It’s that time of the year when you look out for SEO trends for the upcoming year and optimize your site to stay on top of the game.
To help you focus on the important SEO trends, we curated 8 aspects that you should care about in the upcoming months to achieve your content goals and ROI.
Without any further ado, let’s get started.
8 SEO Trends to Leverage in 2024
#1. AI Answers to Readers' Query Before You Do - SGE
Earlier in May of 2023, Google launched SGE and redesigned how SERP looks for searchers.
Search Generative Experience (SGE) is supported by generative AI, where the search engine formulates a summarized response to the user query. This lets you obtain the required information at the top of the page without having to scroll through results or visit specific websites.
The SGE results include text, videos, images, and source links of the answers, which generative AI uses to pull up a response for your search query.
To access SGE, you need to enable it from Search Labs. SGE supports Android, Computer iPhone and iPad devices, allowing you to experience the new search experience from different devices.
How to Rank in SGE Results?
A recent study conducted by Moz revealed that only 13% of the source links present in the SGE answer box are from top-ranking pages, whereas 46% of the time, only a few pages from the top-ranking were present in the SGE box.
This proves that ranking at the top does not mean you’ll automatically rank your article in the SGE results.
Google SGE answer box appears way above the organic results and ads. This can affect the organic traffic you attract to your website by ranking your content at the top of the SERP.
One way to minimize the toll SGE takes on your content is to rank your content in the SGE answer box.
Although it's uncertain how to optimize for generative AI fully yet, adopting these few best practices can help you minimize the traffic given away to SGE.
- Ensure your content addresses the search intent and provides short yet informative answers.
- Include SME or thought leader opinions and POV in your content.
- Provide direct answers to questions and subheads while maintaining a clean structure in your content.
- Bring new information to the table by researching beyond the SERP and competitors’ pages while creating new content.
- Use bullet points, tables, infographics, and videos to appear in SGE results in one way or another.
#2. Voice Search
Technology evolves, and so does the way humans interact with it.
Voice search is becoming common as many use voice as a preferred method for searching on platforms like Google Assistant, Siri, and Alexa.
Demandsage reported that more than 1 billion voice search is conducted every single month and 40% of the voice search results are derived from featured snippets. That’s another good reason to target for a featured snippet.
While voice search has been quite popular for years now, we can only expect it to grow more, as 40% of adults use voice search every single day.
How to Optimize Content for Voice Search?
People generally use voice searches more conversational than text searches; hence, your content should mirror this trend. This means using natural-sounding, long-tail keywords that resemble how real people speak.
Using an AI-powered SEO tool like Scalenut can help you source questions from your target audience. Here’s an example of using Scalenut to find voice-search-worthy questions.
Step 1: Go to the Scalenut dashboard and open Create an article.
Step 2: Enter your primary and secondary keywords in the search bar.
Step 3: You can access long-form questions using two ways:
Method 1: Create an article using Cruise mode and find all the long-form questions sourced from Quora, Reddit, People Also Ask sections, Related Searchers, etc.
Method 2: Alternatively, you can create an entire article and find frequently asked questions related to your primary keyword in the research tab.
These questions can be used as headers and FAQs in your blog to increase the chances of bagging featured snippets.
Some best practices to follow while optimizing for voice search:
- Structure your content according to your user intent. If the questions call for a bullet list, aim to write a listicle instead of short paragraphs.
- More than 58% of users find local businesses via voice search; hence, ensure your Google My Business page is optimized for search.
- Use short sentences and simple language to weave an easily understandable answer.
- Cut out the fluff and answer the search query directly so voice assistants can quickly convey it to searchers.
#3. Video SEO
Hubspot reported that 52% of people are more likely to share video than any other form of content. With people watching online videos for 17 hours each week, video content is only poised to grow more in 2024.
As Google makes room for video content in SERP and SGE results, building an active audience on video-centric search engines like YouTube has become necessary.
While creating video content can be resource-intensive and requires a solid strategy, one piece of video can be repurposed into different types of content.
For instance, One YouTube video can be broken down and turned into a short video that can be published on LinkedIn. It can also be converted into a blog post, providing readers with more than one option to consume your content.
How to Create Video Content to Generate Traffic to Your site?
Remember the last time you watched a video from the beginning to the end? If not, you’re not alone. People rarely watch a video completely. If you bore them away at the very beginning, your video bounce rate will go up drastically.
3.7m new videos are uploaded to YouTube every single day. Standing out in such a crowded space can be pretty challenging. Here are a few tips on setting yourself up for a good start.
