The world of SEO is rapidly changing. With the rise of AI, such as ChatGPT, changes to Google’s quality rater guidelines with the introduction of E-E-A-T, and AI being integrated into search engines, businesses have had to make major pivots in their SEO strategies. 

Those who have been unable to keep up with the evolving SEO landscape have found their rankings plummeting, their competitors moving way ahead, and their visibility online almost non-existent. Understanding emerging digital marketing strategies and the landscape of SEO can help your business rank higher, generate more organic traffic, and connect you better with potential customers.

The SEO Specialists at Link Right Media have been closely studying the changes to SEO to ensure that we are providing our clients with the best possible strategies to ensure that they stay ahead of the curve. In doing this, we have created a guide to what the future of SEO is going to look like in 2024. Here is what you can expect the SEO Landscape to look like as we step into the New Year.

More Integration of Google Search Generative Experience

Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE), is an AI-powered search experience designed to give users faster access to the information they are looking for. While it is still in the early stages of development, there is a caveat about the quality of the information that this new AI-search experience has to offer. However, it is important to note that Google will only be refining it in the year to come.

The answer to the question the user types into Google will appear at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPS). This allows users to have a clear, concise answer to their search query without them having to search through hundreds of search results. It can also provide visuals and conversational engagement to boost the user experience.

How Is Google’s Search Generative Experience Relevant to SEO?

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When users perform a search on Google, the AI-powered result will appear. It gives a snapshot of information from relevant links that it believes best answers the prompt given by the user. These links are where SEO comes in for your business. If your business’s website gets chosen as one of the sources that the AI pulled from, then your company’s page or blog link will be listed in the sources. This allows the user to click on those links to explore the topic further.

Making sure that your business’s content is properly optimized for SEO, has high-quality content that is easy to read, has a user-friendly interface, and visually captivating design is essential for making it on this AI-powered snapshot.

How Can I Best Prepare for This Change in SEO?

Unfortunately, the technology in its current state is too new for there to be specific ways to optimize your content to target Google’s SGE. Currently, this technology is only available to a limited number of people in the U.S. as they continue to work out the bugs.

However, what you can do is focus on ensuring that your website content directly answers frequently asked questions about your industry. The answers you provide should be comprehensive and easy to find in your content. The content that Google’s SGE chooses to display or use as references generally has the following characteristics:

  • The Content Has an Expert Opinion or Analysis: Making sure your content has expert analysis such as case studies or opinions from leading experts is extremely important in maintaining a high authority score.
  • The Content Uses Direct Language: Much like featured snippets, Google’s SGE uses blocks of text to craft sections in its answer. This means that if your content has well-organized sections, lists, or bullet points, it may be easier for the AI to understand and lead it to choosing your content over someone else’s.
  • The Content Has a Niche Authority: You want your content to stand out as an authority in your field. This typically means sharing content that has to do with your industry directly and not about random topics such as your work’s Christmas Party or charity event. (Unless that charity event somehow corresponds with a massive job you’re doing, such as helping an animal shelter replace their entire HVAC system if your business is a commercial HVAC company.) 
  • Your Content Provides New Information: Content that provides a unique voice and perspective into the issues of your industry is more often to be cited in an SGE snapshot. This means it is important to publish contentabout both new advancements in your industry as well as existing issues or information. Make sure you are staying relevant with your information as well as adding your brand voice into the conversation.

Increased Use of AI in SEO

As we have learned with the introduction of Google’s SGE to the SEO landscape, AI is becoming a more prominent figure in the SEO world. While many businesses have their misgivings about using AI, it is becoming paramount that businesses understand how they can use it to get a competitive advantage. AI is becoming an important tool to help enhance the speed at which content is created. In a survey conducted by Mailchimp, “88% of marketing specialists believe that their organization must increase the use of automation and AI to continue to stay competitive in search engine results.”

In 2024, it should be expected that this trend will continue. Understanding how your business can use AI to aid in content creation will ensure that your SEO efforts continue to stay ahead of the curve. Here are the following ways that AI can be implemented in your SEO content creation and strategy:

  • Use AI-powered creation tools, such as ChatGPT to create keyword-focused copy intended for specific page types and intents. 
  • Use AI image generator tools to create helpful illustrative examples to accompany your content
  • Use AI Meta Tag Generator to develop a brand voice that is consistent in all blog and page meta tags.

Will AI Replace Content Writers and SEO Specialists in 2024?

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No. There is a lot of fear around AI stealing jobs from content creators themselves. However, this is completely unfounded. While AI is a great way to create content faster, it is not necessarily fool-proof when it comes to ensuring that content is optimized, well-written, and has that unique voice your business needs to stay above the competition. 

AI is nothing more than a tool to aid in the creation process to allow Writers and SEO Specialists to streamline their processes. Someone still needs to optimize, edit, and correct content to ensure that the information being presented is correct, and optimized properly for SEO. 

