Biggest Difficulties Dealing With SEO In 2023 [Survey Results]

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When you’re preparing your method for next year, it’s crucial to prepare for prospective upsets and challenges ahead.

This year, SEO specialists conquered challenges positioned by an absence of resources, issues with technique, and the capability to scale procedures.

Expecting 2023 and beyond, our State of SEO report finds practitioners prepare for machine learning and AI, Google updates, and the deprecation of third-party cookies to lead the way as the greatest shifts in SEO.

In this short article, we’ll sum up essential data points from our report, highlight three major obstacles in particular, and look at relevant SEO patterns that can aid in your method development.

Finally, we’ll discuss the ramifications improvements in machine learning and AI has on search marketing. Will this new search innovation posture a challenge for you and your organization? Continue reading to discover what our specialists state.

All of the insights here are driven by our first-party survey data in the annual State Of SEO Report.

Summary Of Report Findings

When asked what were the greatest SEO challenges over the last 12 months, participants mentioned:

  1. Absence of resources (14.9%).
  2. Strategy concerns (12.3%).
  3. Scaling processes (11.9%).
  4. Pandemic-related problems (11.2%).
  5. Alignment with other departments (10.7%).

Budget plan cuts fell from the top challenge SEO professionals dealt with in 2021 to number six this year.

However, the fact that absence of resources and scaling processes were leading obstacles in 2022 recommends that 2021’s budget plan cuts had a long lasting effect.

Expecting prospective dangers in 2023, we asked respondents to select as much as 3 “biggest shifts” and market modifications in SEO. Here are their top reactions:

  • Machine learning and AI (18.7%).
  • Google updates (18.0%).
  • Third-party cookie deprecation (13.9%).
  • Google zero-click pages (12.9%).
  • Competitors for skill (11.5%).

Factors SEO specialists are watching as emerging elements are:

  • Machine learning and AI (11.3%).
  • Core Web Vitals (10.8%).
  • EAT & trusted sources (10.2%).
  • Mobile SEO (9.8%).
  • SERP features (8.3%).

SEO Pros Frequently Work With Limited Resources

Lack of resources was available in as the top challenge dealt with by SEOs in 2022.

There’s little doubt that the industry is feeling the results of budget plan cuts sustained in 2021, though another reason for the minimal resources is that many SEOs aren’t working with big teams.

Over 40% of participants report working with a group of 10 or less members, while approximately 5% stated they work on their own.

Including brand-new employee might prove tough in the next year or two.

The State Of SEO Report enters into deeper detail about the obstacles facing SEO experts and what they’re worried about next year.

Recent And Continuing Growth Might Prove Challenging

Numerous of the SEO shifts forecasted for 2023 and beyond are potential obstacles to growth.

Recent and continuing development may prove difficult without the ability to scale as a group, and competition for skill is expected to be a significant cause for issue over the next two years.

Deprecation of third-party cookies makes it tough for SEO pros and marketers to sustain current growth, as they’ll be anticipated to provide the exact same or better results with less information.

Technique Is A Concern For Numerous SEO Pros

SEOs noted strategy issues as one of their biggest difficulties over the last 12 months.

Strategy concerns might show that SEO specialists are struggling to prove their ROI (roi).

While over half of SEO specialists (58.0%) we surveyed reported an increase in the ROI for their work, numerous had a hard time to prove ROI, and 29% of SEO professionals reported sensation ambivalent about their ROI.

In our chapter on Winning Strategies And Determining SEO Success, we discuss how ROI issues are often the outcome of a detach between a brand name’s target objectives and the information being tracked.

SEO Pros Expect Artificial Intelligence And AI To Have A Big Impact

Topping the list of greatest shifts over the next two years, as anticipated by SEO pros, is machine learning and AI.

Additionally, machine learning and AI were the top reactions when SEO pros were asked to rank what they think will be the most essential emergent factors in 2023.

To understand better why machine learning and AI are at the top of everybody’s minds, we relied on our internal specialists to get more context.

Shelley Walsh, the SEO material strategist at SEJ, does not see AI and machine learning having the ability to change human decision-making whenever soon. Further, she doesn’t recommend relying too heavily on AI-powered tools for developing content:

“As a disruptor, I can’t yet see AI having the ability to change important decisions and choices where there are numerous paths to take, and you have to make a choice based on competence. The tool is only as great as the individual driving it. At the minute, there is a flood of tools powered by GPT-3.

These are great for low-end volume content, such as product descriptions, but they widen the divide and elevate well-researched idea management quality material. As niches online ended up being filled by AI-spun content, the quality will be the only method to stick out. Ultimately, overuse will just have a detrimental result.”

To see all of the first-party survey information and learn more insights, download the State Of SEO Report.

Included Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel