It has already been a month of 2024, and many of you are still wondering how to elevate your SEO game.
No worries! We have your efforts covered.
So which of the 2023 upgrades will work this year?
Do you need to refurbish your SEO strategies completely?
AI (Artificial Intelligence) has crept into almost every 2023 marketing strategy. According to predictions, it will play a bigger role this time. However, the raw hype around AI will slow down, just like other new technologies. Marketers are already using their knowledge of years to filter raw AI content, keeping uniqueness and authority on priority.
Google has become extra-picky regarding indexing, and marketers need to be extra careful regarding the content they publish on search engines this year. Index cleaning, content pruning, updating, and audits will take the front seat, pushing random publishing to the background.
“Research, think & publish” will be the new motto of SEO content creators.
It has already been predicted that voice searches will reach 2 billion from 1 billion in 2023. Even if the value does not reach the specified bar, it will increase exponentially in the coming months.
Link building is all about authority now. You have to earn those backlinks through toil and sweat, as Digital PR is dominating this landscape. More than 95% of online businesses have no organic traffic, as they do not have any authority backlinks pointing to their sites. This has to change.
Multichannel SEO will be mandatory to create a robust brand presence online. The presence of your business on other channels is no longer an option. If you want to do it big this year, make sure that you invest in multichannel SEO, which will certainly impose a greater impact.
Are you already yearning for more? Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of SEO trends in 2024 then!
1. Leveraging AI and automation
2023 witnessed the rise of AI (Artificial Intelligence) as an exceptional marketing tool. According to a survey by Mailchimp, 88% of marketers opine that companies should leverage AI to stay competitive in meeting customers’ expectations. However, 2024 will see a new perspective on the usage of AI and automation tools in SEO and content generation. AI-fuelled tools will help marketers develop content strategies on trending topics, understand user intent, and mass produce relevant content.
In other words, marketers will streamline the way they use AI today. Sophisticated AI will identify and create content themes based on data, making content generation more relevant and in sync with user intent. By capturing the target audience’s attention through data-based content, digital marketers will be able to upscale their content strategies and boost SEO and SERP rankings for any brand.
Let us take you beyond the tech to understand the benefits that AI and machine learning can bring to your marketing campaigns.
Have you ever gone fishing? Conventional SEO is like traditional fishing, where luck plays a major role. AI-based marketing is like fishing with advanced equipment that studies the behavioral modes of different types of fishes, their habitats, breeding areas, etc., to capture the maximum lot.
Now you get it, don’t you?
Note: This year, marketing professionals will realize that AI is just equipment that they need to use to upscale and compete. It is not a replacement for the human brain. As a result, raw AI content will be filtered to boost authority and uniqueness. Creativity of the human mind will reign supreme, powered by AI and machine learning.
2. Optimizing Google SGE
Google’s AI-powered Search, also known as SGE (Search Generative Experience), is an advanced method by the search engine to interact with its audience. Nowadays, when we enter a search query, we get some clear, concise, and to-the-point answers at the top of SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) without even clicking on a certain website. Although these snippets are taken from the content of top-ranking websites, generally, these hold the answers to our queries, thus eliminating the need to click further.
That’s the AI-powered SGE that we are talking about here. And you may have guessed by now that it is posing a challenge for marketers, as the websites are losing their click-through rates.
In 2024 and beyond, marketers will be up for the double challenge by leveraging this feature of the search engine. What’s the double challenge?
- Getting featured in the search engine’s SGE snippet
- Compelling users to click on the links alongside the SGE snippet to learn more on the topic
How to do that now? Here are a few hacks:
- Establish niche authority – Create content that establishes niche authority. Keep your focus on the topic and make sure you have complete authority on the industry niche.
- Use direct language – Divide the content into blocks of text, bullets to create organized sections. The SGE AI comprehends information in chunks of text, so make sure your content is well-organized and approaches the topic directly.
- Relevant information – New, relevant information that is not available elsewhere has a higher chance of featuring in the SGE. Use authentic and relevant data to back up your content and try to always share new information.
- Expert opinions – The Google SGE seems to pick up chunks of information from various sources to feature in its SGE snippet. Using expert opinions on the given topic may increase your chances of getting featured.
Using these hacks in your content marketing strategies can help optimize Google SGE.
Note: There is no reason to believe that in 2024, traditional SERPs will lose their significance. Users may not entirely depend on Google SGE results to resolve their queries, so creating a balance in your content strategy is a must.
3. Parasite SEO
Parasite SEO, as the name suggests, is an advanced SEO strategy that involves using high-authority websites to rank your site faster in the SERPs. By publishing content on high-authority sites with traffic bursts like no other, you will increase your chances of ranking higher faster. In other words, you will be feeding off the popularity of another high-ranking, authoritative website to increase your ranking (just like a parasite).
In 2024, parasitic SEO will gain further momentum, as it is quite beneficial for new sites, which cannot wait for months to rank on the top pages.
What you need to do is:
- Identify high-ranking websites in your niche market (Reddit, Washington City Paper, Medium, NY Weekly, etc.)
- Analyze the tone and type of content on those sites
- Develop exceptional, informative, and data-packed content to submit
- Optimize the content with your targeted keywords
- Make affiliate connections to add tier-2 backlinks to the developed content
- Submit the content after thorough review and proofreading
If you are new to this kind of SEO practice, you may wonder how to identify the high-authority websites that will be best for you. We have you covered!
- Go for websites with high DA (Domain Authority) and a strong backlink base.
- Remember that a domain rating of 50 or more is a must to indicate a high traffic influx.
- Choose only niche websites to maintain relevance.
While creating the content, you should be extra vigilant.
- Don’t just write, write, and write! Research and make sure that your content is in sync with the targeted search queries and general queries of your potential customers.
- The content should be original with new and unique information that is rarely found elsewhere. Conduct competitor audits and audience analysis to develop a strategy first.
- Structuring and formatting should not be neglected for enhanced readability.
- Make the content engaging and entertaining as much as possible.
- Put visuals, graphics, and videos, to increase engagement further.
- Ah ha! SEO! Do not forget to include the targeted keywords for your business.
- After publishing, make it a point to update your content with newer information, as and when available.
Once you have published the content, do not forget to promote it on social media platforms to multiply engagement. It will get you more traffic and visibility within a short span. Your ranks will increase based on the publishing website and the overall engagement you achieve.
4. Online Brand Building
Gone are the days when only having a high-ranking website was the endgame. Today, you have to build a robust brand visibility online to get the desired marketing results. How to do that?
Enters online brand building strategies!
In 2024 and even beyond that, the brand building will not only be about creating a recognizable brand name or logo but developing a deep and long-term relationship with your target audience. This relationship should also surpass the marketing and promotional aspirations and focus on connection, relevance, and adding value to lives.
Authority is the key to developing a strong connection with your audience. People these days do not trust brands that fail to show their true selves online. Customers demand complete transparency before they invest their time or money in a brand. According to a survey by Label Insight, 94% of customers commit to businesses that do not hesitate to maintain transparency. And what adds to this? The search engines too prefer to rank businesses that the users love and visit the most.
How to achieve a robust brand identity online?
- Be transparent about your business practices.
- Publish content that reveals how you work, and engage with the audience regularly
- Be liable for issues if any; give justifications to your customers and mend your ways
- Participate actively in socio-economic and socio-political trends
- Promote sustainable business practices to leave a positive ecological impact
Now, you must be wondering how these things relate to search engine optimization, right? Let us explain!
In the shortest terms, the greater the reputation of your brand online, the higher will be your ranks. Search Engines view any website based on several ranking factors, of which brand reputation is one. It helps improve the credibility and authority of any business website, which, in turn, improves ranking. Further, only businesses with a remarkable brand reputation get ranked at the top of SERPs to ensure the best experience for the searchers.
Note: Your brand reputation will influence your rankings and lead to an increase in conversion rates automatically. Make sure you opt for the best SEO practices that put your brand in a positive light and never disappoint your online customer base.
5. Targeting Zero-Volume keywords
Since last year, marketers have wondered if they should start targeting zero-volume keywords in their SEO campaigns. These low-competition keywords have suddenly started getting a lot of attention this year. According to the latest trends, the zero-volume keywords, though have lesser potential to convert, they can rank a new website higher up the SERPs faster.
There is a reason why high-performing websites do not target zero-volume keywords. It is because they already are performing well on the SERPs and need to convert more leads and generate more revenue. The low-competition keywords will not help these websites achieve that goal. However, newer websites can leverage zero-volume keywords to get their deserving ranks. Once these websites secure their position in the SERPs, they can take part in the high-competition keyword race to optimize conversions.
