It is already April and we’re now 1/3 of the way through 2023! Crazy, right?
Last weekend, I wrote a blog post on the history of SEM and how it’s evolved over the last 20 years. Now, with the first 4 months of 2023 behind us, we’re starting to see what the new Search Engine Marketing trends are. I’ve listed 6 of them below, so keep reading to find out what they are!
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a constantly evolving field, with new trends emerging all the time. In order to stay ahead of the curve, it's important to keep up with the latest trends and developments.
Here are our 6 most important SEM trends to watch for in 2023 and examples of how each is being used in SEM:
1. The rise of voice search
Voice search is becoming increasingly popular, as people are looking for more convenient ways to find information. In fact, according to a study by ComScore, voice search is now responsible for 20% of all search engine queries. This trend is only going to continue to grow in the coming years, as more and more people adopt voice-activated devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home.
For businesses, this means that they need to start optimizing their websites and content for voice search. This includes using long-tail keywords that are commonly used in voice searches, as well as creating content that is formatted in a way that is easy for voice assistants to understand.
Here are several examples of how voice search is being used in SEM:
- Local search: Voice search is often used to find local businesses. For example, someone might say, "Hey Google, what are the best restaurants near me?" This type of search is often very specific, so it's important to make sure that your business appears in the search results. You can do this by optimizing your website for local search and by claiming your business listing on Google My Business.
- Product research: Businesses can make use of voice-activated devices, such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, to reach potential customers who are using voice search. For example, someone might say, "Alexa, what's the best camera for under $500?" This type of search is often more general, so it's important to make sure that your website appears in the search results for a variety of relevant keywords. You can do this by creating high-quality content that is optimized for search engines.
- Comparison shopping: Voice search is also often used to compare products and prices. For example, someone might say, "Hey Google, compare the prices of the iPhone 13 and the Samsung Galaxy S22." This type of search is often very competitive, so it's important to make sure that your website appears in the search results and that your prices are competitive. You can do this by optimizing your website for search engines and by using price comparison tools.
- Optimizing for long-tail keywords. Voice search queries are often longer and more conversational than traditional search queries. This means that businesses can improve their visibility in voice search by optimizing for long-tail keywords.
- Using natural language processing (NLP). NLP is a type of artificial intelligence that can be used to understand the meaning of human language. This technology can be used to improve the accuracy of voice search results.
- Creating voice-friendly content. When creating content for voice search, it is important to use natural language and avoid jargon. It is also helpful to include keywords that are likely to be used in voice search queries.
2. The importance of video content
Video content is becoming increasingly popular, as people are looking for more engaging and interactive ways to consume information. In fact, according to a study by Cisco, video will account for 82% of all internet traffic by 2022. This trend is only going to continue to grow in the coming years, as more and more people use video to learn about new products and services.
For businesses, this means that they need to start creating video content that is relevant to their target audience. This includes creating videos that are educational, entertaining, and informative. Businesses can also use video to tell their brand story and connect with their customers on a deeper level.
Here are 3 examples of how you can use video content in a SEM campaign:
- YouTube: YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, and it's a great place to reach a large audience with your video content. You can create videos that promote your products or services, or you can create educational or entertaining videos that will help you build brand awareness.
- Social media: Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are also great places to share your video content. You can use these platforms to promote your videos to your existing followers, or you can use them to reach a new audience.
- Paid advertising: You can also use paid advertising to promote your video content. This can be a great way to reach a large audience quickly.
3. The need for personalization
In today's world, consumers are bombarded with marketing messages from all sides. In order to stand out from the crowd, businesses need to start personalizing their marketing efforts. This includes using data to target their marketing messages to specific individuals or groups of people.
For businesses, this means that they need to start collecting data about their customers and using it to create personalized marketing campaigns. This can be done through email marketing, social media marketing, and even search engine marketing.
Here is how personalized marketing campaigns are being used in SEM:
- Email marketing: Email marketing is a great way to reach your target audience with personalized messages. You can use email marketing to send out newsletters, promotional offers, and other types of content that is relevant to your subscribers.
- Social media marketing: Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter allow you to target your ads to specific groups of people. You can use this information to create personalized ads that are more likely to appeal to your target audience.
- Website personalization: You can also personalize your website content for each visitor. This can be done by using cookies to track a visitor's past behavior on your website. You can then use this information to show them content that is relevant to their interests.
- Retargeting: Retargeting is a form of online advertising that allows you to show ads to people who have already visited your website. This can be a great way to reach people who are already interested in your products or services.
