Businesses large and small want to drive more traffic to their website. There are many ways to do this – social media, paid advertising, and of course, search engine optimisation (SEO). In this post, we are going to be focusing on SEO and the factors all website owners should be focusing on in 2023 and beyond in order to drive more organic traffic to their websites.
What is Search Engine Optimisation?
Search engine optimisation is the process of optimising and improving your website to increase its visibility when people search for products or services that relate to your business.
Typically, when people talk about optimising their websites for search engines, they talk about Google as the majority of people around the world still use Google as their primary search engine. There are others including Bing and Safari, however, Google is the dominant force.
Optimising your website typically means focusing on two key elements:
1. The technical set-up of your website
2. The content on your website
If you have a well-built website that is fast to load, easy to use and accessible but has terrible content, you will struggle to rank well. Equally, if you have amazing content but your website is slow to load, displays poorly on mobile and makes your content difficult to find, you will also struggle to rank well.
It is important that you focus on both of these elements together when you think about optimising your website rather than focusing on one in isolation. Check the Benefits of SEO and you’ll know how important it is to optimise your website.
Optimising Your Website in 2023
When we talk about ranking well in search engines, we will often talk about “ranking factors”. These are the key elements used by search engines like Google to determine the quality of your website and the content on your website. This in turn dictates how well sites will rank in the search results (SERPS) and are therefore considered ranking factors.
Sadly for people that work in SEO, Google doesn’t publish a list of ranking factors that you can simply work your way through. There is, however, a lot of research to suggest what factors are considered to be important to search engines and Google does produce a document called the Quality Raters Guidelines that provide SEOs with some very clear guidance about what it takes to rank well in the SERPs.
Pulling all this together, we can highlight the areas that are considered to be the most important ranking factors and encourage website owners to prioritise these areas first. As we head into 2023, these are the ranking factors we think will be important to businesses.
Expertise, Authority, and Trust (E.A.T)
One of the key elements in the Raters Guidelines is the focus on these three factors: expertise, authority and trust. Google wants to show websites that demonstrate all three of these elements in the content they are producing so it is important for website owners to think about how this can be done.
Demonstrating these three qualities can be done by showcasing the author of particular posts and pages to demonstrate their expertise. If you don’t have these within your business, reach out to someone in your sector who is considered an expert and ask them for a comment on a post or page. You can also show authority and trust by linking out to highly trusted websites. Getting links back from trusted websites is also a public display of trust in your own content.
However, this can be a difficult task, and you may need a specialized agency to assist you; this agency will help you find authority websites.
Leading sites like Betway Casino reach out to leading sports stars and pundits for tips on sports betting as well as expert round-up content from major sporting events. Using these trusted individuals helps to showcase not only expertise but also authority and trust.
Make sure you audit all the content on your site and ask yourself whether it showcases these three elements. If it doesn’t, make sure to update it.
Click Through Rate (CTR)
Whilst SEOs have been obsessed with rankings since the launch of search engines, the quest for that number one position in Google has taken on a different meaning over the past few years. Google has introduced a number of new elements to the SERPs that make the number one ranking a thing of the past to some extent.
Ads, featured snippets, maps, question boxes and other features can often sit above the number one organic listing, making people far less likely to click on your page, even if you do rank in the number one spot.
Organic rankings are still important, however, instead of focusing on them, instead, change your focus to the click-through rate you receive from the keywords you are targeting and tracking. CTR gives you a much clearer indication of how people are using the SERPs and whether or not they are getting as far as the organic results or instead, clicking on a map listing or paid advert.
Core Web Vitals (CWV)
A new ranking metric introduced by Google in 2021 is Core Web Vitals. This is a set of three ranking factors that help to determine the overall quality of your website, with a particular focus on user experience.
Part of Google’s mission is to improve the overall user experience across the internet. Encouraging sites to focus on technical changes that improve the overall user experience means that website owners are all pulling towards the same goal.
The three factors included in Core Web Vitals are Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID) and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). The first two of these factors help to speed up the overall load time of pages on your website. CLS is concerned with improving the user experience by reducing the number of “false clicks” that are caused when an element on the page shifts during the loading of a page, causing the user to click somewhere they didn’t mean to.
Search engine optimisation is a vital part of your digital marketing strategy and these three ranking factors will continue to play an important role in determining how well your website ranks in search engines, as well as helping you to provide a better user experience for visitors to your website.