It’s one of those days. You’ve done a cheeky Google to see how your website is ranking, only to discover it has dropped right down the list. Again! Just when you thought you’d nailed your website SEO, Google goes and changes its algorithms. Again!
The SEO landscape is constantly changing, so we asked our SEO Guru Natasha Birch to put together a guide to help business owners get up to speed with the latest SEO trends for 2023.
SEO trends for 2023
Out: Desktop optimisation
In: Mobile-first indexing
We used to optimise for Desktop results and speeds. Now, with the last batch of sites moving to mobile-first indexing on Google, the mobile version of your site matters more than ever.
Your website should be:
- Responsively designed (your site adapts to different device sizes)
- Optimised for fast load times (optimise image and video sizes, keep code bloat to a minimum, reduce excessive use of plugins)
- Ensure content is readable and accessible on small screens like smartphones (font size, buttons can be clicked with a finger, it is easy to navigate)
QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
Out: Content cramming
In: User first content
We used to write content to please Googlebot. Now we write high quality, helpful content that provides value to our audience. The focus is on audience-targeted, not traffic-targeted, content.
Your content should be:
- Created for humans, not search engines
- Appropriate for your target audience
- Relevant to the primary topic or subject area/s of your website
- Created by authoritative authors
- Display a depth of knowledge about the topic
Out: Keyword stuffing
In: Meta titles
Gone are the days of cramming in as many keywords as you can to make your website rank higher. Your focus should be on using engaging and clickable meta titles and descriptions. Click-through rates on your organic search results matter. Just because you are ranking #3 on Google, it doesn’t mean people won’t click on your result. Think of a meta description more like an ad. Optimise it to stand out amongst the competition and give the user a reason to click.
To achieve clickable results:
- Review the results that show for keywords you wish to rank for and think about how you can offer the user something different that will encourage them to click
- Ensure the meta descriptions are optimised for humans to read, not bots
- Add in a unique selling proposition and call to action where appropriate. For example, for products, you may include “Free Australia-Wide Shipping. Shop Now”
- Think about the search intent of keywords. When someone is searching a particular keyword you want to rank for, what are they actually looking for and what part of the buying cycle are they in?
LOCAL SEO IS A THING
Out: Location titles
In: Google My Business
We used to optimise for local searches by adding the location to page titles and metadata eg, ‘new homes Perth’ or ‘graphic design Perth.’ Nowadays, localised SEO is a thing. Local SEO allows businesses greater opportunities to reach their audience in the location around their business premises.
To localise your website:
- Use Google My Business (GMB) to appear in map results (which often appear at the top of Google for service-based searches)
- Ensure your GMB profile is completed with as many details as possible
- Get regular reviews from your customers (create a QR code directly to Google My Business to make it easier for people to fill in their review immediately)
- Optimise for voice search
- Create local news blogs or event pages
Out: Paid backlinks
In: Organic backlinks from reputable sources
Say goodbye to paid link schemes. We used to use link schemes to build backlinks to websites, and people were building sites solely to sell backlinks. Being linked with this sort of activity will now see your site blacklisted or penalised. Backlinks today still play a role, but are focused on producing high-quality, relevant content that will earn natural, organic backlinks from reputable sources.
To increase your chance of backlinks:
- Create helpful content
- Producing content that people want to share
Tip: If your SEO agency followed a link scheme in the past, it is worth having an audit done to ensure there are no backlinks to your site that are causing penalties to your site. If toxic backlinks are found, these can be removed to help your site’s reputation.
We hope you found this information helpful! Here at Of Note, we’re big believers in sharing tools and techniques that equip you to manage the basics of your website. But, if all of this sounds a little too overwhelming, let us do all the grunt work for you! We offer a Digital Tools & SEO Set Up package and also an SEO Management Retainer package. We’ll ensure your website is optimised and always up to date with the latest SEO trends!
To find out exactly what these include, fill out our CONTACT form and one of the team send you our packages menu.