2024 SEO Trends & Predictions To Help Best Optimize Your Website
Sitting here in a new year, it’s time to think about the 2024 SEO trends that’ll play the biggest role in the world of search engine optimization. Which SEO strategies will work in 2024 to land first page, or even #1 Google rankings? Where should we put our focus and what updates and algorithm changes might Google throw our way? Let’s take a look at the crystal ball of SEO!
by Sal Commisso
Updated Feb 22, 2024
AI-Generated Content Is For Real in 2024
Content created by artificial intelligence has been a thing for some time now, but with new software such as ChatGPT hitting the market, it looks like 2024 may be the year that AI content really takes a giant leap forward.
Questions remain. Can AI content be trusted to be accurate? Will AI-generated content be unique or will we begin to see a bland sameness to content springing up across the internet? Will Google reject content created by AI software?
The answers to these questions will become more clear as we see more creators use AI to build content on their pages.
One thing we know for sure: humans will continue to play an integral role when it comes to creating unique and creative online content for the foreseeable future. ChatGPT and other AI content generators can be valuable tools for writers, but not a replacement for human creativity and expertise. The ultimate goal of AI-assisted writing software is to augment human capabilities, not to replace them. Some ways AI will assist content creators include:
Content generation: AI can quickly generate written content, such as blogs, product descriptions, and press releases. This can save writers time and effort, allowing them to focus on more creative tasks or write longer blogs that tend to rank higher in search engine results. In most cases, AI content generation will be a starting point for human writers. Once the software churns out a product, the content will be edited, modified and shaped by an actual writer to give it a unique presence that carries the proper voice for the client and adds value for the audience. Writers will also be necessary to optimize the content for SEO.
Research assistance: AI software can be used to quickly gather information and data on a specific topic, which can assist writers when initially approaching a topic.
Create Structure: AI can create a basic overview of how a blog should be structured, leaving blanks for the writer to fill in with expertly crafted and unique content.
There’s no doubt that AI-generated content is getting more sophisticated. We’re seeing some legitimately well-written pieces of content created solely by artificial intelligence. But the “human touch” is still missing, and that is a component that Google demands to be present in 2024. Content creators who try to take the shortcut and simply churn out mountains of content that’s been completely written by AI will likely find their pages plummeting in SEO rankings.
Stay tuned. This trend is just heating up and is certainly one to watch as we move forward.
Eric Barnes, Director of Content
What are the Downsides of ChatGPT For Content Creation?
As we mentioned above, AI software—specifically, Chat GPT—can be a helpful tool that makes your content-writing process more efficient. Your topic research and article outlining can be more streamlined, leading to quicker turnaround times. Plus, you can use the full content pieces that ChatGPT spits out as a comparison tool to gauge how engaging and insightful your content pieces are compared to what advanced AI software can create.
With that being said, we believe the downsides of using ChatGPT for content creation outweigh the benefits—especially as it relates to content that ranks well on Google. Viewed through an SEO best practices lens, here at the current and future negative possibilities of entirely relying on ChatGPT to produce content:
ChatGPT is Google’s Arch Nemesis (And We Don’t Expect Google To Lose)
ChatGPT is the brainchild of AI company, OpenAI, and has quickly bubbled to the consumer surface thanks to major investments from Microsoft, which currently holds a 49% ownership stake.
Moreover, Microsoft owns Bing. Bing is the leading search engine rival of Google in the United States. And Bing is scheduled to integrate its ChatGPT functionality into Bing’s search results in March of 2024, with an expressed goal of providing direct answers and insights to search queries rather than page links.
Google recognizes this legitimate threat to its dominant search engine market share, which currently hovers near 87%. In fact, with the launch and integration of its own AI system, RankBrain, into its search algorithm, Google has been spearheading AI advancements in search since 2015.
Google has a better version of ChatGPT ready, and now they have an impetus to fast-track its release. And to ensure it comes out on top, Google’s algorithmic systems have, and will continue to be, updated to identify ChatGPT-created content and reduce its search performance. We trust Google has all the resources, technology, and years of AI-related testing necessary to take down ChatGPT—and all the content it churns out—head-to-head. Thus, any content created by ChatGPT will be the opposite of optimized for successful search performance.
ChatGPT is Beta Software on Version One (Better Grab Your Bug Spray)
Not being discussed enough is that ChatGPT, though impressive, is beta software on version one. By comparison, Apple’s world-renowned iOS software has had well over 300 software updates since its initial release in June 2007. Performance enhancements drove many of those software updates, but bugs and glitches drove just as many, if not more.
To that point, ChatGPT is released free to the public right now for three main reasons. One is proof of concept. Another is to gather data on everything from common queries to how consumers interact with, and respond to, the AI chat system. And lastly, this free beta release serves the typical aim of any beta software release: to identify glitches and bugs across a wide array of devices, locations, and other similar variables.
