As the end of the year approaches, it is important to reflect on trends that emerged this year to enable your organization to kick off 2024 at the top of your game. Understanding how consumers find information on the internet can help your association fine-tune its search engine optimization (SEO) strategy to gain traction for your organization’s website, event pages, educational products, and more. Below are three SEO trends from 2023 to help your organization’s content marketing team strategize for the upcoming year.
The relationship between consumers and search engines is evolving
In a world that is increasingly becoming more technologically efficient, consumers want to find and research information independently. Consumers may be discouraged by having to click through numerous web pages to find the information they are looking for, and an inquiry tends to happen when all independently-led options have been exhausted.
To deliver the right information to users, search engines analyze two factors:
- Relevancy between the search query and the content on a page. Search engines assess it by various factors like topic or keywords on the page.
- Authority, which is measured by a website’s popularity on the internet. Search engines assume the more popular a page or resource is, the more valuable its content is to readers.
However, for very niche associations, SEO authority may be difficult to build organically. In this case, it is important to remember that creating and publishing strong content—whether it be on your website, social media channels, or in your email marketing—is the gateway to strong SEO engagement. The more engaging the content is, the more traction it will gain.
SEO has a gold standard – and it’s being applied everywhere
Since 2022, Google has confirmed the metric of E-A-T is the SEO gold standard. E-A-T stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Given that associations are naturally motivated to demonstrate all three of these qualities, we think this is a great alignment with your organization’s mission. Google confirmed that E-A-T is applied to every query and every result to ensure that content will be helpful and applicable to the searcher. It is also important to highlight that Google is downgrading content that resembles artificial intelligence (AI), as AI is often perceived as working against the E-A-T metric.
There are countless ways to improve SEO
Given that SEO is primarily based on words (images, colors, or visual elements do not define SEO success), it is critical that your association stays in alignment with accessibility best practices to ensure it is accessible to all. One way to do so is by leveraging an Accessibility Checker for your website. This tool will help you identify a checklist of improvements you could make to your site to ensure it is both accessible and adhering to SEO best practices at the same time.
When it comes to content, be sure your content marketing team has a strong understanding of who your searchers are and what they are searching for. This SEO principle is tried and true because it gets to the heart of why SEO exists: to better match a searcher to the content they are looking for.
Laura Ludka is in Corporate Marketing at Smithbucklin.