As we look towards welcoming 2024 with the release of chatGPT bots and AI Chrome extensions fresh in our minds we notice the digital marketing landscape continues to evolve at a blistering pace, with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) at its forefront. The impact of AI has shown to be significant, as well as changing user behaviours, and search engine algorithm updates has redefined the rules of the SEO game again. 

Whether you’re a seasoned marketing pro or just looking to test the SEO waters, this guide promises to equip you with the wisdom to ensure your website not only ranks but thrives in this dynamic digital era. 

What Does SEO Optimisation Include?

In 2024, we see SEO continuing to be a crucial strategy for business marketing with data suggesting an increased number of people looking for products and services online with as much as 63% of shopping beginning online and 42% of UK adults using search engines when looking to buy products and services. 

But what should you include in your SEO campaign in 2024 and what will be the most profitable approach to take in the search engine market?

The answer to questions about the future of SEO can only be truly answered with time; however, by looking at what has worked in years prior as well as emerging trends and techniques, we can create a clearer picture of what approach to take in 2024.

The essentials of SEO are still prevalent today but the approach to SEO can evolve over time. Search algorithms are more advanced and new software changes the search engine landscape, meaning our SEO approach has to adapt to it. This blog post will provide an overview of SEO elements and current best practices to implement.

man using different devices graphic vector10 SEO Optimisation Strategies for 2024

SEO best practices are essential for adapting to algorithm changes, enhancing user experience, maintaining a competitive edge, staying abreast of technological advancements, achieving cost-effective marketing, and building online credibility and trust.

1. Improve User Experience On Website

web design for user experience graphic cover imageIn the competitive online environment of 2024, the user experience (UX) on your website will not just be a luxury; it will be a strategic necessity for customer retention and target acquisition as more people shop with smart phones and have less patience with slow loading pages. Optimising the user experience has shown to lower bounce rate while increasing time spent on the website, conversation rate and overall customer satisfaction.

– Mobile Responsive Design Best Practices

With about 58% of all worldwide traffic from mobile phones, it will become crucial to adapt your website for the mobile market. This means you have to ensure your website is fully optimised for mobile devices, providing a seamless experience across phones and tablets.

– Page Load Speed

The world is always moving faster and your website should keep up. Work on reducing load times; even a few seconds’ delay can significantly impact user retention and search rankings. Every second on your website counts.

– Avoid Pop-ups & Intrusive Interstitials

Google example of intrusive interstitialsPop ups can sometimes be helpful to collect helpful data from visitors and can be used as a way to initiate the customers’ purchase journey leading to substantially increased conversion rates. However pop ups are generally perceived as aggravating. Google may go as far as to ban pages with intrusive interstitial ads or pup ups because they prevent content from being easily accessed. Pop-ups and interstitials can also increase your website’s bounce rate for potential leads so try to limit or avoid their presence altogether if possible.

– Always Optimise Your Content for Core Web Vitals

As search engines emphasise user experience, it’s critical that your content is easy to access and loads quickly. One effective strategy to accomplish this goal is by optimising for the Core Web Vitals metrics used by Google when assessing websites.

core web vitals Smarter digital marketing graphicTo maximise your score, it’s essential to remove render-blocking resources, implement code-splitting techniques for large JavaScript files, and optimise third-party frameworks or libraries. Also consider using a CDN cache and delivering your site assets regionally for faster load times, enhanced user experiences, CLS/FID score improvements and overall increased potential of your website. This can ensure all SEO efforts will bear fruit, resulting in the maximisation of site potential and the maximisation of returns from SEO investments. To learn more, check out what Google has to say about improving this aspect of the user experience.

2. Always Provide Quality Content

website editing quality content vector graphic

In 2024, the creation of quality content will still remain a top priority for websites seeking to increase their position in search rankings. Original and helpful content is one of the most significant factors that search engines like Google take into account when ranking pages. Always aim to offer valuable, relevant content that is easy to read and engaging. Putting some care into the content you post online can increase user engagement and provide them with value but it also sends positive signals to Google crawlers responsible for increasing the authority of websites.

Use visual hierarchy design elements to guide users’ attention to important content, making the site visually appealing and easy to scan.

To make great content for your audience and select topics that are both relevant and engaging, Conduct thorough research to ensure accuracy and cite credible sources while crafting attention-grabbing headlines and structuring your posts with clear subheadings and concise language.

Incorporate SEO best practices by using relevant keywords and internal linking. Enhance readability with visuals and ensure your content is error-free through meticulous editing. Engage with your readers by including calls to action and responding to comments. Finally, promote your content across social media and other channels, analyse reader feedback and performance metrics, and update content regularly to keep it fresh and relevant.

