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2023 is going to be an exciting year for SEM practitioners. The industry is rapidly evolving, with new technologies and approaches to advertising emerging all the time. In this blog post, we’ll share our take on what we think the 3 biggest SEM trends will be in 2023, and how you can use them to inform your own strategy going forward.

3 search engine marketing strategy trends for 2023

While it is important to adapt to future SEM trends, it can be difficult to predict what those trends will be. For example, Google has been planning to phase out the third-party cookie since 2020, but keeps pushing the deadline - their latest announcement suggests the second half of 2024. News like this certainly keeps marketers on their toes, as they have to constantly adapt their strategies around updates. To help you stay up to date on this year’s trends, we’ll explain what we think the three big search engine marketing strategy trends are going to be in 2023:

1. Emergence of artificial intelligence and machine learning

AI and machine learning are having a significant impact on search engine marketing strategies. Here are a few ways in which these technologies are being used to improve SEM:

  • Automated bid management: AI-based bid management systems can analyse a large amount of data in real-time and adjust bids for keywords and other advertising targets accordingly. These systems can also use historical data to optimise bids for future ad campaigns.

  • Ad personalisation: Machine learning can be used to analyse user behaviour and predict which ads will be most relevant to them. This allows for more personalised and effective ad targeting, resulting in higher click-through rates and conversion rates.

  • Quality score optimisation: AI-based systems can help to analyse the quality of your ads, and the landing pages they point to, and suggest changes to improve the quality score, increase the chances of the ad being shown, and reduce the cost of the ad.

  • Automated ad creation: AI can be used to create ads automatically, which can save companies time and resources, and improve ad performance by creating relevant and compelling ads for a wide range of different products or services.

  • Predictive analysis: Machine learning can analyse large amounts of data to identify patterns and make predictions about future performance. This can help companies to identify opportunities for growth and optimise their marketing strategies accordingly.

2. Rise of voice search optimisation

Voice search is becoming more popular, and there's no denying that it's a trend that will continue to grow in the coming years. Technology has matured and is fast becoming a staple tool for everyday use. 

As voice search becomes more common, you should gradually shift your focus away from traditional text-based searches and begin optimising your sites for voice queries as well. 

Voice search has a few key differences compared to text-based search that can affect how users interact with search engines and how companies optimise for search:

  • Voice search queries tend to be longer and more conversational. Since users are speaking their queries, they may use more natural language, which includes longer phrases or questions. This can make it more difficult for companies to optimise for specific keywords.

  • Voice search is often used for local queries. Since users are often looking for companies or other local points of interest, there's a greater emphasis on companies to optimise for local SEO.

  • Voice search is also used in mobile devices, which can mean that a significant portion of voice search queries is performed on the go. As such, there's an emphasis on providing quick, actionable information like business hours, contact numbers, and directions.

3. Increased focus on local SEO

Customers want local products and services, and thus, putting your focus on local SEO should be an important aspect of your SEM strategy this year. Local SEO is a set of techniques used to optimise a website for customers in a specific geographic area. 

By optimising local search, companies can improve their visibility in search results for users searching for products or services in their area. 

This can include things like optimising for specific keywords that include the business's location, making sure that their Google My Business listing is up-to-date and accurate, and building local citations (mentions of the business's name, address, and phone number on other websites). 

By doing these things, a business can improve its visibility in local search results, making it more likely that people in the area will find its website when searching for relevant products or services.

How to adapt your search engine marketing strategy to ongoing trends

Search engines are frequently updating their policies and regulations and not following them could lead to penalties or even loss of ad privileges. Keeping up-to-date with these changes can help you avoid potential penalties and ensure that your campaigns are in compliance with them.

Here are some steps that companies can take to monitor and implement new trends in their SEM strategy:

  1. Stay informed: Keep up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in the world of SEM by following industry blogs, attending webinars and conferences, and subscribing to newsletters and other resources.

  2. Monitor your competitors: Analyse the SEM strategies of your competitors, and see what is working for them and what is not. This can give you ideas for new strategies to implement in your own campaigns.

  3. Analyse your own data: Use analytics tools to track the performance of your own SEM campaigns. Identify areas where you can improve and look for opportunities for growth.

  4. Experiment and test: Try out new strategies and tactics in small-scale experiments to see how they perform. This will allow you to test the effectiveness of new trends before committing to them fully.

  5. Continuously evaluate and optimise: Regularly assess the performance of your campaigns and make adjustments accordingly. Use data and insights to optimise your strategy and improve ROI.

  6. Work with experts: consider working with experts in SEM, for example, a search engine marketing agency, and staying up-to-date with the latest industry trends and technology. This will help you identify new opportunities and implement them effectively.

When it comes to search engine marketing strategies, stay flexible and trust the experts

No one can fully predict how the SEM landscape will change in the coming years - but if you stay flexible in your approach and follow the guidance above, your search engine marketing will be in safe hands. However, if you would prefer expert consulting on the topic, our team at Huble is happy to assist.

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