Year in Review: 2023 SEO Trends

Year in Review: 2023 SEO Trends

Posted on
January 1, 2024

2023 was a rollercoaster ride for SEO. Google threw us curveballs, Panda evolved into Hummingbird, and Penguin took flight once more. But one thing remained constant: the relentless pursuit of higher rankings. Buckle up, as we dissect the top SEO trends of 2023 in this retrospective deep dive. Get ready to unlock the secrets of the past and prepare for the future of search!

1. Artificial Intelligence Now Answers Search Queries

AI, particularly Generative AI, is reshaping search results by providing concise summaries at the top of SERPs, reducing the need for users to click through. Microsoft's Bing and Google have integrated AI chatbots (SGE), like ChatGPT and Bard, to generate these summaries, changing the landscape of SEO.

How to Leverage?

Focus on creating insightful content addressing search intent, as authoritative sources can still be credited in AI-generated summaries. Optimize for generative AI by ensuring relevance, quality, and website authority, akin to Bing's algorithm considerations.

Source: https://www.semrush.com/blog/seo-trends/ 

2. Google Prioritizing Search Intent

Google's heightened focus on search intent implies an improved ability to present results aligned with user expectations. The correlation between page ranking and its alignment with search intent is crucial. Four primary search intents include informational, transactional, commercial, and navigational, each requiring tailored content for optimal ranking.

How to Leverage?

Analyze keywords to determine search intent, ensuring content matches the specific intent. For instance, align informational content with queries seeking knowledge and transactional content with keywords indicating readiness for action. This alignment enhances the likelihood of ranking for targeted keywords.

Source: https://backlinko.com/seo-trends

3. Optimizing for User Signals Directly

Google's revealed reliance on user signals in its search algorithms has shifted the SEO landscape. Instead of solely focusing on deep content analysis, Google now prioritizes user engagement and satisfaction. This emphasizes that it's not just about the content on a site; user sentiment and reactions across the web play a crucial role in rankings.

How to Leverage?

  • Monitor User Engagement Metrics: Track metrics like time on page, bounce rate, clicks, and interactions to understand user behavior. Adjust your page based on these insights to enhance user engagement.
  • Align Content with User Intent: Cater your content precisely to what users are searching for. Ensure that answers are easily accessible, especially for users seeking quick information.
  • Incorporate Visual Elements: Enhance engagement by adding visually appealing elements like videos and infographics. These elements not only capture attention but also encourage users to spend more time on your site.
  • Promote User Interaction: Include features that prompt user interaction, such as comment sections, polls, and quizzes. Encourage users to actively participate and share their sentiments, contributing to positive user signals.

Source: https://backlinko.com/seo-this-year

4. The Mobile-First Index

Google's implementation of Mobile-First Indexing means the mobile version is considered the primary version for indexing. This necessitates a mobile-friendly website with content accessible to Google's mobile crawler. Mobile optimization includes ensuring a seamless user experience on smartphones and tablets.

How to Leverage?

Use the Google Search Console's "Mobile Usability" report to evaluate how Google views your mobile site. Utilize the Mobile-Friendly Test to check if Google deems your page mobile-optimized. Assess mobile page speed with tools like PageSpeed Insights. Optimization for mobile is essential for SEO success in the Mobile-First Index era.

Recommended: Manual checking with your mobiles/tabs to find the issues on it.

Source: https://backlinko.com/seo-trends

5. Voice Search Is More Popular Than Ever

Voice search via personal assistants is rapidly growing, emphasizing the importance of optimizing sites for voice queries. Google and Bing provide voice search options, with Google often relying on featured snippets to answer voice queries, necessitating a focus on securing the top ranking.

How to Leverage?

  • Optimize for voice search by incorporating natural-sounding keywords and content. Utilize keyword research tools to identify voice search-friendly keywords (long tail and conversational keywords). Recognize the conversational nature of voice queries and tailor content accordingly for increased visibility.
  • Provide information in a clear and succinct manner to increase the chances of winning SERP features
  • Implement schema markup (a structured data vocabulary that helps search engines better understand the information on your website) to provide search engines with more context and increase the chances of winning SERP features and being served in voice search results 

Source: https://www.semrush.com/blog/seo-trends 

6. Visual Search Is Becoming More Advanced

Visual search, like Google Lens and Bing Visual Search, is gaining traction, influencing user search behavior. The increasing prevalence of visual searches necessitates SEO strategies that prioritize image optimization and align with the evolving nature of user queries.

How to Leverage?

Implement image SEO best practices, ensuring images accurately represent products or services, are high-quality, and have optimized file names and alt text. Leverage structured data (Image Schema) to enhance search engines' understanding of visual content for improved visibility.

