Search Engine Optimization remains the number one way to boost your ranking, drive in more traffic, convert them, and generate sales. Without SEO, it is impossible to compete in the ever-growing internet giant, Google. Hence, most brands, if not all, have taken the initiative to draft out and implement an efficient SEO strategy to optimize their site and increase visibility.
As the online world grows, SEO also evolves. Yes, SEO is ever-changing in its principles. And this is only natural. After all, the main aim of search engines is to improve user experience by providing the content that is most relevant to the query at hand. And since SEO determines how search engines rank sites on their pages, there is a need for its constant growth.
The year 2021 saw tons of updates to Google's search systems. These include an update to HTML title tags and the MUM technology. Without a doubt, these updates have already started influencing SEO. And they will keep on affecting SEO in the coming years. Knowing this, you may begin to wonder what the year 2023 has in store for SEO. As a brand, this will help you create a plan to increase your visibility, and stay in the competition. Well, you are in the right place. This article offers some major SEO predictions for 2023. So, without any delay, let's get down to it.
Five Major SEO predictions for 2023
1.) Mobile-first indexing remains a top priority even in 2023
The desktop version was previously considered to be the primary version of a web page. This implies that Google focused on a page's desktop version when ranking and indexing the page for search results. Hence, brands made sure to pay more attention to their desktop site when preparing for SEO. However, this all changed in 2019 with the introduction of mobile-first indexing. Ever since then, Google has prioritized the mobile version of a page during search rankings. Why?
The main reason for this decision lies in the number of internet users. Consider this: As of January 2021, there were 4.66 billion internet users around the globe. And of this number, 4.32 billion users accessed the net via mobile devices. That's over 90% of internet users worldwide. These figures no doubt explain it all. In the past several years, the majority of internet users have come from mobile devices.
And this is no wonder since mobile internet usage is easily accessible and much more affordable than desktop. Today, this figure is at its highest. And this may probably be because of the challenges brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether that's the case or not, the fact remains - mobile users are dominating the net. And this figure is expected to only increase in the coming years with 2023 included. But how does this even affect SEO?
Since Google is now viewing pages from a mobile perspective, you must take adequate measures to make your site mobile-friendly. Yes, if mobile users find your site easy-to-use, you can be confident that you will see an increase in rankings, traffic, and even leads.
However, that does not mean you should completely ignore other devices. While mobile users may be dominating the net, there are still users who access the net via desktop and other means. And in SEO, you don't know who may be a potential client. Hence, you can't afford to miss anyone. So the best action to take is to ensure your site is easily accessible on multiple devices. In turn, this will help you reach out to more users. And above all, Google is sure to reward you with higher rankings.
2.) Longer articles will receive higher rankings on Google.
On-page SEO is and will always be a top facet of SEO. And this won't change even in 2023. When it comes to on-page SEO, developing quality content remains the primary method of increasing your SERP ranking. And it has become common knowledge that longer content ranks higher on search engines.
Over the years, long-form content has proved valuable. Hence, as a brand, you need to make it your aim to publish longer articles. But why? After all, longer articles may seem hard to read. This has been the opinion of many. However, that is not always the case. To fully understand this, below are two main reasons you should consider longer articles.
It attracts visitors
Longer articles provide more information to users. They are better equipped to answer a user's search query. And this is only natural. After all, longer articles provide more detailed explanations accompanied by detailed research and facts. On the other hand, short articles tend to summarize and list without offering any vital info to readers.
So, in short, longer articles offer more value to readers. And when a reader deems an article valuable, he is more likely to share that post with others. And this will no doubt lead to higher rankings.
Google views long-form articles as valuable
As seen above, longer content is better equipped at answering the search query at hand since it provides detailed information on a topic. With that in mind, consider Google's primary aim - to organize the world's information and make it easily accessible and beneficial to users. In other words, to provide relevant information to answer a user's query.
It's pretty clear, isn't it? Since longer articles provide detailed information, Google will rank it higher on its SERP.
