Top 5 SEO Tips for 2023
If you run a small business, time is one of your most valuable assets. You don’t have time for extensive marketing research. You need to make the most of current best practices and move on. This is true for paid marketing campaigns and no-cost tactics, as well. If you are looking for SEO tips for 2023, you likely want high-level takeaways to improve the performance of your website on online visibility.
What can I act on quickly, with little-to-no cost? Let’s dive into current thinking on search engine optimization (SEO). What are the most relevant SEO tips for 2023?
1) Use Keywords Strategically
Even if you’re new to the world of SEO, you likely know two things:
- Google’s search algorithm is both protected and constantly evolving.
- Keywords are critical.
While most site owners know the importance of identifying and using keywords or keyword phrases to help users find their site, they might not know how easily keywords can be misused. Let’s face it — the temptation to stuff a site with keywords is real, but it will almost certainly backfire.
To use keywords effectively, allowing your site to rank well in organic search results for specific words or phrases, you need to be strategic. One of the top SEO tips for 2023 is about using keyword placement over frequency.
To use keywords strategically in 2023:
- Do your research to make sure you are using the best keywords or keyword phrases for your content.
- Use keywords in your title and within the first 200 words of your copy.
- Sprinkle keywords throughout the page, where they most naturally occur.
- Avoid stuffing keywords into your titles, meta tags or web copy.
- When you find keywords that work well for your content, consider using them in Google ad campaigns.
With some research and effort to create keyword-rich content, you can strategically upgrade your search engine results. Of all the SEO tips for 2023, this one might be the most important to elevate your organic search results.
2) Be Authentic
Your website needs to do more than simply explain your business or offer products for sale; it needs to help potential users find the site in the first place. While some site owners will try and trick Google into sending traffic their way, this short-term strategy is likely to backfire for two reasons.
First, Google actively seeks out spam and misinformation to try and weed out false or misleading content. If Google determines you are using spam tactics—stuffing keywords into your content, listing keywords that don’t belong on your site—you will be penalized in the search results.
Second, even if you attract new users with keyword stuffing or questionable tactics, once they arrive, they will likely leave. Misleading users to get them to visit your website is unethical and can damage your brand.
Rather than try to trick or force users to your site, choose one or two keywords or keyword phrases that fit both your content and your audience, then optimize your site as naturally as possible. Building site authenticity is one of the most valuable SEO tips for 2023.
3) Focus on Search Intent
Over the last several years, Google has increased its ability to decipher user intent. While you may have been able to get away with near-duplicate content in the past, hoping to ‘catch’ users looking for similar content, Google is now on the lookout for site owners who try to manipulate the system.
As an example, if you own a florist shop in Detroit, you might try to optimize your site for a keyword phrase such as “flower shop Detroit”. Instead of creating another page, optimized for a similar phrase such as “best florist Detroit”, you are better off building content that connects to your customers.
Google has not only built robust capabilities around search intent, but they can also tell when you are trying to work the system by building near-duplicate content. Clearly, the old ways of boosting search results no longer work. One of the most important SEO tips for 2023 is to focus on intent.
To master search intent for your business, ask yourself the following:
- How are users looking for content related to my business?
- Are they seeking more information about a subject?
- Are they looking for a business based on location?
- Are they ready to buy or place an order?
Depending on your answers, you will want to create and organize your content based on their goals. In the example of the Detroit florist shop, you may find that users are looking for reliable delivery or speedy pick-up options. As the owner of your business, you will have an instinct for customer interest. Combined with some basic research, you will have a clear picture of what customers want and how you can help them.
4) Naturalize Links to Your Site
You’ve likely heard that Google values incoming links. If other sites are linked to yours, doesn’t that suggest that your site is an authority or has value to other sites? In the past, this element of Google’s search algorithm has been the subject of abuse.
Site owners would pay to have their site listed on link farms or other pay-per-use sites. Often, the text listed on the link (the anchor text) was the same for each, as site owners aimed to boost their rankings for specific words.
However, in recent years, Google has begun penalizing those who abuse the system. After all, it’s not natural for links to all use the exact same anchor text when linking to your site. Therefore, among the top SEO tips for 2023 is to avoid link farms altogether.
Instead, use a holistic approach to incoming links. Request links from reputable sites, using varied and relevant anchor text. Work with those you trust, building your network in a genuine and methodical way.
5) Utilize Internal Links
Internal links—the ones you use to link between your own pages—are often overlooked for SEO use. Not only do they help search engines to follow and understand your site’s hierarchy, but they also allow you to utilize a broad scope of keywords.
Say you have an auto repair shop, for example. Your homepage may be focused on keywords that highlight ‘car repair’ + your location. An underlying page, however, might list the makes and models of cars that you specialize in. From your home page, you might link with the copy on the other page such as ‘see the European cars we service’.
This intention-based link allows you to use a broad term (European cars) rather than specific models, which will likely be listed on the underlying page.
No matter the size of your website, be sure to use internal links with purpose. Think about the keywords you could use to enhance the description of your underlying pages, without misleading users or keyword stuffing.
With a Bit of Time, You’ll Get it Right
The appeal of SEO is clear—with a bit of work, you can significantly improve your organic search engine rankings. With Google and other search engines continually updating their algorithms, it’s important to understand current standards and best practices. Taking the time to research SEO tips for 2023 is a great start.
No matter where you focus, be sure to start with clear goals and an intention to test and evaluate as you go.