Top 10 SEO Trends for 2024: The Future of SEO
The world of SEO is constantly evolving, with algorithms updating and user behaviour shifting at a dizzying pace. Staying ahead is crucial for businesses to maintain online visibility and reach their target audience. As we step into 2024, some exciting trends are emerging, promising to redefine the landscape of search engine optimization. This blog dives into the top 10 SEO trends you need to know in the coming year, equipping you with the knowledge to optimize your website for success.
Key SEO Trends for 2024
Search Generative Experience
Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) is an AI-driven search feature. With SGE, Google uses AI to generate results for many search questions, placing them at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs).
As SGE becomes more common, it’s likely to alter how people use search engines and how websites optimize to attract views and traffic. SGE improves user interactions by providing clear, brief answers to search queries. It also offers relevant visuals and a conversational way of engaging with users.
It’s important to note that SGE isn’t a chatbot, like ChatGPT. Instead, when you search on Google, you get an AI-generated result. This result includes useful links to some of the sources and prompts for further exploration of the topic.
Imagine Google transforming into a more conversational assistant, understanding and responding to your questions in a more human-like way. This shift indicates a move toward a more interactive, user-friendly search experience, where the algorithm grasps and predicts user needs and intentions.
Zero Click Searches
Zero-click searches are a growing trend in SEO that refers to user queries where answers are displayed directly on the search engine results page (SERP), without the need to click on any external links. This means users get their information directly from the search engine, potentially resulting in decreased website traffic for businesses.
As per the Semrush Zero-Clicks Study, 57% of mobile searches approximately 25% of desktop searches conclude without clicking on an organic or paid result.
There are various reasons users might refrain from clicking on a result. For instance:
Local businesses or services: Google often presents essential information (like location, contact details, or business hours) directly in the local pack or map pack.
Quick conversions or calculations: Searches like “USD to EUR” or “miles to kilometers” prompt Google to offer a speedy conversion tool right in the SERPs.
Public or celebrity information: Searches for public figures or celebrities typically lead to a knowledge panel providing basic details such as age, occupation, and notable works.
These types of searches frequently result in zero clicks. Google’s enhanced SERP features, including knowledge panels, local packs, and direct conversion tools, promptly fulfil user intent by delivering concise and precise answers.
Answer Engine Optimization
AI and chatbots are transforming the way people search for information. In light of this, we employ Answer Engine Optimization (AEO) to adjust our content and get ready for the future of SEO.
AEO involves optimizing content for answer engines, which are typically AI-powered technologies that process information to respond to conversational queries.
Consider examples like ChatGPT, Google SGE, and Microsoft’s Bing chatbot.
As chatbots, smart assistants, and voice search become more prevalent, users are increasingly looking for instant answers without having to navigate to a web page. This shift prompts us to adapt our content to better meet these evolving search patterns.
Topical Authority is a crucial concept in modern SEO, emphasizing a website’s deep understanding and expertise in a specific subject or niche.
It’s not just about keyword stuffing and backlinks; it’s about establishing your website as a trusted and reliable source of information for a particular topic.
Search engines, like Google, really like content that shows you’re an expert. To them, being an expert means you have experience, expertise, authority, and are trustworthy. They sum it up as “E-E-A-T.”
Video SEO refers to the practice of optimizing your video content to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), both on YouTube and in general search engines like Google. This means getting more views, and engagement, and ultimately, achieving your video marketing goals.
People are consuming video content more than ever. It’s predicted that the global count of digital video viewers will reach almost 3.5 billion by the end of 2023.
Refreshing Existing Content
In today’s competitive online world, where everyone’s trying to rank on search engines, it’s super important to regularly update your content. This helps you stay relevant and visible when people search on Google.
To keep up or get ahead, you’ve to keep working on your content regularly. It’s not just about making sure your facts and numbers are current. You also need to make sure your content still matches what people are looking for, follows the best ways to show up on Google, and can compete with all the new stuff on the same topic.
Refreshing content isn’t just about updating information. It’s about making sure your content fits what people want, follows the rules for showing up on Google, and can stand up to all the new stuff out there. This way, your content stays strong and keeps up with the always-changing online world.
New Core Web Vitals Metric
In May 2023, Google announced that they’re changing how they measure the speed and interaction on websites. This change involves replacing the First Input Delay (FID) with a new metric called Interaction to Next Paint (INP). This new INP metric will officially be a part of Core Web Vitals starting in March 2024.
These metrics, known as Core Web Vitals, are important to Google’s ranking system. So, it’s crucial to keep an eye on any updates related to them.
Right now, FID measures the time it takes for a webpage to respond when you interact, like clicking a button. A “Good” FID is under 100 milliseconds. INP also looks at how the website responds but focuses on “processing time” and “presentation delay” instead.
To put it simply, it measures the time between when you click something on a webpage and when you see a change on the screen. For INP, a “Good” score is less than 200 milliseconds. If it goes over 500 milliseconds, then it’s “Poor.”
User Experience Optimization
In today’s digital world, the significance of User Experience (UX) in SEO has grown immensely.
User Experience Optimization (UXO) involves designing and refining a website to make it user-friendly and easy to navigate, aiming for a smooth and seamless experience. The boundaries between UXO and SEO are becoming less clear, making it crucial for SEO professionals to blend the two effectively.
Success in SEO now requires more than just optimizing for keywords and building backlinks. It involves considering user experience factors such as mobile friendliness, website page speed, easy navigation, and clear Call-to-Action (CTA) elements. These factors ensure an excellent user experience.
Combining traditional SEO tactics with UX best practices is now essential. This fusion creates a seamless and satisfying user journey, boosting engagement and leading to greater visibility and success in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
AI Generated Content
One of the key abilities of Language Models like ChatGPT or Google Bard is their speed in generating content (things like emails, social media posts, blogs, and more) much faster than human content creators. This has led to discussions on how search engines, especially Google, will treat this AI-generated content in their search algorithms.
Google emphasizes its commitment to delivering top-notch content to users, regardless of whether it’s written by humans or generated by AI. The focus is on quality and relevance.
This has two meanings:
- Even if the content is entirely generated by AI, it can still rank high on Google’s search results. If it’s relevant, authoritative, and valuable to human readers.
- Trying to manipulate the system with AI-assisted content generation won’t work unless the content is meaningful and substantial.
Voice Search Optimization
Many people are using voice search to find things on Google. In 2024, talking to search engines will be even more popular. So, if you’re working on making websites easy to find on the internet (like SEO strategists do), you need to think about how people talk when they search.
Voice search optimization involves optimizing websites with long-tail keywords and natural language. When you optimize a website for voice search, it will be more likely to appear on voice search engines.
This means using specific words and phrases that people use when they talk. Make sure your website shows up when they talk to search engines.
The future of SEO is about user-centricity, expertise, and adaptability. By understanding the trends highlighted above and actively adapting your strategy. You can ensure your website thrives in the ever-evolving search landscape. Remember, this is not an exhaustive list, and staying up-to-date on the latest developments is key to remaining ahead of the curve. Stay informed, experiment, and embrace the future of SEO to unlock your website’s full potential!