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Top SEO Strategies in 2023-2024: Trends, Benchmarks, and Growth Points

SEO
Digital Marketing
September 25, 2023
16 min
Content

SEO trends, benchmarks & growth points. Along with Vladislav Trishkin, Senior SEO-expert at Promodo, we highlight major insights and opportunities to maximize your search traffic.

Trends

All search engine optimization (SEO) metrics are synergized. This means that while working on the project, online businesses cannot rely merely on selected indicators. While all metrics are important, the endeavor comes as a multi-layer process.

Satisfying User Intent 

Users are your key SEO target! You should do your utmost to follow Google SEO trends to make every page on your site relevant to their queries.  

‍How would you do that? Primarily, you should reduce the bounce rate*. 

*Low bounce rate (refusal indicator) signals that an average user visits more pages and stays on your site during a continuous period.

Once on your site, users should satisfy their intents, i.e. informational or commercial. This works only if users do not get back to search results from your site. To retain them, your site pages should contain data that matches individual search queries in the most user-friendly format. 

What do we mean here?

To satisfy user intent on an eCommerce site, you should list a sufficient amount of products. Say, users seek a red smartphone (128 Gb with eSim), or a gold one (256 Gb and three cameras)? Let them choose from the variety of available assortment options!

Besides satisfying individual user intents of your target audience, you should consider page load time. If your page is loading for too long, a user is unlikely to wait and will eventually get back to the search results. 

However, page load time is not a decisive indicator of success or a critical point you should depend on. So far, there are no evidence-based cases that would prove traffic growth and search engine page results (SERPs) owing to a page load time. 

According to John Muller, sound indicators of Core Web Vitals do not necessarily result in enhanced indexing of pages by Google.

The answer will vary depending on an individual site. Core Web Vitals and Page Experience are not quality metrics, so they do not have an essential impact on indexing and scanning. In some cases, there is a definite dependence between a page load time and the time over which Google can scan it; this correlation is erroneous, though. In most cases, therefore, these aspects are not correlated.

John Mueller, Search Advocate at Google

User intent satisfaction effectively is among the core trends in SEO in 2023 and beyond. To satisfy individual user intent, the content on your page should be useful and user-friendly, with a balanced mix of texts, videos, visuals, infographics, and cards. 

Even if you have not converted a user into a lead (an on-site transaction has failed), it is of vital importance to ensure that they have not gone back from your pages to the search results. The behavioral pattern signals Google whether your site content is relevant to individual user search queries. If that’s the case for multiple bounces, Google will rank your site down. The logic here is simple: the content of your site does not match user intent, and eventually, they start browsing other sites.

Vladyslav Trishkin, Senior SEO-expert at Promodo

SEO benchmarks differ from conventional benchmarks with a focus on the most effective indicators rather than factual ones.

For example, you lack an absolute bounce rate indicator. Ideally, it should equal zero, though you would be highly unlikely to make it. What’s the fix? You should do your best to make people stay on your page as long as possible.

E-E-A-T Factors and Traffic Amount Generated from Recommender Systems

At the end of 2022, Google updated its Search Quality Rating Guidelines for evaluators. No numbers at play: only facts on what you should put on your pages, the right format, and the ways of improvement. 

What is E-E-A-T SEO and why that’s trending? While the Guidelines are currently updating, Google E-E-A-T update significantly impacts site rankings in SERPs. This means you should primarily focus your marketing efforts on SERP trends. 

And what about the traffic coming from recommender systems for informational, content, and news sites? Google News and Google Discover are shaping the trend that evaluates the content quality and E-E-A-T factors for your site. How does it work? 

Once Google E-E-A-T factors are sufficiently optimized on the news & media sites, the latter will generate a huge amount of traffic coming from recommender systems. 

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AI to Boost Faster Results

The trend for a cheaper source of content is more than anticipated. This is possible if you apply for a paid plan of ChatGPT and Copy.ai. The emerging systems are shaping the ongoing AI revolution.

