Updated: Apr 6
2022 has been a rollercoaster, particularly from an SEO standpoint. In a time of economic uncertainty, SEO has become an invaluable way of organically growing the reach of business websites and generating leads. I have spent the last year working at Phoenix Marketing, an SEO marketing company in the UK and experienced first-hand, just how important SEO is to businesses in times like these. Whilst people are looking to keep a hold of their pennies, multiple opportunities for SEO to show its worth to businesses have emerged. SEO’s value will certainly continue to rise, with several exciting new trends emerging in 2023.
Today’s blog will detail what we have learned in 2022, and identify a few of the latest trends to look out for in 2023 to make sure we all stay ahead of the curve!
Why is SEO Important for Businesses?
There are countless ways in which SEO is important for businesses. Some are very obvious, however, there are a few benefits that many people may not realise.
Generating Relevant Leads
A key thing to consider here is the relevance of the leads that SEO generates. Whilst it is possible to rank for various random keywords and increase your visibility to all sorts of potential customers, this is not always beneficial. Yes, you will likely see a rise in website visitors, which could potentially increase the likelihood of people converting into buying customers. However, experience has taught us that reaching relevant audiences, who are looking for your particular service or product is even more valuable. Quality really is more important than quantity.
By working on various Local SEO projects at our SEO marketing company in the UK, we have found that when working with small businesses, attracting local consumers is far more valuable. We have also applied this approach to larger projects, learning that tailoring your SEO to reach the correct audiences has far stronger results in generating leads. This may sound very obvious, but it's surprising to see just how many people miss this, and judge their success solely on visits to their website, regardless of who is visiting. Ultimately, our clients want to see new customers and make money. So, we tailor our efforts to maximise this.
Tailoring our SEO services to our clients' specific needs is far more beneficial and is just one way that our SEO marketing company in the UK adds value, which is something that we believe is very important.
Building Reputation and Trust
One key way in which SEO helps businesses, particularly on a local level, is that it builds trust with prospective customers. "Building trust organically is how SEO helps your business" (Metric Marketing), this can be done in many ways.
One way is through testimonials and reviews. These are particularly beneficial on Local SEO projects, as they can be used to create a strong social presence, with positive reviews. This creates an air of trust and reliability for potential customers, as it's more persuasive than just stating facts about the business. These can also be enhanced through social media: use your customer reviews to reach new audiences and divert them to your website.
A second way to increase trust is through the user experience. When designing a website and optimising it for SEO, it is crucial to think about the user's journey and therefore experience with your business. Often, potential customers will be visiting your website looking for a specific service or product. So, by enhancing your SEO, you can attract these customers and direct them to the relevant page quickly and efficiently. Therefore, the visitor journey and experience is easy and positive. As a result, visitors become more likely to trust your business as their first impression will be based on your site's ease of use and how informative it is. "If you deliver what the customers are looking for, you become a trusted source they can depend on" (Metric Marketing).
A third way to improve your reputation and trustworthiness among customers is through link-building. Link-building is when websites link to yours, and vice versa. This combines SEO with online PR, as the links will come from reputable sources (e.g industry-specific blogs, news sites etc.). Google sees this as an endorsement of your website's content and trustworthiness, therefore rewarding you by increasing your ranking in SERPs (search engine result pages). You can build links through methods such as guest blogging, or recommendations. Ultimately, by linking with other reputable businesses, the reputation and 'Authority Score' of your website will be enhanced - making it more visible to people searching for your service or product.
However, it is important not to build links, just for the sake of link building, as this will not be rewarded by Google.
"Your focus should be on earning links because you’ve created great content that your users want to share – and not just link-building to improve your position on search engines" (tecmark).
So, whilst link building is important, creating good content that benefits users, as well as other websites, is the best way to ensure that your links are strong and reliable.
Reputation is key when attracting new customers, do not underestimate its value.
At our SEO marketing company in the UK, one of the lessons we've learned is that reputation is incredibly important, and its importance is only increasing. As we approach a period of uncertainty in our economy, consumers will become less likely to take risks with their money. Therefore, by proving your business' reliability through SEO strategies, you can maximise relevant visits to your website and as a result, conversions and leads.
Content is Always King
Content, in any form, is incredibly important for businesses. Whether you are generating text on your home page, creating product descriptions, or writing blogs, content helps your SEO in a variety of ways.
First and foremost, content helps you rank for keywords.
"Without content, the search engines do not have enough information to index your website pages properly and rank your website" (Digital Agency Network).
By creating optimised content, you will be helping your website get indexed and rank higher on SERPs. When writing your content, it is crucial to adopt an SEO strategy and not to write about any old topic. By finding keywords that your customers will use, you can tailor your content to attract them to your site and in turn, direct them to your products and services.
