SEO Trends in 2024 So Far: What You Need to Know

by Darcy Cremin on 
June 21, 2024 | 
Digital Marketing Strategy
Darcy Cremin
Darcy Cremin

As soon as you think you’re ahead of your SEO game, Google and other search engines throw a curve ball your way.

It’s hard to keep track of technical algorithm changes impacting your site’s SEO health. As we’re halfway through 2024, here’s a summary from Rocket’s award-winning SEO Specialists of all the significant trends you need to know to improve your website’s visibility and rankings on search engines.

1. Embrace AI Wisely

The rise of AI in SEO is no surprise. Almost everyone is leveraging AI tools, but how they use the technology will make all the difference. A proficient digital marketing agency will use AI to brainstorm content ideas, assist with keyword research, and perform other repetitive tasks. However, err on the side of caution if your agency or internal marketing team is relying upon AI to write entire web pages; this often results in generic, unhelpful content that is unlikely to rank well. Learning to harness AI effectively is critical in 2024.

Tune into these Smarter Marketer Podcast episodes as well for specific advice on adopting AI within your marketing:

EP 51. How to Use AI When Copywriting with Ralph Grayden

EP 64. AI in Marketing: Hype vs. Reality with David Lawrence

2. Don’t Produce and Publish Mediocre Content

High-quality content remains paramount for better SEO rankings, and the bar is constantly being raised. On a recent episode on the Smarter Marketer podcast, Kat Warboys, Senior Director of Marketing at HubSpot too recommended that businesses should focus on quality vs quantity of content to stay competitive in the long term. 

With AI enabling rapid content creation, Google is scrutinising published content more closely. While Google has said that they accept AI-generated content, we recommend that experts review and verify such content to ensure it provides value. Regularly updating your content, especially in the finance and health sectors, is crucial to maintaining high rankings amidst frequent algorithm updates. Google describes this as Your Money Your Life - YMYL content. As updates to Google’s search algorithm become more frequent and stricter regarding penalising poor content, getting this right is vital for brands.

3. Invest in Quality Link Building

Gone are the days of link farms and private blog networks (PBNs). In the past, such black and grey hat tactics forced sites to top of search results and ever since, link builders have tried to make such links look legitimate. Regardless, Google continues to crack down on artificial link building, so avoid offers of cheap and bulk links from dodgy websites. Today, the best SEO specialists focus on acquiring high-quality links from reputable sources. 

We recommend that you prioritise earning quality links that enhance your site's authority and relevance vs the quantity of links. Steer clear from self-proclaimed experts that offer you deals like ‘50 links per month for $10’; they will do more harm than good.

4. Navigate Google's AI Overview

Google's Search Generative Experience (SGE), later rebranded as AI Overview, promised to be the next evolution in search with AI-driven insights to give users a faster, simpler and more immersive experience in Google Search. However, its initial rollout faced significant backlash from SEO experts as SGE presented poor-quality answers to queries, irrelevant information, and arguably plagiarised publishers. 

When it was first launched in the US and select regions (excluding Australia), users were unhappy with the results and searched en masse for ways to get rid of SGE. As a result, its release in Australia has been delayed, and it’s being scaled back or nearly discontinued in several regions. Regardless, SGE or a version of it is expected to be back, with refined features, and relaunched globally in some capacity in the near future.

5. Prioritise Site Technical Health

Technical SEO often gets overlooked by businesses because it’s tedious, intimidating and mistakenly considered a one-and-done chore. The reality is that it’s vital to assess your site's health regularly. Regardless of your content quality and backlink profile, a site that’s difficult to navigate for users and difficult to crawl for search engines will suffer both in rankings and user experience

Google’s recent announcement to deindex non-mobile-friendly sites underscores the importance of technical health. Make regular technical SEO audits a part of your SEO strategy.

6. Optimise for Search Intent

Targeting keywords with high search volume isn’t always the best approach to SEO in 2024. The larger the search volume, the wider the net you cast to drive traffic, and the results are hence diluted. For better SEO results, ensuring the intent behind a search and the content you publish is increasingly important. 

Keywords with smaller search volumes but higher “motivation” and/or relevance can yield better results. For example, articles about running shoes for new runners should target phrases like ‘running shoe features’ or ‘how often should you replace running shoes’ instead of a broad term like ‘running shoes’ because these longer-tail keywords address key concerns of users searching for new running shoes. Product pages, however, should focus on terms like ‘buy running shoes’. 

Essentially, we recommend you tailor your content to the user's intent for better engagement i.e. publish different content for users that are in the research phase, consideration stage and buying stage of the buyer’s journey. 

7. Leverage Local SEO

Local SEO levels the playing field, allowing small businesses to compete with larger corporations for local customers. According to a study published in 2024,  98% of consumers found local businesses online in 2022, up from 90% in 2019. The same study revealed that 88% of consumers would use a business that replies to all of its reviews, compared to just 47% who would use a business that doesn’t respond to reviews at all. 

You’d be amazed at the number of neglected Google Business Profiles (Google My Business Profiles) we come across at Rocket. Many profiles are often left untouched for years, with the wrong phone number, no link to the business’ site and reviews without responses. The takeaway is that Google rewards brands that keep their GBP profile up-to-date and respond to reviews, even bad ones.

Staying ahead in SEO requires adapting to these evolving trends. Although SEO may be a time-consuming tactic, it will continue to deliver results in terms of website traffic and conversions for years to come.

If you need an SEO agency to review your current SEO strategy, Rocket can help! Get in touch or call 1300 059 620.

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Darcy Cremin - SEO Specialist
Darcy Cremin
SEO Specialist | Rocket Agency

Darcy is an SEO specialist at Rocket with three years of experience helping clients drive organic results. With a strong background in social media management and writing, he has a knack for both organic and paid social media strategies.

Darcy graduated from the University of Wollongong with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, majoring in marketing. He has experience working with a wide range of businesses, from small businesses to big names like Fujitsu General, Ability Action Australia, HIA, and Qudos Bank.

Known for his love of alternative music, Darcy also stands out at Rocket as the designated "tall person".

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