Source: https://www.semrush.com/blog/seo-trends

7. Video SEO Is Becoming More Important

Given YouTube's status as the second most used search engine, video SEO is gaining prominence. Google incorporates video content into main search results, emphasizing the significance of optimizing videos for search to capitalize on this growing trend.

How to Leverage?

Optimize videos by adding chapters, including closed captions, and optimizing titles, tags, and descriptions with relevant keywords. Utilize tools like Keywords Analytics for YouTube to identify and target keywords that align with your video content.

Source: https://backlinko.com/seo-trends

Remember, SEO is a journey, not a destination. Keep experimenting, keep learning, and keep those search engines singing your praises. Let's make 2024 the year your website reaches the top of the mountain!

8. Featured Snippets Are Evolving

Featured snippets remain a crucial element in SERPs, with Google experimenting with multiple featured snippets. This evolution presents both opportunities and challenges, as sites compete for visibility and may share the top spot with other featured snippet results.

How to Leverage?

  • Create content optimized for user search intent. Employ optimal formats like paragraphs, lists, tables, and videos to increase the likelihood of securing a featured snippet.
  • According to research by Ahrefs, about 100% of featured pages already rank in top 10 of Google. 
  • Creating one solid article addressing many related questions is a much smarter strategy if you aim at getting featured in answer boxes.

Source: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/seo-trends

9. Helpful, Expert Content Is More Important

Google's emphasis on expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-E-A-T) signals a shift towards expert-driven content. Content should prioritize user usefulness over solely appeasing search engines, encouraging a more people-centric approach.

How to Leverage?

Demonstrate expertise through topical authority, author bios, link to authoritative sources, and incorporate insights from subject matter experts. Evaluate and optimize existing content for helpfulness, aligning with Google's preference for "people-first content" that meets search intent.

Source: https://www.semrush.com/blog/seo-trends/

10. Topical Authority

Topical authority emerges as a pivotal factor in SEO, emphasizing the significance of focusing on specific topics rather than covering a wide array. The concentration on a particular subject showcases depth and quality, aiding search engines like Google in recognizing a website's expertise and trustworthiness. This becomes particularly crucial with Google's emphasis on helpful content, where topical authority guides the algorithm in identifying valuable content deserving higher rankings.

How to Leverage?

To build topical authority, adopt a cluster-based approach. Select key topics, conduct thorough research on related terms, and craft content for each cluster. Simultaneously target multiple keywords, interlinking between relevant pages and creating cross-links within clusters. 

Source: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/seo-trends

11. Author Entities Hold More Value than Ever

The rise of AI-generated content poses a challenge for search engines like Google in assessing content quality. Instances of reputable sites creating fake author profiles for AI articles underscore the need for search engines to adapt. Google is likely to intensify efforts to identify and evaluate AI-written content, emphasizing the importance of establishing author entities.

How to Leverage?

Leverage author entities to enhance content credibility and align with Google's preference for knowledgeable and reputable individuals. Implement the following strategies for SEO in 2024:

Multi-Site Authorship: Have authors publish on various sites to expand their footprint, signaling authenticity to both Google and readers.

Byline Inclusion: Include subject matter experts (SMEs) or expert writers in the byline to add credibility and emphasize the human expertise behind the content.

Create Author Pages: Establish author pages on your site, providing details about authors' backgrounds, areas of expertise, links to published posts, and social media links.

Encourage Return Guest Posts: Encourage experts who have successfully contributed guest posts to return, strengthening their association with your site.

Publish on Behalf of Established Authors: Collaborate with well-established authors to publish content on their behalf, leveraging their authority and expertise.

Source: https://backlinko.com/seo-this-year

12. Microsoft Bing Is Taking On Google

Microsoft Bing, powered by advancements in AI, is emerging as a serious competitor to Google. With a diverse user base, Bing is reshaping the SEO landscape, offering an alternative to the dominance of Google in the search engine realm.

How to Leverage?

Optimize for Bing by using exact match keywords, leveraging multimedia, and incorporating strong social signals. Recognize Bing's user demographics, particularly focusing on the 25-34 age group, and adjust SEO strategies accordingly.

Source: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/enterprise-seo-trends/

13. User Experience Is Playing a Larger Role in Rankings

Google's continued emphasis on user experience metrics, specifically with the introduction of Interaction to Next Paint (INP), underscores the importance of a seamless and fast website. Technical SEO and user experience will remain critical for ranking success.

How to Leverage?

Conduct a technical SEO audit using tools like the Site Audit tool to assess page speed and user experience metrics. Optimize for INP by ensuring prompt responses to user interactions, promoting a positive overall website experience.

