Most Significant Difficulties Facing SEO In 2023 [Survey Results]

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When you’re preparing your strategy for next year, it’s essential to prepare for possible upsets and obstacles ahead.

This year, SEO practitioners got rid of challenges positioned by an absence of resources, issues with technique, and the capability to scale processes.

Looking ahead to 2023 and beyond, our State of SEO report finds practitioners anticipate 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 summarize crucial data points from our report, highlight 3 major difficulties in particular, and look at pertinent SEO patterns that can help in your strategy advancement.

Finally, we’ll go over the ramifications developments in machine learning and AI has on search marketing. Will this brand-new search technology pose a challenge for you and your business? Continue reading to discover what our experts state.

All of the insights here are driven by our first-party study information in the yearly State Of SEO Report.

Summary Of Report Findings

When asked what were the biggest SEO challenges over the last 12 months, respondents mentioned:

  1. Lack of resources (14.9%).
  2. Strategy issues (12.3%).
  3. Scaling procedures (11.9%).
  4. Pandemic-related problems (11.2%).
  5. Positioning with other departments (10.7%).

Spending plan cuts fell from the primary obstacle SEO professionals dealt with in 2021 to number 6 this year.

Nevertheless, the reality that absence of resources and scaling processes were leading difficulties in 2022 recommends that 2021’s budget cuts had a lasting effect.

Expecting potential threats in 2023, we asked respondents to choose as much as 3 “biggest shifts” and industry modifications in SEO. Here are their top responses:

  • Artificial intelligence and AI (18.7%).
  • Google updates (18.0%).
  • Third-party cookie deprecation (13.9%).
  • Google zero-click pages (12.9%).
  • Competition for talent (11.5%).

Elements SEO specialists are enjoying 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 functions (8.3%).

SEO Pros Often Work With Limited Resources

Lack of resources was available in as the top obstacle faced by SEOs in 2022.

There’s little doubt that the industry is feeling the results of budget plan cuts incurred in 2021, though another reason for the restricted resources is that many SEOs aren’t dealing with large teams.

Over 40% of respondents report dealing with a team of 10 or less members, while approximately 5% said they work by themselves.

Including new employee may show tough in the next year or 2.

The State Of SEO Report goes into much deeper information about the challenges dealing with SEO experts and what they’re fretted about next year.

Recent And Continuing Growth May Prove Challenging

Several of the SEO shifts anticipated for 2023 and beyond are possible obstacles to development.

Recent and continuing growth may prove challenging without the capability to scale as a group, and competition for skill is anticipated to be a major cause for issue over the next two years.

Deprecation of third-party cookies makes it tough for SEO pros and online marketers to sustain recent development, as they’ll be expected to deliver the exact same or better outcomes with less data.

Strategy Is A Concern For Numerous SEO Pros

SEOs listed technique issues as one of their biggest obstacles over the last 12 months.

Method concerns might suggest that SEO professionals are struggling to prove their ROI (return on investment).

While over half of SEO practitioners (58.0%) we surveyed reported a boost in the ROI for their work, numerous struggled to show ROI, and 29% of SEO specialists reported feeling ambivalent about their ROI.

In our chapter on Winning Methods And Measuring SEO Success, we talk about how ROI issues are often the outcome of a detach in between a brand name’s target goals and the data being tracked.

SEO Pros Expect Machine Learning And AI To Have A Huge Effect

Topping the list of most significant shifts over the next two years, as prepared for by SEO pros, is artificial intelligence and AI.

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

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

Shelley Walsh, the SEO content strategist at SEJ, doesn’t see AI and machine learning being able to change human decision-making any time quickly. Even more, she doesn’t advise relying too greatly on AI-powered tools for developing content:

“As a disruptor, I can’t yet see AI being able to change critical decisions and choices where there are numerous routes to take, and you need to make a choice based on competence. The tool is just as excellent as the person driving it. At the moment, there is a flood of tools powered by GPT-3.

These are terrific for low-end volume content, such as product descriptions, however they broaden the divide and raise well-researched thought leadership quality material. As niches online ended up being filled by AI-spun material, the quality will be the only way to stand out. Ultimately, overuse will only have a detrimental impact.”

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

Included Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel