The arrival of artificial intelligence has definitely launcheda new era of marketing. SEO has to adapt too, even more so than many other industries. No one knows how radically yet, but one thing is certain – follow the trends, prepare in advance and don’t miss the beginning. It’s happening right now.
SEO trends for 2024 do not come as a fad or a novelty. They came because they are needed. Search methods are changing, and SEO is changing with them. Why?
- The arrival of artificial intelligence within Internet search engines will significantly affect the way your website, content or product will be listed in the SERP. You will no longer see exclusively blue links on the first page and a fight for the first positions.
- Google is already testing answers generated by artificial intelligence in the US. These are displayed above all other search results, along with links to relevant sources on which the AI drew.
- The traditional pillars of EAT quality content (expertise, authority, trustworthiness) have been supplemented with Experience by Google, leading to the creation of EEAT.
- Tools like ChatGPT are transforming the way you search for information and products. A search turns into a conversation and, together with voice search, creates completely new conditions for website optimisation.
Based on extensive research, it is clear that marketers have respect for AI, and those organizations that have not yet made SEO their priority have the greatest respect of all. They are the ones who are losing out on this opportunity.
At the same time, 83% of respondents believe that AI will have a positive impact on SEO in 2024 , helping them work faster, more efficiently and at a better price.
The launch of the experimental version of Search Generative Experience (SGE) is proving to be a real challenge for SEO specialists in 2024.
Traditional search results with blue clickable links are currently being overtaken by answers generated by Google’s language model. Google is currently testing the model in America and will most likely spread it across the whole world in 2024.
The key for SEO specialists will be to understand how language models generate their answers. In particular, what content can AI create that is valuable and answers the user’s query in accordance with his search intent.
The important thing is to find out where this AI has the biggest gaps, for which types of queries the results are unsatisfactory, and what types of data the language model lacks when it fails to generate satisfactory answers.
Whoever figures it out first and incorporates it correctly into their content strategy will be at a great advantage and can therefore increase their chances of being listed as a source. If we were to illustrate it with specific examples, it could be, for example, hands-on experience, authentic comments, quality UGC, interesting video content or research.
Search results generated by artificial intelligence (SGE) are displayed above all others in the tested version of Google.
In practice, the page with search results will be supplemented by an AI-generated answer. If a person enters a specific question into Google, the algorithm checks the content of the most relevant pages and generates a suitable answer from it.
The user gets the answer without ever clicking on any link in the search results. A direct consequence will most likely be an increase in so-called Zero-Click Searches.
Already, more than 40% of searches are non-clickable. Especially if the question is direct and simple.
According to a survey of SEO specialists, up to 70% of them believe that SGE will disrupt their existing SEO strategy. We’re not surprised to hear this, as AI has changed the way people search for and consume content.
On the other hand, however, Google’s position on the criteria for displaying content in search results remains unchanged – the most important thing is the quality of the content.
This means that Google does not evaluate whether the content was generated by artificial intelligence or a human in terms of position in the SERP. Content generated by artificial intelligence can be placed on the first rungs if it is relevant and valuable.
Detailed SEO recommendations from Google for online stores can be found in the article SEO hacks.
We do not know exactly how the algorithm selects the resources for the generated answer, but it is clear that they are almost always sites that are an authority in the given area.
Google defines content quality as EEAT (experience, expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness).
Topic clusters will therefore be key for 2024 when it comes to content SEO.
A topic cluster is a cluster of interconnected and thematically related subpages or articles. At the same time, all these subpages direct the visitor to a specific page through internal linking.
Topic clusters, together with optimised site architecture:
- build the authority of the given website,
- make it easier for people to discover relevant content across the web,
- simplify navigation for bots,
- help improve UX.
Example of a topic cluster. Thanks to this, you can improve the navigation of the website and simultaneously cover a lot of keywords.
An AI-generated snippet consists of relevant content for a given keyword that appears in the SERPs. In the excerpt, SGE cites sources of information through hyperlinks that users can click through to the given website.