- Ensure you have a solid YouTube content strategy that addresses the interests of your audience.
- Write compelling hooks and design attention-grabbing thumbnails to reel scrollers in. Remember to avoid clickbait at all costs, as it can affect your brand and audience impression.
- Add chapters to your YouTube videos to help Google and viewers understand the content better.
- Optimize your title, tags, and description with your main keywords to improve visibility.
- Use SEO tools like Keywords Analytics and Google Trends to find relevant and trending keywords for your videos.
- Develop a distribution and content repurposing strategy to create multiple content from one idea and deliver it to the readers in different ways.
#4. AI Content Optimization
Creating content is just one piece of a puzzle. Optimizing it for SEO and ranking higher in the SERP is the meat of the game.
Unlike before, you do not have to manually look for keywords on your competitor's blogs and curate a list of primary and secondary keywords to optimize your content.
With the help of AI, you can cut down on labor-intensive work and directly get access to a set of ready-to-use NLP terms that can help you outcompete your competitors.
How to Use AI for Content Optimization?
Here’s how you can optimize your content for on-page optimization to rank better and attract maximum visibility using Scalneut.
Step 1: Head to the Scalenut dashboard and choose content optimizer.
Step 2: Enter the primary keyword you want to rank for in the search bar and hit start.
If you optimize an existing article, adding the URL will automatically export your published content to the editor.
If you’re optimizing a new piece, you can skip this option.
Step 3: In the content editor tab, you can find an optimization score denoting the SEO strength of your content.
All the on-page suggestions are categorized as,
- Key terms
- Meta Tags
- Featured Snippet
- H1 heading
- H2-H6 heading
- Content Depth
- Keyword Density
You can access personalized content suggestions to improve your content score and increase your chances of ranking higher in the SERP.
For instance, In the key terms section, you can find the keywords your competitors are targeting and an example of where they use it in their content.
You can further use the fix-it option to get AI-assisted suggestions to add target keywords to your content.
There are multiple similar features that can help you create rank-ready content. Know more about Scalenut Content Optimizer.
#5. EEAT & Helpful Content
As much as Google encourages and favors AI growth, they have also been rolling out new updates to deliver factually accurate and helpful content to the readers.
The recent helpful content update rolled out in August 2023 took a toll on websites that solely aim to generate traffic and rank higher without providing any value that users are looking for.
Besides the helpful content update, the EEAT update launched in late December of 2022 also served as a reminder that Google prioritizes content value more than any other factors.
Read More about Helpful Content Update here.
How to Create Helpful Content?
While following fundamental content creation best practices can help you achieve your SEO and marketing goals, focusing on these tips can aid in fine-tuning your content.
- Ensure your content is legit and delivers all the information your readers expect.
- Stop scraping the SERP page results for new content. Include new insights and data that position you as a source of information.
- Include expert insights in your content and source new POVs and opinions from subject matter experts to support your arguments.
- Provide a satisfying experience for readers.
- Avoid creating content solely to attract search engine visits or manipulating search rankings.
- Do not produce excessive content on various topics in hopes of ranking well.
- Use automation responsibly and disclose its use to visitors when applicable.
- Clearly communicate why your content is being created, primarily to help people rather than manipulate search rankings.
Know more best practices for creating helpful content.
#6. Mobile-first Indexing
63% of Google’s US organic search traffic is rooted in mobile devices. With the rollout of Mobile-First Indexing, Google now views the mobile version of your website as the primary version - a change driven by increasing reliance on mobile devices for online browsing.
To optimize your website for mobile, utilize the Mobile Usability report in Google Search Console. This will help identify how mobile-friendly your website is from Google's perspective.
Using PageSpeed Insights can also help measure your mobile page speed and suggest areas for improvement.
Whether it's enhancing your site's responsive design, reducing page load time, or improving navigation, every change aimed at improving the mobile user experience is a step towards gaining a competitive edge in the mobile-first algorithm.
How to Ensure Your Site is Mobile Friendly?
- Responsive Design:
Ensure your website uses a responsive design that adapts to different screen sizes and resolutions. This allows for a seamless user experience across all devices.
- Mobile-Friendly Layout:
Optimize the layout of your website for mobile devices. Use a single-column design, clear and concise headings, and easy-to-tap buttons and links. Avoid horizontal scrolling and excessive use of pop-ups.
