What will happen in the search engines and how will this affect your own rankings? We believe some aspects of search engine optimization will fall out of favor. Others will require delving into the details to capture leads by doubling down on efforts. Follow along to see what 2024 SEO trends you’ll need to stay on top of to maintain or improve your SERP position.
Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is being used much more on websites. That might sound like a shortcut to you—but it’s more of a tool. Your website copy and content must still be unique and helpful to the user. Google looks at your EEAT to rate you—your Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. By paying attention to these four categories with your content, you’ll help boost your SEO. AI doesn’t necessarily take any of these into consideration. ChatGPT itself states on its site: “ChatGPT may produce inaccurate information about people, places, or facts.” Make sure that no matter how you use AI for your content, you’re still supplying human intelligence to your website.
Backlinking, receiving contextual links from another site’s content to your own, has changed in importance for SEO. Previously it was thought that more backlinks to your site equaled more trust and authority, but the search engines caught on to this quality over quantity strategy that so many marketers were implementing. Instead of hiring an SEO agency for off-page backlinks to collect as many as possible, focus on the quality of those backlinks – ie the authority of the websites they are coming from. Backlinks may continue to decrease in importance for search ranking, but relevant quality backlinks remain useful.
Budgets / Resources
Rising interest rates and the state of the economy have been big news items for some time now. The hope is that by 2024 both will level off to a place where our companies and our customers are willing to spend more. Meanwhile, many budgets have gone down in recent times causing advertising budgets and paid media spend to drop across multiple industries. Paying attention to your own industry and those of your potential customers may be key to keeping up with your competition. For instance, SaaS is predicted to overcome recent funding issues which would mean more investment and more spending to continue to build up what they’ve been working on.
Depending on your vertical, you may have noticed an increase in high-ranking aggregate review sites. For example, our own clients have found clutch.com to pop up when they search for “web design agency.” While it’s not ideal to be beat out by an aggregate site, it still offers an opportunity for increasing your visibility. Reviews are vital. Work with the aggregate sites that pop up for your top keywords to get your reviews up, and boost your visibility.
Another trend that will likely continue to gain speed in 2024 is the no-click or zero-click search. Essentially, web searchers are able to find an answer without clicking on a result that takes them to a website page. How can you stay relevant within the SERP itself? A huge part of this is paying attention to snippets and schema markups. They’re both vital to creating a search result that will help users get what they need as quickly as possible.
This little bit of code (called schema markup) tells Google crawlers exactly what the website content is. It could be Q&A. It could be a product. It could be a location tag.
This is how the SEO result shows up. Putting the answer to the possible search query in your snippet will help boost your SEO even more—because it’s readable for the user by viewing it instead of clicking through.
If you’ve made it this far, and you’re already aware of all these things, you’re way ahead of the game. Nice work. Just remember: At its most basic, SEO ranking is still about high-quality content that is helpful to the user. Google’s definition of “helpful” may shift, but quality content that’s regular, fresh, and timely will always help boost your rankings.