Many things in search engine optimization remain constant and yet SEO is never static. It is constantly changing-sometimes in big ways, but always in small ways. Adopting the lasting SEO trends of 2024 will give you a competitive advantage assuming your fundamentals are already in place.
E.E.A.T. Experience, Expertise, Authority, Trust
The concept of E.E.A.T. continues to gain importance and change the SERPs. The new “E” in E.E.A.T. will allow those with firsthand experience to be credited as an authority or someone with expertise in their niche.
Google has recognized that there are many instances where people have unique insights into a topic because of their experience within the niche. If we rewind the dial a few years back, we will recall that when E.A.T. came out, it was to assist humans in evaluating the quality of a web page.
The initial criteria for evaluation, according to the Search Quality Raters Guidelines, was to assess whether the Main Content creator held enough credibility. E.A.T. was one of the main proofs of credibility. This all stemmed from the importance of making YMYL content (Your Money Your Life) credible on Google’s search engine.
The extra “E” changes the way many topics rank in the search engines by giving more credit and therefore more search visibility in their content.
A.I. Tools and content creation
The breakthrough in AI technology has taken the world by storm. It has multiple implications in the SEO world and multiple applications. One of the major areas is content creation.
The most popular tools can create complete articles within seconds. This changes the pace content can be created but what does it mean for ranking on Google?
This topic has already been addressed and Google has made it clear that using AI to create content won’t be banned as long as it demonstrates E.E.A.T. However, if it is determined that AI content is being used to manipulate ranking, it will be considered a violation of its spam policies.
So, where does AI content creation stand? It would seem best not to use it solely for content creation (we would never use it on our client websites) Most AI content tools come with an AI content detector and it would be too risky to leave it up to Google to determine your purpose for publishing AI content.
The SEO applications for AI content creation can be for creating outlines, summarizing articles, writing meta descriptions, and brainstorming ideas. All of these applications can be done in seconds and saves an incredible amount of time for SEOs and content creators.
More emphasis on unique, user-based content
As the rise of AI continues, more emphasis and more reward will be placed on unique, user-based content. While AI can create content faster than any humans, an argument can be made that humans still have a greater ability to create new content with new ideas on old topics.
Content that not only addresses users’ search intent but is published in a new way that’s different from the masses will be rewarded with more search visibility. Content that demonstrated a high level of E.E.A.T.
We’ve seen instances of this when lower authority websites publish pages that outrank the authority websites. Creative, useful and well-researched content will win every time in the foreseeable future.
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Core web vitals
The fundamentals of the user experience are deeply intertwined with the speed and functionality of a website. Google has steadily upped the ante on page speed over the years and making it an official ranking factor in 2018.
The status quo on page speed, cumulative layout shift and overall mobile-friendliness continue to be held to a stricter standard. This means the weight of core web vitals will become a heavier ranking factor. This will not only be for search engines but with users.
No one wants to use a website that takes forever to load. The experience of pushing buttons that don’t work is enough for a user to leave the website.
While it won’t make or break websites, core web vitals will continue the march toward a larger piece of the ranking factors of a website.
Optimizing for zero search volume keywords
As the tide of SEOs both agencies and SEO DIYers rises, so does the saturation of keywords we’re competing for in the search engines. Choosing keywords with zero search volume is becoming more common because they are known to be valuable to a business.
The realization is that many of the tools we use don’t pick up the data on every keyword. This means that if a keyword is searched less than 10 times a month-it may never show up in any version of SEO keyword tools.
Some tools will show 0 volume beside them and that has spurred on this trend of optimizing for zero volume keywords. Many of these keywords can be extremely valuable but because of the low search volume, many people (especially SEO companies) will ignore them.
This creates an opportunity to use zero-volume keywords as short-term goals since (in most cases) they are very easy to get on the first page of Google’s SERPs.
Google claims that more than 15% of the searches they receive daily are search terms they’ve NEVER seen before.
This means that getting ahead of a trend on low search volume or just nailing intent with a long tail keyword holds incredible value.
SEO automation tools
There are SEO tools for everything. This will only accelerate as people will do as they always have and stand on the shoulders of others to keep making something better. There are tools for keywords, page optimization, content evaluation, and competitive analysis.
As the industry grows, so will the tools to automate our processes and make things easier.
Double down on image optimization
As the competition grows in the SERPs, there’s a greater need for the diversification of content. One of the easiest ways to generate more traffic is to double down on image optimization.
Images are one of the top performers when it comes to top-of-the-funnel content. SEOs will look to capitalize more on traffic generation by not only filling out the alt tags but completing full image optimization.
It’s not always a big move that changes your ranking or traffic but the dozens (and sometimes hundreds) of little things to make your web pages more search engine friendly.
The SEO industry is steadily becoming more competitive
The fundamentals of SEO are easy to grasp. In a non-competitive niche, a studious individual can achieve success by researching the abundantly available information. Those days are numbered, however.
The use of SEO tools and the general direction we’ve taken since COVID has launched an entire fleet of new “SEO professionals” into the world.
The competition between SEO companies will strengthen and the number of freelancers will also make things more difficult-even at a local level. If you haven’t started with the SEO of your website now, you’re leaving money on the table because things are getting harder.
Steady, consistent SEO efforts will ensure the growth and development of your website, but the pace is already quickening in many industries.
Get your boat in the water. The tide is rising…
Don’t want to worry about the changing SEO trends in 2024? Leave it to us to rank your website on the first page of Google! We’ve helped businesses in Plano, Fort Worth, Sugar Land, San Marcos and Katy. Schedule a strategy session today!
Christian Carere heads the SEO team here at Austin Bryant Consulting. After building an SEO agency in Toronto (Digital Ducats Inc.) Christian was hired by founder Keith Hunn who has created a full-service digital marketing agency in Plano, TX. Christian has been published on Search Engine Watch, Venngage, Small Biz Daily, Grasshopper, Data Box, Socialnomics, and Mention.