12 SEO trends to keep an eye out for in 2024

With an industry as changeable – and unpredictable – as ours, keeping on top of SEO trends is quite the task.

From unexpected rollouts of the Google Core Algorithm to wider legislation changes, being in such a dynamic sector has its challenges. As new standards are set, it’s our job to meet them – with 2024 set to be packed with updates that have been in the works for years and emerging trends.

But the real question is: which ones are fads and which ones are certain to stick around?

To get to the bottom of this, our team of in-house SEO experts have collated some of our industry’s top trends – including some that are a little off the radar. With this guide, you should have all the information you need to react to changes (and ultimately rank) better throughout the year.

Let’s get into it.

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12 SEO trends for 2024

AI’s rising star continues

As Artificial intelligence (AI) continues to develop at pace, there’s no surprise that it would come first – and play a huge role – on our list of SEO trends. AI actually underpins a number of trends in this list, with search engines harnessing it to accurately profile users and tailor results for their intent. Gone are the days of clunky, cookie-cutter keywords in your strategies, as AI is prioritising topic experts and natural language elements to align with a new generation of, well, result generation. More on that next.

E-E-A-T your experts

Updated as part of the Google Search Quality Rater Guidelines, search engines have changed tack to rank expert-led content first. These new guidelines, catchily known as E-E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) as of 2022, is officially the rule of thumb for content creation. So to get those pieces to the top of the SERP, focus on boosting your website’s overall E-E-A-T with expert collaborations and top-level backlinks from authoritative sources.

Author prowess

A little extra food for thought: to ‘piggyback’ on the importance of authority in search, put effort into establishing your authors as experts in any industry. Reputation building is a tool in itself, and can ultimately give your content more credibility in search results.

Searching with intent

Although voice search hasn’t quite taken off with the speed we first anticipated (although it’s getting there, thanks to smart devices such as Alexa) – conversational search is a huge contender. The backbone of this is user intent, meaning that understanding the behavioural factors that drive people to navigate the Messy Middle is now a crucial part of SEO. Gone are the days of quantitative keyword targeting. Now, we need to answer the real questions users have – and fast.

Pressing play on Video SEO

As visual content continues to soar, video is a great way to engage social media-led users while improving website traffic. This year, video SEO is likely to boom, so make sure your house is in order with optimised titles, descriptions, and relevant tags to improve rankings.

Search Generative Experience (SGE)

And now, back to AI. Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) was an experiment-led approach that first started in 2023. As the name suggests, this method uses AI to generate sharper and more informative search results – delivered straight to the SERP. A worry is that it may lead to an uptick in “zero-click” searches, where users find the answer they need without clicking through to a website – but that doesn’t mean SEOs can’t optimise their content in order to show up here.

User signals, experience and rankings

It’s not a fresh theory, but search engines are decidedly putting more emphasis on user signals. These can include anything from bounce rate to time spent on page and other navigational metrics, which Google uses to determine how useful a page is in answering a query. Want to improve those user signals? Focus on creating high-quality, engaging content to net those rankings.

Topic clusters and other subjects

Keywords are the bread and butter of SEO. But they aren’t the be-all-and-end-all of SEO these days. In fact, search engines are much more focused on ‘topical relevance’, meaning that you should create strategies that explore specific topics in-depth – rather than targeting individual keywords and hoping for the best. Why? By developing authority through topic clusters, you will increase your website’s ranking for related searches.

Spring-cleaning your existing content

Evergreen content is evergreen for a reason. But it does need a spruce every now and then. Regularly updating and refreshing existing content across your website can be a great opportunity for SEO, signalling to search engines that your website is constantly being updated.

Answer Engine Optimisation (AEO)

As we touched on earlier with Search Generative Experience, as users want their results more quickly than ever – Answer Engine Optimisation aims to fill that need. This means that SEOs should build their strategies around content that is clear, concise, and directly addresses the user’s question. The bottom line? It doesn’t have to be War and Peace, it just has to be useful.

Mobile-first indexing

Much like video, as more people choose mobile as their preferred method of surfing the web, Google now uses mobile-first indexing for most websites. This will continue well into 202, so ensure your website is fully optimised for mobile devices, from overall UX to page loading.

Local SEO and voice search

Although we said voice search didn’t quite take off as planned, it certainly has found a niche with local search. Questions like: ‘Alexa, where’s the nearest pizza place?’, ‘What’s the weather like?’ and ‘Where can I buy an umbrella?’ all need answers – so make sure those local business listings and content are optimised for voice search queries.

What other trends will dominate 2024?

SEO trends are, like the industry itself, changeable by nature. But with this blog, we hope you’ve found some tips to help you steer those upcoming strategies or plans in the right direction.

But if you’d like some further guidance on your existing SEO plans – or would prefer one of our in-house experts to structure a bespoke strategy for you – look no further than Embryo.

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