SEO

(Expected) SEO trends for 2023: Challenges & Solutions.

Over the past few years, SEO practices have seen a lot of changes. During the height of the epidemic, digital marketing experienced a significant boom phase, and now it appears that we are suddenly entering a recession. So what will be the SEO trends for 2023?

As the high-growth session is slowly ending and the dust settles down, there will be new challenges to face and opportunities to grab.

To figure out the SEO for 2023, here are some significant trends put down by professionals.

Hop in!

Redefining ‘Discoverability’:

What does it mean to be discoverable online?
The relationship between users & search engines is changing as technology evolves. Google wants to serve the information without breaking the SERP’s loop. Meta, on the other hand, wants to create verse, and Amazon wants its users’ attention for almost everything.

With every player wanting to own 100% of the user’s attention, the user journey is becoming more complex. They are using multiple platforms on multiple screens at the same time. People can now search for anything as soon as the thought strikes them.

This leads to what? A complicated ecosystem for discoverability.

To stand out, you will have to move ahead from the static content creations and focus on the following:

A. Interactivity is the key.

For 2023, content marketing will be more inclined towards enhancing interaction and experience. This is a sign of creating interactive content instead of static content.

So, what is static content? Any traditional article, like this one, is static content.

The need of the hour is to create compelling stories which make the reader part of the experience and not just a passive observer in the process.

In this case, to rank high on Google, you must implement SEO and high-quality content to get the desired ranking. You will have to establish yourself as the subject matter expert by offering a compelling experience and adhering to the Core Web Vitals standards.

The following will help you get over this challenge:

– Technology.
– Quality Content.
– Story Telling.
– Amazing User Experience.

Users today are looking for content capable of solving problems, insights backed with solid data & figures from thought leaders, which gives memorable & positive experiences.

So how do you leave a long-lasting impression on your users?

Our recommendations are:
– Ebooks.
– Infographics.
– Stattic content + Video.
– Quizzes.

B. Harness the potential of multiple channels.

Chris Haines, a senior SEO specialist at Ahrefs, spoke on how Google is adjusting to users’ changing expectations as a result of new social media networks, with a particular emphasis on video:

“Using existing written content to create videos can allow you to deliver new content assets efficiently in a way that is cost-effective for your business.”

According to Helen Pollitt, head of SEO at Car & Classic, SEO experts must leave their specialized niches and join forces with broader marketing initiatives:

“SEO, as we know it, is evolving. We need to look at every touchpoint our audience has with our or our competitors’ brands and understand which have a “search” element to them.”

As we mentioned earlier, your potential audience is EVERYWHERE & ALL AT ONCE.

To keep your brand on everyone’s mind, you will have to prepare and release content for each and every platform. Another way is to repurpose your existing content and distribute it on several platforms in different formats.

For example-
– Break down your long-form article into 4 to 5 key pointers and design infographics around them.
– In the same way, create short videos or GIFs around the same key points and push them on social media & YouTube.

Explore Google Analytics data to understand your buyers or customer persona in greater depth.

Additional data that will help you plan is:

– The scroll depth and engagement on your website across all devices.
– Watch videos and other material for the length of time and engagements.

With the above, you’ll be equipped to comprehend where and how your audience interacts with various material forms.

Finally, if you haven’t done it already, join Google Analytics GA4 now. You will need it.

Embrace the platforms & their SEO algorithms.

It’s time to stop limiting your SEO strategies to traditional search engines and media channels for generating engagements. 2023 calls for a multichannel approach along with Google.

We all know that Google is constantly working on improving the search landscape. The continuous updates require you to focus on a good structure and quality content.

Here are a few suggestions and solutions to the Google challenge:

– A Structured Data Plan:
A strategic and structured data plan that impacts your industry is the need of the hour. Don’t just try to fit all the puzzle pieces in one go. Take it one step at a time.

For example, if you are an e-commerce site owner, start by focusing on Product & Review markup on your website; display product price, rating & availability in the search results.

– Follow Google:
Google has two rigid standards that you must follow:
Structured Data Guideline- This checks for an error-free technical implementation. Use correct makeup formats for your website or store for Google bots to access your website.
4 Quality Guidelines: Relevance, completeness, content, and required properties. Any error in meeting these guidelines will result in Google excluding your entire site in search results.

– Quality Content:
Your website’s structured data and quality content are the keys to your success in SERPs. Dedicate time to producing high-quality content which is accurate, original, engaging, and helpful for the users. Relevancy is often ignored – write for the readers and not for yourself.

