Over the past decade, digital marketing has undergone a huge transformation, reshaping the way businesses connect with their audiences, and digital marketing teams execute strategies to gain visibility online. Understanding best practice and key SEO trends becomes increasingly important to stay ahead of competition. In this article, we look at the Top 11 Trends that will continue to shape search engine optimisation (SEO) in 2024.
11 Top SEO Trends in 2024
If you’re running short of time, here is a quick overview of the Top 11 Trends that are expected to be most relevant in 2024:
- Creating quality content that is optimised for relevant keywords is still the most important ranking factor in 2024
Harnessing the Power of AI with an emphasis on Human Research and Curation is the new way to supercharge your SEO department
- Greater Focus on User Experience (UX)
Utilising Video Content for Higher Engagement will improve performance
Voice Search Optimisation will become more important than ever
Developing Strong Local SEO Strategies will be crucial for ‘bricks and mortar’ businesses
Prioritising Mobile-First Indexing versus Desktop-First
Emphasis on High-Quality, Unique, Long-Form Content
Leveraging Data for your SEO Strategy
1. Creating quality content that is optimised for relevant keywords is still critical in 2024
Yes, we said it. First and foremost, SEO in 2024 is still going to be about providing the most relevant, best quality content for the user. Google isn’t going anywhere. However, as they adapt to the extremely fast-moving digital landscape, and their crawlers become even more sophisticated, they will put even more emphasis on relevancy, quality and trust (see later in the article regarding E-E-A-T). Businesses can’t afford to put out ‘half-baked’ content lacking credible sources and unique information. To stand out, it’s even more important in 2024 to be comprehensive, informative and credible.
2. Harnessing the Power of AI with an emphasis on Human Research and Curation
If you haven’t heard about ChatGPT or Bard, there’s a good chance you’ve been living under a rock. Writing pages of content has become so easy that many (including our own copywriters!) have wondered whether their jobs are safe in the coming decade. Every Top SEO Trends article is going to mention AI in some form, but Google’s latest ‘Quality Raters Guidelines’ outlined specific guidance on using automatically generated content and the key outtake is that content needs to add value to the user, be unique, and manually curated.
“Pages and websites made up of auto-generated content with no editing or manual curation, and no original content or value added for users, should be rated Lowest.” Source: Google Quality Rater Guidelines
Prompts on Chatbots are going to increase exponentially in 2024, but Richard Holt of Holt Digital Marketing suggests that:
“A record number of websites will be penalised by Google in 2024 for publishing content that isn’t considered Human-Curated-Content.”
While AI-generated content can save time and effort, it’s essential that digital marketers and content creators maintain a human touch in all aspects of content marketing, including curation and editing, to ensure that the content adheres to Google’s guidelines.
3. Greater Focus on User Experience (UX)
As we’ve seen with Google’s Core Web Vitals update, improving user experience has become an essential aspect of modern SEO strategy. Google prioritises websites with fast loading times, good interactivity, and visual stability, pushing businesses to optimise their web design and development in order to rank higher in search results.
In 2024, the focus on UX will only deepen, making it important for businesses to work with digital marketing agencies, who can provide the necessary expertise and technical knowledge to create websites that are both visually appealing and optimised for search engines.
4. Utilising Video Content for Higher Engagement
Video has become an indispensable part of digital marketing strategies, and this trend shows no signs of stopping in 2024. As internet speeds and device capabilities continue to improve, video content becomes more accessible and convenient, making it a preferred medium for users.
5. Voice Search Optimisation becomes more important than ever
With the rise of voice assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple’s Siri, voice search is becoming an increasingly important aspect of SEO. According to a Microsoft study in 2019, it is predicted that by 2024, more than half of all online searches will be made through voice search. Therefore, businesses need to optimise their websites and content for voice searches to stay ahead of the competition.
In order to optimise your website for voice search, consider the following:
- Use longer, conversational keywords and phrases that better reflect the natural language that users use when making making voice searches and commands.
- Provide concise and valuable answers to common questions, ensuring that your content is easily understood by voice search algorithms.
- Make sure your website has easily accessible and properly structured data, like contact information and opening hours, so voice assistants can pick up the information quickly and accurately.
6. Developing Strong Local SEO Strategies
With the increasing use of mobile devices and reliance on search engines to find local businesses, a strong local SEO strategy is more important than ever. In 2024, businesses will focus on creating a stronger local online presence to attract customers from nearby areas.
Some key aspects of local SEO include:
- Ensuring you have consistent and accurate business information on Google My Business, Yelp, and other important online directories.
- Encouraging customers to leave positive reviews and responding to any negative feedback promptly and professionally.
- Optimising website content by incorporating local keywords and information about your location and services.
7. Integration of SEO with Social Media Marketing
Social media is becoming an increasingly important aspect of a successful SEO strategy. Integrating SEO with social media marketing efforts will be essential in 2024, as social signals, such as shares and likes, can have a positive impact on search rankings.
Additionally, social media platforms can help you promote your content, increase brand awareness, and improve your online reputation, all of which contribute to a strong SEO presence. Combining SEO strategies and techniques with your social media efforts is a must for effective digital marketing campaigns.
One example where social media and SEO intersect is in the use of hashtags, as they allow businesses to tap into specific niches and reach target audiences more effectively. By carefully selecting and using hashtags in your social media posts, you can increase your visibility and boost organic traffic to your website.
8. Prioritising Mobile-First Indexing
Google has already shifted its focus to mobile-first indexing, which means that it ranks websites based on how well they perform on mobile devices, rather than desktop computers. With more and more users browsing the internet through their smartphones and tablets, having a mobile-friendly website has become a necessity for businesses in every industry.
In 2024, digital marketing agencies like Holt Digital will prioritise the development of responsive, mobile-friendly websites that load quickly and provide an excellent user experience on all devices. To stay competitive and ensure a high search ranking, businesses should invest in a website design that caters to the needs and preferences of mobile users.
9. Emphasis on High-Quality, Long-Form Content
As search engines continue to refine their algorithms and prioritise user experience, the focus on high-quality, long-form content will only increase in 2024. Google and other search engines reward websites that provide informative, engaging, and well-researched content that answers users’ questions and fulfils their needs.
By creating high-quality content that resonates with your target audience, you can improve your search rankings, establish yourself as an industry expert, and build trust with your customers (Google’s guidance on E-E-A-T signals is also relevant).
10. Increased Focus on E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness)
E-E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) is a set of guidelines introduced by Google to determine the credibility and quality of a website’s content. In 2024, E-E-A-T will become even more important, as Google continues to refine its algorithms to prioritise high-quality content that provides expert knowledge and trustworthy information.
To improve your E-E-A-T rating, consider:
- Regularly updating your website with high-quality, informative content that demonstrates expertise in relevant areas.
- Providing clear author credentials to showcase the credibility and experience of your content creators.
- Always reference quality and credible sources where you sourced your information
In the current digital climate where misinformation is regularly talked about in mainstream media, an emphasis on providing credible information from reputable sources is going to be more important than ever.
11. Leveraging Data for your SEO Strategy
The ability to analyse and use data effectively will play a crucial role in SEO success in 2024. By leveraging data from various sources, such as Google Analytics, keyword research tools, and user behaviour reports, you can source quality, unique data that allows businesses to write content that is credible, comprehensive and ultimately generates awareness for the business that it’s written for.
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