SEO Trends in 2024: Your SEO Strategy To-Do List for Success

SEO Trends in 2024: Your SEO Strategy To-Do List for Success

In the ever-evolving digital landscape, staying ahead of the curve with SEO is crucial. We’ve compiled a list of some of the top SEO trends and techniques you should look out for and implement in your 2024 SEO strategy.

Business and Customer Insights

The latest SEO trends and understanding fundamental movements and shifts in your industry go hand in hand with business success. Analyzing market conditions, consumer behavior, and industry shifts can easily spot emerging opportunities. SEO keywords and practices can be adapted for data-driven decision-making aligning with user needs.

Download any annual reports you can find for your sector, and stay alert for forecasts from industry experts that can help inform the decision-making process.

Gain new audience insights for 2024

Gain a refreshed insight into how users interact with your website and online materials along your customer journey. This includes where they are finding and having the most engagement with your business, whether on socials or through search results, and the type of content they consume, whether written articles, videos, or audio.

Additionally, check for signs of new or emerging audience groups within your user and customer base. Check that they are adequately catered for in your content output, or you may need to factor in more bespoke content to your schedule for that particular niche.

Nail down your competitor’s research

Keep an eye on your competitors in the market to see how they adapt their strategies for 2024. Although you may already know them by heart, it is always good to check for newcomers looking to change the space.

Not only will you pick up on strategies that are working well and emulate these in your business, but you will also be able to make critical takeaways from any unsuccessful SEO and marketing attempts without them directly affecting you.

Do a full SEO review of last year: the good and the bad

The completion of yet another year means that there is plenty to reflect on for your business and SEO growth.

Conduct a full review of the last year from an SEO perspective, looking at where you are performing well, any particular strengths for your business, and areas that may be struggling or growing weaker with time.

A complete SWOT analysis like this provides the perfect baseline for setting your 2024 SEO strategy and ensures that changes made are evidence-driven and targeted for the most significant effect.

Content Creation and Marketing

Strike a balance between AI and original content

As Google’s Core Algorithm Update for 2024 has shown us, sites with original and meaningful content for users rank highly in their search criteria. On the other hand, wholly or highly AI-written content, especially those that a human reader has yet to vet before they are published, are likely to be received poorly in searches and even run the risk of getting the site deindexed from the platform.

Instead, a balanced approach must be taken in your content development for SEO. While AI-generated content is not banned, it should be used in moderation and sufficiently fact-checked and edited for readability. For larger, more crucial pieces of content for your business, original content creation is always best to increase your Google E-E-A-T and search rating.

Build content showcasing first-hand experience

Speaking of E-E-A-T, focusing on that additional “E” will likely be one of the top SEO trends in 2024. Adding on from the original E-A-T model from the Quality Rater Guidelines (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness), the extra “E” added by Google in December 2022 stands for experience.

This means that content created by someone with first-hand experience in that sector holds more value than others, as the author can add their personal story and knowledge in a way that AI and generic content cannot.

Creating content from trusted experts in your industry, whether from within your own company or as guest contributors, substantially boosts users’ trust in your business, leading to higher conversions.

Establish author entities

Establishing genuine author entities should be part of your SEO business strategy for 2024. By creating comprehensive author pages and attributing bylines with relevant photos and information on that particular writer’s expertise, you increase the credibility of your website’s content.

Encourage writers to publish across multiple sites, as this will help to build their reputation as human contributors and enlist the expertise of guest contributors who can add valuable insights and increase backlink potential.  

Increase topical domain authority

Although they added the extra “E” for experience to its E-A-T rating system, the original “E” of expertise is still just as important, especially when building your topical domain authority.

Look at developing relationship-based link-building to build your presence in your industry and earn valuable search relevance. Consider link exchanges with other relevant websites, and create original material such as studies, research, and infographics that make it more appealing for people to link to you. Keeping your content focused or building multiple sites to showcase different aspects of your business also helps to showcase your expertise.

Google Features and Your 2024 Strategy

SGE isn’t as scary as it seems

Google’s new search generative experience (SGE) has caused some people to worry about how it will affect traffic and clickthroughs to their sites. Using AI-powered SERP, Google SGE can answer longer queries made by users by pulling together information from existing content.

However, it is worth remembering that this tool provides only a short-form answer to the query, listing the best-ranked websites below. While Google SGE’s result may satisfy some users for a quick query, those seeking meaningful services will still view webpage results.

Local Search has always been important for generating highly qualified leads, but there is more SEO diversity you can do to complement it for 2024. Alongside traditional methods, build a lively and active Google Business Profile and be consistent with customer and audience engagement both on Google and social media platforms. Encourage happy clients to leave 5-star reviews, and make sure to include local business schema on your website to be picked up by Google’s algorithm when pulling local search results.

Visual search through the Google Lens feature has become increasingly popular for everything from shopping to gathering local business reviews. To ensure you can capitalize on Google Lens results, include high-quality images on your site with relevant file names and alt text attached. When considering page load time, this can be a delicate balancing act, so be tactful with the images you wish to bring the most attention to or add the most relevance to your Google Lens offering.

One SEO opportunity to consider implementing in 2024 is voice search optimization, which is expected to increase in popularity over the coming year. If a voice search fits your target demographic, choosing long-tail keywords and utilizing natural, human-sounding language will yield the best results for voice search visibility.

User-focused Tune-ups

Optimize user signals

One way Google ranks websites is through user signals. They can judge the general satisfaction rating by monitoring and analyzing user engagement. It’s not just content from the website itself that Google considers when interpreting these user signals; they take information from all over the internet relating to your business and users’ sentiments towards it, positive or negative.

Positive interactions will increase by monitoring user engagement and providing easy access to information through infographics or introductory summaries. This is especially true if communication or participation is factored into the website, such as opening comment sections or providing interactive polls.

Optimize search intent

Optimizing for search intent involves understanding the user’s underlying purpose behind a query and crafting content to directly address their needs. If a user enters a search query and the keywords for the webpage match what they are looking for, but the actual content does not when they click through, they are likely to leave and find another that works for them. This sort of interaction increases a webpage’s bounce rate, letting Google know that it currently isn’t meeting the search intent of its users.

To improve your search intent, consider analyzing search data, including bounce rates and engagement time, identifying user goals (informational, navigational, transactional), and aligning on-page elements, like headlines, copy, and structure, to deliver the most relevant and satisfying results. You can also leverage search intent tools from services like Semrush’s Keyword Magic or Cognitive SEO’s Keyword Explorer and Content Assistant.

Optimize UX

UX, or user experience, is essential for user engagement and, more importantly, conversions. Sites that are quick-loading and incredibly responsive to user interaction and inputs are what Google prioritizes in search results. They do this by using their Page Speed Insights and Core Web Vitals metrics, and you can run a report to see how your website stacks up.

In terms of areas you may wish to improve, consider enhancing your site’s loading speed and auditing your popup usage to ensure it activates only when necessary, thus preventing intrusion on the overall website experience. Make links to helpful content readily accessible and ensure functionality on both PC and mobile devices.

Of course, as the year goes on, more strategies may become apparent or prove more effective than others. Remember to regularly check your plan for effectiveness and new developments in SEO trends and techniques to stay ahead of the game.

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