3. Optimise Video & Image Content

With video based platforms like Tiktok and YouTube and image based platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram gaining immense popularity, optimising your visual content is essential for your website and social media. 

For videos you make always make sure to use descriptive titles, meta descriptions, and transcriptions to make your videos search-friendly. 

Make sure that all images contain keyword-rich alt text for best results. This will appear if an image cannot be loaded, helping search engines understand your page better.

Compressible file formats with minimal image sizes will help to decrease load times on pages and improve site speed – another SEO ranking factor.

The importance of visual content in the virtual landscape cannot be overstated, and its trajectory points to even greater dominance in the future of marketing.

With video predicted to claim a staggering 82.5% of all web traffic, the message is clear: content that is focused on engaging visuals is the future, and the future is now. 

Why Focus on Visual Content in 2024?

person editing website graphic vector

  • Web Page Weight + UX: Images account for a substantial portion of a web page’s total weight—21% as of 2018, and likely more in recent years. Optimising images by reducing their size without compromising quality can improve loading times and overall user experience.​
  • Image Search & Social Media SEO: The significance of images in SEO remains constant and is expected to grow in importance. More people are using image search engines like Google Images and Pinterest, necessitating the optimisation of images for SEO to improve online discoverability.
  • See More Consumer Engagement: Videos are known to capture attention more effectively than text or images. Statistics show that users spend 88% more time on websites with video content (Forbes), indicating a significant boost in engagement. Images significantly enhance the visual appeal of content, leading to increased engagement. Shareability will be a big factor for increasing traffic in 2024 and short videos will be at the forefront of shareability. Videos are shared 1200% more times than links and text combined (G2 Crowd). This virality factor can significantly increase a website’s reach and user acquisition. 75% of viewers are watching short-form videos on mobile devices, and most marketers recommend that videos should be under 60 seconds to drive maximum engagement​ in 2024.
  • Draw Attention: In the constant war for attention online you need the right tactics to engage your target market. Studies show that visuals are processed much faster than text too—60,000 times faster, to be exact. This is evident in social media, where tweets with images are retweeted 150% more than those without, and Facebook posts with images garner 2.3 times more engagement.
  • Get Your Conversion Rates Higher: Including a video on a landing page can increase conversion rates by over 80% (Wordstream). The dynamic nature of video content can better showcase products and services, leading to more persuasive calls to action.
  • Video impact on SEO: Websites with video content are 53 times more likely to rank on the first page of Google search results (Forrester). Search engines prioritise content that provides a rich user experience, and videos are a key part of that.
  • Information Retention: Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in text (Insivia). This makes video an effective medium for educational content, tutorials, and storytelling.
  • Demand + Expectation: A HubSpot survey revealed that 54% of consumers wanted to see more video content from a brand or business they support. This demonstrates a clear preference for video over other types of content.
  • E-Commerce Integration: With the rise of shoppable video content, where users can click on items featured in a video to buy them, there’s a direct link to increased sales. Videos on e-commerce sites can increase the average order value by at least 50%.
  • Brand Recall: Video content has been shown to improve brand recall, with 80% of users recalling a video ad they have seen in the past 30 days (HubSpot). This is essential for brand awareness and loyalty.
  • Trend + Investment: Short-form video, in particular, is taking the centre stage in 2024, being the trend for the previous year with the highest return on investment (ROI) and projected growth for the year too. Marketers are planning to invest more in short-form video content than any other marketing trend​.
  • Usage in Business: Video is employed as a marketing tool by 91% of businesses in 2023, marking an all-time high since this data began to be tracked in 2016
  • Internet Traffic: Online video content is expected to make up 82.5% of all internet traffic in 2023, making it the most popular content type on the web. Moreover, since 2016, there has been a significant 25% increase in the number of firms that have adopted video as part of their marketing strategies​

4. Link Building Strategies Will Still Be Relevant in 2024

search engine person vector graphicLink building remains an essential facet of SEO strategy in 2023 for its critical role in signalling to search engines the trustworthiness and authority of a website. Here’s a summary of its importance, supported by recent data from uSERP.IO:

To better convey the research done by top SEO professionals, consider the simplified table:

Statistic Detail
Top Ranking Pages Have The Most Backlinks  Backlinks are one of the top factors for Google ranking​​. On average, pages on top of Google results receive the most backlinks. Pages online with less backlinks get little organic traffic, as they are too deep in the search results. 
Backlinks on First Page Average of 3.8x more than positions 2-10 on Google​. – Top websites use backlinks.
Organic Traffic 91% of web pages got zero organic traffic in 2023
No backlinks = Minimal visibility Much of the lack of traffic was because 95% of web pages had no backlinks.

