It’s a new year and, as such, it’s an opportune time to make a fresh start. For companies seeking to attract online business, that could include carefully considering ways to improve website traffic. And a key element of this should be to consider their strategy when it comes to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
Online sales reached new heights in 2021 due to the Coronavirus pandemic reducing footfall on the high street, making this something of an inadvertent boom period for online trading. However in 2022 there was plenty of change there with life returning to normal most companies selling online could not maintain or grow from the previous year.
The companies that managed this mostly had a focused USP and an attractive product line, not to mention affordable prices and friendly customer service.
However, as we have said before a company could have all of these and still falter if their SEO is poor. If your website cannot be easily found when customers are searching for products that you sell, this will negatively impact sales. Therefore, it’s imperative to consider the main SEO trends for 2023 and to incorporate them into your company’s SEO strategy. But what may this consist of? Allow us to explain this in more depth …
THE IMPORTANCE OF HEADINGS
By headings, we don’t just mean the main title of a page or article. For your website to stand out on Google, you should have multiple headings that cover all of the core points that a customer may wish to know. These headings could come in various sizes; for example, a H2 heading is larger than a H3. However, a H3 may serve as a handy sub-section to a H2. Furthermore, the headings themselves should include the targeted keyword about the product and your organisation as much as possible. All of this matters because, when Google analyses pages and considers who should rank the highest, a vital factor will be the inclusion and layout of headings.
Let’s use a hypothetical example. Say that your company sells USB drives, perhaps with a unique exterior design to reflect a popular television show or movie. So, your product page would cover everything that a customer might want to know, such as the storage, the speed and also the operating temperatures. Without clear headings, though, this information could appear disorganised and dull, even if the details are all accurate. By using headings such as USB Storage or Hardware Interface, though, you’re separating the same information into neat sections that are pleasing on the eye. Furthermore, the headings are including the very keywords that you wish to rank for, and their differing sizes make them stand out even more. All of which gives your website a far better chance of ranking highly and, consequently, attracting plenty of sales.
THINK ABOUT THE EAT PRINCIPLE
The EAT principle acts as one of Google’s main barometers in determining how high a page should rank, especially one that seeks to educate the reader on a topic. To break down the elements, E stands for Expertise, while A stands for Authoritativeness and T stands for Trustworthiness. Let’s explain this further: Expertise focuses on how much knowledge the creator of the content has; in other words, do they really know their stuff, having perhaps lived through the very experience that they’re describing? Then we have Authoritativeness, which suggests that the website in question holds some level of authority. For instance, a basic football website discussing the offside rule may have good intentions but could lack authority, whereas the FA’s own site detailing the same topic has a greater level of authoritativeness due to the FA’s status and credibility.
Lastly, we have Trustworthiness, which focuses on whether the source can be trusted to provide accurate and genuine information. Simply put, if the site has a bit of a habit of posting content that has a questionable agenda or is just flat-out wrong, this will have an impact on the website’s level of trust towards its readers. It also opens the door for a reader to call the website out on their perspectives, which could potentially bring about negative press and a loss of goodwill. Each of these points makes up the EAT principle, and so Google uses this as a crucial barometer when it comes to classifying websites as being suitable for high or low rankings.
CONSIDER FEATURED SNIPPETS
For news and blog websites, an excellent way to garner attention is to qualify for a featured snippet. This is Google’s unofficial news bar at the top of various search pages. Now, it doesn’t always appear, and there’s no guarantee of your website’s content making it into the featured snippet space. However, by attempting to summarise the content of your article (which includes an appropriate number of uses for your targeted keyphrase) in a relatively brief paragraph of text, you have provided all of the key points in a succinct and easily readable extract that Google could pluck out and showcase to anyone searching for this term.
The featured snippet should be positioned near the start of the article to make it easier for readers to locate this information. Ideally, the snippet should answer the key question relating to the subject matter so that even if the reader chooses to move to another website, they have already garnered the main answer that they require. Additionally, though the snippets don’t result in Google paying your website for the information, it does result in an increase for organic web traffic and, consequently, a chance to attract far more users to your site. This could then lead to your site ultimately making more money in the long run.
CONSISTENT FRESH CONTENT
You might have the fastest, most eye-catching website around, and you may sell a wide range of first-class products. However, one trend that continues into 2023 from previous years is the need to continuously provide fresh content. Google will recognise when a website isn’t being updated, even if only for a number of weeks. Therefore, it’s crucial to keep informing visitors about what you do or what you wish to comment on. A failure to do so could see your site start to tumble in rankings, even if sales numbers are through the roof. A blog section is the best way to achieve this, because updates could be weekly or twice weekly and run independently of the main service sales pages, yet their inclusion and content updates allow the site as a whole to keep ranking highly.
One way to manage this process is to schedule in articles several weeks in advance. This means that rather than assigning somebody to write an article every single week, you could prepare numerous articles in one bulk batch. As a result, you may go a month or two without writing new articles, but Google is still recognising that fresh pages are being added to the site every week. This is a vital tip to consider if you’re a one-person operation or if you require a break from work (for Christmas festivities or a family holiday, for instance), but you don’t want your website’s search engine rankings to suffer during your absence.
UPDATING OLD CONTENT
The final point is a major aspect that we simply must cover. So, if you place content on your site, one of the benefits is that it could theoretically draw in clicks and views for years to come, especially if it ranks highly. And therefore, things can only get better, right? Well, not necessarily. After a while, it’s important to make updates to these pages for various reasons. Perhaps some legal guidelines have changed, and therefore you need to modify what legal compliance your products adhere to as a result. It could be that you offer a digital service to which you’ve since added various sub-services, and so this information must be changed accordingly.
There’s one major reason, though, and it is all about SEO. If one of your competitors follows the same general strategy as you did in creating similar content, but they do so at a later date and they add a little bit more information, chances are that they will rank above you. And if numerous competitors do this, you could find that your rankings start to dip. To avoid this and to keep on top of things, therefore, it’s important to go back and update old pages, even if the edits are miniscule. You don’t have to do this constantly, but altering older content every now and then allows you to remain above the competition and to maintain the top page rankings that you’ve earned over the years.
These are just some of the major SEO tips to think about as we progress into 2023. However, we recognise that SEO trends change all the time, and sometimes without widespread attention. That’s why our team here at Breeze Development could manage SEO on your behalf to ensure you respond accordingly whenever SEO guidance evolves. You can find out more about this by heading over to our website, which is www.breezedevelopment.co.uk.