Did you check the Google helpful content update of 2022?

C. Search Engines & their unpredictability.

Here is what experts have to say about the unpredictability of the search engines:

– CEO and founder of Local SEO Guide, Andrew Shotland, says that zero-click keywords or queries are untouched jackpots and worth your time:

“This means that SEO pros that they’ll need to think about how to capture and rank for zero-click queries. It may be necessary to consider diversification across SERP features (images, videos, FAQs, etc.) and keyword filtering options users might use to refine their search in features like carousels or PAA.”

– CEO of the Schema App, Martha Vaan Berkel, talks about optimizing content for structured data for rich results:

“Make structured data an SEO and content team shared effort. SEO teams that work closely with content teams to create content eligible for rich results should see growth in rich result performance.”

– Shedding light on changing search and content evolution, Rebecca Berbel, Oncrawl’s product marketing manager at Oncrawl, says:

“In 2023 It will be harder to ignore that search engines evaluate entire websites based on their authority on a topic and their ability to cover it in depth. This means that our way of assessing the optimization and appropriateness of a given web content needs to evolve.”

Looking for a SEO template to build your strategy? Check here.

Zero Click Queries-

To get access to authentic information, users either use Answer Box or simply refine their Google search with different features. With traditional SEO approach often Zero clicks queries are left untouched which, as a result, constrains your visibility.

So as an SEO strategist, you should focus on capturing and ranking for zero-click queries, which will bring diversification across all SERP features such as images, videos, FAQs, etc.

Customizing Schema Markup-

The SERPs will prioritize visual and video content and add new features.
This will be simpler for SEO specialists as AI-generated graphics advance, and it becomes easier to convert content to video formats.
SEO for SERPs relies on customized schema markup, but not entirely. It will have a bigger impact on the discoverability of both textual and graphic material.

Aside from depreciated schema, duplication, ambiguous code, and code bloat, websites that have jumped into structured data markup but are heavily reliant on plugin engineers (or multiple plugins) will likely experience additional problems. These issues could all send conflicting signals to search engines.

Google-Owned SERP Feature for organic results-

You cannot ignore the Google search feature if you run an eCommerce website. To take advantage of the search feature, you should generate good organic traffic. Strategize your content to include high to low-ranking keywords of your niche.

So what can you do to diversify your results?

Look for the rich results you are now getting in Google Search Console, and try expanding the range of rich results your content is qualified for.
When an algorithm modification targets one particular type, it has less effect on businesses with a good diversity of rich results.
What is the first step? Compare the opportunities stated in Google’s documentation with the rich results you currently receive. Choose a current location for the information (such as a video, FAQ, article, event, or job posting) and work to adopt it next!

Technological Advancements & emerging AIs.

Google’s recent content update is all about putting helpful content which is reliable and user-oriented on priority. With evolving AL and automation tools, we can generate content more wisely and will undoubtedly be used in the e-commerce industry. We can deploy these tools to help us create the basic drafts, but any piece article will still require polishing and a human touch to it.

To cut a long tale short, AI will speed up content creation, but it won’t eliminate the need for copywriters by 2023. Positive reader experiences will require real people to put their thoughts in the market.

One thing that we must consider is that AI doesn’t equate to generating high-quality content. The high-end tools can be used to complete other content-related tasks along with:

A. Understanding organic competition & search intent.
B. Recommendations.
C. Ease in data collection.

AI tools & SEO.

Let’s go through some of the key insights from the industry experts first:

Chris Haines, the senior SEO specialist at Ahrefs, suggest:
“When it comes to AI content, we know that Google’s guidelines do not approve it. Hopefully, it goes without saying that you should not use AI to create hundreds of pages of content for your site. That doesn’t mean to say that you shouldn’t use AI at all, though.”

Global SEO strategist and optimization lead at IBM, Jesse McDonald, suggests how your approach should be when it comes to content:
“Be it utilizing AI or expanding your resources, make sure you have a clear process for your content creation to see the best results for the content you put out into the world.”

Powerful & Insightful Content.

We are moving from AI models to AI systems, and SEO is developing into a terrific testing ground for the creative potential of generative AI.
Google will become more adept at recognizing irrelvant content. Therefore we’ll concentrate on two particulars:
Knowledge Graphs- We can finally connect our content with user intents as search engines become conversational by developing a successful generative AI strategy.
Feedback Loops- Creating knowledge graphs from semantically rich structured data that may be included in production workflows for prompts (whether we are producing text, photos, or videos).

