Most Significant Obstacles Facing SEO In 2023 [Study Results]

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When you’re preparing your strategy for next year, it’s important to prepare for potential upsets and challenges ahead.

This year, SEO practitioners conquered difficulties presented by a lack of resources, concerns with method, and the capability to scale procedures.

Looking ahead to 2023 and beyond, our State of SEO report discovers practitioners prepare for machine learning and AI, Google updates, and the deprecation of third-party cookies to blaze a trail as the greatest shifts in SEO.

In this post, we’ll summarize key data points from our report, highlight three major obstacles in specific, and look at relevant SEO trends that can aid in your technique advancement.

Finally, we’ll discuss the ramifications developments in artificial intelligence and AI has on search marketing. Will this new search technology posture an obstacle for you and your organization? Continue reading to discover what our professionals say.

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 greatest SEO obstacles over the last 12 months, participants stated:

  1. Absence of resources (14.9%).
  2. Method issues (12.3%).
  3. Scaling processes (11.9%).
  4. Pandemic-related issues (11.2%).
  5. Alignment with other departments (10.7%).

Budget cuts fell from the number one challenge SEO professionals dealt with in 2021 to number 6 this year.

However, the truth that lack of resources and scaling procedures were leading challenges in 2022 recommends that 2021’s budget cuts had an enduring effect.

Expecting potential threats in 2023, we asked participants to pick as much as 3 “most significant shifts” and industry changes in SEO. Here are their top reactions:

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

Factors SEO professionals are enjoying as emergent aspects are:

  • Machine learning and AI (11.3%).
  • Core Web Vitals (10.8%).
  • EAT & trusted sources (10.2%).
  • Mobile SEO (9.8%).
  • SERP features (8.3%).

SEO Pros Frequently Deal With Limited Resources

Lack of resources came in as the top challenge faced by SEOs in 2022.

There’s little doubt that the industry is feeling the results of budget cuts sustained in 2021, though another reason for the minimal resources is that numerous SEOs aren’t dealing with big teams.

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

Including new team members might show difficult in the next year or more.

The State Of SEO Report enters into much deeper information about the challenges facing SEO experts and what they’re stressed over next year.

Current And Continuing Growth May Show Challenging

Numerous of the SEO shifts forecasted for 2023 and beyond are prospective impediments to growth.

Current and continuing development may prove challenging without the ability to scale as a team, and competitors for skill is expected to be a major cause for concern over the next two years.

Deprecation of third-party cookies makes it difficult for SEO pros and marketers to sustain recent development, as they’ll be anticipated to deliver the exact same or better results with less information.

Technique Is A Concern For Numerous SEO Pros

SEOs noted technique concerns as one of their biggest difficulties over the last 12 months.

Strategy concerns might suggest that SEO experts are having a hard time to show their ROI (return on investment).

While over half of SEO practitioners (58.0%) we surveyed reported an increase in the ROI for their work, many had a hard time to prove ROI, and 29% of SEO experts reported feeling ambivalent about their ROI.

In our chapter on Winning Techniques And Determining SEO Success, we go over how ROI problems are often the outcome of a disconnect between a brand’s target objectives and the data being tracked.

SEO Pros Anticipate Artificial Intelligence And AI To Have A Big Impact

Topping the list of greatest shifts over the next 2 years, as expected by SEO pros, is artificial intelligence and AI.

Furthermore, machine learning and AI were the leading responses when SEO pros were asked to rank what they think will be the most essential emergent consider 2023.

To comprehend better why machine learning and AI are at the top of everybody’s minds, we relied on our internal experts to get more context.

Shelley Walsh, the SEO content strategist at SEJ, does not see AI and artificial intelligence being able to replace human decision-making at any time soon. Even more, she does not advise relying too greatly on AI-powered tools for developing content:

“As a disruptor, I can’t yet see AI having the ability to change vital choices and options where there are a number of paths to take, and you need to choose based on expertise. The tool is only as great as the individual driving it. At the moment, there is a flood of tools powered by GPT-3.

These are great for low-end volume content, such as product descriptions, but they expand the divide and raise well-researched thought leadership quality content. As specific niches online become saturated by AI-spun content, the quality will be the only way to stand apart. Eventually, overuse will only have a detrimental result.”

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

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel