Welcome 2023; it's a great time to look back at how to search, and consumer behavior has changed and plan our most important digital marketing projects for next year.

In this article, we'll talk about the most important trends in search, digital marketing, and consumers, as well as the things that search marketers need to have in 2023.

Search trends: Experience and relevancy

First, let's look at the main improvements in search this year and what we can expect next year.

In 2022, Google made several changes to its algorithms. These changes to algorithms can be put into three main groups.

  • Core updates: Updates have been made to improve and make search safer.
  • Helpful content: Updates have been made to search results to make them more useful and relevant.
  • Experience: Updates have been made to make the user experience better on all devices.

Google wants to give more credit to websites that give users a great experience.

That means your content needs to be related to what they were looking for. In other words, the best way to win in search today and in the future is to have experience and be relevant.

Search has evolved and is about experience and relevancy.

Let's keep these two important things in mind as we write the perfect recipe for the best search marketing strategies and must-haves for 2023.

Consumer trends and insights: Reevaluating priorities 

As we looked at the information about this year's most popular search terms and the helpful tips that different groups gave us, we realized how important it is for brands to earn the trust of their customers.

Even though a lot of data and trends are being discussed, we'll focus on the five most important consumer insights you'll need to remember when making your search marketing plans for 2023.

  • Privacy and peace of mind: People care about their privacy and look to brands to make sure their information isn't shared.
  • Advertising with a purpose: Consumers are drawn to brands whose advertising and marketing efforts include efforts to be more environmentally friendly.
  • Personalization: Google Shopping is a great example of how experiences can be changed based on where you are, what you like, what you've searched for, etc.
  • Direct to the consumer: The experience needs to be more visual and interactive for the consumer to be interested.
  • Predictive analytics: It's also important to make good decisions based on several pieces of data.

When we know what consumers want and how they think, we are better able to decide what our marketing priorities should be. This gives us peace of mind that our advertising is useful, personalized, and helpful for consumers.

Next, let's talk about five important marketing trends and how to use them in 2023.

Top 5 search trends for 2023 

When we start a new year of marketing, we need to get off on the right foot and change our way of thinking. The days of keyword density and the idea that content is the only king are long gone.

"More" is no longer "better." Quality is more important than quantity. We need to change our priorities and meet the needs of our customers.

After looking at search queries, consumer and search insights, and the biggest releases of 2022, here are five key trends and three must-haves to keep in mind for a successful 2023.

Trend 1: Multisearch – helping you search outside the box 

Most of the time, more than 82% of a consumer's time is spent on discovery. This year, Google released multi-search and a number of algorithms to help it work. These moves were meant to change how we all find and get information.

Google is always trying out new ways to show relevant search results from different sources, which shows how people are looking for information on a wide range of topics.

The good news is that we can now search for things like videos, images, PDFs, text, languages, and more.

Multisearch has given marketers the biggest untapped opportunities, and we can see the benefit right away. People can take any picture and use Google Lens to learn more about everything in it.

Google can get to the most relevant search results faster by using entity data and high-quality, relevant, and contextual images.

Smart search marketers will use all kinds of assets, the Google Vision API, and entity data in 2023 to provide the most relevant and high-quality assets.

The key to opening doors and winning in 2023 is ensuring your digital assets can be found in the future.

Trend 2: Helpful content – relevant, qualitative, accessible, authoritative, experiential 

Google recently changed its guidelines for quality raters and its system for finding helpful content. Covering important touchpoints and micro-moments is the best way to see if your content is helpful.

Helpful content is content that is easy for your customer to find across all digital touchpoints so they don't have to look for it elsewhere.

Google's "helpful content update" is an algorithm that keeps getting better as it learns from search results. It is a site-wide signal, so if too many pages on a domain are low quality (for example, they are duplicates, have little information, or were made only to rank well in search engines), your organic search performance could be hurt.

In 2023, search marketers will have to make sure that content that can be found is relevant, informative, high-quality, authoritative, and based on experience.

Businesses that share high-quality, useful content will get a boost from search engines. Brands should get more attention online by sharing current entity-first content.