4. The importance of mobile marketing
Mobile devices are now the primary way that people access the internet. In fact, according to a study by Statista, more than 50% of all internet traffic now comes from mobile devices. This trend is only going to continue to grow in the coming years, as more and more people use mobile devices to stay connected and get information.
For businesses, this means that they need to start optimizing their websites and content for mobile devices. This includes using responsive design, which automatically adjusts the layout of your website to fit the screen size of the device. Businesses should also make sure that their websites are easy to navigate and that their content is easy to read on mobile devices.
Examples of how to best use mobile marketing in SEM include:
- Mobile-friendly websites: Businesses are now making sure that their websites are optimized for mobile devices. This includes using responsive design, which automatically adjusts the layout of your website to fit the screen size of the device. Businesses should also make sure that their websites are easy to navigate and that their content is easy to read on mobile devices.
- Mobile-friendly ads: Businesses are also creating mobile-friendly ads that are designed to be effective on smaller screens. These ads are often shorter and more concise, and they may include features like click-to-call buttons.
- Location-based marketing: Businesses are also using location-based marketing to target potential customers who are near their physical location. This can be done through mobile apps, social media, or even search engine results pages.
- Mobile loyalty programs: Businesses are also using mobile loyalty programs to reward customers for their continued patronage. These programs can be used to track customer purchases, provide discounts and rewards, and even send personalized messages.
5. The need for automation
In order to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of SEM, businesses need to start automating their marketing tasks. This includes using tools like Google AdWords and Facebook Ads to manage their paid search and social media advertising campaigns. Businesses can also use automation to track their results and optimize their campaigns over time.
For businesses, this means that they need to start investing in tools that can help them automate their marketing tasks. This can free up time so that they can focus on other aspects of their business, such as developing new products and services.
4 examples of how automation is being used to help in SEM:
- Keyword research: Automation can be used to research keywords that are relevant to your business and that have a high search volume. This can save you a lot of time and effort, and it can help you to target your ads more effectively.
- Ad creation: Automation can be used to create ad copy that is relevant to your keywords and that is likely to appeal to your target audience. This can save you a lot of time and effort, and it can help you to create more effective ads.
- Bidding: Automation can be used to set bids for your ads. This can help you to get the most out of your budget and to ensure that your ads are seen by the right people.
- Reporting: Automation can be used to track the performance of your ads and to identify areas where you can improve. This can help you to make informed decisions about your SEM campaigns and to achieve your desired results.
6. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI is already having a major impact on the world of marketing, and its influence is only going to grow in the years to come. Here are some of the ways that AI is changing SEM:
- AI-powered tools are making it easier to optimize websites and content for search engines. AI can help you identify the right keywords to target, as well as create content that is relevant and engaging to your target audience.
- AI is being used to create personalized marketing campaigns. AI can help you segment your audience and target them with messages that are tailored to their individual needs and interests.
- AI is being used to automate marketing tasks. AI can help you manage your SEM campaigns, track your results, and optimize your campaigns over time.
- Google uses AI to rank websites in its search engine results pages (SERPs). Google's AI system, RankBrain, analyzes a variety of factors, including the content of a website, the number of links to the website, and the quality of those links, to determine how a website should be ranked.
- Facebook uses AI to target ads to users. Facebook's AI system, Lookalike Audiences, analyzes a user's past behavior, such as the pages they have liked and the ads they have clicked on, to create a list of potential customers who are likely to be interested in the advertiser's products or services.
- Amazon uses AI to recommend products to users. Amazon's AI system, Personalize, analyzes a user's past purchases and browsing history to recommend products that the user is likely to be interested in.
As AI continues to develop, it is likely to play an even greater role in SEM. Businesses that are able to embrace AI will be well-positioned to succeed in the years to come.
These are 6 of the most important SEM trends to watch in 2023. By staying up-to-date on SEM trends, businesses can ensure that they are using the most effective strategies to reach their target audience and achieve their marketing goals.
Thanks for reading and may your website be as popular as a Kardashian, your SEO as strong as a Klingon warrior, and your marketing as effective as a Romulan mind-meld.
About the Author:
The SEO-Alien is a project started in 2009 regarding all things online marketing. The site started out more of a diary of predictions, suggestions and references to things I frequently used for online marketing... before social media marketing was even an option.
I hope you find the information and tools presented here useful and something worth sharing with others.
If there is anything else about online marketing or any online advertising strategy you think would be helpful, please let me know.