Well, it’s almost here; a new year is upon us. Looking ahead to 2023, having a strong online presence in this digital age has become even more critical. There are eight Search Engine Optimization (SEO) trends in 2023 that will make key components in strengthening your online presence.
Therefore, we should take a fresh look at what is happening in the SEO space. Our goal is to provide you with the insight you need to optimize and design your website for both Google and your audience in the coming year.
How do we prepare for what is next with Google, as it is continually evolving to create new ways to enhance search results? SEO professionals are adjusting their strategies to adapt to the changes. Focus here for the next few minutes as we look at the SEO trends in 2023 and discuss ways you can take action and adjust your strategy for the coming year
1. Organic Search is Overtaking Google Ads
TL;DR : ORGANIC RESULTS HAVE A HIGHER TRUST VALUE.
We are seeing global ad revenues fall, with many factors influencing this decline. One of those factors is the growing popularity among organic search results. People find paid ads less helpful and prefer organic results, as they have a higher trust factor.
Financial experts are warning of a great recession in 2023. These dire warnings about the future can cause business owners to start looking at ways to reduce spending. When a company needs to cut costs, the ad budget is one of the first things to go.
As we see more decline in the preference for paid ads, there is one logical conclusion. A greater emphasis on creating more organic search results will be the priority for companies. Therefore, SEO will remain a pivotal component of your company’s presence and ultimate success
How to Take Action
- Improve your organic search optimization plan. Does the idea of writing long form content and optimizing your website make you feel overwhelmed? You don’t need to do this on your own. We are here to help you craft and implement an SEO strategy that will get you results.
- Look for ad deals. If your budget allows, you might take this opportunity to invest more in your advertising as you discover new options that were previously too expensive. If you choose to make this investment, revise your ad campaigns with careful thought and deliberate intentions.
2. Featured Snippets and Zero-Click Results are King of Organic Search
TL;DR : INSTANT ANSWERS IN GOOGLE IS INCREASING
Have you seen that space at the top of the search engine results page with short answers to commonly asked questions about a specific topic? This high-profile spot is often referred to as a “zero-click” result or an “answer box,” however, Google uses the term “featured snippets”.
As Google works at creating a search engine that provides helpful information for searchers, it will promote content with instant answers. This is where SEO continues to grow and expand its reach. In order for your company to be at the top or remain at the top, it is necessary to be up to date with Search Engine Results Pages (SERP).
Being in one of these featured snippets allows you to get higher organic traffic and a more significant advantage over other Google search results. The snippet is more eye-catching, and because it offers the quickest answer, people are more apt to click on it rather than scrolling down the search results page.
How to Take Action
- Write your long-form content, such as blogs and page content, in a structured way to help Google grab easy answers that will satisfy search intent. You can accomplish this by using schema markup, also known as structured data, which is the language search engines use to read and understand the content on your pages.
- Research Google SERP features to discover what keywords will make your website a target for Google snippets and update your content accordingly.
- Hire a technical SEO expert to assist with your schema markup. Writing content is only a small percentage of getting ranked in Featured Snippets, and the STING SEO team can engineer this to get your ranked.
3. E-A-T is Still Valuable
TL;DR : CONTINUE TO PURSUE SEO USING A WHITE HAT PROCESS
E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trust. This tried and true trend will be just as important in 2023 as it has been in the past. There are many so called “Black HAt SEO” firms or even worse, people who just do not understand the full picture of SEO that can do dramatic damage to your brand and website.
Google uses these three principles to determine the level of trust to be placed in a company or its website. E-A-T is used in every query with the goal of promoting websites that it trusts.
Expert authors, backlinks from credible sources, and relevant niche websites are a few factors contributing to E-A-T signals, and have been the bedrock of the STING SEO strategy since the beginning.
How to Take Action
- Focus on your content quality and expertise.
- Grow your brand with intentionality by highlighting your professional expertise everywhere you can. For example, in the media, at events, during interviews, etc. This can help you gain authentic links to your content.
- Fully gauge the SEO vendor or employee you may be considering hiring to ensure your site and brand will not be at risk.
4. There is Such a Thing as Too Much AI Content
TL;DR : CONTENT BY AI WILL TAKE OFF and BE FILTERED.
As wonderful as it seems, AI can be overdone. There is no replacement for the human factor, and this is especially true in the world of content creators. Where there is a necessity to keep up with budget needs, AI is an excellent option for bringing in a little help. Still, content will always need to be manually edited.
How to Take Action
- Always default to having expert content creators write your long-form content.
- If your budget requires the use of AI, use it with extreme caution. But, as mentioned above, always manually edit.
- AI can assist in developing content ideas, topics, and trends to help you find phrases that people are currently searching.
- Google is a large AI and Search company. We predict therefore Google will easily filter, devalue or delist sites using AI content as part of their future algorithm updates.
5. Entity-Based SEO
TL;DR : A CONTINUED EMPHASIS ON BRANDS and NLP rather than KEYWORDS
These days, Google is putting more emphasis on recognizing the true meaning of a query or keyword search. So, even though keywords are important, they do not always fulfill search queries.
