Predictions for SEO and Paid Search in 2024
By Sherin Malick is an SEO Account Director at The PHA Group and Lucinda Martin is a Paid Search Account Director at The PHA Group
Despite the increase of AI tools and changes to Google, SEO has remained as important as ever in 2023, and some would say even more so. As we head into 2024, SEO should remain a key part of every brand’s marketing strategy, as it is a channel that is becoming even more important with time. SEO will be playing a much larger part especially when complimenting other channels such as Paid, PR and social. Some key predictions on what to expect will include:
Increased importance of E-E-A-T
With the Helpful Content update being updated this year again, 2024 will start to see even more importance on authoritative and trustworthy content. Brands should expect to create useful and engaging content for their users, as well as ensuring they are answering questions to fit in with user intent and even longer tail queries. By merging your content and SEO strategies, your content will have data backing it to ensure it is valuable to users.
SEO will work alongside AI
Despite reports of ‘SEO is dead’ because of the increasing use of AI, 2024 will see SEO teams
working with AI, not against it. The search landscape is set to change with SGE rolling out to more users and the launch of Gemini meaning that AI content will be smarter and more accurate. AI will be changing and evolving even more in 2024, with brands needing to keep up to date with ongoing releases. SEO will be more important than ever to ensure brands are visible within the SERPs, as well as making sure that what is coming out of AI is reliable to meet users needs.
With the roll out of SGE, we will expect to see more than just text links in the SERPs. With images and videos a big part of the new search experience, as well as users searching in more than just text, it is key for these to be fully optimised. Users should also expect to see search results in more formats as search engines become smarter in understanding searches in different formats. Brands should be optimising imagery, videos as well as making sure they are appearing for rich results so there’s even more opportunity to get online visibility.
Sherin Malick is an SEO Account Director at The PHA Group
Control & Campaign Types: With Performance Max and Demand Gen being pushed by Google, our data insights and control will continue to be slowly taken away from us and despite some great performances, it is still not a blanket ‘trust the machine’ activation. Feed optimisation, product imagery, ad copy and audiences; testing these will be a way to keep control to determine what works for you. We strongly recommend reviewing your data and not just your opti-score and/or ad scores. Meanwhile, we are back to testing Standard Shopping and GDN campaigns to gain business intelligence for our clients, and seeing some pretty comparative results so far.
CPCs: Will probably continue to rise, it has been felt in all our client verticals – no matter the keyword match type or the campaign type. Previously tested and known bid management methods will continue to be important such as, negative keyword application, optimisation of targets against performance, settings, audience reviews etc. Likewise with lost data in campaigns, we’re not adverse to still test enhanced CPCs to ensure the KPI’s being met are our clients and not Google’s (or Microsoft’s).
Search term & Demographic insights:
Search queries alongside gender/age insights will become increasingly hidden. Build a strong relationship with your SEO team to look at trends, researching search terms and using first party data to build your audiences. Likewise, with your social team – paid or otherwise, although you can’t match audiences to them in platform we can be inspired to ensure the end result is holistically met.
Lucinda Martin is a Paid Search Account Director at The PHA Group