Will SEO Still Be Important in 2023?

Although the memes suggest that time may have lost all significance for many of us recently, many businesses are already starting to think about their marketing plans and budgets for the upcoming year. Is search engine optimization (SEO) still important? It seems like we cannot get beyond the start of a new year without hearing this query.


Many people in our field have grown so accustomed to the idea that cutting-edge new technology will eventually replace what we already knew and loved that they believe SEO will soon go a similar course. Big drops in organic traffic, ongoing Google algorithm updates, and significant changes to the search results page all seem to be pointing in the same direction for them.


Although such a sentiment is understandable, it is also incorrect. In actuality, SEO remains a crucial financial commitment for your business. What has changed is the best way to carry out an efficient SEO plan.


The three foundations of creating a strong online presence are still content, keywords, and mobile optimization, but you can’t stop there. Keep up with the latest developments in technology and let your plan develop naturally to make SEO work for you in 2023.


Zero-click Searches and Featured Snippets

Among the above-mentioned modifications to search results pages, highlighted snippets are by far the most crucial for SEO. Although featured snippets have been around for a while, neither marketers nor dealers can effectively utilize them. Whether or not you are familiar with the term, highlighted snippets are the succinct, straight responses Google offers at the top or close to it of a search results page.


Google automatically selects the “best” response to a particular query from a third-party website and displays it, frequently along with an appropriate image. By the way, the relevancy of the content and the quality of the keywords are what matter most when optimizing for featured snippets.


There are now two significant ramifications of featured snippets. The first is that you might profit from securing that position and the associated exposure. On the search results page, featured snippets steal, on average, 8.6% of clicks away from the organic search result that is ranked number one.


Additionally, there are intangible advantages: By responding to question-type searches, featured snippets are also naturally geared for voice search and establish you as a respected expert in your field.


However, there is a downside to optimizing for featured snippets. You might actually lose out on clicks overall if your page were featured even though it would have otherwise ranked #1. This is due to the fact that the organic search result that ranks first in the search results still receives the most clicks (and Google won’t display your organic listing on the same page as your featured snippet; it will be moved to page 2 of search results).


The second implication relates to what are known as zero-click searches, which were the original purpose of featured snippets: Google responding to user inquiries without requiring users to click through to the content. This facilitates Google searches and places Google as the user’s final stop along their path rather than your website.


Obviously, Google’s decision to make it more difficult for consumers to click through hurts your website traffic, but you can fix this with a clever SEO plan. Observe the following two facts:


In the beginning, users who get their questions answered in a featured snippet are somewhat less likely to convert. Why? Considering that they were probably seeking a simple answer, like an address or phone number.

Second, review which of your terms are reliably generating clicks. To ensure that your organic search listing is as relevant as possible in the event that the featured snippet is unable to answer the user’s query, optimize for those.


As a result, featured snippet optimization must be purposeful, narrowly focused, and integrated into your whole marketing plan.


Don’t just focus on local packs while optimizing.

Local packs have been around for a while, much like featured snippets, and whether you know their name or not, you’d recognize one if you saw it. Consider the last time you performed a local online search for certain products or services in your neighborhood, and three nearby companies in that industry appeared at the top of the results page, likely with a map indicating their locations. It’s a neighborhood pack.


For local search, optimizing for local packs is crucial. Simply establish pages for both Bing Places and Google My Business to do this.


You can’t, however, end there. People continue to visit your website when they need more specific information than just an address, phone number, or operating hours. When that happens, tried-and-true SEO tactics like high-quality content, mobile optimization, and reliable backlinks all start to make sense once more.


The short version of the 2023 strategy for local search is to adapt and optimize for new advancements but don’t let the established methods go, either.


Managing the Algorithm (Yes, BERT is Back)

BERT, the Google algorithm update that continuously improves the engine’s understanding of user query intent with a focus on context, caused a public outrage only a few months ago. From dismissiveness to complete terror, BERT-inspired reactions and hot takes can be found everywhere (for what it’s worth, we also voiced our opinion).


Search engines are placing more focus on matching user query intent than just particular words as we move forward.


In other words, search engines will penalize content that answers the fundamental query behind a search, while content that relies on keyword stuffing and lacks a clear focus or structure will find it increasingly difficult to rank on results pages.


Consequently, dealing with search algorithms just requires reinforcing tried-and-true best practices rather than changing how you approach SEO. Instead of destroying the entire system, think of it as search engines cleaning out useless content.


SEO is not going away or becoming obsolete in 2023; on the contrary, it is now more important than ever for your total digital marketing plan. Your strategy will evolve alongside it if you let the professionals assist you in developing and implementing one that takes into consideration new and emerging trends.

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