Source: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/seo-trends

14. Compounding SEO Value

SEO investment yields a compounding return over time, as demonstrated by increased traffic and keyword rankings for top-performing pages. The authority built through user engagement contributes to sustained SEO success. This trend underscores the long-term benefits of consistent SEO efforts.

How to Leverage?

Focus on the long-term benefits of SEO by consistently optimizing content for relevance and user engagement. Recognize that the compounding effect leads to increased authority and visibility over time. Monitor and adapt strategies to align with evolving search patterns and user behaviors.

Source: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/enterprise-seo-trends/

15. Data Lakes And Business Intelligence Become Vital

The importance of data quality and intelligence in driving marketing performance is on the rise. Search data is becoming a critical source of business intelligence, influencing strategies based on consumer preferences and digital trends. Data lakes, large repositories of raw data, are emerging as essential tools for SEO professionals to analyze and extract valuable insights.

How to Leverage?

Embrace data lakes to gain deeper insights into user behavior and search engine rankings. Leverage the wealth of data available to understand trends, user preferences, and SEO performance. Utilize business intelligence from search data to inform various aspects of marketing, including brand awareness, product launches, lead generation, and market trends.

Source: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/enterprise-seo-trends/480463/

Description

Pricing

Webflow plans cost

Webflow has varied plans depending on your requirements.
The lowest plans start from $14 and the highest can go above $300/month for enterprise sites.

Developer cost

Most custom web-flow websites require additional HTML, and CSS code to change the appearance and this will require a developer. 
$25/hour to $150/hour depending on regions

Designer cost

The custom Webflow site will have a custom design, which will require a design.
Starts from $50/hour and upwards depending on Region

Integrations

Webflow uses integration to work with third-party data sites or apps like Zapier.
Integrations like Zapier start at $19.99/month.

Site Type

E-commerce sites are heavy, while small business sites are light.
A small custom site can range from $3500. Whereas, ecommerce sites will start from $10,000 and above
Conference
When
Location
Sydney SEO Conference‍Mar. 1, 2024‍Sydney, Australia‍
WTSFest London‍Mar. 8, 2024‍London, UK‍
PubCon‍Mar 4-6, 2024‍Las Vegas, US‍
SMX Munich‍Mar. 12 & 13, 2024‍Munich, Germany‍
SMX Paris‍Mar. 14 & 15, 2024‍Paris, France‍
Friends of Search‍Mar. 21, 2024‍Amsterdam, Netherlands‍
SEO Mastery Summit‍Apr. 9 - 11, 2024‍Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam‍
BrightonSEO‍Apr. 24 & 25, 2024 / Oct. 3 & 4, 2024‍Brighton, UK‍
Mozcon‍Jun. 3 & 4, 2024‍Seattle, US‍
WTSFest Berlin‍Jun. 7, 2024‍Berlin, Germany‍
LondonSEO XL‍Jun. 13, 2024‍London, UK‍
SEO on the Beach‍Jun. 14 & 15, 2024‍La Manga, Spain‍
WTSFest USA‍Sep. 19, 2024‍Philadelphia, US‍
Chiang Mai SEO Conference‍Nov 22 & 23‍Chiang Mai, Thailand‍
International Search Summit‍Nov. 14, 2024‍Barcelona, Spain‍
BrightonSEO (US edition)‍Nov. 19 & 20, 2024‍
San Diego, US
UPDATE SUMMARY
DATE
DURATION
November 2023 reviews update8 Nov 202329 days
November 2023 core update2 Nov 202325 days, 21 hours
October 2023 core update5 Oct 202313 days, 23 hours
Ranking is experiencing an ongoing issue5 Oct 202326 days
October 2023 spam update4 Oct 202315 days, 12 hours
September 2023 helpful content update14 Sep 202313 days, 11 hours
August 2023 core update22 Aug 202316 days, 3 hours
April 2023 reviews update12 Apr 202313 days, 2 hours
March 2023 core update15 Mar 202313 days, 7 hours
February 2023 product reviews update21 Feb 202314 days

Team Freshboost
Team Freshboost
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Frequently asked questions

Is SEO important for eCommerce platforms?

Yes, SEO is crucial for eCommerce platforms. It enhances visibility on search engines, attracts potential customers, and improves the chances of higher conversion rates, ultimately boosting online sales.

How to increase eCommerce sales with SEO?

To boost eCommerce sales with SEO, focus on keyword optimization, create high-quality and relevant content, optimize product pages, improve website speed, utilize social media, encourage customer reviews, and invest in a mobile-friendly design.

How Is SEO for E-commerce Different?

