Our digital marketing experts are sharing the top changes to get excited about in 2023. We’ll be covering the emerging and growing trends that could put your online business ahead of the competition. Because we like to be helpful, you’ll also find plenty of tips and tricks on how to put these updates into action across all your digital platforms. Ready to make this year a good one? Let’s crack on…
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
When it comes to SEO, keeping your finger on the pulse is no easy task. It’s about making sure all your online content is presented in a way that search engines understand and favour. Going into 2023, you’ll see that SEO is not just about producing content for search engines. The focus is increasingly shifting to a user-first approach that tends to the needs of your target audience. More on that later…
By following the latest best practices and advice from the top (i.e., Google), you could be rewarded with enhanced search engine visibility. Here’s what we think is a priority for 2023…
Show off your experience!
“2023 is not the year to hide your light under a bushel. Google is putting greater emphasis on the experience an author has on a content topic. Publishing content around your area of expertise is the best way to showcase this.”
Lewis McCarthy, SEO Executive
That being said, Google stated that trust is the most important part of their E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authority, Trust) algorithm. This means shining a light on your accreditations, certifications and 5-star customer reviews is advised.
Showcasing the authority of the author of online articles is more important than ever. There are many ways to do this, and they are really simple:
- Include author bios on your website, detailing their expertise and experience.
- Create a dedicated author page with all the content they have written.
- Add social media links that point to the author, such as a LinkedIn profile.
Incidentally, this is a great way to showcase your experience. To further boost trust signals, try leveraging user-generated content and employee advocacy.
Create content for your target audience
Google is putting a greater focus on audience targeted content rather than traffic targeted content. If you’re creating content that isn’t related to the services or products you supply, but is a popular subject, then Google would see this as traffic-targeted content.
For example, let’s say you’re a clothing store that publishes unrelated content on the latest food or technology trends. Google would likely not rank you as highly. Why? They will know that you are just targeting high-volume keywords rather than offering value for your customer.
In summary, it’s never been more important to stick to your business niche and write for your audience. Straying off the beaten track could land you in the deep end of Google search results.
Top Tip! For optimum results, write for your audience across all your marketing channels, including email newsletters and social media. Clear, consistent marketing messages across all channels is key.
Don’t neglect your images
Image optimisations are still going to be significant in 2023, especially Alt tags. These help Google and accessibility users understand the contents of the image. We recommend a site-wide image audit to check the quality of your visuals and the health of your meta tags. This should also stand you in good stead for the rise of visual search. More and more people are choosing to search through images, particularly for shopping-based searches.
Go the extra mile to be helpful
2022 saw some BIG content updates.
The Helpful Content Update, for instance, which rolled out in August 2022, aimed to prioritise content that’s genuinely helpful to users in Google search results.
Google will favour unique insights on a topic over simply rehashing information that’s already available online. This will become increasingly important in a digital landscape that’s oversaturated with content.
“SEO-spammy practices are not only outdated, they’re out of favour. By adopting a people-first approach, you can ensure that your content is truly helpful. It’s all about delivering the best content in the most convenient way.”
Emma Gibbs, SEO Content Writer
Remove unhelpful content
Search engines are increasingly rewarding clear, easy-to-understand content over copy littered with jargon. Unnecessarily complex language won’t help you convert. Google’s Helpful Content Update reinforced this by rewarding sites that display authentic, useful content.
The official advice from Google is to remove or improve unhelpful content.
Unhelpful content includes:
- Content that doesn’t answer a user’s question
- Content that doesn’t provide all the information a user requires
- Content that is not relevant to your business or target audience
- Content that’s difficult to read or unnecessarily complex
“Does your site meet Google’s preferred content criteria? If not, now is the time to audit your content with a no-nonsense approach.”
Peter Jackson, SEO Content Writer
Use AI tools to your advantage, but don’t rely on them too heavily
When used correctly, AI tools can speed up many elements of the writing process and produce content with very little input. This includes the creation of FAQs, product descriptions, blog titles and meta descriptions. However, all of these need input and checking from a professional content writer. You still need a good strategy and a common-sense approach. All content should be original and produced with your audience in mind.
“It could be easy to assume that flashy new AI tools (ChatGPT, we’re looking at you) can now do all your content creation in seconds. However, the reality is that AI can only take you so far, and it’s only as good as the input you provide.”
Emma Gibbs, SEO Content Writer
Brand transparency will help – trust us!