Given that over half of SEOs believe backlinks will become even more impactful in the future, it’s clear that the strategic cultivation of backlinks will continue to be a high priority for businesses aiming to enhance their online presence​.

Data from MonsterInsights also shows a correlation between backlinks and page rankings on Search Engine Results Pages (SERP):

Top pages and external backlinks statistics5. Metadata Optimisation

Optimising your metadata is an underrated addition to an effective SEO strategy. This section provides analysis and guidance on why you need some optimised meta data in your life, including optimising title tags, meta descriptions, and other metadata elements. 

  1. Boosting Click-Through Rates: Well-crafted metadata can entice users to click on your link in search results, signalling relevance and value to search engines.
  2. Accurate Content Representation: Clear metadata helps search engines understand and categorise your content, improving your ranking for relevant queries.
  3. Enhancing User Experience: Concise metadata allows users to quickly gauge the relevance of your content, reducing bounce rates.
  4. Keyword Utilisation: Including relevant keywords in metadata, especially in title tags, enhances visibility for those terms while maintaining natural language.
  5. Social Media Impact: Engaging metadata improves the likelihood of clicks and shares when content is shared on social media platforms.
  6. Local SEO Benefits: For local businesses, location-specific keywords in metadata can drive geographically relevant traffic.

Metadata optimisation is not just about search engines; it’s about connecting your content with your audience effectively and compellingly.

6. Optimise Your Content for PPC: Google Featured Snippets

Featured snippet screenshot for smarter digital marketing

Featured Snippets are Google’s featured search results from websites to answer search queries. In order for your content to qualify as a featured snippet, it must be well organised and provide relevant answers; this can be accomplished by optimising it on-page.

Conduct keyword research to identify query types likely to result in featured snippets, using tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush. Keep an eye out for “how-to” searches or other informational searches, which could provide opportunities for featured snippets.

Make sure your content is informative, accurate, and easy to read by using headers and bullet points to organize it and increase readability. Furthermore, include authoritative sources in your writing to establish credibility – according to Ahrefs’ study of 2 million featured snippets, the higher you rank in standard search results is associated with increased chances of landing featured snippets.

7. Optimise for AI

AI and human vector graphic

Optimising for AI SEO represents a cutting-edge frontier in digital marketing, where the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) transforms traditional SEO practices. AI seems to enhance many levels of marketing, from content automation to user engagement, with over 61% of marketers currently using AI for marketing activities, according to Martech.

The key to AI SEO is understanding and aligning with AI-driven search engines, which prioritise user intent, contextual relevance, and personalised experiences. This necessitates a deeper dive into predictive analytics, machine learning, and natural language processing to tailor content that resonates with AI algorithms.

Effective AI SEO strategies include optimising content for semantic search, which goes beyond keywords to understand the context and nuances of user queries. It’s essential to create content that not only incorporates relevant keywords but also aligns with the thematic elements AI engines are programmed to recognise. Additionally, AI tools can be employed for advanced keyword research, content generation, and SEO performance analysis, allowing for more dynamic and responsive SEO tactics.

As AI continues to evolve, so does its role in SEO, making it crucial for marketers to stay informed about AI developments and how they impact search algorithms. This involves adapting to AI’s capacity for real-time data processing and its ability to generate insights for more effective content strategies. Embracing AI SEO also means prioritising a user-centric approach, as AI algorithms increasingly focus on delivering personalised, relevant, and valuable content to users. The future of SEO in the AI era is not just about visibility but about creating a tailored and intelligent user experience, leveraging AI’s powerful capabilities to meet the sophisticated demands of today’s digital landscape.

A core component of AI SEO is optimising for semantic search, which focuses not just on keywords but on the context and subtleties of user queries. Recent data shows that AI-driven search engines are increasingly adept at interpreting the user’s intent behind searches, making it essential to develop content that goes beyond mere keyword usage. Utilising AI for keyword research and content generation can lead to more dynamic and effective SEO strategies, as AI tools provide real-time data analysis and insights for content optimisation.

As of 2023, AI’s influence in digital marketing is evident, with a significant increase in AI-driven personalisation and user experience optimization. For instance, Google’s BERT update, which uses machine learning to better understand the nuances of language in search queries, has made it crucial for SEO strategies to focus on natural language and user intent rather than on traditional keyword stuffing. This shift underscores the importance of embracing AI SEO as a means to meet the sophisticated demands of today’s digital landscape, where AI’s capabilities are central to crafting an impactful and user-focused online presence.