SEO for E-commerce differs in product-focused optimization, dealing with large inventories, optimizing product pages, handling duplicate content issues, addressing seasonal fluctuations, and focusing on user experience to encourage conversions. It's a specialized approach tailored for online retail.

Which Ecommerce Platform is Best for SEO?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer. Popular platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento offer good SEO capabilities. The best choice depends on your business needs, content management preferences, and technical expertise.

What are the benefits of SEO for eCommerce Platform?

SEO for eCommerce platforms brings increased organic traffic, higher visibility in search engine results, improved user experience, enhanced credibility, and better chances of converting leads into customers, leading to increased sales and revenue.

Frequently asked questions

Is pay-per-click advertising worth it?

PPC advertising offers targeted reach, measurable results, and fast outcomes, making it valuable for businesses. It allows precise audience targeting and provides detailed analytics for performance tracking. While it delivers quick results, it requires ongoing investment and time for management. Additionally, competitiveness in certain industries can raise costs and pose challenges.

How is ranking different when comparing PPC vs SEO?

PPC: Paid placement based on bidding and ad quality for immediate results and precise targeting.SEO: Organic ranking influenced by website quality and content relevance, takes time to build and maintain.

How Is SEO for E-commerce Different?

SEO for E-commerce differs in product-focused optimization, dealing with large inventories, optimizing product pages, handling duplicate content issues, addressing seasonal fluctuations, and focusing on user experience to encourage conversions. It's a specialized approach tailored for online retail.

How do SEO and PPC work together?

SEO and PPC complement each other by improving online visibility and driving traffic. PPC provides keyword insights for SEO, while SEO informs PPC strategies. PPC serves as a testing ground for SEO keywords, enhancing organic optimization efforts. Together, they increase SERP visibility, optimize landing pages, and improve user experience and conversions. Additionally, PPC data informs SEO content strategies, resulting in better online performance overall.

How much do PPC agencies charge?

PPC agencies offer services to assist businesses in handling their PPC campaigns, with costs typically ranging from $350 to $5,000 monthly or 12 to 30% of ad spend per month.

Frequently asked questions

What criteria should I consider when selecting an SEO agency?

When looking at how to choose an SEO agency, you’ll need to go through any available client testimonials that’ll be available in their website. Also, check if they’re transparent about their business approach to you and whether they possess a multi-disciplinary team.

How can I assess and evaluate the capabilities of an SEO agency?

When you research how to choose an SEO agency, you can evaluate their capabilities beforehand by going through their previous sample works, going through client testimonials and also going through community forums to check for reviews regarding the SEO Agency you’re looking out for.

What factors should I weigh when choosing an SEO specialist?

The factors that influence your question of how to choose an SEO agency should be to check if their portfolio is diverse, and whether they have good client testimonials, and they don’t guarantee you top ranks in Google’s search results.

What steps should I take to pick a local SEO company for my business?

Go through the company’s portfolio that is publicly available. Also, while looking for pointers on how to choose an SEO agency for your business, you can go through your local SEO agency’s client testimonials and research the company’s cultural dynamics.

Frequently asked questions

What is Plastic Surgery SEO?

Plastic surgery SEO is a specific type of search engine optimization (SEO) focused on attracting potential patients to a plastic surgeon's website. It involves various tactics to improve the website's visibility in search engine results for relevant keywords.

Why SEO for Plastic Surgeons Is Important?

SEO is an essential tool for plastic surgeons seeking to increase online visibility, rank high on SERP, attract qualified leads, and ultimately convert them into patients.

How long does it take for medical SEO to work?

Based on SEO strategies and the quality of content, initial improvements can be expected within the first three months. Achieving top positions in search results and driving traffic typically takes an average of six months.

How do you get plastic surgery leads?

Utilize 3D visualizations, Content Marketing & Webchat, patient-focused blogs, testimonials, mobile optimization, and SEO to generate plastic surgery leads.

Frequently asked questions

What is manufacturing SEO?

Manufacturing SEO involves optimizing a manufacturer's online presence to improve search engine rankings and visibility, attracting potential clients and enhancing brand awareness.

How does SEO benefit a manufacturing company?

SEO benefits manufacturing companies by increasing online visibility, attracting targeted leads, and establishing credibility, ultimately boosting brand awareness and facilitating business growth.

How can manufacturing companies improve SEO?

Manufacturing companies can enhance SEO by optimizing website content, incorporating relevant keywords, improving site speed, and utilizing quality backlinks for a stronger online presence.

How do you get plastic surgery leadsWhat is the main mistake of SEO that manufacturing companies make??

The main SEO mistake manufacturing companies make is neglecting to focus on industry-specific keywords and failing to regularly update and optimize their online content for search engines.