In the dynamic realm of SEO and digital marketing, small businesses often feel behind the eight ball. You may recognize the paramount importance of search while grappling with the relentless pace of its evolution. The challenge has only increased in 2023 as the influence of artificial intelligence on search algorithms increases, making the SEO landscape a complex terrain to navigate.
At Green Apple Strategy, we understand the unique struggles small businesses face in this ever-evolving digital environment. As an agency passionate about empowering companies with the best possible marketing talent in the industry, we have the privilege of working with several SEO specialists to support our clients’ needs. For this post, we’ve asked them to share insights on the profound shifts shaping the SEO landscape this year, along with actionable tips tailored for small businesses who want to increase their SEO clout.
Biggest Trends Shaping SEO in 2024
Here are the most significant trends shaping search engine optimization in 2024:
1. Google Search Generative Experience (SGE)
Remember the days when keyword stuffing was an essential SEO tactic? Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) marks a pivotal shift in this effort. Keywords are no longer the sole path to higher rankings. Instead, small businesses must focus on crafting content that speaks naturally to their audience’s questions, concerns, and desires. Think less robot, more friend sharing valuable insights.
2. Search Continues to Get Smarter
With AI and machine learning taking center stage, search engines are getting even better at knowing what searchers are looking for. Search tools now analyze user behavior, search history, and contextual clues to predict what someone wants. Businesses can stay relevant by creating content that anticipates user needs and provides solutions for their audience.
3. E-E-A-T: Trust Is the New Currency of Ranking
Google wants you to trust the websites you land on. That’s why they’re emphasizing Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T) like never before. To create content that EEAT will find, focus on quality over quantity, showcasing your expertise through well-researched content, transparent authorship, and building backlinks from credible sources. In 2024, being a trustworthy voice in your field is SEO gold.
4. ChatGPT Whispers: SEO Gets Conversational
AI language learning models like ChatGPT are showing us how search is becoming more conversational. People are asking questions like they’re chatting with a knowledgeable buddy, not typing robotic keywords with Boolean operators. That’s why it’s essential to start thinking of your content as a helpful guide, a knowledgeable friend offering clear answers, and addressing user pain points effectively.
Tips for Navigating a Changing SEO Landscape
Here are a few best practices that every business can implement when it comes to navigating SEO in 2024:
1. Cultivate Conversational Thought Leadership
Google prioritizes trustworthy sources, and blending thought leadership with a conversational tone strengthens your E-E-A-T (expertise, authority, and trustworthiness). Businesses can take advantage of this by regularly publishing insightful content that leverages their knowledge or by collaborating with industry experts. For example, consider FAQ-driven content to address user queries directly, and keep a conversational tone to address popular search terms.
2. Build Topical Authority Through Content Depth
Strategic content creation is more crucial than ever before. As you plan your content calendar for 2024, it’s essential to establish topical authority by building a comprehensive content library on your chosen themes. Explore subtopics thoroughly, offering valuable information and insights from subject matter experts.
3. Leverage Video Content for Double the SEO Impact
Search engines have noticed that people are consuming video content like never before, and visual content is now indexable and searchable. If you’re not investing in video, 2024 might be the ideal time to begin filming insightful videos or webinars. As you post your videos online, follow SEO best practices for YouTube, such as using relevant keywords in your video titles, descriptions, and tags for increased discoverability on both Google and YouTube.
4. Embrace the Shift to Alternative Platforms
With users flocking to platforms like TikTok, YouTube, Pinterest, and Reddit for information, search marketing is continually expanding, with social media being used as a search engine. As a small business, it can be valuable to adapt your strategy and leverage data from these diverse sources to stay relevant in the evolving SEO landscape.
5. Refresh Existing Content for Continued Relevance
In a crowded, fast-paced content landscape, refreshing existing content is crucial for maintaining ranking and search engine visibility. One simple way to extend the life of your content is to repurpose outdated content to ensure it still aligns with user intent, adheres to best practices, and competes effectively with newer material.
6. UX: The Constant in SEO Change
Amidst ongoing SEO evolution, user experience remains a constant priority. Google continues to prioritize smooth UX. If you understand that SEO is structured around making the user experience as frictionless as possible, then you have the right mindset to build your SEO strategy.
7. Embrace Adaptability for Long-term Success
Change is the only constant in the future of SEO. The integration of AI and evolving content standards necessitate an adaptable and evolving strategy. As a small business, it’s essential to embrace continuous learning and recognize the importance of making strategic adjustments to thrive as your audience changes the way they search.
Stay Ahead of the Curve
At Green Apple, we’re committed to always staying one step ahead of the latest trends and equipped with the tools and expertise to guide you to the top of the SEO mountain. In The Core, our monthly newsletter, we highlight the latest trends and timely marketing tactics small businesses should know. Click here to subscribe to The Core and gain insights you need to achieve your goals in 2024.