New Year’s Resolutions: Our Ins and Outs for SEO in 2024
As we begin a brand new year here at Big Pond Digital, we thought we’d share our SEO ‘Ins and Outs’ for 2024 i.e. what things can help boost your brand’s rankings on Google and what practices you should decidedly leave behind in 2023.
Embracing and Leveraging AI
Embracing AI tools for SEO will revolutionise your approach to optimising your website. These tools offer unparalleled capabilities to analyse massive amounts of data, uncover trends, and predict user behaviour more accurately and quickly than ever before. It’s all about efficiency. AI-powered tools like Chat GPT, Surfer SEO, and Jasper, all aid in comprehensive keyword research, content optimisation, and performance tracking, providing valuable insights that will drive your strategic decisions. Moreover, AI tools can help you automate routinised tasks, like producing first drafts of screeds of text, freeing up your time to focus on other aspects of your brand.
Improving User Experience (UX)
Improving the User Experience (UX) of your website is a cornerstone of effective SEO. Search engines like Google prioritise delivering the best possible results to users, and a positive user experience is a crucial factor in deciding who will provide this. Websites that offer seamless navigation, fast loading times, mobile responsiveness, intuitive design, and valuable content, tend to rank higher in search results.
Enhanced UX leads to longer user sessions, lower bounce rates, and increased engagement, signalling to search engines that your site meets users’ needs and provides valuable information. Additionally, satisfied users are more likely to share, link to, and revisit your site, which further strengthens its authority and visibility in search rankings. Use a tool (like this: developer.chrome.com/docs/lighthouse/overview/) to assess your own website.
Helpful and Meaningful Content
Creating helpful and meaningful content for your website is a fundamental pillar of successful SEO. By consistently delivering high-quality, informative, and engaging content, your website not only satisfies users but also demonstrates expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (EEAT) to search engines. Valuable content encourages less users to bounce off straight away, spend longer on your site and increases the likelihood of social sharing and backlinking, all positive for SEO.
Keyword stuffing refers to the practice of excessively loading a webpage’s content with keywords in an attempt to manipulate search engine rankings. While it was once considered a viable SEO tactic, most search engines like Google have evolved to prioritise content quality and UX. If you keyword stuff, it will often disrupt the natural flow of your content, making it unreadable and irrelevant to users and can potentially impact your rankings detrimentally. So, in 2024, make sure your SEO emphasises relevant keywords naturally and contextually, not stuffing them in unnecessarily left, right, and centre.
Low Quality Backlinks
Building low-quality backlinks can harm your website’s SEO performance. Search engines value backlinks as a signal of trust, authority, and relevance, so when a website accumulates numerous low-quality or spammy backlinks from irrelevant or unreliable sources, it raises red flags. Instead of enhancing your credibility, these links can damage your site’s reputation and ranking. Google’s getting better at spotting these and, at best, will disregard and overlook the low quality links i.e. it’s a waste of your time building them at all. When we say ‘low quality’ or ‘spammy’, we mean those connected to link farms, irrelevant directories, or other manipulative link-building schemes. So be sure to focus on backlink quality and topical relevance, not solely quantity.
Having duplicate content across multiple pages on your site can hinder your SEO effectiveness. Search engines aim to provide the most relevant and valuable content to its users, and duplicate content may confuse algorithms, making it challenging to determine which version to rank for a particular search result. This can lead to lower rankings or, in some cases, penalties that affect the entire site’s visibility in search results. Ensure every page hosts unique and relevant content for users to access.
So there you have it, that’s what Big Pond says is In and what is Out for the coming year. Hopefully you’ve picked up some helpful insights for your brand, and, importantly, which practices to leave behind.