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SEO 2023

From ChatGPT and Bard to the impact of voice assistants, the search landscape is evolving very fast in 2023. This article explores some of the top trends that we think will shape SEO this year and includes recommendations to improve search ranking.

This blog post was written in February 2023. With the current pace of change, some of the recommendations may soon get outdated. Follow Intentful on LinkedIn and read our blog to stay up to date on the latest discovery through content trends.

Let’s start with the core definition of SEO.

SEO is the process of optimizing a website to ensure it ranks higher in search engine results. This helps increase organic traffic, leading to improved visibility and a larger reach of potential customers. The higher you rank, the more people will discover your brand and engage with it.

Thousands of signals matter in how a website performs in search. Some of the fundamental ones include:

  • Making sure the website is open to search engine crawlers so that they can discover and index a web page.
  • Publishing content that is relevant to user intent and includes keywords and phrases that are aligned with that intent. 
  • Acquiring backlinks so that the search engines see you are being cited by other sources. 
  • Optimizing website speed and ensuring that it is mobile-first (not just mobile-friendly).

SEO Trends in 2023

Emphasis on Helpful Content, Relevance, and Quality

In 2023, the importance of quality content is more important than ever before. Search engines will continue to value websites that provide relevant and well-researched information to their users. With the new “search wars” between Microsoft and Google, we are about to witness a new wave of algorithm updates from both players. 

What does it mean for brands and publishers? Both Microsoft and Google have the same goal: to provide users with relevant answers to search queries, fast. 

 

While it seems obvious that all content that is produced by businesses should clearly describe all features a reader might be interested in, 9 out of 10 pages don't get ANY organic traffic from Google! To make sure your website is not in the 90.6% of pages that are never discovered, use this checklist for initial quick audit. 

Is your content:

  • Made available for crawlers?
  • Highly targeted?
  • Correctly optimized for popular keywords, queries, and user intent, and not based on subjective assumptions? 
  • Shared across social media platforms and other websites for backlinks?
  • Featured in guest posts?
  • Commented on by readers?
  • Share-worthy?
  • Optimized for structured data?

90.6% of content not discovered

Ranking high is totally achievable. Follow a few simple steps outlined in Intentful's article.

It is especially important to pay attention to having content that is relevant to user queries and intent. Understand the needs, wants, and desires of your target audience, so that you can create texts, videos, and podcasts that resonate with them. Basing content on assumptions is guesswork that will lead to decreased engagement and conversions.

Another potential issue to consider is unintentional duplication of content. For example, you have a product description on your own website, and share the same description with partners and resellers. Once this identical content is published on several websites, it may be considered duplicate content by the search engines, and your rankings will suffer. Create variations so that they are unique and, of course, relevant to the brand's communication goals and audience interests. This, in fact, may even increase your visibility in search.

A good rule of thumb used to be to perform a content audit every 6 to 12 months. In 2023, we are recommending a much closer look at what’s happening with search rankings because of how ChatGPT and Bard are changing the search engines results page. 

Focus on User Experience

For businesses that rely on search traffic in 2023, focusing on user experience should be at the top of their list. This means ensuring that their website is:

  • Mobile-first
  • Easy to navigate and has no intrusive pop-up ads 
  • Loading fast
  • Secure.

All of these are equally important for search engine bots as well as for users, and will help ensure that visitors have a positive experience when visiting the site, and that they are more likely to return in the future. 

Emphasis on Quantity (and Relevance!)

Accept the necessity of creating more content and posting it consistently. Google said back in 2017 that they get 15% of new searches every day. As search engines evolve and become better, all of us as users ask search for more sophisticated and complex things. 94.7% of all queries on Google have a search volume of 10 or fewer per month!

These are two main reasons why you need A LOT of content:

  1. Today, it is not enough to optimize your texts for only 5% of highly popular queries — those that receive from 11 to 1,000 search requests a month. Everyone uses them, and you won't stand out. You need to combine them with the less popular 95% that receive up to ten requests a month. And to cover so many, you need more relevant content.
  2. If you don’t optimize your content for at least some of the 95% of queries that receive only up to 10 requests, you won't be discovered by people who asked them. Can you afford to ignore that 95% of potential customers? Certainly not.

Intentful’s statistics show that by using AI, you can create 5 times more content when compared with traditional content production. It's important to emphasize that we mean human + AI content production, and not spammy automated content generation.

Rise in Voice Search

Voice search optimization is no longer an optional part of SEO in 2023. In 2018, about 27% of people with access to the Internet used voice search on their mobile phones. In 2016, Google reported that “20% of searches in the Google App are… done by voice.” These numbers are likely to have grown since then.

As people increasingly interact with their devices by speaking to them, it is essential that companies start optimizing for this technology if they want to get discovered and remain competitive. While it is still in its early stages and not yet perfect, voice search is here to stay.

Unlike a page with 10 or more search results where a user chooses a link to click, it’s only one result in voice search. To become that one result read out loud to the user, your content needs to perfectly match the user's intent and answer the query they may have. It is yet another reason to build content based on data and insights, and not assumptions. 

Video

Video has been a huge part of SEO for years. It is becoming even more important in 2023. Not only do many users prefer video to text, but a huge rise in TikTok's popularity is forcing other platforms to provide a better experience when people search for video content. Did you know TikTok is being used as search, too?

Your videos need to be optimized for search engine algorithms. This includes working with titles, descriptions, and tags to make sure they are discoverable and rank higher in the search results.  This, in turn, can increase traffic and conversions.

SEO Steps to Take in 2023

Here are some tips to help you ensure the efficiency of your SEO efforts in 2023:

  • Focus on mobile optimization as more and more people access the web through their mobile phones. Make sure your site is responsive and easy to navigate on small screens. Crawling is now mobile-first. Don't just use your phone to judge if a website is optimized. Use a search console to see how a bot sees your website and if there are any errors.
  • Utilize structured data to provide additional information to search engines about your website. This helps the bots understand the content and context of your site, which can boost your rankings. Use structured data whenever you can to give search engines the information they need.
  • Utilize long-tail keywords, for example, “shoes for women with high arches and flat feet” instead of simply “shoes.” They are generally easier to rank for, and more likely to be in that 94.7% of queries with 10 or fewer searches per month.
  • Closely monitor your progress as you work towards your SEO goals. Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, you may have to make changes as you go along (such as changing your keyword strategy). 
  • Understand your competition to work around them in a long-term game that is SEO. For instance, monitor their SEO strategy and pay attention to their link-building and content. You can also get a good idea of your competition by looking at their site rankings.

Increased Use of AI: much more than generative AI

Generative AI took the world by storm in 2022, with millions of people now using AI to create all sorts of content now. At Intentful, our journey of working with AI started about 2 years, and we continue emphasizing the importance of never producing content for the sake of just producing it, as that results in 90.6% of pages not being discovered online.

Relevant content
We are applying AI not only to accelerate the creation of quality content but also to support brands in their discovery at multiple channels and touchpoints of the customer journey. We analyze audience intent and connect it with content, delivering major efficiencies for our clients.

2023 is an exciting time for marketing professionals and business owners alike. With the rapid changes in the online ecosystem and search engine algorithms, the increasing importance of voice search, and the rise of artificial intelligence, make sure you are up to date with the ever-changing landscape and adjust your marketing efforts accordingly.

Reach out if you'd like to learn more.

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