In 2023, long-form articles are expected to dominate Google's top result pages. So, as a brand, you should work on publishing longer articles more regularly. That said, long-form content has become the downfall of some brands. Hence, it is necessary to keep the following in mind when creating your content.
Ensure your articles are of high quality. If your content is lacking, it won't rank. And this is especially true for long-form content. So, even if you are developing an article of 10,000 words, your top priority should be to offer value to readers. Otherwise, it will backfire on your SEO. Because of this, many have stuck to developing high-quality short-form content.
Keep readers engaged. True, long-form content is better at attracting visitors. However, in some cases they are intimidating. Why? The truth is large blocks of texts easily scare away readers. As a result, many still opt for short articles since it is easily scannable. But, with the appropriate use of H2 and H3 subheadings, you can easily overcome this hurdle. It helps to break down large blocks of text, thereby allowing for readability.
As stated earlier, long-form content is expected to dominate the rankings in 2023. Hence, ensure you regularly publish high-quality long-form articles. When doing so, follow the above suggestions. By so doing, you will be fully equipped for 2023.
3.) AI is expected to play a larger role in SEO.
Over the years, artificial intelligence (AI) has greatly influenced search. For example, 2015 saw the confirmation of Google RankBrain, an AI algorithm that helps Google process search queries. Additionally, it helps Google to understand the intent behind a query.
Yet another noteworthy AI algorithm is MUM. The Multitask Unified Model which saw its introduction in 2021, helps Google answer complex search queries. With the aid of MUM, you can now narrow search results easily and in no time at all.
The introduction to these algorithms has made many brands wonder what it means for their site. Well, the good news is that these AI do not change Google's priority. It has only improved Google's ability to provide data relevant to a user's search query. Hence, it doesn't change what you need to do - Create quality content that is well-organized and engaging.
In 2023, AI is expected to play a larger role in SEO. But you don't need to get worked up about it. Once you create content that meets up with Google standards, you can expect to rank high on the greatest SERP in the world.
4.) HTML tags remain vital for communicating with search engines.
HTML has always been important for on-page SEO. It allows users to develop well-optimized titles, meta descriptions, and headers through HTML tags. However, one may wonder if HTML will still be necessary for the coming years. Why?
Well, the year 2021 saw an update to page titles. In that update, Google made available alternatives to the HTML title tags. As a result, many have wondered if HTML as a whole is gradually losing its value in SEO. Another reason for this is the increasing popularity of CMS (Content Management Systems). And this is only natural. After all, CMS software allows you to manage content without any advanced technical know-how.
All that said, it doesn't mean that HTML is getting discarded. How do we know this? Research has clearly shown that Google still uses HTML title tags for about 80 percent of all cases. Furthermore, there are some SEO elements that you can only control with HTML. Some of these include meta descriptions, titles, and snippets.
Hence, to fully optimize your content, it is advisable to know your way around HTML if you don't. And if you do, you can be confident that your skills will be useful now and in the years to come.
5.) Semantic search will only grow in 2023.
That's a given. After all, Google is getting better at understanding the intent behind a search query. But you may wonder: "what is semantic search?" Simply put, semantic search is a data search technique that helps search engines understand what users mean. By understanding user intent, search engines will be able to provide info that will genuinely benefit the user. What does this mean for your site?
It's simple - optimize your content for semantic search. To do this, you have to go further in your keyword research, keeping your target audience as the top priority. And when creating content, ensure you answer your audience's query as clearly as possible. By doing so, you will be taking full advantage of the semantic search. And without a doubt, you'll be rewarded by Google.
Change is constant. No doubt, that saying applies to SEO. And each change is accompanied by new ways to rank on search engines. Since its inception, SEO has grown to be a powerful aspect of the online world. And this growth will keep on expanding in the coming years. Hence, it is vital to start making preparations for the coming years. The five SEO predictions discussed in this article will help you do so.