SEO in 2023: How to Focus Your Efforts

Blog authored by Amanda Koehler, Digital Marketing Practice Director, Northwoods

Search Engine Optimization best practices evolve every year. In 2023, the continuing rise of online shopping, developments in Artificial Intelligence, and expanding use of voice search will have increasing impact on SEO. And SEO will become ever more important to marketers and webmasters fighting for top spots in search rankings.

Here are the SEO trends you should focus on in 2023.

  1. AI Marketing

Artificial intelligence powers marketing automation, chatbots, and custom website experiences, among other marketing tools. AI-written pure content is on the rise. Google might perceive such content as spam, unless human writers have fine-tuned it. Don’t write off the value of AI in content creation too quickly, though. It can give you a running start to writing that next blog post.

But keep in mind that good editing makes a difference in SERP rankings. Editing of AI-generated content matters as much, if not more, than it does with content your subject matter experts write. Take the time to focus on keywords and create content that will help current and potential customers.

  1. Content Beyond Text

Quality images and, especially, video can boost retention and engagement. And Google’s search algorithm rewards high retention and engagement.

You don’t need to hire professionals to create useful videos. Consider making how-to videos with your customer service team or testimonial videos with satisfied customers. Hiring? Post interviews with current employees about positive work experience, to attract talent.

  1. Optimize for Voice Search

According to the Pew Research Center, a full 85% of U.S. adults owned a smartphone in 2021; 41% of adults use voice search daily. These statistics are telling marketers to prioritize and optimize for featured snippets, which Google uses for voice-assistant answers to search queries.

Long-tail keywords, natural language, and keywords framed as questions are the three best ways to target featured snippets. Creating content in the form of an answer to a question is also a great way to get into the ears of voice searchers.

  1. Repurpose/Recycle

When you write a great piece of content and create great video content, get creative and extend that content’s reach and useful life. Turn a long form video into several short clips. Turn a blog post into a mini article or social media post. Google loves new content, and when done well it will drive traffic. Consistent posting of new (or new-ish) material is important to both Google and to users. Creative recycling makes content generation a little easier and helps you maintain a consistent posting schedule.

  1. Mobile Readiness

You’ve heard it before, but it applies again this year: Make sure your site is mobile friendly. Actually, it applies even more now: Nearly 60% of internet traffic comes from mobile devices (as of November 2022). Core Web Vitals, from Google Search Console, is a good resource to ensure that your site meets standards for the three web vitals that, according to Google, most impact website user experience.

  1. End of Third-Party Cookies

Third party cookies will likely be gone by the end of 2024. This will directly impact many digital marketing efforts. If you prepare for it now, you can offset the lack of data that will follow the demise of third-party cookies and enjoy continued success with digital advertising. Here are ideas on how to prepare for a cookieless future.

  1. Ever Changing Google Algorithm

The most important thing for SEO in 2023? Keep up with ongoing updates to the Google search algorithm. The current Google E.A.T. (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) update, which improves Google’s measurement of site quality and effectiveness, will surely continue to evolve in 2023.

Your SEO strategy should constantly evolve to meet changing search engine algorithms, user behavior, and competitive activity. If you haven't assessed yours in a while, our expert team is here to help! Request an audit today to ensure your SEO strategy is helping you achieve your goals. 

About Northwoods: Since 1997, more than 900 B2B and B2C companies worldwide have trusted Northwoods to lead, develop and execute more than 5,000 digital strategies, digital marketing and advertising initiatives, websites, and software projects. Our clients rely on us for our honest guidance, outstanding service, and exceptional expertise.

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