Strategic marketers, who have their eyes on the customer 24/7, believe that relevant zero-volume keywords also help businesses find the right audience. As the keywords are specific and mostly long-tail, these reach out to potential customers, who are already prepared to convert. In a Tweet, Google revealed that 15% of Google search queries are unique and specific, thus increasing the chances of conversion if you target those in your marketing endeavors.
Hence, as the trends reveal, more marketers are going to target these zero-volume keywords to rank higher and get an audience faster.
6. Optimizing Zero-Click Searches
A study in 2020 revealed that about 65% of searches (mobile and computers combined) end up without any website clicks. That is a scary scenario for online brands, as losing out on such a large chunk of website visits is detrimental to the business. This year, marketers have seemingly come up with an amazing plan to optimize zero-click searches for SEO. Before we get to that, understand the types of zero-click traps that you may fall into while developing content for your website.
- Definitions – Search queries regarding the meaning, usage, or spelling of a term are the commonest zero-click traps that websites should be aware of.
- How To’s – Most of the how-s and why-s asked on search engines today result in zero-click searches through featured snippets.
- Quick answers – Instant answers to search queries these days do not need users to click on any website unless they need more information.
- Location-based queries – These are taken to map results directly without needing to click on any site.
- Knowledge queries – A list of movies, events, details of celebrated personalities, and movie/show ratings fall under knowledge queries that also do not require further clicks.
Now that you have some idea about the types of zero-click searches, let us focus on ways to turn the feature into your brand’s SEO advantage.
A few hacks trending this year for businesses to avoid ruining their click-through rates are:
- Regulate thorough keyword research using upgraded tools to create a list of search queries featured in the zero-click searches for your niche market.
- Leverage the Click-per-Search (CPS) data to identify target keywords for your website.
- Go ahead and optimize high-performing pages on your website with these keywords.
- Enhance page navigation, optimize meta tags, and use Schema Markup wherever deemed suitable
- Optimize images by leveraging keywords in alt tags so that those get features in zero-click search results
- Use your social media channels and offer authentic information to increase the chances of getting featured in the snippets
- Keep your Google Business Profile updated
Note: Zero-click searches or Instant Answer SERPs are not the enemies of SEO. If you optimize content on your website and social media after a thorough understanding of how these work, you are likely to make the best of this feature. From losing out on a chunk of traffic to getting most of the traffic through Instant Answer SERPs, you can change the game with the aid of the aforementioned practices.
7. Authority Link-Building
Digital PR is the “word of the moment” for authority link building. Backlinks have always played a major role in SEO, but these days, it is not that easy. Digital marketers should remember that acquiring a chunk of backlinks is not enough to up your SEO game in 2024 and beyond. Link quality surpasses the significance of link quantity today. Quality backlinks suggest that your content is authoritative and valuable, something that search engines prefer to rank at the top. These also enhance site credibility and trustworthiness, besides giving your website traffic burst.
Now, to practice authority link-building, you should grasp the concept of Digital PR first. In short, Digital PR represents a series of advanced marketing strategies to improve online visibility and brand awareness. Being a high-performing site on Google is not everything, but your business should also have a robust presence on social media through Digital PR. It will help your business stand out and stay ahead. Plus, Digital PR also helps your website overcome rank saturation on SERPs, boost organic traffic, and improve domain authority.
Link building through Digital PR
Optimizing digital public relations, e.g., publishing press releases and pitching your brand in the media can direct authority backlinks to your website. Guest posting on high-authority websites and earning quality backlinks for your SEO campaign can help up your marketing game in no time. Since 2021, Digital PR has been gaining momentum and this year, it will occupy the central position in all link-building practices.
Some hacks that can help you make the best of Digital PR in 2024 are:
- Find journalistic sites to publish high-quality, relevant, data-driven content regarding your brand. Conduct thorough audience analysis to get an idea about the type of approved content.
- Develop interactive campaigns that attract journos to talk about your brand. In other words, you should “get them talking” about your products/services to earn those PR backlinks.
- Connect with journos to get informed about the stories and articles they are planning to cover next. Sit with your business experts and gain insightful information on your industry to give the media something productive and relevant to cover.
- Publish press releases that cover product information or updates about your brand, something that your target audience may be interested in.
