Upcoming SEO Trends: What To Expect In 2024?

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Search Engine Optimization is all about paying attention to different ranking factors to help your website climb the ladder of Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). By improving your rankings, you will be able to improve organic traffic, uplift user experience, build credibility, and get a competitive advantage. 

SEO has always been important, but moving into 2024, it will become critical to not ignore how optimized your site is, if you want to stand a chance against stiff competition.

But, whether you are a product manager, digital marketer, or blogger, you cannot improve search visibility unless you keep an eye on the evolving search engine algorithms and ever-changing trends in SEO.

 So, let's talk about some emerging trends in SEO to help you rank your content better.

The increasing role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in search

Artificial intelligence (AI) in SEO is a growing trend that could significantly alter the industry. And rightly so, as it saves a lot of time for those conducting searches.

The ability to generate fresh material from the information used to train the system sets generative AI apart. In the search context, this ability to generate summaries in response to queries is invaluable. 

Microsoft's Bing AI has been ahead of the curve. Bing currently makes its own versions of search results in response to user requests. And you get more personalized and contextual answers. 

MS Bing AI

Similarly, the Google AI chatbot Bard has also been released. They also began to test out Search Generative Experience (SGE), their name for AI-backed search. 

Currently, SGE is only accessible to a small subset of U.S. users. Along with the data, it displays an AI-generated summary with the caveat, "Generative AI is experimental." Informational standards may not be consistent.

Now, how you should optimize your site for generative AI is still a debatable issue, but it seems that eventually, users will have to visit reputable websites for more research. Therefore, the focus should still be on producing high-quality content and taking steps to help it feature in AI-generated summaries for more traffic.

The importance of high-quality, relevant content

Google has recently changed its algorithm to gauge the quality of content. The search engine updated its Search Quality Rater Guidelines, clearly highlighting the need to include "experience" in content. 

It means that creating content that satisfies E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) criteria is one of many new SEO trends.

And quite recently, Google rolled out the Helpful Content Update (September 2023), which considers the role and importance of high-quality content in several ways. 

That is why having the right SEO software to create relevant content and track its performance is important. You can easily pick one from Top10seosoftware.com, as all the software solutions are thoroughly reviewed on this platform.

The rise of mobile and voice searches 

Statista reports that the use of personal assistants for voice searches (including Google Assistant, Apple's Siri, and Amazon's Alexa) will continue to rise. Therefore, you should prioritize making your site suitable for voice-activated searches. 

UpCity found that 50% of the U.S. population regularly utilizes voice search, thus this is extremely important.

Both Google and Bing have integrated voice search into their interfaces as a default feature. The speaker icon sits next to the search bar, signaling a radical departure from the standard layout of search results pages. 

Google voice search

And it is just as important to consider that around 65% of smartphone owners regularly use their phone’s voice search function, and the trend is set to increase as conversational inquiries. For fast-loading results via mobile devices, effective SEO needs to follow this trend with content that is:

  • Optimized for ‘near me’ location inquiries

  • Optimized for relevance 

  • Validated for its accuracy 

The growing importance of topical authority

A website’s topical authority refers to how its credibility and level of expertise are perceived by its users. It’s a new concept gaining significance fast and is predicted to underpin the new approach to SEO

Topical authority requires in-depth content and extensive research to facilitate confidence in its expertise. Google rankings will favor content with an authoritative tone and informative content. 

To take advantage of topical authority, businesses need to develop clear SEO policies and strategies so they can identify content that is relevant to their objectives and serves a specified purpose.  

The shift to a user-centric approach to SEO

Over the last decade, SEO has been in transition away from keywords to become more user-centric. But are keywords dead? Of course, not. 

However, websites, content, and optimization have moved ahead with strategies that create a more rounded user experience beyond the rankings so that the content they offer is of higher value to the user. 

The user-centric evolution is marked by:

  • the proliferation of mobile device searches

  • the necessity to advance natural language searching

  • increased user dwell time, organic visits, and retention on sites

  • more click-throughs that are connected by relevance

  • expectations of a superior user experience created by the competitive market

What to expect in 2024 and beyond?

With so many new developments and updates rolling out without a break, it is more important than ever to keep tabs on emerging trends. This is the only way to have a plan of action going in 2024. 

