Dynamic and ever-evolving, SEO has become a vital component of marketing strategies for companies of all sizes.
To reach potential customers, marketers must continue to take advantage of users' search behaviors and reliance on search. For that, they have to continually maintain and advance their SEO efforts.
This year, they should be looking out for—and keeping up with—the following SEO trends.
Three Top Search Trends in 2023
I anticipate a continued flurry of Google updates in 2023, more emphasis on technical SEO, and the rise of visual search.
1. Continued Volatility
I anticipate that Google will undergo continued volatility in the form of more updates, even more so than in the past year.
Having seen updates roll out—and finish—so quickly, one on top of another, in 2022 only strengthens my belief that Google will continue to move forward without worrying about upsetting folks over when and what timeline updates will happen.
2. Emphasis on Technical SEO
Technical SEO—which focuses on improving technical aspects of sites—will continue to grow in importance.
That importance will be driven by search engines' incentivizing site owners to create better user experiences: That is, better UX will mean higher ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs).
As technical SEO continues to influence the user experience—and searchers' expectations continue to rise—technical SEO has become one of the top considerations among brands when configuring their overall SEO strategy and investments.
3. The Rise of Visual Search
Google will continue to emphasize visual search functionality in 2023. As we saw at Google's Search On 2022, the search behemoth is placing bets on visual search elements, likely in response to the evolving search behaviors of younger generations, including the growth of search in closed environments, such as Instagram and TikTok.
Two Other SEO Trends Worth Noting
Alongside those three top trends, I expect video's role in search to increase and that of voice to diminish.
1. Video marketing will play an increasing role in SEO
Without a doubt, 2023 will be the year of video. As companies look to gain audiences on more visual and video-based platforms, such as TikTok and Instagram, they will push out more video content; in parallel, more video and content teams will be using search data to inform their strategies.
That shift will also benefit those in Google's ecosystem, as searchers are showing an increasing amount of attention to video results.
Brands will also be more focused on quality of content over quality of production (such as effects, lighting, etc.) as audience preferences shift. Simple, mobile-recorded videos will likely be a focus because content doesn't have to be a big production to be considered good.
2. Voice search will not become a key component in marketing strategies for greater customer accessibility
Not any time soon, anyway... Voice search has been a shiny object that lured many in, including me, with the promise of something bigger.
Unfortunately, actual user behavior has shown that much of what people are using their voice assistants for isn't to search (and certainly not to buy) but, rather, to issue actionable commands, such as playing music and turning lights on and off.
Prioritizing Organic Search Performance
Invest in your website and in creating authentic, helpful content.
The website has become brands' most important digital asset, evolving into an essential tool to connect with customers. The pandemic served as a catalyst to accelerate that shift, and it has dovetailed with the search behavior of users who were already seeking helpful content from brands before committing to a purchase.
By investing in your website and creating content that drives genuine value for your customers, you can build trust among your audience, and you will be more likely to convert impressions into results.
Moreover, by committing to a customer-first mindset, you'll likely be rewarded on the SERPs.
For years, Google has spearheaded that shift, as evidenced by 2022's Helpful Content update. The shift has also created a more level playing field for smaller brands to compete with the big-box brands. Many SMBs are taking advantage of their ability to move quickly and overcome less red tape to get updates or new content on their sites.
Now, bigger brands will need to think smaller and simpler to stay in the game and keep up with searcher demand.
In-House: The Way to Maximize Your SEO and Organic Marketing This Year
The most well-oiled machines have their SEO and content teams in-house and allow them the freedom to test and make updates to their enterprise site without having to jump through endless corporate hoops.
If you don't have a team, build one; if you have one, give it more autonomy.
To gain insights and act quickly, brands need to have the right resources in place—the right technology, the right people, and the right processes. In-house teams know their customer and industry best, and they will be able to move faster than an agency partner.
Knowing your customer will help create relevant content to capture their attention, and mapping out the best plan for in-house resources will help maximize spend and drive efficiency.
More Resources on SEO Trends
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