What’s Next for SEO in 2024? (Is this the Year SEO Dies?)

A lot happened in 2023 in the SEO world. Google instigated a massive change in how we track website analytics with the intro of Google Analytics 4. Next up came the E-E-A-T content evaluation guidelines that took center stage for those wanting to level up their content strategy. Then the robots took over with the introduction of AI in and it’s integration with digital marketing tools.

So with all that, is 2024 the year SEO finally dies?

The quick answer is no. The long answer is that SEO continues to evolve.

As we move into 2024, SEO is becoming less about chasing specific ranking factors and more about big picture marketing. Things like user experience, sharing expertise, building trust & authority are becoming the primary focus in order to get a long term return on your SEO investment.

SEO no longer operates in a silo and now undergirds the entirety of your online presence. If you take a swing at good SEO work in 2024, you may accidentally make your website presence and user experience better along the way. This is why we deeply believe that the best SEO service providers are not running rigid automated checklists anymore. Rather, they’re thinking about the bigger picture of your business’s online presence and helping you chart the right path forward for growth.

The framework that we use for SEO continues to be relevant and we will carry on doing many of the foundational SEO strategies we have done in the past, but they are evolving (there’s that word again) to accomodate the shifting landscape of the search engines.

Where to focus your SEO effort in 2024

These aren’t necessary brand new tasks, but they’re moving up the priority list because of the shifting SEO landscape for businesses. Focus on these things in 2024 and you should make headway in the search results.

User Experience

Is your site secure, speedy page load times, lack of interfering ads and mobile friendly? Is your site have intuitive navigation that matches what your audience is looking for? Is it easy to digest content with scannable text, good titles and subtitles, and engaging content.

Sharing Expertise

Google values unique and helpful perspectives from real people. This essentially is content marketing that displays your genuine experience and credibility. Do you have quality, reference worthy, content that the world needs to know? Do you have highly targeted content that is helpful for your audience?

Building Trust and Authority

This is where your off-site SEO work can make the most different. Things like building backlinks and raising your domain authority are still important, however today there is a crossover with real world experience with reviews, building partnerships and investing in real world marketing (events, etc.).

What’s new for SEO in 2024?

As we move into 2024 the evolving nature of Search Engine results continues. Google’s generative search results, although not fully released, is going to take center stage. There are still lot’s questions about accuracy and is it using the definitive resources, but it’s coming and it’s designed to answer all your questions.

Here’s an example of a search results from the Generative AI tool.

If you look closely you’ll notice instead of a list of clickable website links at the top of the page, now there are a number of informative snippets pulling in information that AI considers to be the best answer to the question being asked. This inevitably will lead to what we call zero click results. The user can now get the answer they’re looking for before navigating to your website and the key strategy for 2024 is going to figure out how to position your business to take advantage of that reality.

It used to be that search was all about providing links to the most relevant websites. That’s all it did. Then it began to provide a combination of answers to questions as well as website links. This is what we see today. Now as the the generative search experience continues to evolve, Google search results are becoming the end resource rather than a tool that directs people to the best resource available. It’s essentially taking the content from websites and deciding how it wants to display them in search results. I imagine that this transition to a information repository rather than a list of helpful links will continue but it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out and if at some point they change course.

How we’re adjusting our SEO Strategy for 2024?

Create more specific content

No longer is there a need to create massive 10,000 word comprehensive post on something. Consider breaking a long informative post into a series of highly digestible content. Make it as valuable and specific high as possible. Put yourself in the place of your best customer and write to their needs and questions.

Focus on sharing first hand experience in your content

Google is looking for genuine human written content from experts. It’s not to say that you can’t us AI to help ideate or create drafts, but it’s critical that your unique voice is heard and your credibility is layered throughout the content you create. Don’t be afraid to include the unique perspectives and opinions that you’ve developed over the years. You’re a real person and that reality should shine through your content.

Integrate more questions in your content

As Google evolves to offer snippets of answers to questions in their search results, it’s helpful to make sure the content on your site answers the questions that your ideal customers are asking. This can be throughout your services pages, product pages and blog posts. Google loves content that satisfies those questions and the more helpful your site is, the more likely it’ll get pulled into those snippets.

Create author pages on your site

Google loves content that is written by experts. By making sure that the authorship is clear and available, you can increase the signal that you’re sending google about your expertise and credibility. We recommend having individual pages built for authors and making sure google is indexing them.

Invest in schema on your site

Schema is a tool that gives context to your content. Most website content management systems have the option to add it to your site in various forms. By building out schema on your site, you will be sending additional signals to Google about what the content is. This can include local business address, FAQ’s, and product information.

Focus on getting reviews

This is not a new area of focus, but it’s still extremely relevant. Often your visibility in Google maps is determined by the number and quality of reviews on your profile. A business with 100 5-star reviews will certainly show up before a competitor that has 30 4-star reviews. Even the content of the reviews is important, so don’t hesitate to ask your satisfied customers to include the name of the service or product that they’ve purchased from you as they write their review.

Reset expectations about metrics and what they mean.

Metrics are changing because of how Google is presenting search results. To be determained how much this will change, but I can imagine a scenario where the number of clicks to your website may be going down, but your overall impressions (i.e. visibility and credibility) is going up because you have a snippet showing up in search results. So even though you’re not getting direct clicks, you’re now more credible for a key question that your customers are asking for. We’re going to have to get more comfortable with analyzing a suite of metrics to discern areas of opportunity, rather than relying on one metric (like clicks from organic search) to tell us what we need to more forward with..

Need some help with SEO for your business? Have questions about the best path forward for your business? We offer comprehensive SEO services for your small and medium size businesses. Contact us today.