Searching relevancy in AI-generated content.

SEOs have access to an exponentially increasing amount of data. I contend that almost no other sector experiences as much data overload. How to use this data to support theories about why rankings for a specific site, query, or topic may increase or decrease, therefore, poses a dilemma.
Because of this, SEOs are having to rely more than ever on big data analyses. One thing is finding a way to change a single page so that it performs better for a group of queries. To do that for a million pages, or a hundred million is quite another.

Additionally, the utilization of AI-generated content will keep growing in importance. They’ll likely keep trying to squelch AI material to “help reward content that gives people a happy experience,” as we saw in 2022 with the Helpful Content Update to Google’s algorithm.
The 2022 update hasn’t generally had a negative effect on our clients and has even given them a slight boost, but many websites with scant AI content or blogs with many listicle items have witnessed a decline.

Google Updates.

Regarding discoverability, Google’s update can be challenging for most of us. How do you keep ahead of your competition?
Here are a few suggestions from the experts:

Chris Haines, the senior SEO specialist at Ahrefs, writes:

“The Product Review updates in 2021/22 laid down particular guidelines for creating content, so it seems likely that we could see something similar for other types of content in 2023.”

Focusing on Google’s indexing issues, Russ Jeffery, director of the product strategy at Duda, says:

“We’ve seen innovation from competitive search engines, like Bing’s IndexNow protocol, which attempts to give SEOs and site owners more control over when content is crawled and potentially indexed. It’s not perfect, but it’s a better approach than the passive crawling Google does today.”

We suggest you keep an eye on the updates and prepare accordingly.

Defining User Intent & Experience.

SEO is data-driven; old and new ones phase out. Google and other search engines introduce AIs to understand user queries better and quickly present the most relevant result. And with the new innovative content-generating AI tools, don’t take up the ‘fight AI with AI” practice.

So are a few suggestions for the coming year:

A.

The process begins with OPTIMIZATION and setting a quality framework. Too many SEO procedures fail to provide results because their attention is diverted from optimizing and building, which is how the site will be able to expand and become competitive, to resolving problems and chasing bugs.
This frequently happens due to implementation issues and a weak SEO quality structure, not a lack of expertise. Through coordinated efforts in SEO teaching, validation, and monitoring, SEO quality frameworks can be built.

B.

Nowadays, improvement in the ranking is not enough; you also need to comprehend consumers’ search intentions, search features, and prospects for increased visibility (and traffic). To do this, we must examine the SERPs, comprehend the competition and nature of the top-ranking material, and learn how to use better the elements displayed. By doing this, we can better target our efforts and maximize impact while minimizing costs.

C.

The very common “it depends” answer in SEO should be followed by an SEO testing process showing how it depends, in particular within the context of the site. This will allow you to provide a higher level of certainty of what actually matters and is impactful for the SEO goals of the site. Then you can prioritize accordingly. We have access to many more new SEO testing tools that facilitate this process.

D.

Search engines are growing better at determining who offers content in the quickest and most digestible manner, as well as who provides the finest and most accurate answers to a query.
This entails cutting down on branding-related graphics and videos, doing correct sourcing, getting experts to examine, and getting rid of superfluous wording that makes it difficult to receive an answer.
Avoid sites with excessive ad blocks losing visibility to websites with fewer ad spots. On the other hand, shorter content that is topically relevant wins out to enormous content pages that try to cover every detail.

E.

Google will continue to emphasize on-page factors and lessen its reliance on manipulable off-page factors and links. Material collections will increasingly influence performance and quality as their NLP capabilities advance, and they become more open with their updates.
Google has prioritized quality content, as evidenced by the Helpful Content Update, recent spam changes that targeted generated/templated pages, and the Product Review Updates (all over the last 12 months). Future updates should support this. In their SERPs, Google will likely include monopolies and current M&A trends. A significant trend that runs counter to Google’s primary objective is large corporations purchasing all the businesses listed in the SERP.

Wrapping Up

It’s quiet a read. So here is a shorter version:
“It’s important to keep in mind that search platforms use new technology to better comprehend the demands of actual people. You may undoubtedly improve your processes with the aid of new ML and AI technology, but don’t regard technical advancement as escalation as the path to your achievement. We’re all data nerds and IT geeks. But SEO is a human. There are queries, requirements, narratives, and services. Algorithm updates ought to flow off your back like water if you offer good service.”

All the best for the coming year.

Happy Ranking.

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