Digital Coach 2023 SEO Trends Survey Report is Out
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Digital Coach, an online training platform that provides marketing, strategy and technology courses to help individuals become more competitive in the current digital market, has invited 229 Italian professionals active in the world of SEO and Digital Marketing to participate in their annual survey on industry trends.
I was also invited to contribute to the survey in July 2022, when I was still working as an SEO consultant at BRYTER.
The Report on SEO Trends 2022-2023, which you can, che potete you can view in full format on the Digital Coach, offers a detailed overview of which SEO techniques are becoming more effective and which SEO tools are preferred by Italian experts.
What are the most important ranking factors on the web for Italian SEOs?
Among the most relevant ranking factors were placed:
- Search Intent, the aim that a user has in mind when carrying out an online search. It is a crucial SEO factor, as content optimized for specific search intent is more relevant to the user and provides a more positive experience. Understanding the search intent of your users allows you to optimize a web page to meet their needs.
- User Experience (UX), which is the experience that a user has when interacting with a digital product. This is an important part of search engine optimization (SEO) because it improves the quality of the user experience. UX is important for SEO because a positive user experience increases the likelihood that a user will stay on a site longer, view more pages, and convert. Also, a good UX can help improve your site’s ranking on search engines, as a positive user experience is a quality signal that search engines take into consideration.
- Mobile Optimization is a strategy that aims to improve the user experience of mobile devices. This is an important factor in search engine optimization because a mobile-friendly website offers a better user experience, as it is easy to navigate, has good loading speed and adapts to the device it is viewed on. Also, a mobile-friendly website can help improve your site’s ranking on search engines, as a website that loads quickly and is mobile-friendly will be frowned upon by Google and co. Good mobile UX can also increase the number of visitors and average time spent on the website, both of which are quality cues that search engines take into account when determining your site’s position in search results.
However, among the factors which, according to the interviewees, are less relevant than in the past, we find:
- AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) project, an SEO optimization technique that was created to increase the loading speed of web pages on mobile devices. AMP was launched in 2015 by Google as a means to help webmasters create mobile-friendly web pages that load faster. However, due to some limitations related to customization and advertising, AMP activation has become less popular over time. Also, some SEO experts argue that using AMP is no longer necessary since search engines now offer better support for optimized web pages. The AMP factor also declared irrelevant in another survey; the one published by Plerdy, in which I was also invited to participate a few months ago.
- Rich Content, which is when a website contains more quality and relevant content on one page. This can be done by adding more text, images, videos or other content to a web page. Content richness has been a very popular marketing strategy in recent years because it helps improve your ranking in search results. However, according to the majority of respondents, in 2023 rich content will no longer be an SEO trend as it will be partly replaced by more advanced SEO techniques.
- Link building is an online marketing strategy that is based on building links from one website to another. This is an important SEO technique as search engines use links as quality signals to determine search results. However, according to some SEO experts, link building will no longer be an SEO trend in 2023.
In reality, the latter represents a surprise to me because I believe that, especially in very competitive niches, off-site SEO techniques are still able to make a difference.
Instead, the exclusion of AI (Artificial Intelligence) came as no surprise – as mentioned, the report was prepared in the summer of 2022, when ChatGPT had not yet boomed.
In fact, before experiencing the beauty of artificial intelligence applied on content writing, there was greater resistance from some SEO experts to the use of artificial intelligence, as some of them feared (and still continue to fear) that it could lead to a sort of ‘overoptimization’ of the content. Additionally, search engines are still learning how to make the most of the data they receive from sources like AI, so it’s still too early to see AI as a key driver in SEO.
However, with the emergence of ChatGPT, the ability of AI to generate quality content quickly and efficiently has radically changed the experts’ approach to using AI in SEO. Even Google has reportedly issued a ‘code red’ amid the rising popularity of the ChatGPT AI.
What are the favorite SEO tools in Italy?
These are all extremely popular SEO tools, as they offer a wide range of features that can help improve the work of those who deal with SEO/positioning websites and digital products on search engines.
In particular, Semrush is a complete solution for analyzing SEO, PPC, and content performance. It provides detailed information on keyword positioning, competitive analysis, traffic and backlink source analysis, as well as many other useful data for optimizing a website.
SEOZoom is another platform that offers a complete analysis of SEO performance. Unlike Semrush, SEOZoom is a tool made in Italy and focuses exclusively on SEO analysis. With SEOZoom, users can get detailed information on keyword positioning, competitive analysis, and backlink source analysis.
Screaming Frog, on the other hand, is more of a website crawling tool that users can use to explore their website structure, identifying any technical problems, such as redirect errors and loading speed issues or identify problems with duplicate content.
I was surprised that Ahrefs was left ut of the top 3 – perhaps the greater focus on backlinks, as well as the sustained cost, keeps most of those working as freelancers or for small-sized companies/agencies out of this platform.