SEO is evolving with every passing day. Search engines are focusing more on providing better user experience. Users turn to Google to get results they can rely upon. They seek the SERPs as a consideration for getting information to make important decisions.
Any decision a user makes based on SERPs may involve their money and life, which is the reason search engines have to filter it with reliable websites or blogs only. It leads to more updates and changes to the way information is served. Keeping up with the changes has always been a challenge for SEO executives. Let’s review the challenges this year, 2023 is bringing up for the global community.
1. Increasing Voice Searches
2022 was the year of voice searches as it exceeded text searches. The rise of voice assistance of Google Home, Apple Siri, and Amazon Alexa is helping users to browse the web without writing a word or phrase. In 2023, optimizing your website for voice searches is among the biggest challenges.
It is time to optimize web pages with a more conversational tone to help the algorithm easily understand and suggest it to the users. Focusing only on the text results may lead to losing customers who are not even touching their smartphones or computers. They may be sitting on their couches, working at a desk, or cooking in the kitchen while giving instructions to the voice assistants.
Tackle challenges by composing web pages in simple and plain language. Review the business pages to remove the jargon and difficult words, or use their simple alternatives. Ensure the content is readable by school-going kids. If your products have technical specifications, try to explain them with examples and use cases. Try to make the content more educational so that people unfamiliar with the concept also get the usability of a product or its features.
2. Frequent algorithm updates
SEO is an ever-changing field. It is because of Google’s algorithm update. Every day, new techniques are introduced in pursuit of better rankings in search engines. Google only wants to help people rank at the top who are following good practices about their business website or blog.
Cheating the algorithm to gain benefit in ranking will get caught sooner or later. Google is tackling such issues with its core updates and changes. It has been an all-time challenge in the SEO industry, however, as the technology evolves, you never know what Google is planning next.
You cannot prevent an update from affecting a website. However, you can follow best practices and keep an eye on the back-linking strategy. Stay updated with the changes and respond accordingly. Focusing on your SEO activities may help you find the factors that have triggered a downfall in rankings and traffic. It becomes easier to review.
If your website gets a hit in algorithm update, wait for a couple of weeks as it may revert when the update roll-over is complete. Additionally, to play safe, you must turn a business into a brand to get that uniqueness Google is always looking for.
3. Improper Keyword Research
Keyword research has refined more than we expected. Back in the years, SEO managers used to find a set of keywords that seems relevant in terms of semantic meaning regardless of its user intent, tone, and relevancy with business.
Today, search algorithms have a better understanding of keywords, and user behavior has also changed over the years. You have to carry out keyword research with terms that promise a solution or information the users are looking for.
Finding target keywords is half of the game. The rest is about on-page optimization. One can take help from tools like Rank Math and Yoast SEO in WordPress. Magento 2 SEO module is a recommended tool for eCommerce websites as it is a combination of tools. It helps in automating the creation of Meta titles and descriptions, building XML and HTML sitemaps, adding rich snippets’ data, and lots more. Marketers who are struggling with on-page optimization of the multiregional store must rely on an all-in-one SEO Suite.
4. AI and ML
The moment you ask an SEO executive about the next big emergence or challenge this year, he or she will unarguably reply about Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. The emergence of so many AI tools has posed a challenge to several job roles in the SEO industry.
It has created chaos as a great majority of people have negative speculations. Some argue that it will replace humans sooner or later. However, professionals believe in the fact that AI and ML will always lack the ability for decision-making.
Shelley Walsh, a seasoned content strategist at SearchEngineJournal, also negates that AI replaces human beings. She suggests that AI does not seem to mimic the decision-making powers of humans soon. About the AI tools, she discourages too much reliance on AI tools and argues that such tools are as good as you operate them.
These applications are driven by the prompts you provide. Give them better and precise prompts and they will revert with better results. It is not advisable to use it for creating content. SEO marketers can take advantage of it in creating title tags, meta descriptions, headings and subheadings, anchor text variations,
5. Mobile friendliness
The need to optimize web pages for a better mobile experience is a must. It is a priority. It is a norm now. With the increasing population growth of mobile users, websites need to consider mobile-first optimization of the design and content. Google also prefers mobile responsiveness that’s why it came up with the idea of mobile-first indexing. It will index the mobile version of your website against the target searches and give less priority to the web or desktop version.
The SEO executives are facing it as a challenge as their core activities used to focus on the desktop version first. They have to shift their focus and revise strategies to grow traffic and improve user experience.
Companies are now setting aside a major portion of their marketing budget for mobile optimization. They have to work closely with user experience designers and SEO researchers to find changes in designs and consumer behavior. It is followed by refining a design, introducing a new one, or testing two concepts with A/B testing to settle on an effective one.
6. Video SEO
Modern-day searches on Google or any other search engine are not limited to web links only. These now include images, videos, podcasts, explanations, etc. in pursuit of providing better user experience, search engines are showing results relevant to the search query.
For example, people searching for a tutorial may get videos, infographics, and articles in SERPs. The usability of visual content is higher so if you aim to educate the target audience with tutorials, you have to consider making visual content and look after its SEO. It was once limited to keywords related to cooking, food, and art and craft. People searching for recipes are more likely to click on a video link. It does not apply to almost every business that aims to create tutorials about its products or services.
People are comfortable watching videos rather than reading a step-by-step guide in text. Recreate posts and articles, or start making informational videos by professionals. Promote them on search engines to gain traffic, engage users, and take them to the store. Try other platforms for promoting content in short videos as these are more engaging and satisfying. Create videos in fast-forward mode to summarize a tutorial of ten minutes in thirty seconds.
7. Competition for Talent
With every passing day, SEO becomes difficult to understand and pursue. To keep up with the trends, SEO needs to find solutions for the changes and updates Google makes regularly to its algorithm. In such a scenario, finding experts for your company or project may be the biggest challenge.
Experts who are trying new strategies are getting more exposure and securing better job opportunities. They are making it more difficult for employers to retain them. The world is squeezing more into a global village. SEO is open to a global job bank. They are trying to secure better opportunities. It is better to offer them competitive salaries, discuss the issues they face, and make the workplace e a fun space.
Besides better compensation, companies need to consider bonuses, rewards, inflation raises, flexible working hours, training and development, acknowledgment and exposure on official social handles, etc. let them feel they are valued and rewarded for their efforts.
SEO is getting complex. Marketers must keep studying the trends and molding their strategies accordingly. They have to consider the impact of new technologies. Voice search is getting common demanding store owners to optimize web pages for communicational tone.
Google algorithm updates are not going to harm you if you are following best practices. You are going to stay afloat by producing valuable content that addresses problems highlighted by target keywords. AI and ML are here to assist marketers in becoming more productive rather than replacing them with robots. Mobile responsiveness is a must. In addition to web searches, now you need to get traffic from videos as well.