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5 Things SEO Professionals Should Prepare for in 2023

5 Things SEO Professionals Should Prepare for in 2023

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It’s that time of year again, where SEO departments across the globe come together to speculate, estimate, and hypothesise (yes, more then they normally do) on what the next 12 months will bring to the industry. Because SEO is known for its predictability, I thought I would dust of the festive crystal ball, gaze into the not-at-all-murky waters of the future and give my predictions too.

Original ideas for blogs – at this time of year, in this economy?

Hey Siri… What is Voice Search Optimization?

Regardless of its Siri, Alexa or JARVIS, virtual assistants are a part of our lives now. In fact the number of global smart speaker shipments is likely to surpass 200 million annually in 2022 or 2023.

SEO for these verbal searches is different to On Page in a number of key ways. Firstly, you don’t type search terms in full, conversational sentences but you do when you ask Alexa. “Hey Siri, where is the nearest petrol station?” Vs “petrol station near me” in a search bar.

Now if you know a little about SEO, you’re probably thinking this sound familiar, and you’d be right as it’s tapping into “Long Tail Keywords”.

You know, those longer, far more specific search terms that are usually closer to conversions. However, are those search terms conversational enough? do they take advantage of featured snippets? have you thought about local SEO?

This blog could turn into just taking about this. Point is, voice search and all it entails is different enough from on page SEO to justify its own approach, but it’s not so far removed this is going to upend your current on page work.

Keep one eye on this going into the new year.

5 Things SEO Professionals Should Prepare for in 2023

Skynet approved SEO – AI and SEO

Yes, AI is on my list, and maybe it was on last years list too, what of it?

How much of your news feed/for you page is AI generated art right now? This isn’t just a temporary blip but the continuation of something that has being swelling for a long time. The difference is AI has become increasingly open source and easier to access which means more people will use it.

Let’s focus on content. AI Generated Content violates Google’s Terms of Service which lands it firmly in the category of Black Hat Bullshit (yes, that’s the technical term) but you don’t have to CTL V everything an AI churns out.

The use of AI is going to go a long way towards killing writer’s block, increasing how much we can write in a set period and more. With increasing numbers of people using these tools they will only get better at aiding us.

The machine is your friend… for now. Embrace this technology. SEO is hard enough as it is so if AI can make it easier, take full advantage.

The Death of The Dark Art (Stake Holder Communication)

SEO is like walking on a fibre glass tightrope between internal and external stakeholders. On one side you have Copywriters, Graphic Designers, Web Developers and more who are all experts in their field and possess clarity of vison in their work and you as the SEO have the unenviable position of challenging their carefully curated plan to ensure it ranks on search results pages.

On the other side you have clients, who often, have never heard of SEO before and are eagerly waiting for you to show results, the idea of endless work or reacting to algorithm changes is alien to them.

The only way to navigate this going into 2023, as SEO becomes even more competitive is to kill this idea that SEO is a “dark art” it isn’t.

By total transparency with everyone we engage with, we can start to build a culture of continuous improvement, empathy, and unity (or at least, less telling each other to fuck off).

SEO is only going to get more competitive so we must get all stake holders on board and as passionate as we are for us to have any chance of high level results. The best way to do this, is total transparency. From reporting to the “why” the more people know the more they will be bought in, the more you can get those wins.

Taking a risk – (Are your SEO tools a crutch?)

Every SEO professional and their dog has a SEMrush/Ahrefs subscription and with good reason, they are incredible tools. However, these tools can only guide strategy they can’t make it for you. If every SEO professional is drinking from the same well and landing at the same conclusions your chances of success are massively reduced.

To succeed in 2023 SEO must start taking risks. Driving unique traffic from content will take more than blog posts with strict word counts that aim to hit targeted keywords. Templated websites and strategies will struggle to remain competitive. From video optimisation to effective PR. SEO must be willing to take risks.

By taking a creative risk we increase our chances of significant results. The obvious work can run in parallel if it must but something outside the box can and will give you that edge.

Picking your battles wisely – (Work smarter not harder)

SEO can be Sisyphean (word of the day, nailed it) all your hard work getting undone by things out of your control is bitter pill to swallow, it’s happened before and expect it happen again. SEO isn’t going to get easier so it’s more important then ever that in 2023 you pick your battles wisely. Make informed choices and be honest about how realistic they are and communicate these with blunt honesty to stakeholders.

Not every page on a website needs to rank. Are you spending your time outreaching for the ideal publication or the ones you can realistically get? Does this page add value or is just another page to track for the sake of it?

I’m not saying curb your ambition just direct your energy to right places. SEO is a marathon not a sprint. Aim realistically and take it one step at time. The ideals will come soon enough.

Beyond that, keep informed on what’s going on in the industry, back yourself enough to take risks and stay humble.

Have a great new year, you got this.

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