30 second recap:
- As marketing budgets inevitably shrink, the demand for affordable and reliable channels like SEO continues to increase
- Some of the critical updates and algorithm changes in 2022 give marketers an idea of where to focus in 2023
- SEOs and content marketers need to create better processes and work in tandem to achieve business goals
- The days of set it and forget it SEO are over, organizations need to use SEO in multiple ways
With marketing budgets under control more than ever, savvy organizations are looking to SEO for sustained growth. Integrating organic search into your digital strategy offers rich rewards, both in terms of cost efficiency and brand equity enhancement, that can contribute to an entire organization. Therefore, marketers have taken this approach to maximize returns on marketing and technology spend.
In this article, I explain why SEO is so popular, what has changed in 2022, and what to capitalize on in 2023.
According to research from Gartner, CEOs are doubling down on digital investment strategies while maximizing their marketing ROI. However, Google recently reported that ad spending is down.
At the same time, in a recent survey of over 1000 business marketers, over 90% of marketers plan to place more emphasis on SEO in 2023.
Why organizations will lean on SEO in 2023
As marketing budgets inevitably shrink, the demand for affordable and reliable channels continues to increase, attracting well-deserved SEO attention from business leaders. In particular, they are finding that SEO insights give them a comprehensive view of consumer trends in volatile times. It is this invaluable knowledge that organizational and departmental leaders know can help them guide their decisions today and tomorrow.
After two decades of sustained growth, research remains an essential channel despite market volatility. It is a testament to the importance and effectiveness of research in connecting businesses with their target audience.
As far as business organizations are concerned, some key advantage factors leading to SEO bias include:
- SEO is a high-performing channel and is unaffected by market conditions
- Organizations can benefit from long-term incremental SEO value
- Only SEO can provide real-time insight into both market demand and customer intent
- SEO insights drive sales, product, digital and media initiatives across all organizations
- Organizations benefit from brand equity through SEO presence in the SERPs
- In tandem, SEO and PPC (together) give you more control over the customer experience
SEO is fast becoming the key to unlocking a connection between businesses and customers. Organizations can anticipate potential customers’ needs by understanding what they’re looking for, why it’s important to them, and how optimized content can best meet those requirements when it’s needed most.
Focusing on the (human) consumer and their experiences is something Google has been very focused on in 2022. Some of the critical updates and algorithmic changes are giving marketers an idea of where to focus in 2023.
Learn from 2022 to prepare for 2023
2022 has been an eventful year for organic search, with several significant updates impacting how SEO and marketing teams should focus and operate.
Below are some key areas where Google has indicated where SEO, content, technical and online marketing need to change – adapt and become agile – and where to prioritize their focus in 2023.
Updating Page Experience and Core Web Vitals has been implemented (mobile and desktop) to ensure users receive results that load quickly and display within a certain time frame.
Learn more about SEW: Mobile-first and Core Web Vitals: Page Experiences
Future goal for 2023
- In 2023 all organizations must ensure that the technical performance of their website creates an optimal user experience
- This involves examining page load speed, browser response time, and content stability while loading for a seamless customer journey
- Leveraging a tailored blend of data-driven insights, content, and technical expertise in 2023 will help you create effective user experiences. Google places great emphasis on optimizing results and prioritizing accurate and reliable information, from page speed to navigational capabilities. Make sure you combine data science techniques with white-hat (SEO) best practices.
- By focusing on both website functionality and providing engaging and relevant content, marketing teams can plan for success in the current and any economic climate
Google product algorithm update was released to help users make informed decisions. This was in the form of an updated set of instructions and updates based on the annual performance of product reviews. It has been designed to allow users to access accurate information that will enable them to make sound product purchasing choices.
Future goal for 2023
- In 2023, set a goal to create a world-class experience for consumers, helping them find what they need quickly and easily. It aims to make the process of searching for items easier than ever before by offering people looking for an effortless journey straight from the search results into their shopping carts!
- If you sell products, demonstrate your professional skills by providing sound advice and showing why you are the leading expert on a topic
- Back up any product recommendations with reliable data to ensure authenticity
Multiple search it was announced in April to allow searches using images and text. Powered by Google Lens, it allows people to use camera or mobile photos to search for relevant images and text to find the most relevant results they need. Connect words and images to create an exciting range of possibilities for consumers.
Future goal for 2023
- In 2023 expect further progress in AI development from Google and MUM
- Balance the content you create and find an image-to-text ratio to deliver the accurate answers users now want and expect
- Focus on mobile image optimization and expect this type of feature to become a new norm in 2023
Google’s Helpful Content Update has been announced and recently implemented to ensure users receive the most useful search results.
Future goal for 2023
- In 2023, content creators and website owners must develop unique materials tailored to human end users instead of robots or spiders
- For example, when collecting customer reviews of products sold online, make sure inquiries ask for specific details so reviewers can demonstrate insight into their feedback
- Similarly, blog posts covering events or news should include fresh perspectives not found elsewhere by readers searching Google services
- Today’s algorithms are much more sophisticated and identify content that does not satisfy the reader, in some cases content that has been “caused” by automated tools.
SEO and content marketers need to improve together.
Read more about useful content here
Google Search On event
At Google’s Search On event, they revealed some groundbreaking developments that will revolutionize the way we search online. For example, visual search results will provide an interactive and engaging experience with graphics cards of images directly integrated into each search result.
Additionally, users can also expect a new auto-complete feature for their searches, as well as more personalized multi-search options designed for them to find meaningful answers quickly.
Google spam update to help drive customers to content with real purpose. As part of this effort, the search giant is improving the quality of its results and expanding into new formats and mediums for delivering actionable information.
- Consider how these updates may impact your SEO strategies going forward
- Make sure you balance keywords and not keyword stuffing
- Avoid subtle content and focus on quality over quantity
- Use AI correctly for insights and optimization, not for article content creation
SEO teams are becoming indispensable for organizations looking to discover new opportunities and build a lasting business. Cost-effective tactics not only save money, but also add value to all departments.
In 2023 focus on the following;
- Using SEO insights as a source of organization-wide business intelligence
- Ensure that technical SEO best practices are used to ensure websites deliver the experiences consumers expect and automate site research and fixes when and where possible
- Focus on visual search and expect its prominence to increase in 2023
- Balance your content optimization with key Google EAT and helpful content guidelines, don’t over-optimize
- Leverage AI and automation to manage time-consuming and repetitive tasks and scale
- Balance SEO and PPC and find synergies to adapt to changes in the market and with Google
- Become the advisor and business advisor organizations need in times of change
SEO is no longer viewed as a stand-alone activity; it is an integral part of your overall marketing plan. Enhance and strengthen other strategies in place while providing maximum reach for your business goals in 2023.
The days of set-and-forget SEO are over. Be prepared as the organization looks to use SEO in multiple ways
Change will be the main constant in the economy, with organizations and SEOs next year!
Jim Yu is the founder and CEO of BrightEdge, the leading platform for enterprise SEO and content performance. Find him on Twitter @jimyu.
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