Content strategy should include all kinds of content, such as videos, information about product reviews, frequently asked questions, relevant images, PDFs, and advice from experts.

Brands must also map out the current content at each touchpoint along the customer journey and try to fill all the content gaps.

Trend 3: Omnichannel experience 

Most people use more than one device, so having a consistent and unified experience across all touchpoints is important.

For a smooth omnichannel experience in 2023, important business information needs to be centralized and shared across all marketing channels.

People are more likely to believe a business whose channels change often. For example, when a business changes its Google Business Profile or social profile information, the information on its website should be updated immediately.

With the release of Google Analytics 4, Google is gently teaching marketers to focus on customer behaviors and attribution from different channels across the customer journey rather than the last-clicked channel.

In 2023, it will also be important to find content, have a good website user experience, and ensure the site is in good health.

Discovery of content

If information can't be crawled and indexed, consumers won't be able to find it, and it won't be useful. As the economy slows down and budgets get smaller, search marketers must put technical SEO projects at the top of their list if they want to get good results.

Trend 4: Personalization and localization

Consumers want information based on what they are interested in, where they are, and other known and unknown factors. Online shoppers are more likely to buy from well-known and active brands in their local communities.

We need to make sure that our global search marketing plans are tailored to each location.

Google matches images to what people are looking for because images take up about 36% of a mobile screen right now. As a small business, think about the following:

  • Answering questions that are often asked.
  • Giving local information and pictures that are useful.
  • Making sure that customers have great omnichannel experiences.

Local search

Greg Sterling, a local SEO expert, says that Google is still putting a lot of thought into local search. But the search engine is moving away from local search as a way to make money (by showing ads) and putting more of its attention on product search. That means that local SEOs and local businesses will need more help.

Google will add to and improve product search and SERPs in order to compete better with Amazon and get more people to use product search. Online retailers are the biggest advertisers, and Google wants to keep and grow that money. More local products will be listed online in real-time, even from smaller stores.

Even though localization is very important, personalizing information based on customer wants will become a must-have by 2023. In this area, it's also important to use customer data platforms to keep track of preferences and make content and campaigns based on customer data.

Trend 5: Influencer marketing and expert community building

Influencer marketing is growing quickly, even faster than social media marketing.

Before making a purchase decision, smart consumers gather information and follow the advice of experts they trust.

Already, we can see that different social channels are posting information about expert reviews and communities and that interactive videos are doing well.

In 2023, it will be good for brands to:

  • Putting together a group of influential experts.
  • Putting out the most helpful and informative content in the most interactive way.
  • Aligning key performance indicators (KPIs) like clicks and engagement to measure success.

Sterling said that the popularity of TikTok is behind some of Google's SERP changes, like the push to make search more visual.

So, Google will put more weight on visual content and may put less weight on reviews (though not for ranking purposes.)

Google will step up its fight against fake reviews, which will catch more "honest" reviews on its net.

Local marketers will need to keep a steady stream of Google reviews coming in and just be ready for Google's AI to filter out some reviews.

Top 3 strategy must-haves to stay ahead.

Next, let's talk about the most important parts of our plan to take advantage of the above trends.

Business intelligence

The economy around the world is slowing down. In 2023, it will be crucial to get business insights and actions from the most important data points.

Keep an eye on things like market trends, benchmarking competitors, customer behavior, channels, and the order of goals.

Smarter businesses will switch to business intelligence to find the most important information, giving top priority to high-quality content and assets and making decisions about what is most important based on real data.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/Ml)

AI and machine learning will become a must-have marketing strategy in 2023. AI-generated content, like ChatGPT, has become a much bigger part of digital and content marketing, even for local search.

Google also uses machine learning to quickly translate any language without human help. AI models like GPT-3 (and soon GPT-4) will be used a lot to solve hard problems like visual search, content auto-generation, and content translation.

Your success plan

Not least, in 2023, less will be more.

The key to winning will be to define and align your business goals, key drivers (channels), important metrics to monitor, and the solutions that will support you in reaching those metrics.