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SEO trends 2024, Google search bar

10 SEO trends you shouldn’t ignore in 2024

Anyone remember the good ol’ bad days of SEO? When winning in the search results meant stuffing a keyword into all kinds of weird and woeful places in the copy? No? Good! Google and other search engines have gotten a lot better at discerning results that are actually helpful to the user (hint: it’s generally not the copy stuffed with nonsensical keyword phrases), and they continue to attempt to adapt their algorithms to keep improving.

As such, staying ahead in SEO requires adaptability as you embrace new SEO trends—while always staying true to the timeless principles of user-centricity and authenticity. To make a long story short, write your content for the end users, with thoughtful placement of keywords and phrases.

Here are 10 SEO trends to be aware of in 2024:

1. Artificial intelligence (AI) integration

AI is not just a buzzword; there’s a reason why it’s top of the list (as both an opportunity and a threat).

The opportunity: automating and streamlining certain aspects of content creation.

The threat: overreliance on AI-generated content that floods the internet with generic, unoriginal material.

ACTION STEP: The key takeaway is that it’s crucial to balance automation with human creativity. By all means; leverage AI to enhance your content strategy, but maintain the authentic human touch. Do not copy/paste website copy or blog articles directly from ChatGPT to your website—that’s a race to the bottom! You may, however, use AI to help with research and drafting, so long as you carefully check all facts, rewrite in your own voice, and add a unique perspective.

2. Voice search optimization

Voice search has grown up a bit and is no longer a novelty prompted only to serve up dad jokes and hilariously incorrect pronunciations. These days, voice search has become a mainstream method of accessing information, and optimizing for voice is no longer optional.

How do voice and text queries differ? Here’s an example of two queries looking for the same delicious dinner option.

Voice: “Siri, can I get good Chicago-style pizza here?”

Text: deep dish pizza Holly Springs NC

Voice search is largely happening on mobile devices, which are always learning from our habits, travels, and activities. Note that the voice query didn’t include a location—the search engine already understands that the user is likely to be looking for pizza nearby (by the way, if you’re in Holly Springs and craving that deep-dish goodness, you’re looking for Acme Pizza).

ACTION STEP: Optimizing for voice search requires understanding natural language queries and tailoring your content to match conversational speech patterns. You also need to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly and loads quickly to accommodate voice search users on the go.

3. E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness)

Google places a premium on E-E-A-T, and for good reason. Demonstrating experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness through high-quality content and authoritative backlinks builds credibility with both users and search engines. And in a landscape inundated with AI-generated content, human-centered search emerges as a key differentiator. Providing genuine value to users through expertise, authenticity, and real-life experiences sets you apart from generic content.

ACTION STEP: Invest in creating comprehensive, well-researched content that positions you as a trusted source in your niche. Embrace an authentic approach, focusing on creating content that resonates with your audience and addresses their needs and concerns.

4. Optimizing for search generative experience

Google is in the process of rolling out AI-powered SERP snippets known as search generative experience (SGE). Users will be able to ask extensive questions, and Google’s AI will generate a quick summary answer based on existing content on the web. While SGE may alter search behavior, it’s not the end of traditional SEO, as the results still direct searchers to the best-ranking content for more information. We predict that, while overall average traffic volume may decrease, conversion rates from visitors to leads will increase as visitors are more motivated to click into the source link (and therefore further along the buying journey).

ACTION STEP: Focus on creating valuable, authentic content that resonates with users to maintain visibility in search results (are we sounding redundant yet?). While SGE may provide quick summaries, users still seek in-depth, human-authored content for detailed information and insights, and buyers will still visit your website.

5. Don’t neglect your Google Business profile

OK, maybe this one doesn’t belong on a list of 2024 SEO trends, but I’m including it anyway because far too many businesses forget to take ownership of this corner of the internet. It’s an important corner at that—your Google Business profile is often the first impression customers have of your business.

ACTION STEP: Claim and optimize your Google Business profile—choose the correct business category, add an enticing description, list your services, solicit reviews, upload appealing photos, and add contact details and business hours.

6. Focus on user experience (UX)

Search engines want to serve up helpful websites that provide a seamless search journey and easy navigation. As a result, a seamless, intuitive website with fast loading times and mobile responsiveness enhances user satisfaction and improves search engine rankings.

ACTION STEP: Prioritize UX elements such as site speed, mobile optimization, core web vitals, and intuitive navigation to create a positive browsing experience for your audience.

Here are our top tips for a more user-friendly website

7. Semantic markup and structured data

Semantic markup and structured data help search engines understand the context and relevance of your content, leading to improved visibility in search results. Adding structured data on the backend can enhance rich snippets, featured snippets, and other ever-evolving search result features, increasing your website’s visibility and click-through rates.

ACTION STEP: Use schema markup (ask your web developer about this one) to provide search engines with additional context about your content, products, and services.

8. Match search intent

Matching search intent is only growing in importance as a ranking factor and is now the focus of Google’s most recent quality rating guidelines. Search intent refers to the purpose or goal behind a user’s online search query, whether it’s seeking information, making a purchase, or finding a specific website. Understanding search intent allows you to tailor your content to effectively meet users’ needs and improve search engine rankings.

ACTION STEP: Search for your desired keyword and analyze the top results to see what type of content and search intent rank on the first page. Once you understand the search intent of your target keyword, you can create content that will satisfy the search query.

9. Lean into local

With the rise of location-based services and mobile search, optimizing for local SEO is essential for businesses targeting specific geographic areas. In fact, 98% of consumers found local companies on the internet in 2022, up from 90% in 2019.

ACTION STEP: Focus on optimizing your Google Business profile, getting positive reviews, and incorporating location-specific keywords to improve visibility in local search results. Leverage geo-targeted content and local citations to enhance your local SEO efforts and attract local customers.

10. Human-centered search reigns supreme

As with everything in the digital world, it pays to prepare for disruption. Accept that the SERPs are evolving rapidly, and algorithm changes can have a significant impact on your visibility, seemingly overnight. But if you consistently deliver valuable content in 2024, you’re doing SEO right. Remember that SEO is not only about ranking high in search results; it’s about providing value to your audience and building meaningful connections.

ACTION STEP: Be human. Be helpful.

If you need help with your SEO strategy, we’d love to hear from you!

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