Previously, we dived deep into that GPT — the tasks solved and the outcomes. Can AI help you cut on a marketing budget? Yes. It can, though it depends on… 

Using AI for SEO comes as a rather ambiguous niche. This is because AI content does not align with the E-E-A-T concept, though still works. The tool helps to optimize textual content and maximize it for multiple project uses. 

The core question here is how far we can project future AI developments. During updates, Ai-content may get pessimized, and those sites that overuse AI-generated content without additional human editing are sure to lose much over time.

At Promodo, we have defined a universal algorithm — a mix of AI and manmade effects. While implementing AI at work, we edit all the AI-generated content. In most cases, GPT fails to pass through fact-checking, while Google is way too sensitive to such content.

Vladyslav Trishkin, Senior SEO-expert at Promodo

As for the new SEO trends, Vladyslav emphasizes the vital importance of fresh and up-to-date content, alongside benefiting from artificial intelligence at work. 

Updating evergreen articles is among the major SEO trends 2023 for your thematic projects. Artificial intelligence in SEO is about updating your content so that  Google rank it high. For instance, one of the most important trends for informational projects is in updating and actualizing the existing content for search purposes. What do we mean here? Say, you have an article that drove you a sufficient amount of traffic over time, though it’s no more actual. Refresh it!  How often should you do it? It all depends on the individual content. You’ll do it after a detailed briefing. Some posts will require weekly or monthly refreshments, while others may need annual updates.

Vladyslav Trishkin, Senior SEO-expert at Promodo

Link Building is Getting More Expensive and Complicated

Following the Link Spam Update against the referring spam in December 2022, link building rules have changed. Google nullifies all references from low-quality sites. That is also why some sites that benefited from promotion references have sagged recently. While such sites are losing their link weight, more online companies will transform their link building strategies for SEO.

Google is ‘nullifying’ all the references it deems spammy and of low quality; the choice is random, however. At some point, the effectiveness of some references is getting close to zero, while the value of site pages, site positions, and traffic are sliding down. What should you do to enhance your link building for SEO? You should build quality links! The practice of link building varies, gets more expensive, and is far more complex. Link building in SEO assumes that the sites linking to your pages should reflect the thematics of your niche and drive fewer links to the sites owned by your competitors.

Vladyslav Trishkin, Senior SEO-expert at Promodo

seo statistics

Permanent growth of quality link donor domains marks an essential trend for 2023-2024. Who are the domain donors? These are the sites that generate huge traffic, i.e. media and thematic publications. Your strategic task is to continuously drive quality links from such sources.

Benchmarks

SEO benchmarks are more than mere parameters in Google Analytics. It looks great when they are all marked ‘green,’ though SEO benchmarks are far more ephemeral. 

Let’s take references as an example. We can see the number and track their quality. If E-E-A-T factors are at stake, our estimate of their effectiveness will be subjective, so we can track an overall outcome only during the following Google update.

Case Study 1

organic traffic growth

Case Study 2

organic traffic growth

Farewell to FAQ Page | Hello New Snippets

Since April 6, FAQ snippets are not available in mobile search results. The same is true about desktops. So, we say farewell to the FAQ micro-markup! However, do not delete the existing snippets.

СTR will serve as your major guideline here. Once you are beyond page one on SERPs, go on by boosting your CTR. 

As for now, we do not recommend deleting your existing FAQs, though do not create new ones. A mere 5% of FAQs are still at play. They are rare to find; still, Google has not abandoned them completely.

Oleksandr Utkin, SEO Team Lead at Promodo


FAQ queries

What’s the relevant substitution to FAQs in snippets? Something way more useful. For example, an estimate of product quality and product return policies. 

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FAQ is a comparatively useless element in search results: users barely click it while it occupies on-site space. By contrast, new snippets present useful and interactive elements. Most importantly, they reflect user competitiveness during search results. Say, I would like to buy iPhone 14. My query will match the results on the first page of Google. Further, the specifics come into play: while one site may offer a lower price, another one will provide free delivery, while the third one will come with a more user-friendly return policy. This is how the snippet impacts the final purchasing decision (i.e. user behavior) and the CTR, respectively.