Content is a particularly important element of SEO because it helps to establish your business as an authority. If you can demonstrate a deep knowledge of the subject matter associated with your product or service, customers are more likely to trust in your expertise and choose you over competitors. Once again, this highlights the importance of trust in the buyer's journey. Content does not just have to be text either; images and videos can help too! In fact "81%" of marketers use video as a marketing tool to enhance the number of visitors to their sites (HubSpot). There is no question that having solid SEO for your content (regardless of its form) is essential if businesses want to attract new customers.
These are just a few ways in which SEO can help your business. At Our SEO marketing company in the UK, we utilise various SEO practices to help our clients maximise their reach and acquire as many potential customers as possible.
SEO Trends to Watch in 2023
As an SEO marketing company in the UK, it is crucial for us to keep an eye on emerging trends that will make a big impact in 2023.
AI Ain’t Going Anywhere
"In 2021, the market for artificial intelligence (AI) in marketing was estimated at 15.84 billion U.S. dollars. The source projected that the value would increase to more than 107.5 billion by 2028." (ZEN media).
This statistic only emphasises the value that companies place on AI when looking to expand. We may not necessarily consider AI when talking about SEO and content creation, but its importance is only increasing. AI benefits businesses' SEO by helping to create SEO-friendly content faster, saving time and money. AI can also help businesses with automated trend analysis, which businesses can use to adjust SEO campaigns depending on the latest trends. Reducing the time and energy it takes to effectively implement an SEO strategy is invaluable. AI is the most effective way of doing this, and we suspect that we will only see its involvement increase in 2023 as it becomes more intelligent.
Voice Search is Important
As technology continues to evolve, and people become more comfortable with talking to their devices, voice search will become increasingly important in SEO. Virtual assistants such as Siri, Alexa and Cortana have been around for quite a while, but, they have perhaps been under-used in recent times. However, as the public becomes more literate in using voice technology to search for products and services, the importance of generating an SEO strategy to coincide with this trend is crucial.
"In 2021, 42% of voice recognition users used it at least once every day to perform a search. That number was just 25% the year before" (Rockstar Marketing).
There is little doubt that voice search will become increasingly present in consumers' search habits this year. SEO marketing companies in the UK should be implementing ways to keep up with this trend and cater for it when formulating SEO strategies.
Recently, Google has shifted its focus to a 'mobile first' approach when indexing websites. This means that SEO has to cater for a mobile-friendly experience. According to Statista, "58.99%" of internet traffic was from mobile devices in 2022. This trend has continually risen and will continue to do so in the next few years.
This is no surprise. However, when designing websites, SEO marketers can sometimes ignore or forget the importance of creating content for mobile devices by getting caught up in optimising a site for a desktop. SEO marketers need to ensure that their strategies are catering to this shift in usage by focusing on loading speed, ease of use, and optimisation, as these are essential features for mobile-friendly websites.
Google's shift to a "Mobile First" (Rock Content) approach will catch out many businesses as not all site-building programmes are effective at optimising content for a mobile device. As a result, we could see businesses getting 'punished' by Google for not optimising their content for mobile devices. So, it is imperative that we focus on this to ensure that your SEO is at its best.
My Personal Takeaway
2022 has taught us a lot, but from my experience in the industry, it is clear to me that content is the most important aspect of any SEO strategy. This is obvious to many marketers, but you’d be surprised to see just how many business websites do not have enough content (let alone SEO-optimised content) to help their business. Every piece of content on a website can be optimised to boost a website’s SEO, so it is crucial that business owners learn how to write content that will attract customers. It is crucial to create content that customers will read, but also others in the industry, who will reference your content. This is a great way to build your referring domains and links, so do not forget to tailor content depending on who you're targeting.
When looking to the future, there is no question that AI is going to become increasingly important. Whether it's for writing content or automating keyword research processes, its value to SEO marketers is only going to increase. We have utilised AI in several of our practices this year, but I am sure that we have merely scratched the surface. I am excited to embrace the use of AI in a variety of ways to enable us to an even stronger service.
As we have seen in 2022, SEO is a fantastic tool to help businesses organically expand their reach and increase their website traffic. With the economy likely continuing to decline in 2023, utilising these strategies and tools will only become more important. It is crucial for businesses and SEO marketing companies to be savvy in the way that they employ SEO to ensure that they can maximise the performance of their websites for the best value.
I am interested to see just how we adapt to the upcoming economic changes, as well as what trends emerge, that we may not have considered or even known about. One thing is for sure though, AI and strong, valuable content will be at the heart of it.
At Phoenix Marketing, we pride ourselves on adding value to our SEO strategies. Our SEO marketing company in the UK works closely with clients to develop a bespoke strategy to target the correct audiences and generate as many leads as possible. We keep our fingers on the pulse by constantly monitoring the latest trends and technologies in SEO, ensuring that our strategies are up to date with the latest trends and ready for whatever the future may bring. So, if you’re looking for an SEO marketing company in the UK to optimise your SEO and Local SEO strategy in 2023, get in contact with us today at 01444 523105 or email@example.com.