Think of AI like a calculator. Calculators are capable of doing complex mathematical equations but it is completely reliant on the input of the numbers from the individual using them. It takes someone who knows the basics of math and how to get the answer to ensure that the information being given is still correct. Any mis-input can lead to a faulty answer and incorrect data. Just as AI, depending on what it is being asked, can give faulty information in the content it creates.

The Rise of Zero-Click Searches

Semrush released their Zero-Clicks Study that reported 57% of mobile users and about a quarter of desktop users leave the SERP without clicking on an organic or paid result. This is often because they are looking for the following quick information:

  • Local businesses or services:  Google’s search engine results provide the necessary information, such as where a business is located, contact information, and business hours directly in the local pack/map pack. This means that a user doesn’t have to necessarily click on a link to find the answers they are looking for.
  • Quick Conversion Lookups: Some users use Google to calculate things such as “mile to kilometers”, “United States Dollars to Yen” or “Cups to tablespoons.” Since Google gives this answer fairly easily, there is no reason for them to continue scouring the search results for the answers they seek.
  • Public Information or Information About a Celebrity: Another popular search is for information on a public figure, such as their age, or information about a celebrity. Since this easy-to-access information often shows up on the knowledge panel, they don’t have to go digging for more. 

How Can I Prepare for the Rise of Zero-Click Searches

Since zero-click searches are on the rise, you will need to adjust your SEO strategy to focus on securing featured snippets. This ensures that your business is still front and center, even if the individual who is searching never clicks on the link. 

Securing afeatured snippet may not increase the traffic to your website but it will boost brand recognition. If your business is a recognized and trusted authority in your industry, then you are more likely to get clicks on your site in future web searches that require a bit more reading for the answers they seek. Some users may just skip Google entirely and search your site directly for the answers they need. 

To best ensure that your content can be displayed as a featured snippet, you will need to perform a SERP analysis to identify which queries are most likely to have one. You will then need to target those keywords. You can do this by utilizing Semrush’s Keyword Magic Tool. Once you find the keywords you want to target, you can then create content centered around that keyword that answers the questions directly. 

If you do not have Semrush, you can also utilize AI to aid in your search for popular keywords. Other free keyword research tools are as follows:

Don’t Forget About Alternative Traffic Sources

You can also reach your target audience by driving engagement to your website from other traffic sources besides SERPS (Search Engine Results Page). These platforms include the following:

  • Social Media
  • Email Marketing Campaigns
  • Online Communities, such as forums or industry-focused groups

Building a community for your brand will create a direct connection between you and your customers. This ensures that even if zero-click searches continue to rise, your business will not be taking a hit. This is because your audience is already thinking about you when they have a question in mind.

Establish Online Topical/Industry Authority

SEO algorithms are placing a heavy emphasis on highlighting businesses whose SEO strategies focus on demonstrating clear expertise in their field. This is also known as topical authority. 

To establish topical authority, it is important to ensure that your content comprehensively covers all the subject matter facets of your industry. This will create a solid foundation for your business to become the go-to source for information on your industry.

Search engines, such as Google, are prioritizing content that demonstrates this kind of knowledge and authority to better help users find what they are looking for. Google recently defined this authority as a combination of “Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T). 

How Can I Focus My Strategy on Topical Authority?

To establish topical authority, you need an SEO strategy that focuses on optimizing and creating content around the following:

  • Developing comprehensive and high-quality content across a specific topic
  • Building a deep catalog of content on related topics and subtopics
  • Implementing a site architecture that makes it easy for users to discover relevant related content across your website, so they don’t have to go digging.

For example, if your business is a personal injury law firm that wants to increase your visibility for car accidents, you will want to become the topical authority on that subject. This means creating content that focuses on specific questions that users would have around this topic, such as “What To Do After a Car Accident”, “Car Accident Statistics in (area your business is located)”, and “What Are Head-On Collisions?” You will also want to include content around related topics, such as truck accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, etc, to show your authority across the space. Make sure these blogs are linked together and easy to get to. 

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To stay in front of the curve with your SEO strategy, you will want to have a team on your side that knows exactly what they are doing. SEO is an ever-changing field that requires a lot of attention to detail, the ability to suddenly pivot, and dedication to creating and refreshingcontent to stay ahead of your competition and remain visible to your potential customers.

Link Right Media is the trusted source for all your business’s digital marketing needs. From our highly experienced SEO team to our industry-leading PPC experts, we have been helping our clients get connected to their customers. We offer detailed monthly reporting so that you are never in the dark about how your business is performing and showing an incredible return on your investment. 

Experience greater success with a team that is willing to sit down with you and create a one-of-a-kind experience that tailors our efforts and strategies to meet your business’s goals and needs. We ensure that all of our campaigns are customized to highlight your business’s services, create wider recognition for your brand, and increase conversions to improve your business’s success. We provide the following online marketing services:

Don’t allow the changing landscape of SEO to topple all of the hard work that you put in to ensure that your potential customers can find your business. Instead, invest in the specialists who work tirelessly to ensure that your company stays one step ahead. For more information on our services, contact Link Right Media today! We will connect you with a certified specialist to go over your business’s unique needs and show you how we can help your business grow.

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