Search is changing – as all our channels are. We are experiencing the effects of in-depth AI, advanced technology, and higher user expectations across all our communications. If we plan to remain well within the public eye, our strategies must adapt to meet these changes. Website content must be created with the established, the new, and the rising techniques well solidified in its structure.
Through our communication projects, our team are regularly focusing on what are the next steps to incorporate within work. In July 2023, our Marketing Team gathered to discuss their SEO predictions for the future digital landscape, based on the current trends and findings. Read below to find out more.
Are you tired of getting lost in the sea of digital noise?
Google understands the importance of credible and informative content, which is why they’re placing stronger emphasis on Author Authority.
But what exactly is Author Authority and how does it affect your content?
Simply put, your content’s author’s expertise, experience, and reputation will now play a critical role in determining your website’s rank for specific keywords. Google will assess these qualities to provide the best possible match for a search query.
Google wants to reward businesses that are creating high-quality content, and by giving preference to websites with authors who have a higher level of authority, they encourage businesses to invest in creating content written by experts in their field.
So how can you improve your Author Authority?
First, identify industry experts and thought leaders who could contribute to your content. Next, create a platform for your authors to share their knowledge, such as a blog, podcast, or video series. Finally, promote your authors’ work by sharing it on social media, submitting it to industry publications, or even giving them speaking engagements. By doing so, you can increase your visibility and authority, and ultimately stand out in the crowded digital arena.
Embracing Creator Led Marketing
In a world where more and more users are turning to platforms such as TikTok, Instagram and YouTube to seek information, we are seeing a significant shift that supports creator-led search. Users are seeking trustworthy and engaging content that reflects their values.
As expected, Google has embraced this shift.
The introduction of the Perspectives feed allows users to explore videos, blogs, social platforms, and forums. Search is no longer confined to the traditional boundaries of Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs). Liz Reid, VP of Search at Google said the Perspectives feed would show users a more “lived experience”.
Experience is key here. Users crave content that is speaking directly to them, particularly through those who are sharing personal experience and providing relatability.
Content creators are uniquely positioned to deliver this experience due to using their skills to entertain audiences and in building strong communities. People trust people.
Embracing creator led marketing helps to diversify search efforts, increase visibility and engagement, and drive conversions. Brands should be leveraging this trend within their marketing strategy as it continues to grow.
Conversational writing for Voice Search
Needing an answer quickly? Maybe you’re travelling hands-free, or maybe you just don’t want to leave your seat.
With an abundance of technology supporting or devoting itself to voice search, it’s never been easier to ask a question to the internet, as we would a friend.
However, if we’re talking to a friend, would we speak in the same way we type?
With the evidenced high popularity in voice search increasing year on year, it’s time for content managers to get smart. To be considered as a relevant answer to a vocal query, website copy must include those conversational, long-tail keywords and questions which are often used within speech.
Alongside this, we need to ensure those priority FAQ’s and key pieces of information are structured in a concise format, providing searches with answers that can be easily pulled from the text.
As the ease of our searches grow, now more than ever, we must understand our audience to provide a text-based answer which responds to their exact, voiced question.
Feeding The Machine – Evolving SEO Best Practice for Google’s RankBrain
While the fundamentals of SEO still shape and define most ranking strategies (think authenticity, robust keyword planning and a healthy, high-quality web of backlinks), #ExperientialSEO will more heavily dominate the digital optimisation discourse in 2023.
User behaviour (one such indicator of how a user ‘experiences’ your digital presence) is starting to be woven into the list of parameters that dictate organic positions within the SERP.
With exponential access to user data, Google’s ‘RankBrain’ (the core, machine-learning mechanism that determines ranking) is now taking note of behavioural metrics such as user context and preference.
It will take into account social media shareability, it will dive deeper into clicks and popularity. It *notices* gamification, personalisation, levels of user support, methods of interaction and a more nuanced view of user-centred design on your site.
It will undoubtedly change the relationships between Marketing, Design and Digital as they are bound to work more seamlessly, with one vision, in order to make web development projects a success.
But it all comes back to the user. Google will ultimately reward those who strive to put the user first.
Lighten the load - Optimise your site’s page loading speed
Got a second? Well, most of your potential website visitors don’t.
In today’s world there is more than just one option to consume information. From content creation on social media to sparking a conversation with the latest AI companion, it’s no wonder that we are favouring instant gratification.
According to Google, two seconds is the threshold for acceptable website loading speed, with optimal speed at under half a second.
With vast swathes of information at the fingertips of your audience, it’s essential to grab attention and fast! By following these tips, you can improve your website’s loading speed and provide a better user experience for your visitors:
- Minify your code. Minifying your code removes unnecessary whitespace and comments from your code. This can make your code smaller and faster to load.
- Optimise your images. Optimise your images by reducing their file size without sacrificing quality. This can help to improve your website’s loading speed.
- Host your website on a fast server. The speed of your server can have a big impact on your website’s loading speed. If you are hosting your website on a slow server, you may want to consider switching.
Crawl Frequency Optimisation
In the ever-evolving digital landscape, the significance of optimising your website’s content right from the start cannot be overstated. Why? Because now, more than ever, it holds the key to your online success!
Google, like many organisations, has set ambitious climate goals, as they aim for carbon-free energy in 2030. As part of their sustainability efforts, they are considering reducing webpage crawl frequency to conserve computing resources.
While the impact of this crawl reduction will be felt more prominently during refresh crawls than for the discovery of new pages, it’s crucial to grasp its implications for your digital activities. With the potential for longer durations before your website updates are fully crawled, the importance of having all the essential content elements in place from the very beginning becomes even more pronounced.
To empower your SEO strategy for success, ensure that your page boasts all the necessary elements to achieve high rankings right from its inception.
Undeniably, the SEO landscape will never be still. With advancements across the digital space bringing a wealth of new integrations and browsing behaviours, our SEO predictions can become dated within a short period. For this reason, website teams and marketeers must stay ahead of the game. Strategies working now may not be enough in six months time.
Understanding the developments in SEO is a never ending learning curve, and we must choose to embrace this if we are to succeed with our organic visibility.
Introducing ‘brand language’ to create a powerful user experience
User experience starts with a visitor's very first interaction.
It entirely dictates their engagement and ultimate brand perception – but for it to be effective, there needs to be a distinct and easily identifiable brand language which guides their way.