This month in search marketing [March 2023]

Mar 30th, 2023

As we continue forward into spring, and head towards the new financial year, there have been several advancements in search marketing throughout the month of March. AI tools continue to be a hot topic of conversation in the field of digital marketing, and its impact on several areas of the industry continue to be discussed at length by marketing professionals. Updates to Google, and changes to digital PR and social media marketing have also been topics of conversation this month…

OpenAI GPT-4

The arrival of OpenAI GPT-4 was anticipated mid-March, and many search marketers were interested to learn about the details of this update. It was predicted that the update would include multimodal methods of search – meaning that it would be able to operate with various methods of input, such as images, sounds, or video. It was also confirmed that Microsoft were working on their ‘confidence metrics’ to make their search more reliable. As AI chatbots systems develop, Google continues to struggle to keep up by incorporating competing technology – although this is predicted to change in the near future. 

The future of SEO in an AI powered world

With the increasing popularity of AI generated content and social media marketing, the position of SEO and its use as a popular marketing tactic has been questioned in the industry recently. Despite this, all the evidence points to organic search continuing to expand and thrive, while social media traffic begins to dwindle. Some current popular SEO topics include:

  • Technical SEO – up by 148% in March.
  • SEO copywriting – with an 178% this month, and…
  • SEO specialist – seeing a 146% increase.

Google’s updated knowledge panels

On mobile search this month, Google has updated their knowledge panels. Not only have they made them visually more attractive, but they have also included an element of interactivity.

The evolution of digital PR

Alongside the evolution of digital and search marketing, digital PR is starting to see changes in what clients are asking of them, and are having to adapt to these changes. This article by digiday goes into more depth about the impact of these changes – they go on to say that with the increase in digital elements, ‘PR is no one-trick-pony’. The article discusses that PR agencies are often being asked to provide TikTok strategies or branded editorial content – though it is worth taking note as to whether or not this actually falls under the PR umbrella. Companies might have to consider moving some of their focus for social media and other related requests to people or agencies with these specialisms, rather than putting all this pressure on PR teams to branch out into areas that are not traditionally within their tool box. 

Google search mobile app feature

Good news for companies with iOS or GooglePlay apps – Google’s mobile app feature will display applications associated with your brand or website, alongside an ‘install’ button, on their search result page. There is an element of deep linking, or associating your app with your website, however, before this feature will work. 

New interactive economic recovery tool for digital advertisers

As we saw last month, the economic crisis is having an impact on marketing budgets – particularly in regards to ad spend. To help with this struggle, ITV have launched a tool that allows advertisers to calculate budget – based on a variety of critical factors, and a recession forecast for that brands sector.

ChatGPT rolls out API [GPT 3.5 turbo]

With the rollout of GPT 3.5 turbo earlier this month (March 1st), this helpful guide by Search Engine Land helps you maximise the API for specific use cases, particularly SEO. It takes you through the steps needed in order to integrate the API with GoogleSheets – and talks of the applications of this integration, such as the production of several SEO elements for content, including:

  • Title tags
  • Meta descriptions
  • Post outlines
  • FAQs
  • Schema
  • Converting content to HTML
  • And more…

AI changing the future of search

As the discussions on AI tech continue, its impact on the way we search for information is considered. Traditionally, search engines spew out several sources that includes a variety of information related to search terms that people have to sift through themselves to find the results they are after; following the introduction of these AI tools, this is no longer the case as the tools will sift through the information for you and produce a paragraph(s) of information likely to answer the query – saving the individual time and effort. 

While this seems revolutionary, at the time of writing the technology is not advanced enough to be 100% reliable all of the time – and will likely produce false or inaccurate information on occasion. This needs to be taken into consideration when using tools such as these for research purposes, or before sharing the information with others. The ‘promises and perils’ of this technology is discussed further in this article.

Discussions continue for the use of ChatGPT in content creation

A running theme in digital marketing throughout 2023 is the use of AI powered tools, such as ChatGPT, for creating marketing content. This discussion has continued throughout March, and in general the consensus has been the same; AI powered tools such as ChatGPT are useful for creating ‘first drafts’, however the content produced by these tools are often simplistic and repetitive, and therefore far from a final product. This means a human element is (for now at least) still required in order to produce high quality content, that is primed to rank highly on search engines. 

New ‘menu’ feature for Google Business Profiles

Google has updated their menu feature for eateries with business profiles on their site. This allows people to open their menu on the Google platform itself – which, when used accurately, could increase search volumes to their website. 

The menus can be built into the platform itself, or can be linked to a third-party menu partner.

The future of TikTok in marketing…

While there is no doubt that TikTok has been a key player in the field of digital and social media marketing in recent years – people are starting to move away from the platform, and are looking to other forms of social media to grow their following. Marketers are starting to find that TikTok is great for growing an initial following through its intelligent algorithm that, with the right factors, boosts a brand’s potential to go viral – however when it comes to nurturing followers and gaining customers, other social media platforms remain triumphant. 

Despite this, there have been some interesting changes across different social media and streaming platforms, as they have trialled changing their interface to match that of the popular app [probably] in an attempt to profit off of TikTok’s acclaim. This has not been well received by the public however – and it would be interesting to learn whether this desire for marketers to move away from the TikTok platform is related to this. 

A further aspect to consider when it comes to marketing through TikTok is the ban of the app across UK and US governments, and what impact this might have for marketing on the platform – especially if other companies follow through with this idea of a ban as has been rumoured in the media. 

I will be curious to see the impact these changes to the platform have on the popularity of the TikTok app, and how this impacts digital marketing as we move throughout 2023. 

Google Bard vs Bing AI

As the month continues AI tools remain a hot topic – and Google’s attempt to keep up with the AI revolution with its chatbot ‘Bard’, is being compared to its competitors. This review is an interesting take on the tool, and is an honest discussion of how Bard compares to Bing AI, and its earlier versions. While there are a few aspects of the tool that need to be improved upon, such as not giving responses to simple questions, lack of citations, and lengthy unnecessary answers, overall it is found to be a useful tool with a promising future.

Google rolls out broad core update

Google has rolled out their latest core update, and it took 13 days to complete. In the coming weeks this is likely to impact Google’s algorithm, which could consequently impact your website content in terms of organic search results. For more information, check out our latest insights highlighting the core features of the update.

As we move towards April, I predict that AI will continue to be a hot topic in the field of digital marketing as the new financial year begins. Additionally, monitoring social media following the TikTok ban across the UK and US governments will be vital in the coming weeks – as it is likely to have an impact on the way we market across social media platforms. As a final note it is worth keeping an eye on organic search trends throughout the month of April, and monitoring the impact that Google’s core update is likely to have had. The search marketing landscape continues to change rapidly – and I do not think the month of April will be lacking in these adjustments.

Help your brand stay ahead of emerging trends to remain present and relevant in the competitive market, and speak to our experts at Click Consult today!

lets chat!
Facebook Twitter Instagram Linkedin Youtube