerce businesses to save money on advertising and other marketing expenses. Unlike paid advertising, SEO can provide long-term results. Once a company has optimized its website for search engines, it can reap the benefits for years, resulting in sustained growth and increased profits.
What is the difference between on-page and off-page SEO?
On-page SEO refers to the optimization techniques applied directly to a website to improve its search engines rankings, such as optimizing content, meta tags, and images. On the other hand, off-page SEO refers to optimization techniques applied outside of a website to improve its search engines rankings, such as link building and social media marketing
What is a backlink and why is it important for SEO?
A backlink is a link from one website to another. Backlinks are essential for SEO because they signal to search engines that other websites consider your content valuable and relevant. The more high-quality backlinks a website has, the higher it is likely to rank in search engine results.
How long does it take to see results from SEO?
The time it takes to see results from SEO can vary depending on the industry's competitiveness, the quality of the website's content and optimization, and the strength of its backlink profile. Generally, it can take several months to see significant results from SEO efforts, but the compounding benefits will far outweigh the costs, resulting in sustained growth and increased visibility.
About the Author
Tom-Chris Emewulu is HeyDay’s Digital Evangelist. With 8+ years of digital marketing and business development experience, he crafts high-intent, high-converting, data-driven SEO articles that put brands on page 1 of Google search. Forbes, DW, Business Insider, Businessss2Community, and many other publications have featured his works. You can find him on Social Media via @tomchrisemewulu.