Vladyslav Trishkin, Senior SEO-expert at Promodo

Keywords Positions

It is vital to ensure positive dynamics for every project. The constant growth of relevant keywords should entail site the growth of ranking positions for your site. We cover new keywords and track changes in dynamics (as per week-month, though not necessarily). 

Once we spot a continuous growth of site positions during a quarter – we follow the right direction. 

‍If over six months our major keywords have sagged, it is high time to detect the gaps, correlate SEO strategy, and dive deep into the niche analysis. The key task here is to understand why our competitors are growing, and we are not.

Ahrefs is your finest means here. The reliable SEO tool enables tracking the dynamics of position shifts as per search queries over definite periods.

Organic Search Traffic

The metric enables us to report to the client argumentatively. Specifically, we will report revenue in case of an eCommerce project. Here we track the following correlation: the larger share of transactions and traffic per commercial query, the higher the revenue. Once we track informational resources, we will measure traffic. 

What you need here is recommended year-to-year dynamics. For instance, if your site grew by 30%, then you are on the right way. If it has sagged, you should seek flaws beyond the external force majeure circumstances like war. The main client requirement here is to ensure traffic growth (or even better - revenue growth). Factual revenue from organic channels is your best-fit indicator we count on. For instance, in one of our projects, we have denied all benchmarks (indicators that signal current state and dynamics) save as revenue, while our clients need actual growth indicators from every channel.

Vladyslav Trishkin, Senior SEO-expert at Promodo

Summary

For quite a while, search engine marketing trends have marked a rat race for client marketing budgets. In this vein, companies are also competing for backlink investments. The more quality backlinks you get onto your site, the better. Your strategic task here is to outperform your closest rivals. 

This is your crucial benchmark—you should watch your competitors, assess their link profiles in dynamics and do your utmost to make your link profile grow faster by engaging quality donor sites. You should outperform your competitors every month to ensure higher growth dynamics. This minimum requirement will help you compete atop SERPs.

Make sure your bounce rate is as low as possible. Your task here is to satisfy individual user queries (i.e. commercial and informational intents) on your pages. You should make them stay on-site, so they won’t return to search results or go on browsing on competitor sites. If eCommerce is concerned, you should enable a user-friendly transaction, which is far more important than a user’s time on site. 

If your site is informative, do your best to maintain user attention. Be sure to match the user's initial information request by interlinking your content with popular articles, contextual links, and interactive elements.

The same is true for eCommerce; there’s no exact user time on the page. In one instance, a user may stay on your page for 15 seconds, and spend 15 minutes on the other one. 

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Written by
Maria Kashina

Content Marketing Manager at Promodo

Written by
Vladislav Trishkin

SEO Team Lead at Promodo

Vladyslav has been working as SEO Specialist for over 5 years.His portfolio of projects includes: Ukr.net, Sinoptik, Concert.ua, etc.

He is a fan of Ahrefs, enjoys reading Google's Assessor's Guide, and is always ready to have a discussion about SEO.His main specialization is promoting content and media projects, and he has numerous successful case studies.

Beneficial link on Vladyslav's expertise:

1. https://www.youtube.com/live/2hGEmklt7ZM?feature=share

2. https://www.education.ua/trainings/trainers/20215/

3. https://wordfactory.ua/4-stati-ot-wordfactory-o-faktore-avtorstva-dlya-ranzhirovaniya-ymyl-sajtax/

Written by
Oleksandr Utkin

SEO Team Lead at Promodo

I have been working as a SEO expert since 2018. I've passed from the Middle SEO expert to Team Lead.
I work with the largest Ukrainian eCommerce clients. Furthermore, I am an expert in Core Web Vitals and HTML5 semantic pivot. Now I manage my own team.


Published:
September 25, 2023
Updated:
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