One of the critical factors in forming local SERPs is determined by how relevant a query is to a specific location. For local search queries, entity-based SEO is essential. An example of this would be utilizing a Google My Business profile.
Entity-based SEO uses context, not just keywords, to help people get the facts about their particular topic. Natural Language Processing (NLP) is used to help determine what the most meaningful terms or entities are and then to determine the meaning of the text.
Google also uses NLP in voice search. Your voice assistant will turn to organic content for the answer when you have a genuine inquiry, like a question about who someone is or how something works.
Having your website optimized for voice search is where you can stand out because the content the voice assistant reads could be your own answer to the query, like the featured snippet on the search engine results page.
How to Take Action
- Make your company stand out by creating optimized content or enhancing the existing content on your website. Ask for reviews, add backlinks, and get involved in live events.
- Searches will continue to be longer and focused towards speech rather than text.
- Ensure you show Google your locales using schema markup and text, Google My Business listings and other local signals to expand your reach into the geographic markets you serve.
6. A Unified Google Shopping Experience
TL;DR : HAVING PRODUCTS LISTED ON GOOGLE REQUIRES A NEW SET OF SEO TACTICS
Google Shopping began in 2019 as a paid platform for merchants to advertise. Like Google Search Engine, the Google Shopping experience is ever-changing. With inflation becoming a concern for many, there is an uptick in comparison shopping.
As an e-commerce aggregator, Google unifies the shopping experience by displaying goods and reviews, showing where you can buy, and flagging deals on its’ Shopping search results. This makes it easier for you to do price comparison research but presents challenges for you to compete without using Google Shopping.
To gain more visibility on Google, many companies have a Google business listing (Business Profile). However, creating a Business Profile alone does not give you management over it.
For your Business Profile to work for you as an effective SEO and lead generation tool, you need management and editing control. In addition to creating a free Business Profile, you must separately create a Google My Business account.
Don’t forget to prepare for mobile search. Create your search results pages to answer your mobile users’ questions quickly. You need to give them exactly what they want at the click of a button.
How to Take Action
- For e-commerce companies, add Google Shopping features and understand the nuances of the Google Marketplace.
- For all companies, create a Google My Business account in addition to your Business Profile.
- Create SEO content that assists in answering a solution your product provides, not just based on a product name.
- Brand names should be trademarked and your products explained, to differentiate you from your competitors so that price is not the deciding factor.
7. An Increase in Visual Search Utilization
TL;DR : IMAGES WILL TAKE A LARGER PART IN SEO and CONVERSIONS
Have you used Google Lens? It has redefined how people discover information, however, there are pros and cons. The great thing about the app is that it identifies objects and allows people to gain knowledge and connect with more businesses than ever before.
However, it can negatively impact your site’s metrics and the user experience. These metrics include:
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): This is one of the three Core Web Vitals metrics. It represents how quickly the main content of a web page is loaded. Specifically, LCP measures the time from when the user initiates loading the page until the largest image or text block is rendered within the viewport.
Cumulative Layout Shift: This measures unexpected changes within the user viewport area to evaluate user experience. Also, as a Google ranking factor, CLS significantly impacts your SEO.
How to Take Action
- Focus on implementing optimized photos into your content, which is essential for your business to experience the full benefits of Google Lens. The images need to be clear in order for Google to interpret what is on them and match them to similar images on the web.
- Create personalized and quality images for your website team or webmaster to use, and reduce stock usage. Create a personalized touch to your unique business with images that highlight yourself, your team and your unique solutions
8. Increased Acceptance of AI-Generated Images
TL;DR : AI CREATED IMAGES are COMING TO MARKET
In 2022 AI-generated images, which are pictures that are created entirely by artificial intelligence software, have been a hot topic. This visual technology lets anyone create amazingly realistic photos without a camera. It is also possible to create virtually perfect paintings that are computer-generated from text descriptions.
AI-generated art is getting noticed in the stock media industry. Google can recognize objects in both the artificial image and the actual photo. Remarkably these images are detailed enough to be included in image SERPs with a relevant query. However, while AI generated art is getting noticed, it is still a work in progress.
How to Take Action
At Sting, we are watching and testing this concept. The best thing to do regarding AI-generated images is to continue to watch this tool develop. It’s best to be cautious and, if you’re going to use it at all, use it sparingly.
How to Take Advantage of the Upcoming SEO Trends in 2023
TL;DR : YOU CAN ENGAGE A SEO TEAM for less than ONE EMPLOYEE
We’ve given an overview of each upcoming trend and how to take action to improve your SEO strategy as you head into the new year. However, it will take a significant time investment on your part to educate yourself on the various action points and be able to begin to make improvements. Why not let us do it for you?
At Sting Marketing we have years of experience with digital marketing rooted in SEO strategies. We are adept at making shifts as Google updates and adds to its many features for its users. Speak with a growth strategist today! Give us a call at (888) 858-7776.