SEO is still important and will be a top-performing channel with you in 2023, BUT ONLY if your SEO strategy plan has evolved to reflect the times. Here’s a brief timeline of what our strategy entailed the past few years:
- 2019 – ah, our last year of living in ignorant bliss, thinking digital marketing was challenging and competitive….totally oblivious to what was about to go down.
- 2020 – oh $!%^&. Understand how to exist in the midst of a global pandemic, do our jobs, and reactively react to the never-before-experienced and abrupt changes in what our target markets were going through. Some industries took off (residential real estate), while others plummeted (travel).
- 2021 – see 2020. Plus, more of the same, and getting a sense of the “new normal.”
- 2022 – we’re figuring out what post-pandemic behaviors are sticking around and tentatively planning proactively again. Some industries took off (travel), while others plummeted (residential real estate).
Your 2023 SEO Plan: 3 Areas You Must Take Into Account
Fast forward to 2023. There are 3 areas you must take into account when planning your 2023 SEO Strategy:
- Audience behavior changes
- Industry/vertical changes and predictions
- Changes in the overall Digital Marketing landscape
1) Factoring in Your Audience Behavior Changes
Fast forward to 2023. One of the reasons SEO changes so much is because our target market changes.
Updating your SEO strategy means getting as clear as possible about your ideal prospect and customer in 2023:
- What do they care about?
- What are their biggest pain points?
- How motivated are they to do something about their problems?
- What are the solutions they think they need?
- Where are they spending time, researching, and searching?
- How will your messaging change to reflect this?
- Do you need to adjust your KPIs and expectations and communicate that?
- Do you need new tools to help you?
2) Factoring in Industry/Vertical Expectations In 2023
In my recent “2023 SEO Trends” webinar I gave last week, I facilitated a conversation with the 80+ attendees about what they predict for this year. Here are a few things attendees mentioned about changes they’re expecting in their industries this year:
Business Travel: the whole industry restructured over the last two years. Seeing big and really interesting rise in bleisure (business + leisure) blended travel.
Heath Care: In health care, we’re both losing doctors due to the pandemic, and facing a shortage of available doctors generally (a decades-long trend).
Real Estate: The behavior of users looking for information around the housing market has shifted from looking for homes to market updates and what to do in the current market as a homeowner. There was a realized importance to develop content to address the (quick) shift in search behavior towards the industry.
Retail: more price consciousness but increase in purchases of “small luxuries” instead of large purchases
Staffing industry – “talent crunch” will be ongoing throughout 2023 and getting the right jobs in front of the right people is increasingly difficult.
Higher ed: enrollment decline/enrollment cliff, ROI regarding ad spend to actual applications, program cuts and allocation of budgets
Home goods industry. Capacity/shipping constraints overseas for sure. This year (and in 2022) we are putting a lot more focus on an omni-channel approach, and broadening our horizons prioritizing channels outside of Amazon more than ever before. One of those channels of course would be our own website (hence, we want to enhance our SEO!)
Cybersecurity: Over the past two years, clients were hesitant to add any additional services from us, but with the increased ransomware attacks we are seeing every single day, we are having a much easier time showing clients what they need to protect their orgs. Many more people are googling cybersecurity solutions so we are just now battling “the algorithm” to make sure we are on top!
3) Factoring in the Digital Marketing Landscape in 2023
To keep things fun and exciting, here’s what we need to also keep in mind:
TikTok, Short Videos, and Social SEO Is Skyrocketing: Search habits have evolved as consumers have less attention to give and want better information, faster, and more visually than ever before. Did you know 40% of Gen Z turns to TikTok as a search engine? Much more on this later.
Marketing Campaigns Have Decreased in Performance: The general consensus in the industry is that campaigns that used to dependably return results are just generally less effective than they used to be.
Digital Advertising Channels Are More Expensive & Less Effective. We know what has happened to Facebook as a result of iOS14 and other changes, but the same thing is happening across other platforms, as they become saturated, competitive, and victim to cookiepocalypse.
Automation is Hot and Heavy Right Now. We’re in the wild west of ChatGPT and automation, including AI tools and content creation shortcutting right and left.
Google is Aggressively Evolving their algorithms and updates are coming one right after another: Google must not only keep pace with the changing behavior of users today, but they must also try and stay ahead of what users want, what they don’t, and predict “what’s next” so the user is satisfied.
The SERPS have changed once and for all and there is no going back. Gone are the days we can expect page 1 rankings to predictably deliver clicks back to our website. SEO has shifted to make sure we are encompassing “On-SERP SEO.”
What’s A Marketer to Do – SEO Strategy Plan Training Ahead!
In the midst of all of these changes, coupled with extreme business in our day-to-day, the importance of prioritizing and having a clear focus is more critical than ever. Interested in my upcoming free and paid SEO trainings? Sign up here and get notified.
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