Search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t what it used to be. It’s an ever-evolving field that requires constant adaptation and innovation. With the right approach, SEO can generate huge brand awareness and can even be the leading revenue driver for businesses with a growth spirit.
As we look ahead to the next few years, here are some predictions and insights on the future of SEO in 2023 and beyond.
AI and ChatGPT will play a bigger role in SEO.
Search engines are facing two fundamental challenges. First, they need to maintain market share and/or grow, which means not falling behind in innovation. At the same time, they need to keep focused on the human connection and using their product for a greater good.
Secondly, they must have the ability to accurately identify whether content was created artificially or by humans – and then determinine which is better for their audiences. Almost feels like a sci-fi plot.
Brands can use AI and ChatGPT for content creation, keyword research, content optimization, and chatbot flows to improve their SEO efforts and engage with their target audience. By leveraging these technologies, brands can gain a competitive advantage and achieve better results in their SEO campaigns.
More interestingly, AI will enhance the ability to personalize interactions with individual users at scale. Customizing the user experience for each visitor based on their browsing history, demographics, and behavior will help improve engagement and conversion rates by better meeting their needs and expectations.
Content will still be king, but it will come down to cost vs quality.
At first glance, ChatGPT seemed set to change the SEO writing landscape, giving brands the ability to churn out content automatically at no extra cost. But it didn’t take long to discover that is totally not the case.
Great content doesn’t come cheap, and definitely not free from AI writing tools. Brands need to play a very precise game of creating content at the lowest possible cost, without compromising on quality. Bad content never ranks, so it doesn’t matter how much you have, or how little you paid, if it won’t perform on search engines. Rather, SEO is a balancing act of cost vs quality, and the game is on for getting the highest possible ROI from every piece of content you pay for.
E-A-T will become more important than ever.
Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) are the key factors in Google’s search algorithm, and these three pillars will become even more prevalent in the coming years.
This means that brands and websites will need to establish themselves as credible sources of information and build a strong online reputation, not just with high-quality content but also from positive reviews and social proof.
Visual search is already a reality, but it will become even more important as AI and ML algorithms become better at recognizing images and videos.
This means that businesses will need to optimize their visual content, such as images, videos, and infographics, for search engines and social media platforms. They will also need to use alt text, schema markup, and other metadata to provide context and improve accessibility.
Video content creation is expected to evolve significantly in 2023, driven by advancements in technology and changes in consumer behavior. The average TikTok user in the USA is approximately 35 years old. Brand video content creators will need to adapt to stay ahead of the curve and provide an engaging experience for their audience.
Brands that are unable to keep up with the video expectations of their audiences will struggle to thrive in SEO and paid media, and will slowly wilt away.
The role of backlinks will evolve.
Backlinks have been a staple of SEO for a long time. However, their role will change as search engines work to become more efficient due to the rising costs of crawling.
It’s no secret that Google has faced crawling issues in the past due to server problems and crawler overload. With a dramatic increase in the volume of websites and content, the question is how can Google maintain its ability to crawl websites at a level to optimize the value of organic rankings.
While high-quality backlinks will still be important for establishing credibility and authority, they will be evaluated more based on their relevance, context, and diversity. This means that brands will need to focus on building natural, relevant, and diverse backlinks through guest blogging, influencer marketing, and other outreach strategies.
It’s worth noting that website owners can also take steps to ensure their site is easily crawlable by Google’s crawler. This includes optimizing website speed and performance, fixing technical errors and broken links, and ensuring content is well-organized and easy to navigate. Bottom line? Technical SEO is as important as ever.
Increased reliance on paid media.
Paid media can indirectly benefit SEO by increasing brand awareness, driving traffic to a website, and potentially earning backlinks through sponsored content or influencer marketing campaigns.
While paid media is not directly important for SEO, it is an invaluable component of a comprehensive digital marketing strategy that supports SEO goals.
Brands who want visibility among both new and existing audiences, who have a growth mindset, and goals to amplify their brand message to an expanded audience, will be wise to invest in digital paid media over the long term.
To sum up, the future of SEO looks bright, but it requires constant learning and adaptation.
Brands that embrace new technologies, build sustainable E-A-T, and focus on producing written and visual content at the lowest cost without compromising on quality – supported at its core by paid media – will stay ahead of the curve and succeed in the ever-evolving world of search.