Here is what you should expect from SEO in 2024 and beyond:

AI is set to change SEO

AI is here to stay, and the sooner you understand it, the better. AI is set to change how marketers approach SEO. And in 2024, AI will:

  • require a deeper analysis of user behavior

  • encourage focused page optimizations for improved searches with tailored results 

  • automate SEO audits to find gaps in content coverage

  • focus marketing 

  • learn from its users so it adapts to and develops natural speech patterns

  • automate tasks such as repairing broken links, optimizing pages, and compressing images 

  • require human intervention for quality control and strategic direction.

  • change the role of the SEO professional 

With increased automation, AI will streamline the SEO landscape shifting the focus of SEO work from content writer to creative and strategic overseer. 

Content and featured snippets

Users have responded positively to information delivered in featured snippets, and it's becoming a popular format in SEO. 

Content and Featured Snippets

Their SERP positioning and quick answers entice traffic and create more click-throughs. They have value for the user but also enable pages to cater to a broader range of potential inquiries. 

In the future, to be successful in the rankings, featured snippets are expected to:

  • be relevant to targeted questioning

  • make use of long-tail keywords

  • carry accurate but succinct content

  • include visual elements such as charts, tables and lists

  • be mobile friendly

The preference for snippet content is expected to increase.

Snippets and zero-click searches

65% of Google searches on mobiles end without a click-through.

It’s another mobile trend that has seen a significant increase recently. It’s a statistic highlighting just how vital on-page optimization is in successful online marketing. 

Details such as title tagging and adding meta descriptions have become critical to the user experience and to the rankings. They increase a snippet’s visibility, making them more likely to rank in the searches. 

Snippets have the potential to be a main component of SEO and are likely to be included in most marketing campaigns, but to get the click-throughs they will likely need the support of a Google Ads campaign

Data-driven SEO 

With AI, SEO will become more data-driven. The aim is to connect better and resonate with target audiences.

In the future, the efficiency of pages will be considered and modified in light of user metrics, clicks, dwell time, and bounce rates. High-value targets will be easier and faster to identify, facilitating highly focused campaigns using tailored content. 

Again, this accentuates the need for well-rounded SEO software.

Linking to other sites with high-quality content

Backlinks are critical to effective SEO. They act as an endorsement of one site for another. Google aims to lift its quality by lifting SEO efficiency to make backlinks more relevant. 

Effective strategies to build strong backlinks for your affiliate website

It’s part of the drive to improve the user experience, but it also adds to the value of compatible backlinks. 

Back-linking with other high-quality sites will:

  • enrich the relationship between the user and the site

  • encourage wider access to quality content

  • promote user interaction

  • boost visibility

How to prepare for the future of SEO

Apparently, it seems so much is changing so quickly in SEO, and it is true in many ways. Still, you can do a lot to prepare yourself for the future of SEO. For instance:

Use AI to your advantage

In 2024 and beyond, AI will become indispensable to effective SEO. And it actually helps simplify the content creation process, so long as you use it to "supplement" and not "replace" the process. 

Be ready to keep an eye on new tools in the AI market. Don't be afraid to use anything that helps enhance content, simplify site audits, promote accuracy, and increase topical authority.

Create high-quality content

There is absolutely no way around it. If you cannot create high-quality, well-researched content to begin with, forget about optimizing it to do well in SERPs.

We have seen a huge shift and consistent volatility in SERPs quite recently, showing Google's commitment to ranking the best quality content only

SEO focused on topical authority

Future SEO work will focus sharply on building topical authority. This will be the cornerstone of effective SEO and the foundation of a network boasting high-quality content. 

It's important for those involved to develop their niche to reflect the level of expertise required to achieve credibility. 

power of SEO

The principles of E.A.T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) will be even more critical to ensuring accuracy in the content

Backlinks to more reputable external sites will prove pivotal to reinforcing both the user and the search engine’s perception of being a trusted authority and an expert on the content.  

Put the user first

Modern SEO will have to be more user-centric. To meet the demands of the Google rankings the user experience will be at the heart of all high-quality content providers do. 

Delivering high-quality content with AI will demand:

  • thorough user research

  • tailored content

  • optimized site navigation

  • enhanced page load speeds.

Takeaway

The world of SEO is definitely changing but SEO will survive. Just like it survived post-Panda, Penguin, and HCU. However, the future promises a holistic approach to SEO that uses technical advancements to focus on user satisfaction and topical authority.

Professionals in SEO are advised to start preparing for its new challenges to be able to prove the ROI of SEO to stakeholders. If you do not adapt now, you will find it extremely difficult to recover later. 

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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