- Tell your brand stories to the world. Brand stories are always interesting to all types of audiences and can, thereby, uplift your Digital PR game.
Note: Buying or gifting links are becoming obsolete. Prepare for the new rush – Digital PR- today! It will help your brand become successful not only on Google but also the social media, boosting conversions and ROI.
8. Index Cleaning
Have you been managing the SEO of a website for years now? Just imagine the amount of indexing you have gathered over the years! Do you have any idea of how many of those are still in function?
Every search engine update rolls out an unsaid competition of quality over quantity. If you do not have your website’s indexing streamlined and clutter-free, chances are, you will lose in that race.
Marketers in 2024 are all set to focus more on index cleaning!
Index cleaning is nothing but reducing the clutter of irrelevant URLs, Thank You pages, articles that do not offer value anymore, etc. A combination of these unnecessary links and pages creates an index bloat that search engine crawlers find great difficulty crawling. The index bloat is more common in the case of eCommerce websites with several products and pages to manage. It creates unnecessary hazards for search crawlers to crawl your website, leading to poor ranking, as well as a degraded user experience.
Through proper index cleaning methodologies, you can improve your SEO campaign and help your website rank at the top. All you need to do is,
- Identify potential index bloats, including old press releases, archives, image pages, irrelevant landing pages with low-quality content, automated user profiles, Thank You pages, old testimonials, pages with tracking URLs, etc.
- Find all indexed pages by creating a list of URLs from your sitemap or by downloading a list of published URLs from your CMS. You can also refer to your website’s indexing report from the Google Search Console and download the same as a CSV file.
- Run a log file analysis to get a thorough idea of indexed pages on your website. You can either contact your website’s hosting provider or get the files from their backend directly.
- Once you have a list of indexed pages on your website, the toughest thing will be to determine which ones to remove. The use of the best industry tools can help you in this regard. These advanced tools identify low-performing pages using site-quality parameters, making the index cleaning process hassle and headache-free.
- If you are still left with some pages that you do not wish to remove for the benefit of SEO, make sure you optimize the same with target keywords.
Note: Index cleaning should be a carefully articulated process to prevent deleting significant pages that play a major role in your ranking. Use only trusted and high-performing tools for identifying and removing index bloats.
9. Multichannel Marketing and SEO
As per all predictions, multichannel marketing is set to boost SEO in 2024, and probably beyond. Every brand should try to establish its presence outside blogs and articles to gear up for multichannel visibility. Linking your website’s content on social media through relevant and trending hashtags will make crawlers find those faster. Using every channel to promote your brand will keep it in the spotlight, generating talk in the town. This multichannel visibility will ultimately add to ranking factors, improve chances of conversions, and increase ROI.
Understanding Multichannel Marketing through RACE
The RACE framework helps break down the top-to-bottom funnel strategy of the customer journey on a website. It comprises four steps, namely, Reach, Act, Convert, and Engage.
A typical RACE framework may include:
- Visitors landing on your website through Google searches
- Signing up as subscribers to receive newsletters through emails
- Clicking on the link in a newsletter and ending up on a product page
- After adding the product to the cart, abandoning the transaction
- The product is shown repeatedly through display ads on different websites
- A discounted rate ends up closing the transaction
- The lead-turned-customer receiving confirmation of the order along with a personalized “Thank You” note via email
- Emails offering discounts on future purchases are sent to the customer
- Sending news on special offers to the customer at regular intervals
To achieve this ultimate goal, you need to follow multichannel marketing meticulously and stringently. Here’s how to do that:
- Email Marketing – One of the significant and traditional forms of multichannel marketing is following up via email. When a customer abandons the cart, emails (personalized or otherwise) and sent to target them and drive some action on their part. The best way to achieve this is by publishing great content on your pages so that the potential customer signs up as a subscriber to receive news and updates on your products regularly.
- Retargeting – It can be achieved through social media display ads. Third-party sites will keep showing the product that your customer ordered and left on the cart, thus pushing them to reconsider the decision.
- Content marketing – This, by far, is the most significant form of marketing that your SEO campaign can leverage. Publish content on all channels to create a robust identity of your brand and earn organic traffic. You can promote your products/services through solid copywriting on social media, PPC ads, display ads, email marketing, newsletters, etc.
