SEO is a massive factor of your website success and its ranking, and it’s important that you are able to adapt to the strategy and keep your website competitive.
SEO aspects and tactics that worked last year might not be as impactful this year, which is why we’ve collected our top 5 SEO trends that you should keep in mind for 2023.
Visual search for SEO
Sometimes referred to as “search-what-you-see”, visual search for SEO is the act of using an image in a search engine rather than text. By using AI and visual recognition, search engines can then recommend results based on this image.
But it’s not just Google who have now implemented visual search – platforms like Pinterest have been using this feature for years.
Are visual search SEO and image search SEO the same?
No – although image search makes up elements of the visual search process they are not completely the same.
Image search is still predominantly made up of text features; such as alt tags, alt text and schema markup. All of these text elements will then help search engines gather images that answer the search query – which is where the problem can occur, as the user’s terms they are using to search must be known.
Visual search is when the image itself is the search query. For users, this is a great tool as they will be able to use a photo and receive results that are identical, or very similar, to the photo being searched for.
From Google’s perspective, this is also more helpful as it will decide which element to filter to get the best SERP.
Which content element is best for visual search?
There are many elements that Google takes into consideration when it comes to visual search SEO. These elements help with sorting, identifying and visually matching similar content to results.
There are many elements that Google takes into consideration when it comes to visual search SEO. These elements help with sorting, idExamples of these elements are:
- Landmarks are visual identifications, but can also be connected to physical locations on Google Maps. Local businesses should therefore use imagery to demonstrate their locations.
- Logos are interpreted wholly instead of single letters. Therefore, logos without any text can still be understood by Google. This data comes from logos in knowledge panels, website structured data, Google Business profiles and Google Merchant – so they should all be aligned.
- Faces are interpreted for sentiment, however the quantity of faces can also come into account. Businesses that serve large groups of people should do well to demonstrate this.
Mobile first indexing for SEO
Mobiles first indexing is Google’s conscious effort to make the internet more mobile-friendly and reflect how users all across the world are interacting and using the web.
It is when the mobile version of a website is the starting point for Google when it comes to indexing a site. This is widely affecting the rankings of websites and can be a very important tool for SEO in the future.
However, mobile first indexing doesn’t mean that websites should only be made to work on mobiles.
The lack of mobile-friendly experiences on websites can negatively impact the rankings of that site across Google. Having a website that works great on mobile and desktop is vital for any site, and this is continuously looked for when Google and search engines rank websites.
How to consider mobile-first indexing for SEO
There are elements to a website that should be checked to ensure mobile first indexing has been implemented.
When someone views a website on a mobile device, the content should be high-quality and valuable – exactly the same value of content that is featured on desktop sites. This includes text, videos and images, as well as the formats being used on mobile versions are crawlable and indexable.
Structured data markups should be included on both mobile and desktop versions of the website. URLs that are shown on a mobile page should be the mobile version of that particular URL.
However, it’s important to avoid adding structured data markups to your page if it is not relevant to the specific content on that web page.
Titles and meta descriptions need to be equivalent on both versions of every web page of a website. Try not to make these identical though, as mobile titles may need to be shorter character counts to enable it to be mobile friendly.
Make sure the information and relevant keywords are also included.
Any content and web pages that may have been specifically created for websites should not be hidden for desktop versions. Instead, they should be stacked from mobile to desktop to ensure proper web accessibility for every user.
Voice search for SEO
Voice search has been seen as the future for SEO for a long time – with many websites looking to turn their content into something that can be translated through smart home devices.
Over 71% of users prefer to try a voice search query rather than type it out, which is why websites should start to prioritise voice search for 2023.
There are different ways that people can perform voice searches on technology:
- Smart speakers
- Car speakers
How to optimise websites for voice search
When it comes to traditional SEO, many websites will still include long-tail keywords in order to be as exact as possible.
However, with voice search websites will need to think of the queries and searches their audience will be making in order to be found through voice search. Website content will have to use full phrases and questions that are typically used by their audience.
Many websites already include a FAQ section, and this is proven to be great for voice search.
When a user searches for a particular question or query, your FAQ page could potentially be chosen to provide them their answer. Although the answers to your FAQs should be detailed enough to answer the question, they should not be too long due to consumers sometimes preferring quick answers to their queries.
Although many websites may not have considered having their website available to many different languages and regions in the world, making your site multilingual will enable people who speak more than one language to find and use your web content.
The translations for your content should be incredibly accurate, so try and stay away from Google Translate. Instead, opt to speak to a specialist who can assist you with the languages you would like your website translated into.
Another aspect of voice search SEO would be featured snippets, which is discussed in more depth below.
Featured snippets for SEO
When making a search on Google, the featured snippets is the highlighted snippet of text that appears at the top of the search results page. They answer the user’s search query quickly, often including definitions, tables, steps or lists.
Featured snippets can help websites quickly outrank their competitors as there will be no direct competition when it comes to ranking places on search engines.
How to gain featured snippets for SEO
To gain a spot as a featured snippet, websites should take a look at what featured snippets are already included for the topics they want to feature in. These are the questions that users are regularly searching for to find an answer, and any existing website content should be updated, or created, to provide the answer to their queries.
Tools like Answer the Public are great in helping find the questions that users may be searching for.
When getting the answers written and updated, stay within the optimal word count that are used in featured snippets.
Typically, Google features content that is concise and short. Some snippets are as short as 52 words long, and is considered the most common length of featured snippets across the web.
Overall, there are many trends that could see SEO be impacted across websites over the next few years. With people using the web with different intentions and accessing it through various devices, websites should ensure their content is as friendly and accessible as possible.
Want to better prepare for SEO in 2023? Please feel free to get in touch.