8. Voice Search Optimisation

man using voice search graphic

As voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant become more prevalent, smart marketers must ensure their websites are optimised for voice search. People use voice searches to access information about products and services offered, business hours, directions, and frequently asked questions (FAQs). It is crucial that marketers understand how voice searches differ from regular search queries in order to optimise your site accordingly.

Optimising your website for voice search requires using natural language and long-tail keywords, as these tend to be longer, more conversational searches than text-based ones, with specific intent such as “where can I buy bike helmets”. You should also aim to optimise content for featured snippets, which appear at the top of search engine result pages directly answering user queries, with paragraphs, lists, or tables addressing these requests directly.

Always ensure your website is mobile-friendly and the mobile version loads quickly; this is particularly essential given that most voice searches take place via smartphones. Furthermore, conduct speed tests on a regular basis to make sure it loads in less than two seconds.

Finally, make sure that your website is structured using schema markup to help search engines better comprehend its contents and context. Do this by making sure URLs contain descriptive keywords and by using heading tags to organise content on pages.

As you write content for both humans and search engines, remember to prioritise writing for humans over search engines. This should be taken into consideration for all searches; voice search optimisation makes this step essential. Ensure your text is both engaging and educational without using jargon or acronyms. Finally, ensure you update regularly so your website remains up-to-date and reflects changes in products, services, or industry trends.

Interactive Elements: 

Incorporate interactive elements like chatbots and quizzes to engage users and provide personalised experiences.

9. Optimise for Google EEAT Factors

In this insightful article, we explore the critical role of Google’s EEAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness, and Experience) factors in the current SEO landscape, offering strategies to align your website with these essential metrics for a strong online presence appealing to both search engines and users.

As the realm of Search Engine Optimisation evolves, Google’s EEAT factors have emerged as pivotal elements in determining SEO success. This guide illuminates how to adeptly optimise online content to meet these standards, emphasising the need for deep knowledge and specialised expertise in content creation. It’s crucial for establishing a website’s authority not only to produce high-quality content but also to engage actively with the audience and be acknowledged by other respected figures in the field.

The trustworthiness of a website and its content, evaluated through secure browsing, transparent authorship, and factual accuracy, is integral in fostering trust among audiences. Additionally, the recent focus on the ‘Experience’ aspect highlights the importance of a user-centric approach, ensuring that websites cater effectively to user needs and preferences for an enhanced online experience.

10. Optimise for Metaverse SEO

Virtual reality vr graphic vector

The Metaverse, a rapidly growing digital platform, will revolutionise the SEO field soon.

It requires an innovative approach, as it blends virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) environments with traditional SEO practices. In this dynamic space, the focus shifts to optimising 3D content and virtual experiences for enhanced visibility and user engagement within Metaverse platforms. Key strategies include the use of relevant and immersive keywords specific to VR and AR experiences, ensuring that content is accessible and engaging in a three-dimensional context.

To succeed in Meta’s virtual platform, it will be worth thinking about integrating traditional SEO tactics such as link building and metadata optimisation, but with a twist to suit the unique dynamics of the Metaverse. Creating engaging and interactive virtual experiences that are easily discoverable by search algorithms is paramount. This involves not only textual content but also the optimisation of virtual assets, from avatars to interactive elements, ensuring they are indexed and ranked effectively.

As the metaverse grows, so does the importance of building a robust virtual presence, making it essential for brands and content creators to understand the nuances of metaverse SEO. This includes keeping abreast of the latest trends in VR and AR, understanding how search algorithms function within virtual worlds, and tailoring content to meet the expectations of a digitally savvy audience seeking immersive experiences. With the Metaverse’s potential for revolutionary user engagement, mastering its SEO practices is vital for anyone looking to make a significant impact in this rapidly evolving digital

Take Your SEO To The Next Level in 2024 

Ready to launch your small business to the top page of the online world? Smarter Digital Marketing can help you in your SEO journey.  We’re here to tailor a strategy that’s as unique as your business. Don’t let the ever-changing digital landscape intimidate you. Embrace it with a partner who knows how to navigate it with finesse and expertise.

Take the first step towards smarter visibility and robust online growth. Contact Smarter Digital Marketing today, and let’s craft a success story that sets you apart. Click the button below to schedule your consultation with one of our SEO experts. The future is digital, and with Smarter Digital Marketing, it’s bright. Act now—because when it comes to the digital race, the swift and the strategic take the lead.