- Influencer marketing – It is a new avenue, but an indispensable one for multichannel marketing. Connecting with influencers in your market niche can help generate visibility for your brand, leading to higher chances of conversions.
- Video marketing – Incorporating videos on landing pages increases the chances of conversion by more than 85%. You can opt for dynamic video retargeting for your potential customers and increase ROI by about 50%.
Note: It would not be wrong to say that multichannel marketing is the new SEO in 2024. If you need to upgrade your marketing endeavors, ignoring this may not be the best idea.
10. Content E.E.A.T.
“Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness” – EEAT is all set to dominate content marketing in 2024.
So what is this EEAT and how will it impact your SEO?
The EEAT is a Google Search Quality Rater guidebook that some high-authority professionals use to evaluate search engine results and determine their authenticity and trustworthiness to rank them. Although not a direct ranking factor, EEAT will influence your SEO to a great extent in the following days.
In December 2022, the search engine giant added the extra “E” for “Experience” to streamline search results further. To get your content in the topmost positions in SERPs, you need to understand these four components.
E for Experience
Any piece of content should include the writer’s first-hand experience on the topic to determine uniqueness and authenticity. It should consist of the creator’s opinions and suggestions as a major experience module.
E for Expertise
The raters determine if the creator has any topical expertise regarding the content that they have crafted. They may go the extra mile to evaluate the creator’s qualifications and knowledge base to determine expertise. For example, if the content contains financial advice, the raters will check if the creator has had any professional expertise in the finance domain.
A for Authoritativeness
It refers to your brand’s overall reputation in your industry. For example, a piece of medical advice from WebMD is authoritative, as the website is a reputed publication for medical content. The creators of WebMD articles are professional wellness experts. The raters connect with real-time doctors to evaluate the accuracy of their content.
T for Trustworthiness
It is the most significant part of the EEAT content evaluation strategy. Factual accuracy, reliability of the sources, and lesser number of ads are some of the factors that generate overall trustworthiness. Other factors include website conditions, domain authority, and security. For example, if your eCommerce site consists of a page with an insecure connection, you will lose on this evaluation factor.
You need to buckle up and make the most of content EEAT this year as a winning SEO strategy. Create only high-quality, authoritative articles that showcase industry expertise and evoke trustworthiness to rank higher in the SERPs.
A Few SEO Predictions for 2024
Now that we have discussed the trends that will dominate the rest of the year and probably beyond, let us discuss some SEO predictions that may come in handy.
Google will not roll out SGE in its existing form in 2024. They have failed to monetize this feature so far, owing to high costs and fewer ads. We predict that the search engine giant is likely to roll out lighter LLM (Large Language Model) features into its results.
Google will continue to double down hard on e-commerce queries. The search engine giant will continue to roll out new features that turn the search results into a category-page-like experience. Product grids will become a focal point in the SERPs.
Video content will gain prominence in the search results, especially via platforms such as YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels, etc. According to the search engine giant, customer-driven media, like reels and shorts, will give them an edge over AI-fueled tools, e.g., ChatGPT. Hence, it will continue to integrate such content into the search experience in the following days.
Google may rethink how its algorithms evaluate content in search rankings. With the rise of generative AI, content is now more of a commodity than ever. The trend is similar to what backlinks went through in the early 2000s. The search engine giant will try to find answers and promote systems that encourage SEOs to create content that is elevated from what generative AI can produce.
SEOs will need to get comfortable creating more full-funnel strategies that create personalized experiences for their users. Since we will likely see some kind of LLM feature in the search results, user behavior will change towards expecting more personalized content over time. Marketers need to understand and comprehend user interactions with generative AI to offer enhanced personalized experiences.
In final words
The trends that we have discussed will mark a new SEO era in 2024, beyond rankings.
Brand visibility on multiple channels will be of foremost importance. AI-generated content will need fine-tuning to establish authority. All types of content that you will publish on your site or other places will be evaluated based on experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Google SGE will be improvised for better performance in terms of monetization. Index cleaning will become a priority for website owners to prevent losing out on visitors and ranking. Digital PR will revolutionize organic link-building.
In other words, we may experience a complete overhaul of SEO this year. If you want to stay ahead of the curve (which of course you do), this is the best time to hire some experienced professionals to upgrade your marketing strategies and fill you in on the latest updates in a detailed manner.
Take your SEO game to the next level by preparing for futuristic developments!