- Site Speed Optimization:
- Mobile-Optimized Content:
Ensure that your website's content is optimized for mobile devices. Use shorter paragraphs, concise sentences, and bullet points to make reading and navigating on smaller screens easier. Use larger font sizes and clear, legible fonts.
- Optimize Images:
Optimize images for mobile devices by using the correct file format (JPEG for photos, PNG for graphics), reducing file sizes without compromising quality, and using responsive image techniques to deliver the appropriate image size based on the device.
- Mobile-Friendly Navigation:
Simplify the navigation menu for mobile devices. Use a hamburger menu or expandable/collapsible menus to save screen space. Ensure that the menu is easily accessible and visible.
- Implement Schema Markup:
Utilize schema markup to provide structured data to search engines, making it easier for them to understand and display relevant information from your website in search results. This can improve your website's visibility and click-through rates on mobile devices.
Here’s a guide to know everything you need to know about Mobile SEO
#7. Zero Search Volume Keywords
Another trend surfacing in the SEO space is the Zero Search Volume Keywords focus.
As the name suggests, these are keywords that have a search volume of zero according to SEO tools. This does not mean they are irrelevant.
On the contrary, these keywords can help tap into niche markets and offer less competition, making them worthwhile to pursue.
Here are a few reasons why zero search volume keywords are worth considering:
- Lower Competition: Since mainstream SEO focuses on high-volume keywords, zero-volume keywords often have lower competition.
- Unique Needs: These keywords often represent specific, unique queries that, when answered, can offer high conversion rates.
- Building Reputation and Authority: By offering detailed answers to specific queries, websites can establish themselves as an authoritative source in their niche.
Working these zero-volume keywords into your SEO strategy could provide unexpected but sizable benefits to your digital presence.
How to find the Zero Search Volume Keyword?
Here's a step-by-step guide on how to find zero-search volume keywords:
1. Keyword Research Tools: Use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner. These tools provide search volume data for specific keywords.
2. Seed Keywords: Enter your seed keywords or broad topic ideas into the keyword research tool. These can be general terms related to your niche or industry.
3. Filter by Search Volume: Once you've generated a list of keyword suggestions, apply a filter to show only keywords with zero or very low search volumes. This will help you identify keywords that are not commonly searched for.
4. Analyze Relevance: Review the zero search volume keywords to ensure they are relevant to your content or business. Look for keywords that align with your target audience's interests or address specific pain points.
5. Long-tail Keywords: Focus on long-tail keywords, which are longer and more specific phrases. These are more likely to have zero search volume but can attract highly targeted readers.
6. Competitor Analysis: Analyze your competitors' websites or content to identify any keywords they are targeting that have zero search volume. This can help you uncover hidden opportunities and potentially outrank your competition.
7. User Intent: Consider the intent behind the zero search volume keywords. Even if a keyword has no search volume, it may still have value if it aligns with the intent of your target audience.
8. Content Creation: Once you have identified relevant zero search volume keywords, create high-quality content around them. Optimize your content by incorporating these keywords naturally into your titles, headings, and body text.
9. Monitor Performance: Track the performance of your content and the zero search volume keywords you've targeted. Even though they have no search volume initially, they may still attract traffic over time as search trends change or user behavior evolves.
#8. Authority driving content
An underpinning trend in SEO is the drive toward authority.
Google's updates point towards a preference for content that is generated by acknowledged experts, establishing credibility and trustworthiness. This trend necessitates a shift in strategy away from pure keyword optimization towards authority-driving content.
The central focus of this approach is content that provides the user with valuable information from a reliable source.
While integrating relevant keywords is still important, the main driving factor for content should be providing valuable, expert-led insights into your industry.
How to Create Authority Driving Content?
Here are some best practices you can adopt while creating authority-driven content.
- Develop a unique perspective or angle on the topic.
- Create high-quality, well-researched, and informative content.
- Use credible sources and cite them properly.
- Incorporate data, statistics, and case studies to support your claims.
- Share personal experiences and anecdotes to establish authenticity.
- Use clear and concise language, avoiding jargon or complex terms.
- Use storytelling techniques to engage and connect with your audience.
Preparing for SEO Success in 2024
Whether you’re a newcomer or a seasoned SEO professional, keeping up with the dynamic world of SEO is crucial.
The rapid evolution of technology, user behavior, and search engine algorithms necessitates continuous learning and adaptation.
In 2024, keep an eye on trends and Google updates to stay in line with the evolving search engine.
If you want to keep tabs on changes and improvements executed by Google, sign up for our Keeping up with the Google series to get a summary of Google updates every single month.