Even in 2023, there are numerous innovations in SEO ranking factors to watch out for. Changing user behavior continues to require keeping up with current SEO trends to stay at the top of Google. Especially operators of online stores who want to provide adequate content on their topics are challenged. We explain which ranking factors are particularly important in 2023 and how you can benefit from them.
The SEO ranking factors provide the central cornerstones for successful search engine optimization (SEO). Various properties of websites or domains play a role here, which influence the ranking of the result pages of a search query. The algorithms of the search engines (first and foremost Google), which are continuously adjusted and evaluate the search results based on their relevance and quality, ultimately determine who comes out on top in the rankings.
The most important Google success factors
With well over 200 ranking factors, it makes sense to focus on the following, most significant ones.
Quality instead of quantity
More than ever, the principle applies: quality instead of quantity. The content must be relevant, valuable and optimized for the visitor’s search query. The decisive factor: the Search Intention. Before any SEO content is produced, it must be clear beforehand what is being searched for and what the user intends to do with the information sought.
In September 2022, the Helpful Content Update was added to this from Google. This ensures better placement of pages that go beyond pure factual information and offer searchers further, interesting content. The more specific and comprehensive a topic is processed, the better the ranking. In other words, generalists will have a harder time in the future.
People searching should feel comfortable on the website. The user experience of a website includes a clear navigation, a logically flawless site structure and a contemporary design. Information architecture is one of the crucial pillars of successful search engine optimization. A clear page structure with clear navigation (rule of thumb: get there in three clicks) pushes Google ranking.
The “mobile first index” of a website has top priority. Websites must also play flawlessly on mobile devices. Websites should be completely responsive, i.e. independent of the end device cleanly presented . Own mobile variants of websites are usually penalized.
The most important keywords of a page always belong in the headline as well as in the first paragraph – this has been best practice in SEO for a long time. But in the future, this will become even more important: Voice Search changes the search behavior. According to the Google study, 72% of users use voice control on their smartphones every day. Especially for speech recognition, it is important to prepare the content briefly and concisely with precisely targeted keywords (keyword: FAQs).
Link building also remains an important ranking factor. As before, only trustworthy sites are recommended. Recommendations, call-to-action, blog, case studies, expert opinions or infographics underline your own reputation. Important for the search engines: the Link name should in the best case correspond exactly to the wording of the keyword. With cleverly thought-out links, more weight is also given to the subpages.
The biggest boost to rankings today are infographics, reels, stories, photos and moving images. Videos should be kept short so as not to slow down the page loading speed and lose the user’s interest. Important here too: Correct file naming and writing an alt text.
Since July 2022, page load times on mobile devices are one of the decisive ranking factors. This continues to be true. The British newspaper ‘The Telegraph’ has found out that a page load time of only four seconds causes visitor numbers to drop by over eleven percent.
Online content that visitors are happy to share and encourage discourse also contributes to a good ranking. Who has a High commitment of the own community and place clever links to their own website on social networks signal their relevance to the search engine. But be careful: Even on social media, a presentation that is appropriate for the target group is necessary.
Not only the content is in the foreground, but the overall impression of the website.. All of the factors that go into the new search metric were designed with the user in mind, according to Google. Low loading times, a consistent layout or higher security on websites are areas that primarily benefit the user. Since this also has a positive influence on the number of visitors to websites, it can be assumed that page experience will become established in the long term as an indicator of the quality of a website. Experts say that the new factor will fundamentally change the tasks search engine optimization.
The central ranking factors remain, the weighting changes
Websites need to deliver high-quality and relevant content, be technically flawless (keyword: technical SEO) and have a high page speed. For web stores, advanced shopping functions such as buying guides, dynamic shopping filters and multisearch are worthwhile. In addition, the focus should continue to be on visual elements. The basic rule is: inform in advance, act from the customer’s point of view.