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The Future of Search: SEO Predictions for 2023

SEO Predictions for 2023 - Lead Blog Image

SEO predictions for 2023

This year promises to hold many new and exciting developments in search. As the landscape of the industry continues to evolve and change, we wanted to put our heads together and share our SEO predictions for 2023 to help you keep ahead of the curve.

 

User Experience will take centre stage

2023 is going to be the year of user experience (UX). It’s something search has been building to over the last couple years. Since 2020 we’ve seen UX be tied in more and more to SEO, with the release of the page experience updates to Google’s search algorithm.

Nowadays, for your site to rank well, you need to make sure your site not only provides the content a search user wants, but that they also have a good experience when using your site. This is key for websites if they want to build a long-lasting relationship with a returning target audience.

UX encompasses a whole range of factors on your site: it’s much more than the design of your website. Rather than just looking at how easy it is for your audience to view and engage with content, user experience should consider how useful the content is for a site’s audience. When users land on the site, are they getting the information they expect or not? Providing information that doesn’t meet audience expectation often leads to a poor user experience.

Then there’s the structure. UX also needs to consider how well the content on a site ties together. User friendly sites will have a clear, navigable structure in place making their content easy to access (for their audience and for search engines alike).

We feel user experience has a lot to offer and sometimes isn’t considered enough across the majority of sites. As UX work has crossover with many SEO goals and has an ever-increasing sway over organic rankings, we feel UX is a process that will be at the forefront of SEO in 2023.

  • Aimee Cuthbert, Senior SEO Analyst

 

AI-generated content

Increasingly sophisticated models of AI (artificial intelligence) continue to be rolled-out in search, making it a key factor for SEOs to consider in 2023. The industry has to be able to evolve and adapt to accommodate this. Take ChatGPT for example.

ChatGPT and SEO

When it was launched in late November 2022, ChatGPT caused a huge stir in the SEO world. Some thought it was the future of search. Others thought it was the beginning of the end of the industry. From what we have seen below, it can produce some pretty reasonable content.

ChatGPT output for SEO predictions for 2023

As you can see, in a world where content is king, the ever growing capabilities of AI’s presents some uncertainty. It can produce endless amounts of content around every topic imaginable, at a rate faster than possible for any individual human SEO.

But the thing is, when we talk about artificial intelligence playing a bigger role, we don’t mean it’s taking over. This isn’t going to turn into a Terminator, where we wish we could come back and destroy these super intelligent AI’s. Man vs machine. If you learn to harness the power of AI, it has the potential to be one of the strongest tools in an SEOs arsenal.

Benefits of AI for SEO

AI presents a whole host of opportunities to enhance and streamline SEO processes. It’s even capable of sharing the benefits with you itself:

  1. Keyword research: AI-powered tools can help identify the most relevant and profitable keywords for a website, which can improve its visibility and ranking on search engines.
  2. Content optimization: AI-powered tools can analyze website content and suggest improvements to make it more search engine-friendly.
  3. Link building: AI-powered tools can help identify potential link building opportunities, such as relevant and high-quality websites to reach out to for link building purposes.
  4. Website optimization: AI-powered tools can analyze a website’s structure and performance and suggest improvements to make it more search engine-friendly and improve its ranking.
  5. Predictive analytics: AI-powered tools can predict and analyze search engine trends and changes, which can help businesses stay ahead of the curve and adapt their SEO strategies accordingly.
  6. Rank tracking: AI-powered tools can track the ranking of a website’s pages on search engines and provide detailed analytics that can be used to improve SEO performance.
  7. Auditing: AI-powered tools can scan a website and identify technical issues that can negatively impact search engine rankings and provide suggestions for fixing them.
  8. Optimize user experience: AI-powered tools can analyze the user experience of a website, such as bounce rate and click-through rate, and offer suggestions to improve it.

Note: The above content was generated by ChatGPT

As you can see, whilst this content can be quickly produced – it lacks some of the more in-depth analysis. Generally, it can’t replace the human expertise of professional SEOs who have spent years in the industry.

Whilst AI’s are quick to learn, it’s far more complicated for them to understand the minute nuances behind human language and user intent behind search queries. A key aspect to SEO success. They’re also not as quick at picking up on emerging trends and changes to search algorithms. And as SEOs everywhere know…the search algorithms change regularly!

Overall, the search engine optimisation community has more than gain from upskilling with AI than it does to lose. We’ll be keeping an eye out for websites to start sharing disclaimers around AI generated content over the next few months…

  • Charlotte Agg, SEO Executive

 

Changes to how we search

Google is trialling a growing number of different ways to display answers to users queries in search results pages. As we know, mobile and desktop searches give you different experiences despite conducting the same search. One of our predictions is that this will only continue to develop and evolve as time goes on.

User experience in search

With all the recent Google updates relating to it, we can confidently say that user experience will be at the heart of search and something SEOs everywhere will be encouraged to focus on. Bearing that in mind, Google will also continue working on its own ‘user experience’ of how we use the search engine meaning more chance for new search features to appear.

Whilst this may be great for users, it does make it more challenging for marketers to drive organic traffic to their sites. If Google starts showcasing more answers within its own platform, click-through-rates are going to take a hit, making the competition in the SERPs even harder.

Image based Search 

SERPs are being adapted to display more visual ways to search, increasing the need for brands to optimise for image and video based search results. The shopping experience is gradually evolving in search results with Google showcasing products in a more engaging way. This makes for great user experience and is excellent at capturing customers who might not necessarily be shopping for something specific but end up falling in love with a product and making that purchase anyway. The product images used will need to be more ‘lifestyle’ based to really capture the imagination of the user.

Multisearch - a more visual way to search in 2023

Video content is a must

Video content will be an absolute must have and will give you more opportunities to appear in front of your target audience. YouTube is the second most used search engine after Google, so your YouTube optimisation needs to be on point. Be sure to remember that there are other video content platforms, such as TikTok, that are growing by the day and may be worth incorporating into your organic strategy. Making strong videos is about creating content that matches your brand and using channels your audience are regularly browsing.

  • Stacey Barton, SEO Manager

 

Remember: Always cover your SEO Basics 

Even though we are talking about the future of search, there are still plenty of search engine optimisation basics that stand the test of time, which still need to be covered.

  • Continue creating quality content that will be beneficial to the user
  • Create content in other formats
  • Keep analysing your paid media data – what’s working there?
  • Really get to understand your users
  • Ensure you can navigate your own website – if you can’t find that landing page, will your users or Google?

Looking to enhance your SEO for 2023?

If you need help with your charity’s organic presence, get in touch and we can have a chat. If you want to find out what trends to look out for with paid media, the team have also put together Paid Search 2023 Predictions.

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