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The future of SEO in 2024 is poised to be an exciting one, with several critical trends shaping the landscape. As AI and machine learning continue to advance, search engine ranking factors are also evolving. Here are ten factors that may shape the future of SEO in 2024. 

1. Google Search Generative Experience (SGE) 

The emergence of Google's SGE and AI innovations is drastically changing the SEO landscape. According to Andrea Volpini, CEO and Co-founder of WordLift, the introduction of Google's SGE signifies a significant shift in search evolution. 
The Google Search Generative Experience (SGE) is an AI-powered search experience that has transformed the way users interact with the search engine. With SGE, users are provided with AI-generated results that appear at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs). This means that users no longer need to scroll through multiple search listings to find relevant information - they can simply rely on the generated result. 
One of the key benefits of SGE is its ability to deliver clear and concise answers to user queries. Instead of presenting a list of web page links, SGE extracts relevant information from various sources and presents it in a manner that is easy for users to quickly understand. This enhances user interactions by saving them time and effort in finding what they are looking for. Additionally, as SGE becomes more ubiquitous, it is likely to change how websites are optimised for generating impressions and traffic. Since the AI-generated result appears prominently at the top of SERPs, website owners will need to consider how their content can best align with this new format to increase visibility and attract organic traffic. Overall, Google SGE is ushering in a new era of search experience that prioritises efficiency and relevance for users. 

2. Zero Click Searches 

Zero-click searches have become increasingly common in recent years, with a significant portion of users opting to find the information they need directly from the search engine results page (SERP) without clicking on any specific link. According to the Semrush Zero-Clicks Study, over half of mobile searches and around 25% of desktop searches result in zero clicks. This trend has implications for businesses and marketers who rely on organic and paid search results to drive traffic to their websites. 
There are several reasons why users might choose not to click on a search result after conducting a query. Some may find all the information they need directly within the featured snippet or knowledge panel displayed on the SERP, while others may not see any relevant options based on their initial search query. Additionally, some users may simply be looking for quick answers or brief information snippets rather than delving into a full webpage. As zero-click searches continue to rise, it is important for businesses to optimise their online presence by ensuring that they appear prominently in search engine results and provide valuable content that entices users to click through for more information. 

3. Voice Search Optimisation 

With the increasing popularity of voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant, optimising for voice search will become a vital aspect of SEO in 2024. This includes tailoring content to answer specific questions that users may ask through voice search, as well as being easily understood by virtual assistants and answer engines. 

4. Demonstrating Authority 

Search engines, especially Google, increasingly favour content that demonstrates authority, and Google's algorithm now prioritises factors such as Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T) when ranking websites. This means that businesses must focus on producing high-quality content that is credible, trustworthy, and backed by expertise to improve their rankings. By adopting ethical practices and producing valuable content, companies can establish themselves as authoritative sources of information within their industry. 

5. Video SEO 

Video SEO is becoming increasingly important as more and more people turn to video content for information and entertainment. Creating video content that ranks well in Google search results and on platforms like YouTube can provide a major opportunity for businesses looking to expand their reach and drive traffic to their websites. 

6. User Experience 

Google has been prioritising user experience for quite some time now, and this trend is expected to continue in the future. Factors such as page load speed, mobile-friendliness, website security, and overall usability will continue to play a significant role in determining search engine rankings. 

7. Mobile-First Indexing 

As mobile usage continues to dominate, Google has shifted towards mobile-first indexing, where the mobile version of a website is prioritised over the desktop version. In 2024, it will be essential for businesses to ensure that their websites are optimised for mobile users. This includes having a responsive (mobile friendly) design, fast loading times, and easy navigation on mobile devices. Google's mobile-first index means that websites that are not optimised for mobile devices may see a decrease in their rankings. By prioritising mobile optimisation, businesses can improve their visibility in search results and attract more mobile users to their website. 

8. Local SEO 

With the rise of local searches and the increasing use of location-based services, local SEO will remain important in 2024. Businesses should focus on optimising their online presence for local searches, including claiming, and optimising their Google Business Profile listing, generating positive reviews, and ensuring accurate and consistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone) information across directories. 

9. Refreshing Existing Content 

In addition to creating new content, refreshing existing content will continue to be an important aspect of SEO in 2024. Rather than solely focusing on producing new articles or blog posts, businesses should also invest time and effort into updating and improving their existing content. 
Refreshing existing content involves revisiting older articles or web pages and making updates to ensure they remain relevant and valuable to users. This can include adding current information, statistics, or case studies, as well as updating outdated facts or figures. Additionally, businesses can improve the readability and user experience of their content by reformatting it with headings, bullet points, and images. 
By refreshing existing content, businesses can benefit in several ways. Firstly, it helps to maintain the visibility and relevance of older content in search engine rankings. Search engines prioritise fresh and updated content, so regularly refreshing existing content can help it remain competitive in search results. 
Secondly, refreshing existing content can improve user experience by providing up-to-date and accurate information. Users are more likely to engage with content that is relevant and valuable to them. By updating older content with current information or insights, businesses can keep their audience engaged and satisfied. 
Finally, refreshing existing content can also help businesses repurpose their content for different platforms or formats. For example, a blog post can be transformed into a video or infographic, reaching a wider audience, and increasing visibility. 

10. User Search Intent 

It's crucial for businesses and website owners to stay updated on shifts in user search intent. The Semrush State of Search study highlights the changing landscape of search results, with a noticeable increase in transactional and commercial keyword groups. This shift stresses the importance of creating content that not only provides valuable information but also caters to users who are looking to make a purchase or take a specific action. 

Is SEO still worth it in 2024? 

Yes, SEO is still worth it in 2024 and will continue to be a valuable strategy for businesses. While specific tactics may change, the core principles of optimising websites and content for search engines will always be important. Businesses should focus on staying ahead of the competition, optimising for voice search and mobile devices, adapting to AI-driven algorithms, prioritising user experience, and creating high-quality, relevant content. By doing so, and continuously evolving their SEO strategies, businesses can ensure they remain visible and relevant in search engine rankings in the years to come. 
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Tagged as: Online Marketing, SEO
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