You are sure to witness some exciting SEO transformations in 2024 that will impact your business. If your goal is to produce high-quality leads through your digital marketing, it is important to stay ahead of these trends and adjust, as necessary. Otherwise, your marketing could become ineffective. In this blog, we dive into five anticipated trends that will shape the future of SEO in the coming year.
1. Implement Answer Engine Optimization
Answer Engine Optimization is the process of optimizing your digital content such that answer engines—usually AI-powered search engines that produce quick answers or solutions to a search query within the search results itself—find those answers on your web pages. Answer engines can solve problems and answer a user’s question much like a peer would when asked personally.
To adapt to these answer engines, businesses must prioritize optimizing for answer-based search queries. Experts suggest creating an AEO strategy first, then a traditional SEO strategy, so you cover both bases and meet the new expectations. Concise and clear content that can be easily consumed by AI and then cited within an AI-generated response will be critical.
One way to achieve this is with the addition of FAQs within your web pages with questions that are highly searched. Another option is writing long-form content around key questions that appear in keyword research tools to increase your site’s AEO.
Similarly, expect to see a surge in AI-powered tools that not only analyze data but also make proactive decisions. Smart algorithms look to play a pivotal role in personalizing user experiences, understanding search intent, and adapting strategies in real-time.
2. Write for Zero-Click Searches
Be on the lookout for an increase in zero-click searching. This means more searches are producing results where a user doesn’t click on any of them. According to the SEMrush Zero-Clicks Study, 57% of mobile and roughly a quarter of desktop searches leave the SERP without clicking on an organic or paid result.
Why? The search results provide the solution or answer for the search in the first place, so additional clicks and searching are unnecessary. Common examples include:
- Local businesses listing specific details such as hours in the meta
- Calculation tools a user can perform directly on the SERP
- Bios, especially for public celebrities, which share age, occupation, and more.
We suggest taking advantage of this SEO trend and secure featured snippets for the keyword you wish to rank. These are dedicated selections of specific, selected content that appear at or near the top of a SERP. If your information appears in a featured snippet, even with zero-clicks, you have better odds of gaining a customer than your competitor who wasn’t seen at all. Name recognition or brand awareness can strongly benefit from featured snippets.
So how do you win a featured snippet? You conduct keyword research to reveal a lengthy keyphrase—around 10 words to be precise—and you write your web page content around answering a search query that matches. According to SEMrush, 29% of keywords that triggered a featured snippet started with question-based words such as “why,” “do,” and “can.”
3. Optimize Voice Search
With the increasing prevalence of voice-activated devices, optimizing for voice search is no longer a luxury but a necessity. The focus will shift towards more conversational keywords and long-tail queries, as users interact with search engines in natural, spoken language.
When you develop your SEO strategy, make sure to account for such long-tail queries. Think to yourself, “How would I say this out loud if I were asking my electronic device?” Then, have that type of phrasing categorized as your keyphrase for the corresponding webpage. What a person types in a search engine is vastly different from how a person speaks when looking for the same answer.
4. Utilize Video SEO
Videos are not just engaging content; they are also becoming a significant part of search algorithms. A quick Google search, “how to install a ring doorbell,” produces a YouTube video about installing a ring doorbell higher in the SERP than the Ring doorbell brand’s website! This video was followed by other videos before the SERP returned any website results that contained only written content.
According to a survey from Statista, the number of digital viewers worldwide is expected to reach 3.5 billion by the end of 2023. Businesses should expect to see a surge in video SEO, with an emphasis on optimizing video content for search engines. Elements such as transcriptions, detailed descriptions, and engaging thumbnails will be vital for video discoverability. These must be planned and included when creating content.
5. Improve User Experience
Google’s Core Web Vitals have been gaining prominence, and in 2024, they will continue to be a key ranking factor. This is a report that can be accessed on a website’s Google Search Console revealing the key vital signs that contribute to a positive user experience. The vital signs include loading speed, interactivity, and visual stability. The more a site can ensure a positive user experience, thus having positive Core Web Vitals, the better it will maintain high search rankings.
Run this report regularly to identify when and where maintenance is needed. Working closely with your website’s developers to improve these vitals will be required. Recommendations from an article at web.dev say that above all else, resolving issues involving your site’s Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), which is the measure of load performance, will be the most critical.
Consider these other options to improve Core Web Vital scores:
- Implement a caching solution
- Eliminate render-blocking resources
- Size and optimize images properly
- Implement lazy loading
- Optimize web fonts
- Upgrade your web hosting
Enlist the Experts
These five trends offer great opportunities for your operation to generate quality leads and grow business. Staying attuned to these trends, implementation, and adapting strategies is key, not just for survival but for growth in the dynamic world of digital visibility. At Strategy, we live for SEO. We have more than a decade of experience helping businesses optimize web content that generates new customers.
If these five trends for the future of SEO have you intrigued and chomping at the bit to implement, we are here for you! Schedule a consultation for your SEO practices and learn how we can help you implement these trends for maximum return.