SEO Trends to Watch in 2024

SEO Trends to Watch in 2024

Although many experts in digital marketing try to predict SEO trends every year, no one can predict precisely. Past trends have been proven wrong, and algorithms can change at any time, so marketers struggle to keep up.

A great example is how AI content has taken off since July 2022. Nobody expected it to be this fast. Nevertheless, predicting trends is still important to keep up with the digital landscape. As we forecast the future of SEO in 2023, approach these predictions critically and adapt willingly as new data and technology trends emerge.

With that in mind, I believe several trends will be important for SEO practitioners to pay attention to in 2023 and 2024.

High Demand for AI and Machine Learning in SEO

AI adoption has more than doubled in the last five years, and the presence of AI and ML in the SEO industry is no different. Artificial intelligence refers to the development of computer systems that perform tasks that require human intelligence, such as problem solving, learning, and decision making. 

In contrast, machine learning (ML) is a subset of AI that focuses on creating algorithms that allow computers to learn from data and improve their performance over time without explicit programming.

While there are many innovative ways to use AI in business, SEO experts are more inclined to use AI and ML to do what has been done manually for a long time.

Don’t get me wrong, bots have been used in SEO for a while to automate tasks like creating spam links, but the use of AI and ML in 2023 will be for classification, identification and creating content.

The speed of AI in assisting with SEO tasks like keyword clustering, identifying the intent behind searched phrases, and predicting article topics using Google’s NLP API means SEOs are much better at creating relevance between content and its backlinks, which in turn drives better results. Good.

Additionally, AI has contributed a lot in generating content. This eliminates the need for humans when writing content. However, useful content updates from Google still ensure that the results displayed are content that is useful for humans.

Statista predicts that there will be 8 billion voice assistants in use by 2024. That means there is at least one assistant for every creature on the planet.

It’s no surprise that voice search continues to be an important aspect of digital technology, as it offers a convenient, hands-free method for users to access information. Over the past decade, voice search adoption has grown substantially, driven by advances in voice recognition technology and increased use of smartphones and smart speakers.

The increasing reliance on mobile devices with assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant have become more accurate and sophisticated, enabling seamless voice interactions for a variety of tasks, including search. Additionally, the rise of smart speakers and IoT devices has made voice search a part of everyday life for many households.

For example, I recently had a baby boy join our family, and having a smart speaker trained to listen for “Baby going to sleep” really helped when I had both hands busy trying to keep the baby from doing a barrel roll on the table change.

As a result, we have become more accustomed to voice interactions, thereby increasing our use of voice search.

Google Quality Guidelines Will Remain Important

QRG keep getting longer, but you have no choice but to familiarize yourself with them as a webmaster.

Google Quality Rater Guidelines (QRG) are important because they provide insight into how Google assesses and ranks web content. Human quality raters use these guidelines to evaluate websites and inform Google algorithm updates. 

Understanding QRG helps web admins, SEO professionals, and content creators align their strategies with Google’s expectations, ultimately improving their site’s visibility and performance in search results.

In December 2022, Google updated QRG and added another E to the famous E-A-T. As a webmaster, you can share some anecdotes from the past to show your Experience (latest E). If you can show your previous experience (E), it can show that you are an expert in a particular topic. 

While getting mentions and references from other niche sites can show that you are an authority (A) and a trusted resource. All of the above will increase trust (T). This adds basic requirements to ensure your page does and provides what it says it wants to do.

Positive User Experience Will Be a Priority

For years, SEO experts have asked for guidance on how to meet and improve UX, and in 2021, we got Core Web Vitals centered on user experience on websites. But in 2023, that won’t be enough for SEO. 

Not only should your website be easy to use, but the content should also be useful to users. In August 2022, Google released a Helpful Content Update and made changes again in December 2022.

Keyword Research Will Still Be Useful, But It’s Only Part of the Picture

This is a fundamental skill for any SEO expert, and it is no different in 2023. However, many practitioners jump straight to using keyword tools without truly understanding their target audience. This must change in 2023, as it is the only way to differentiate yourself from the plethora of content that reads almost the same in the top 10 results on the SERP.

Understand your target audience and start by defining their needs, preferences and key points. This understanding will guide your keyword research and help you create content that appeals to your audience. Use research tools like GWI or SparkToro to get more information than just keywords.

Conduct user research surveys and listen to what your audience is saying online about you or your competitors.

In 2016, I worked with a client who was ranking 1st for a selected term, but at the time, the ranking report did not take into account the coveted ‘position 0’ of featured snippets. 

For three months, I pondered why traffic had taken a nosedive until I looked at the SERPs, and that’s when I discovered there were other websites, not even direct competitors, that were ranking in featured snippets, stealing all our cclicks It was the time when research on Zero-Click Search emerged.

More Focus on Shopping and Merchant Features

It is reported that more than 36% of online shoppers worldwide start their product searches on leading local marketplaces, and based on the SERP features available to shoppers, search engines like Google are scrambling to reclaim these markets.

It is estimated that the global e-commerce market will reach 6.3 trillion in 2023 and 8.1 trillion in 2026, making it a significant market share to capture.

That’s why if you’re an e-commerce store, Google is watching you because, in May 2022, Google announced its integration with Shopify and, later in September, wrote about 9 new tools available to merchants.

Some of these features include spotting trends, shopping with filters, using multimedia, and shopping in 3D. Now, even if you’re not a Shopify user, you can take advantage of these features by implementing Product Schema in your store.

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