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The State of SEO in 2024: What’s Happened and What’s Next

June 19, 2024

Michael DuncanCreative Director at Meta Creative


As we reach the midpoint of 2024, the SEO landscape in Australia continues to evolve rapidly. The ever-changing algorithms, technological advancements, and user behaviour shifts have brought new opportunities and challenges for businesses aiming to enhance their online presence. Let’s delve into the significant developments that have shaped SEO this year and explore what’s on the horizon.

Key SEO Developments in 2024

1. Core Web Vitals and User Experience

Google’s emphasis on Core Web Vitals (Largest Contentful Paint, First Input Delay, and Cumulative Layout Shift) has continued to dominate the SEO discourse. Websites that prioritise user experience (UX) and meet these performance metrics are seeing improved rankings.

2. AI and Machine Learning

The integration of AI and machine learning in SEO has become more prominent. Tools like ChatGPT, Bard, and others are being utilised to generate content, conduct keyword research, and optimise on-page elements more efficiently.

3. Voice Search Optimisation

With the increasing adoption of smart speakers and voice-activated assistants, optimising for voice search has become crucial. Long-tail keywords and conversational phrases are now integral parts of SEO strategies.

4. Mobile-First Indexing

Google’s mobile-first indexing, which prioritises the mobile version of websites for indexing and ranking, has reinforced the need for mobile-friendly designs. Australian businesses have seen significant shifts in traffic patterns, highlighting the importance of mobile optimisation.

5. Local SEO and Zero-Click Searches

The rise of zero-click searches, where users get answers directly on the SERP without clicking through to a website, has reshaped local SEO. Features like Google My Business, local listings, and reviews have become more critical for driving visibility.

Key Data Points

  • Mobile Traffic: In Australia, mobile traffic accounts for over 60% of all web traffic, emphasising the importance of mobile-first strategies.
  • Voice Search Usage: Nearly 30% of Australian households now use voice-activated assistants, making voice search optimisation essential for reaching this growing segment.
  • Local Search Impact: 78% of local mobile searches result in offline purchases, highlighting local SEO’s significance for Australian businesses.

What’s Next for SEO in Australia?

1. Enhanced AI Integration

As AI technology advances, expect more sophisticated tools for automating and enhancing SEO tasks. AI-driven insights will become invaluable for understanding user intent and creating personalised content.

2. Greater Emphasis on E-A-T

Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) will continue to play a pivotal role in Google’s ranking algorithm. Building high-quality, credible content and earning authoritative backlinks will be crucial.

3. Sustainability and Ethical SEO

With growing awareness of environmental and social issues, businesses that incorporate sustainability and ethical practices into their SEO strategies may see a positive impact on their brand image and rankings.

4. Visual and Video SEO

The demand for visual content and video is on the rise. Optimising images, infographics, and videos for search engines will become increasingly important for engaging users and improving search visibility.

5. Continued Focus on User Experience

As user experience remains a top priority, websites must ensure fast loading times, intuitive navigation, and mobile-friendly designs. Meeting and exceeding Core Web Vitals benchmarks will be essential.

Actionable Points for Businesses

1. Audit and Optimise for Core Web Vitals

Audit your website’s performance regularly using tools like Google PageSpeed Insights and make necessary adjustments to enhance loading speed, interactivity, and visual stability.

2. Leverage AI Tools

Incorporate AI-powered SEO tools to streamline keyword research, content creation, and on-page optimisation. Use these tools to gain insights into user intent and behaviour.

3. Optimise for Voice Search

Focus on natural language and conversational keywords. Create FAQ pages and optimise content to answer common voice search queries.

4. Prioritise Mobile-First Design

Ensure your website is fully responsive and provides an excellent user experience on mobile devices. Test mobile usability regularly and address any issues promptly.

5. Strengthen Local SEO Efforts

Keep your Google My Business listing updated, encourage customer reviews, and ensure your business information is consistent across all local directories.

6. Create High-Quality, Authoritative Content

Focus on producing well-researched, valuable content that establishes your expertise. Build relationships with authoritative sites for backlink opportunities.

By staying abreast of these developments and implementing strategic SEO practices, Australian businesses can navigate the dynamic digital landscape and achieve sustained online success in 2024 and beyond.