Your biggest focus for social media this year should be brand transparency and building trust with consumers.
Social media purchases are a relatively new, but effective, way to increase your revenue. Now that companies use social media more than ever, both as an organic and paid channel, brand transparency and trust are crucial.
According to a Hootsuite survey, the biggest barrier for consumers is trust (or a lack of it). 37% of respondents reported that entering payment information on social platforms was a concern. Users were reluctant to hand over card details to brands they didn’t know and trust.
What can businesses do?
As marketers, we need to work harder to earn that trust.
Influencers used to play a large part in building trust and brand awareness. However, customers are now looking past this.
“You need to have full brand transparency, and something as simple as forgetting a delivery or a return policy can make users less likely to add their card details when it comes to purchasing on social media, which is bad for business.
Reaching users with social ads and spreading brand awareness is now easier (and cheaper) than ever, so we don’t want to miss out on potential customers due to a lack of trust!”
Laurissa Gould, Digital Marketing Executive
Experiment with Google Ads to find the best fit for your business
In 2022, Google Ads moved increasingly towards automation, putting less control in the advertiser’s hands.
We saw the removal of expanded text ads in favour of responsive search ads. Smart shopping campaigns were also automatically updated with Performance Max.
“Heading into 2023, it’s important to work with automation in the best way possible for your paid ads. This could include experimenting with and using new tools and features.”
Will Dardis, PPC Executive
Plan for privacy
Privacy is becoming more important in the digital space. Users are more conscious than ever about giving their personal information for the purpose of marketing. For marketers, this means it’s going to become more difficult to target people with online ads. Planning for enhanced privacy is a must. Focusing on how you can find your audience rather than how you can’t will boost your business resilience.
Steal the show with short, snappy video content
Because of the rise of short, snappy video content, that will be more important for B2B businesses to consider for paid ads. People like people and want to see them! As this type of content becomes the norm, websites that don’t have it are also likely to fall behind in search visibility and user experience.
“It’s important that your marketing strategy is built around YOUR customer base. Yes, TikTok is on the rise, but if that’s not where your customers are, you’re not going to reach your community and tell the story of your brand effectively.”
Leah Brown, Digital Marketing Manager
CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation)
Customise user experience with machine learning
2022 was all about improving the user experience and adopting a customer-centric approach. This will likely remain a top priority in 2023.
One of the biggest breakthroughs of the past year has been the rise of AI-generated media. This has allowed businesses to create video content with ease, complete with branding, graphics and voiceovers.
Content aside, machine learning can also be used to customise web visitors’ experiences.
“Personalisation has never been more accessible and is a growing trend. By personalising their experience and speaking to their exact needs or preferences, you can help website visitors feel more connected to your brand and, hopefully, boost conversions.”
Sophie Jackson, Digital Marketing Account Manager
Are you ready for GA4?
Google plans to fully launch GA4 as a replacement for Google Analytics Universal in July 2023. This means the analytics you know and love will be gone forever. Setting up your GA4 accounts now is a great way to be prepared and means you will have data in your account for the whole year.
It couldn’t be easier to set up the account, and Google has provided step-by-step instructions for you to follow. That’s the easy part. A lot has changed, and at first glance, it can be quite confusing to find everything. We strongly advise creating an account and experimenting with the new dashboard before July.
We hope you’ve had a few lightbulb moments while reading this article on digital marketing trends, and feel inspired to put some – or all – of these points into action. These are all ideas on how you can level up your marketing efforts. Collectively, these should help you reach your goals, including better search rankings, higher conversions and happier consumers!
Didn’t have time to read the whole article? No worries. You can find a succinct summary below (…and keep your eyes peeled on our social for our short tip videos coming soon!).
- Always write with your target audience in mind
- Identify your business niche and stay on topic
- Showcase your expertise and offer unique insights
- Remove or edit unhelpful content to improve user experience and maintain or boost search rankings
- Experiment with AI content tools for efficiency
- Customise user experience with machine learning
- Experiment with Google Ads to find the best fit
- Add video content to your website
- Focus on brand transparency to boost social media shopping
- Plan for privacy
- Be prepared for GA4 – set up your account now
We appreciate that’s a lot of steps, and not every small business will have the resources to tackle them all. Start with the actions that are likely to have the most impact on your business goals and go from there. Ready to prepare your marketing to get the most out of your online business or website? Want help achieving your growth goals? The team of digital marketing experts at Echo Web Solutions is here to be your marketing partner.
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