Whether you’re hiring an agency to manage your SEO in 2023 or you’re going to attempt it on your own, there is a reality that we can’t escape—there will be growing challenges in the new year. 

Search engine optimization is never simple, nor is it easy, and there are constant evolutions and changes going on. 

With that in mind, the following are some things to keep in mind about SEO in 2023 to give you a head start on planning. 

1. The Online Shopping Experience

Something that Google is signaling it will be prioritizing a lot in the year ahead is the online shopping experience. Google’s goal appears to be the creation of a better online shopping experience, and they’re making changes for selling on the platform. For example, they’re making it free for businesses to sell on Google. 

There’s also the Shopping Graph, introduced to help people connect with products. The Shopping Graph is an AI approach to comparing brands and products, and it can analyze how products relate to one another, showing them directly in the search results. 

For an eCommerce business, the SEO implication is that you need to create product listings that are keyword rich. Google is using this information to determine the relevancy of product listings compared to the search query of a user. 

2. Conversational Searches

The next big trend that everyone with an online presence needs to be aware of heading into 2023 is the conversational query. Google keeps focusing on the improvement of user experiences, so they’re able to find information relevant to them fast. 

A big part of that comes from improvements in understanding language complexities. 

Google is working on understanding conversational dialogue more effectively and efficiently. 

What this means for SEO and businesses in 2023 is that you need to be emphasizing voice search in your optimization. 

Voice search relies on natural language processing to assess how a user is verbally searching in comparison to typing out a query. 

Optimize for voice search by keeping answers short, thinking about vernacular, and targeting certain phrases. 

3. Video

Video marketing is another SEO trend for 2023 that you need to be taking a serious look at. More than half of all consumers say videos help them when they’re making purchasing decisions. 

As people are watching more videos, include this in your SEO strategy if you aren’t already. 

Google is working on features that are going to help users connect with information faster through videos. These features include clip markup, where you can highlight key times in your videos so that a user can go directly there, and also seek markup, which tells Google how your URL structure works. That helps Google automatically display key video moments. 

A good starting point if video is pretty new to you is to incorporate video into more of your pages. 

Users spend 88% more time on a page when there’s a video, so you can improve your SEO with more engagement, which helps rankings and then traffic. 

For the clip and seek markup elements, try to use markups that include keywords and are detailed. 

4. Image Optimization

The importance of image optimization best practices for SEO isn’t new, but it’s something that’s not taken as seriously as it should be. 

Look at your existing images and pay attention to future images from an optimization perspective. 

You want to make sure you’re serving your images optimally to people with visual impairments, for example. 

Images are also going to be used a lot more going forward in searches to get information and for shopping comparisons. 

Every image you use should have unique alt text, and you need to name your image files with keywords when you can. Compress your images and serve them in next-gen formats. 

5. Featured Snippets

Finally, featured snippets are going to not only continue being served in search results, but they’re likely to become even more prominent than they already are. 

Featured snippets can be a bullet list, they can be a how-to, a set of FAQs, or even just a sentence. 

You can use featured snippets to rank at the top of search engine results without long-form content. 

To make your way to a featured snippet, think about the person who will be searching and what their intent is. Your content should be centered on terms that are question-based. You can use Google’s “People Also Ask” section to get some of the topics and keywords you might write about to snag a featured snippet spot.