Savvy contractors know the power of SEO when it comes to standing out from the competition. But the SEO world changes rapidly, so what worked for your contracting business last year might not yield the same results tomorrow.
In 2023, Google made big changes in the way it evaluates websites for quality, authority, and expertise. By learning about these 2023 SEO trends, you’ll know exactly what it takes to elevate your contracting website in the search results.
SEO services from Polianna can help you boost your website’s ranking, but you don’t need to be an SEO expert to try some of these strategies yourself.
SEO Challenges in 2023
Years ago, businesses used a practice called “keyword stuffing” to increase their website’s standing in the search results. This practice worked well at first, but businesses can’t rely on it anymore. That’s because Google prioritizes value over keyword mentions, which means you need content that helps readers solve their problems or learn something new.
Algorithm changes remain a concern for today’s marketers. Google makes algorithm changes regularly, and even the smallest adjustments can send your website plummeting in the search results. That means you’ll have to stay on top of changes and adjust your SEO strategy accordingly.
Top SEO Trends for Contractors in 2023
To keep your contracting website ranking highly in the search results, pay attention to these 2023 SEO trends.
A Bigger Focus on Audience Over Traffic
Many marketers focus solely on traffic, but that’s not a smart tactic in 2023. Google doesn’t care if you drive heavy traffic when your page doesn’t meet user needs.
Imagine that you’ve found some high-value keywords and written a blog post around them. Do those keywords have anything to do with your contracting business? If not, it doesn’t matter how many searches a month those keywords get.
Google wants content that’s related to your industry and services. To find relevant topics to explore, try a content planning tool. You can enter a keyword and see other related topics that users search for.
Mobile and Voice Search Optimization
Don’t underestimate how many people search for content on their mobile devices. Many users search on their phones instead of a desktop computer, so optimize your site to load quickly and correctly on mobile devices. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, Google could penalize it in the search results.
It’s also important to focus on voice searches. More than half of users could use a voice assistant by 2026, and failing to implement a voice search strategy could cost you a ton of traffic.
Voice search works by pulling relevant answers from your content and reading them to the user. To take advantage of this, include long-tail question keywords in your H3 and H2 headers.
For years, Google has considered expertise, authority, and trust (EAT) when deciding which results to display to users. In 2022, Google updated its algorithm to also consider first-hand experience from the author.
If you’re an HVAC contractor and you write a blog post on air conditioner maintenance, Google sees that you have experience in the industry and rewards your content with a boost in the search results. But if you write content on a topic you have no experience with, such as fitness or healthcare, don’t expect that content to rank very highly.
In 2023, Google prefers content that’s both helpful and satisfying to users. Google defines this as:
- Content created by authors with experience and authority
- Content that’s appropriate for the target audience
- Content relevant to the primary topic of your website
- Content created for humans, not search engines
- Content that shows a depth of knowledge on the topic
Google doesn’t just scan your entire page when checking for helpfulness. It also looks for relevant passages to show users in featured snippets.
Featured snippets answer user questions without requiring them to click. If Google chooses a passage from your content as a featured snippet, it puts your website at the top of the page before any other search results.
To earn a coveted featured snippet spot, limit your passages to 60 words or less. Try using numbered or bulleted lists to draw attention to content too. Break up content with H2 and H3 tags to make it easier for Google to scan.
Lack of AI Content
With the advent of AI writing software, it’s tempting to use one of these tools to handle the hard work of content creation for you. While Google doesn’t automatically penalize AI content, relying on it could lead to lower rankings in the search results.
Why? AI-generated content can cause a poor user experience because it may not be as satisfying as human-written work. It also doesn’t demonstrate authority or expertise.
YouTube videos can boost user engagement and drive traffic to your website if done well. For instance, users who watch your video about HVAC repair might also visit your website and book your services.
It’s important to optimize your videos just as you do for your website. Use optimized titles, tags, and descriptions to help your videos appear in the search results. It’s also smart to include closed captions so Google can understand your video’s content.
What compels users to click on a title in 2023? Generally, headlines that include emotion – whether positive or negative – perform better than neutral ones.
Emotion-focused headlines incite curiosity and make users want to know more. But try to avoid words like “shocking” and “unbelievable” in your headlines. Google may see your content as clickbait, which it penalizes in search results.
Contact Polianna for Help With Your 2023 SEO Strategy
Taking advantage of 2023 SEO trends can help you book more customers and outperform the competition, but it’s tough to know where to begin. If you’d like to learn more about how to improve your local ranking on Google in 2023, book a discovery call with Polianna today. We also welcome you to download our free PDF, “Five Secrets None of Your Competitors Know That Will Win You New Customers.”