The digital marketplace is buzzing with thousands of businesses from a variety of different industries competing to attract today’s capricious and empowered consumers. Dynamic, customer-centric online marketing has become a necessity now more than ever for businesses that want to stay a touch above the rest and grow. Search engines, where users search for their requirements and businesses compete to rank at the top of the results page, are constantly introducing new changes in their algorithms to better the browsing experience for users.
Every year, Google, the most popular search engine, modifies the way its algorithms interpret data and rank websites that they find the most useful for consumers. It’s important for a business that wants to stay in the competition and make the most of its SEO investments year after year, to become acquainted with the new norms as soon as possible. Having foreknowledge regarding future updates and factors that can influence SEO and rankings is crucial for businesses to stay on top of the ranking game. If you are a proactive business looking to prepare for the future, you are at the right place.
In this article, we will discuss 8 SEO ranking factors that can influence your website’s ranking in 2023 and beyond. Read along to discover what will work in terms of SEO in the coming times and start implementing these factors in your SEO campaign to reap lucrative, long-term benefits.
1. Mobile Optimization
While you may think mobile phone optimization is an outdated ranking factor, it isn’t. Google is still favorable to mobile-friendly websites and in fact, has introduced a mobile-first indexing factor where the algorithms will first crawl the mobile version of your website to index and rank it on SERPs. It’s important to keep optimizing your website for mobile devices to ensure all the pages are ideally loading for the users. Since most users are going to access your website from their mobile devices, if it appears unorganized and cluttered, they may immediately leave it for your competitor’s better-optimized one which will decrease its CTR. A high CTR contributes to a website’s ranking which is why mobile optimization becomes even more important. You can leverage mobile usability metrics to gauge your website’s usability on mobile devices.
2. User Experience
Google’s latest update focuses on the overall experience a website provides to users. As part of this update, the algorithms will analyze numerous UX factors of the website to determine its ranking on search results. These factors include a web page’s accessibility, the number of redirects it has, the amount of high-quality pictures and videos it contains, the way dynamic content like pop-ups load on it, and the length of the page among other usability factors. If you want your website to rank in 2022 and beyond, you should ensure it provides a seamless and enjoyable browsing experience to users. Try to make it as basic as possible enabling users to easily interface with it and quickly navigate to their desired content. Make sure it isn’t plagued by advertisements or has irrelevant content that can harm your rankings.
3. Schema Markup
You can use schema to markup the content on your website, enabling Google’s algorithms to accurately interpret it and display it more frequently and precisely for relevant search queries. Marking up your content using schema will make your website more structured, enabling web crawlers to ideally index it and portray rich snippets under its link on SERPs. By adding microdata to the HTML script of your website using the schema vocabulary, you can control how Google portrays the meta description of your website. Rich snippets under your website’s link can make it stand out in the search results, significantly increasing its click-through rate. You can generate more organic traffic to your website using schema which has always been a ranking factor and is going to be so for times to come.
4. BERT Algorithm
Google has recently introduced a new algorithm called BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) which leverages machine learning capabilities to deduce the intent behind a user’s search input. This algorithm helps the search engine to match users with the exact results that they intend to find when they put in a search query. In the coming times, with machine learning and natural language processing technologies evolving, websites that offer content best matching the user’s intent will be promoted up the rankings. If you want to rank in 2022, 2023 and beyond, you will have to include more content that matches your ideal customer’s search intent.
5. Keyword Research
Keywords are indispensable when it comes to SEO and they are only going to become more important as SERPs keep getting advanced. With Google’s algorithms getting smarter and showcasing content from all around the web at the top of search results in the form of business listings, contact information, profiles and featured snippets, users end up not clicking any website at all for their search queries. They get all the information they need in an organized fashion at the top of search results thanks to Google’s high-performance algorithms. That’s why to get the clicks on your website despite this advancement in the algorithms, you will have to perform meticulous keyword research to unearth keywords that will constitute most search queries.
6. Passage Indexing
Passage indexing is another of Google’s algorithms that leverages high standards of natural language processing capability to understand and index particular passages from long-form content on websites. These passages are then directly displayed on SERPs for relevant queries thereby helping users gain easy access to the precise answers they are looking for on the web. To make the most of this algorithm, you should publish more long-form, holistic content that covers every aspect of a topic. This can help you rank higher on SERPs for relevant search queries, now and in the future.
7. Voice Search Optimization
With the rising popularity of voice search assistants like Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant, voice searches are at an all-time high. Users can conveniently speak out their search queries without taking the pains to type. According to Google, 27% of the global population uses voice search on mobile. Furthermore, ComScore has reported that more than half of all smartphone users used voice search capabilities in 2020. Since spoken queries are much more conversational, long-tail, and unconventional, you need to optimize your content accordingly for your website to rank on SERPs. Try to use conversational keywords that resemble what users might speak out on voice search. Voice search is here to stay and so, optimizing your content for it is definitely going to help you rank in 2023.
8. Video SEO
As an online business, you must already be aware of the benefits of video marketing. Google’s algorithms prefer informative and engaging videos and rank websites with embedded videos higher on SERPs. Video key moments is a search feature on Google that shows selected key moments from full-length, embedded videos on SERPs related to the search input. If you perform video SEO, you can now get additional benefits from it by helping Google identify key moments from your videos. All you have to do is use the seek-to-action markup to provide the web crawlers the URL structure to jump to a specific portion of the video. Google’s algorithms will automatically identify key moments using artificial intelligence capability.
These are the 8 ranking factors that you need to be aware of this year and in 2023 to be in a pole position on search rankings. If the entire SEO technicalities don’t seem like your cup of tea, or you are a small-scale SEO agency looking to scale up cost-effectively and achieve real ranking results for your clients, white label SEO services should be at the top of your consideration.