In addition to the generated answer, users can ask SGE additional questions. This trend extends the SEO strategy through the so-called AEO (Answer Engine Optimisation).
For example, use FAQs (frequently asked questions) directly in your articles. Think about the most common questions people have about the topic you’re discussing and answer them.
Identify words that come up in common conversation through keyword planning tools and incorporate them into your content. This way, you will prepare for changes in the way people search in the era of conversational queries and voice search.
Specialise in a specific topic to cover a wide range of keywords and queries. A good structure makes it easier for humans and bots to navigate the text.
Conversational queries, along with generated responses, are likely to negatively affect people’s interest in clicking classic links in SERPs.
The question remains whether Google really wants to achieve this effect, givent that a large part of its revenue comes from advertising.
For now, it leaves links to the content it drew from in the generated response.
In the future, these positions can become a new bidding zone, similar to the first ranks of paid and organic search. And a new source of income for Google.
Are you (unsuccessfully) fighting for positions with highly competitive keywords? In that case, your 2024 SEO strategy needs a change – focus on keywords with zero search volume.
No keyword collection tools can cover all queries. Even Google itself overestimates the search rate of individual words in its tools. Keywords that are not recognised by keyword research tools may hold interesting value for a specific segment.
- Ask the customer service centre or the staff at a stores what people are really asking them.
- Monitor conversations in the online space where your target group is located (LinkedIn, Twitch, Mumsnet, etc.).
- Get inspired by your competition if you’ve already been overtaken.
- Play alphabet soup with the Google search engine – gradually enter individual letters of the alphabet after a longer keyword and take note of what else people are searching for.
This type of analysis takes time and a thorough understanding of the web. However, an overlooked keyword can bring in a small but highly relevant amount of traffic.
For example, for the keyword “how to choose trainers” we accidentally added the word “for”. The autofill automatically displayed the longtail keyword “how to choose trainers for a suit”.
After adding any letter to the keyword “how to choose trainers”, other search terms will appear.
At first glance, the search rate of the keyword appears to be zero. We obtained data on zero searches from Marketing Miner and Google Chrome extension Surfer.
After entering the query, search results appear immediately, however, they unfortunately do not answer it.
If someone who sells trainers comes in and creates valuable content on the topic of suits and trainers, they will quickly work their way to the top positions. They will have a high chance of capturing a small but highly relevant stream of traffic for their website.
Despite the fact that the keyword “how to choose trainers for a suit” has zero searches according to word planners, it is already covered with texts. However, they do not respond to the searcher’s query.
If you feel that every year you are inundated with articles and analysis on trends for the upcoming year, you are right. Marketing is an extremely fast-developing segment.
However, do not overlook those SEO trends that are currently on thier way in. The change in the way we search for information is here, and the best time to prepare for it is now. At the same time, do not forget that the basics of SEO remain the same – a user-friendly website, fast page loading and quality content.
When creating an SEO strategy, taking inspiration from your competition does not work. Every company has to find its own way of doing things better than others. The strategy is based on realistic and measurable goals.
How to go about it?
- Clearly define what you are going to implement within SEO and where you want to get to. Writing 15 articles a month is not an SEO strategy. You need to know if it is financially worthwhile to generate such a large amount of content and what you want it to bring you.
- Constantly evaluate your SEO strategy and don’t be afraid to fix it if it isn’t working.
- Keep in mind that SEO is a very unpredictable area of marketing and organic search reach for many keywords is declining. Within your strategy, include a plan for what you will do if the current actions stop working.
- Think about the potential for growth. If you know the current web traffic volume and know what it could be, think about how to achieve that increase.
- Don’t rely on one pillar of SEO, such as content or link building.
Do you want to take your SEO to a higher level? Do you need to adapt your existing SEO strategy to the upcoming changes? Get in touch with our team of SEO specialists. Let us help you enhance your SEO by reaching valuable organic traffic while saving on Google Ads.