Though it’s fair to mention that its wild popularity and subsequent server demand are real variables, the routine outages and bugs seen in ChatGPT signify unstable, unrefined beta software. And unlike other trusted tools in SEO content creation like Ahrefs, Semrush, and Grammarly, these glitches and outages can last for hours on end. With SEO content production being a furious, time-sensitive arms race, can your content wait that long?
More importantly: can your content piece afford to be inaccurate? Currently, there are countless instances of ChatGPT providing inaccurate or unhelpful information. Funny enough, when asked, “Can I trust ChatGPT information?” a common response from the app is, “ … ChatGPT is a machine learning model and its responses are based on the information it has been trained on. While it can provide accurate and helpful information, it is important to keep in mind that it may not always have the most up-to-date information, and it may make mistakes.”
Positioning your content to rank well across the search engines—and above your competitors—is already difficult enough. Do you want to welcome the characters of A Bug’s Life into the fold to make that challenge even more complicated?
Most Likely, ChatGPT Will Not Be Free Forever (And It Probably Won’t Be Cheap)
Again, we’re not here to diminish the powerful technology present in ChatGPT. But to that point, that robust technology comes at a price. Right now, it’s estimated that ChatGPT is costing OpenAI roughly 3 million dollars a month to maintain—an expense that will continue to amplify as more and more people hop on the caravan.
So yes, it’s fun to tinker with this technology while there’s no hit to your marketing budget. Keep using it as a content research and outline playground while you still can. But while you’re enjoying the experience, keep in mind that it’s unlikely ChatGPT will remain free forever.
Jon Martin, Senior SEO Specialist
Featured Snippets Remain Crucial in 2024 SEO Strategies
The rise of voice search and the continued dominance of mobile indicate that featured snippets will persist as essential features of many search engine optimization strategies. Voice search is critical because voice assistants read featured snippets to answer people’s questions. And mobile is a factor because featured snippets take up a majority of most mobile screens, blocking out other search results.
What Are Featured Snippets?
Featured snippets are direct answers to questions that people ask Google. They appear above the organic search results on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs). A snippet generally includes the title and URL of the web page where Google found the answer. There are four different types of featured snippets:
Paragraphs, usually 40 to 60 words long, are the most common type.
Why Are Featured Snippets Important?
Featured snippets are important because they have the coveted spot at the top of Google’s search results. They generate around 35% of all clicks, although the click rate depends on the user’s search intent. Because of their prominent position, featured snippets are also a fantastic way to increase brand recognition. As Google hones its algorithms, featured snippets are expected to become more common.
Best practices for getting featured snippets include:
Place your question, including the search term, in a heading.
Answer the question immediately below the heading, making sure to incorporate your targeted search term.
Keep your answer short and to the point.
If you know how to optimize content, you know how to get featured snippets. Because Google doesn’t share its methods, there are no hard-and-fast rules for achieving a snippet. But the steps above can help you take advantage of this 2024 SEO trend.
Beth Earle, Content Writer
Video Content for SEO Content
It is quite clear that more and more video content is being populated onto the Google SERP. Google as made a shift in the type of content it is looking for, not only through the Google Helpful Content Update, but also in the actual type of content it is looking provide users. According to Ahrefs, YouTube’s organic traffic has increased 27.7 million visits in January of 2024, additionally SEM Rush is reporting that YouTube has the most page one keywords it has ever had in over 2 year (34.2 million in August 2022 vs 52.8 million in January 2024). A clear indication that Google is favoring the video content from this site.
Adding Video Content to Your Website to Improve SEO
Luckily, we know YouTube isn’t the only one seeing the benefits of Google favoring video content. Video content has been found to drive over 150% increase in organic traffic when following SERP best practices. We have seen this with many of our own clients who leverage a video strategy as well as their standard SEO strategy. Corsa Performance is an example where they have been incorporating video content into their SEO strategy for most of 2022 and have seen exceptional results.
When it comes to video creation it can be a beast to take on so here are some guidelines into what kind of videos you should be adding to your website.
Product Category Videos: These should go on your main product category pages. Take a similar approach to bottom content with these and explain what the category is, subcategories that may be related, and what industries or applications it may have. This is more of a general all encompassing video.
Product Videos: Product videos will go on product pages and are a great way to show users how to use a product in the most ideal way. Adding these at the top of a product page has been shown to increase conversion rate vs products that don’t have a video.
Instructional Videos: These are excellent videos to be incorporated into blog articles. This can vary from a “How to” video, to an installation video, or even just a video giving general information that fits a blogging format.
How to optimize a video for SEO
When it comes to optimizing a video for SEO benefits, think of it like you would any other website. The YouTube Channel acts as a homepage, videos act as category pages or blog posts. There are a few things to keep in mind while optimizing videos for SEO.
Optimizing these video elements to the SERP best practices and with proper keyword research can bring in a very high return on your videos when it comes to increasing traffic. Adding video content to your website to increase organic traffic is a trend that has been picking up speed over the last few months, and with Google looking to offer high value content to users, this is an excellent way to increase your organic rankings, and traffic.