If you work in the SEO industry, you’ll know all-too-well that it’s dynamic and ever-evolving. It doesn’t stand still for a second! Search engines and AI tools are constantly updated with new functionalities and as technology continuously shapes the landscape, staying ahead of the curve is crucial. It's imperative to adapt and tailor strategies to meet user needs.
In this blog we look at the year ahead and the anticipated SEO trends and predictions for 2024, providing insights that will strengthen your SEO strategies for the present and future.
The Constant: User Centric Approach
Voice Search Optimisation
User Experience (UX) as a Ranking Factor
AI and Machine Learning in SEO
Keep reading for our ‘insider insights’ on the SEO trends and predictions for 2024.
Regardless of technological advancements, it’s important to note that the key objective of SEO remains the same - answering user queries as successfully and quickly as possible. It’s just the means of how these answers are delivered that’s evolving alongside technology.
This necessitates a proactive approach by SEOs to navigate the ever-changing digital landscape effectively. Keeping on top of search trends and adapting SEO strategies to consider the impact of technological advancements is imperative to SEO success.
The paradigm shift towards voice search is undeniable and is the perfect example of how changes in technology can inform user behaviour. With 57% of Americans using voice commands on a daily basis during 2022 and sales of home assistants showing no sign of slowing, it’s clear that voice search optimisation, leveraging audio assistant tools like Siri, Alexa, and Google Home, will continue to trend into 2024 and beyond.
Voice searches are longer and more conversational than their typed counterparts. They’re also more likely to be focused around specific products and services. Think ‘what’s the nearest local Chinese takeaway to me?’
Embrace more conversational content and make sure you target long-tail keywords and local, relevant keywords as part of your content strategy. Creating new conversational SEO blog posts is a great way to optimise a site for voice search optimisation.
Another thing to remember is that it's highly likely that people who are using voice search are making their search query on their mobile devices… another reason to ensure your website is mobile-friendly!
Speaking of mobile friendly…
Because so many people access the internet through their mobile devices, mobile responsiveness or being ‘mobile friendly’ is a big deal in SEO. In October 2023, Google completed implementing their mobile-first indexing, which means Google will always prioritise mobile friendly websites over desktop only websites.
Just having a mobile version of your website isn’t enough in today’s world of mobile-first indexing. SEOs need to ensure that websites are easy to navigate, can be read on small screens, and have clickable features that are responsive (and don’t make you want to throw your phone out the window!).
Perhaps most importantly, websites need to load quickly on mobile devices too. So keep the heavy images and lines of useless code to a minimum!
User experience is a major component of search success. As search algorithms evolve, they increasingly prioritise user-centric metrics, making it imperative for SEOs to align their strategies with exceptional UX.
A website's usability, accessibility, and overall user satisfaction now directly impact its search rankings. Recognising the paramount importance of UX is not just about appeasing search engines; it's about delivering an optimal experience for the end user.
Put simply, for UX SEO success you need to directly answer user queries as quickly as possible, whilst providing additional supporting information to add context and authority to the content being delivered.
By aligning SEO strategies with a user-centric approach, emphasising quick loading, accessible high-quality content, video content and a streamlined customer journey, SEOs can not only meet the evolving demands of search algorithms in digital marketing but also deliver an enhanced user experience.
Our final SEO trend 2024 is a big one - AI and Machine Learning in SEO.
In the ever-evolving realm of SEO, the profound impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning is reshaping the search landscape. One notable advancement is the emergence of the Search Generative Experience (SGE), a ground-breaking concept positioned at "position 0" in search engine results.
SGE, fuelled by the power of AI, stands as a pioneering answer engine that provides users with a concise snapshot of a query directly in the search results. This innovative feature aims to streamline user experience by offering a quick overview without the need to click through to external links. While SGE is still in its early stages, its potential influence on click-through rates cannot be ignored.
To capitalise on the evolving landscape of search, SEO practitioners need to pivot towards optimising for Answer Engine Optimization (AEO). AEO represents a paradigm shift from traditional SEO strategies, focusing on crafting content tailored to the unique demands of AI-driven answer engines.
Optimising for AEO involves a meticulous approach to content creation. Maintaining content quality aligns with the principles of Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T). Crafting content that is user-friendly and aligns with search engine guidelines becomes imperative in this era of AI dominance.
It's crucial to acknowledge that SGE and AEO are still in their early developmental phases. As the technology continues to mature, there may be further refinements and adjustments. SEO professionals must stay agile, adapting strategies to align with the evolving dynamics of AI and Machine Learning.
Embracing AI and Machine Learning in SEO is not merely a trend; it's a strategic imperative. Future-proofing your SEO strategy involves a holistic approach that integrates technical prowess with content excellence. As SGE and AEO evolve, staying ahead of the curve by prioritising user-centric, high-quality content ensures that your web presence remains optimised for the dynamic search environment.
In summary, AI and Machine Learning are ushering in a new era for SEO, with SGE and AEO at the forefront of this transformation. As the landscape evolves, leveraging these advancements in a thoughtful and strategic manner will be key to maintaining a competitive edge in the ever-evolving world of search.
We’re at the forefront of embracing new SEO trends, and understand that adapting to new user behaviours is fundamental, it’s the only way to really do SEO.
As a business, we invest heavily in the training of our teams to ensure we’re always at the forefront of new trends, SEO best practices and are able to concisely and accurately inform, advise and assist our clients with everything and anything SEO.
Our success stories with clients like Donna Ida where we doubled their web traffic in eight weeks and increased their revenue from organic traffic by 65% and Blackhawk Network where we increased web traffic to 57,000 hits over 12 months though high quality blog content alone, highlight our expertise in implementing strategies that align with SEO trends and enhance organic traffic and revenue.
We’re proud to say that we’re experts in navigating new SEO trends for brands. This area of marketing is fast and exciting, and provides unique opportunities to get eyes on your business. But, we also understand that it can be a little overwhelming too!
We love working with brands on how to leverage SEO for their websites, and are always ready for the next challenge.
If you’re in the market for support, do reach out for a personalised consultation for your SEO strategy.