Top 10 Important SEO Techniques of 2024

Explore 10 advanced SEO techniques and tactics that you can use to boost your ranking in 2024.

9 min read

Top 10 Important SEO Techniques of 2024

The hardest part about SEO is its fluidity. Google updates its algorithm 500-600 times a year. That means there’s at least one update every single day of the year. Even SEO specialists who dedicate their careers to figuring out rank criteria still end up scratching their heads at the end of most days. 

It’s impossible to keep track of all the minor changes. But if you stay in the know about some of the biggest trends and SEO techniques of 2024, you’ll be a step ahead of your competition. 

We know that 75% of searchers never go past the first page of search results. So it’s essential to figure out how to beat these algorithm updates and remain on the first page of search engine result pages.  

To help keep you from constantly refreshing Google’s update page, we put together this list of the top 10 important SEO techniques of 2024.

1. Understand Core Web Vitals 

Core Web Vitals (CWV) might be a new SEO term you haven’t heard of. But in 2024, you must familiarize yourself with what these mean and the metric benchmarks behind them. 

Introduced in early 2020, Core Web Vitals are a set of metrics that Google considers crucial in determining a webpage's overall user experience. They measure speed, responsiveness, and visual stability, and provide unified guidance for quality signals essential to delivering a smooth and seamless user experience on the web. A better score on these metrics leads to a better ranking, which leads to more visibility and potentially more traffic to your site.

Here’s a quick recap of the Core Web Vital metrics: 

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) - Measures page speed. This is the time it takes for a page’s main content to load. The ideal LCP is 2.5 seconds or faster.
  • First Input Delay (FID) - Measures page responsiveness. This is the time it takes for a page to become interactive. The ideal FID is less than 100 ms. 
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) - Measures visual stability. This is the amount of unexpected layout shifts of visual page content. The ideal CLS is less than .1.   

Now that you know what the CWV metrics are, how do you measure them? Google has updated many of its existing tools to include core web vitals measurement capabilities. Each of these tools offers reports that give details and insights into the health of your core web vital metrics. 

Spend some time on each of these platforms, familiarize yourself with these reports, and learn how you might be able to improve your scores. 

Core Web Vitals Metric Update for 2024 

In March 2024, Google will roll out a Core Web Vitals update that will retire First Input Delay (FID) and replace it with a new metric called Interaction to Next Paint (INP). 

In-Line_Important-SEO-Techniques_Core-Web-Vitals(Image: Google Search Central)

INP evaluates a page’s overall responsiveness to user interactions (clicking a button, for example) by measuring the latency of all interactions that occur throughout a user’s visit. The final INP score is measured in milliseconds and calculated based on the longest interaction observed. 

So, what does this all mean? Simply put, every interactive element on your site, including buttons, videos, and drop-down menus needs to respond promptly to a user's input.  

Here’s how you can evaluate your INP score:

  • Good responsiveness - Below 200 milliseconds. 
  • Needs improvement - Between 200 and 500 milliseconds.
  • Poor responsiveness - Above 500 milliseconds.

INP scores can help website owners understand how long their users are waiting before they see a response to their interaction. If the INP is too high, it might indicate that the website is not responsive enough, which could lead to a poor user experience. 

Here are some INP optimization tips to help you in 2024:

  • Avoid layout thrashing
  • Improve server response times
  • Reduce input delay and DOM size
  • Break up long tasks into smaller, manageable ones
  • Optimize JavaScript execution and remove unused code 

2. Optimize for Google Passage Ranking

In October 2020, Google launched Passage ranking, where individual passages on web pages can be ranked along with the whole page itself. Why does this matter? This means that Google can pull out sections from a page even if that page is covering a different topic than what is displayed in the SERP.

For example, say you wrote a blog post on social media marketing, covering a variety of different aspects within social media marketing, such as tools, strategy, metrics, networks, etc. Your page might rank for the keyword “social media marketing tools,” even though you may not have optimized for that keyword. Because Google sees a relevant passage about social media marketing tools in your post, it’s indexing that specific passage. 

Here’s another example of passage ranking from Google

Optimize-for-Google-Passage-rankingImage: Google

Optimizing for Google’s Passage ranking is really as simple as creating an easy-to-read blog post that offers a user-friendly experience. Your biggest focus should be on creating clear sections within posts.

Focus on incorporating keywords as headings for these sections. Your content within these sections should be clear and focused on the subtopic within. Think of it as a blog post within a blog post. These sections should always be relevant to your main topic but also make sense contextually if they were to stand alone.

3. Focus on Featured Snippets 

Featured snippets, if not already, should become a part of your content strategy in 2024. Also known as the holy grail of search, featured snippets appear in position zero, or at the very top of the SERP page in a rectangular box. 

In-Line_Important-SEO-Techniques_Featured-Snippet(Image: Example of a Featured Snippet from Google)

Sure, you can’t select the content shown in a featured snippet, but you can optimize your content so it’s more likely to appear in a featured snippet. Here are a few recommendations.  

Choose Long-Tail Keywords 

One way to win featured snippets is to integrate long-tail keywords into your content. According to SEMrush, the longer the words in a search query, the higher the chance it will return a featured snippet. Only 4.3% of single-word keywords resulted in a featured snippet as compared to 17% of keywords made up of 5 words, and 55.5% of keywords made of 10 words. 

Use Question-Based Words 

Any content you write should be created with user intent in mind. Most often, when people search Google they use queries in the form of questions. So writing content with these questions and answers in mind will set you up to earn more featured snippets. 

SEMrush found question words, “why,” “do,” and “can” return the most featured snippets, whereas the word “where” triggered the least amount of featured snippets. 

Format Wisely 

There are four different types of featured snippet formats: paragraph, list, table, and video. When you write your content, keep these different formats in mind. Also, keep in mind the purpose of a featured snippet. Google wants to display information easily and distinctly to searchers looking for a fast answer. So format for the speed reader.

That’s not to say you can’t have longer paragraphs of text within your posts, but keep that content after your featured snippet definition, which should be short, clear, and to the point.

4. Learn the E-E-A-T Principle

Understanding and optimizing for E-E-A-T is crucial for SEO strategies in 2024. E-E-A-T, an acronym for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, is a principle used in Google's Search Quality Rater Guidelines. The added 'Experience' was introduced by Google in late 2022. 

E-E-A-T is essentially the measurement of your brand’s authority and reputation on the web. Google prioritizes established, authentic, and trustworthy content, valuing it above lesser-known sources. Let's break down each element:

  • Experience - This refers to the level of first-hand experience of the content creator. Google values content that’s created by individuals with a wealth of personal experience. 
  • Expertise - This refers to the level of knowledge in a particular topic or field demonstrated by the content creator. Content written by subject matter experts is likely to have a higher level of expertise, which Google values.
  • Authoritativeness - This refers to the credibility or reliability of the website publishing the content. It's about the reputation of the site and the author, which can be influenced by external factors like backlinks from other reputable sites, peer reviews, and online ratings.
  • Trustworthiness - This element considers the accuracy and transparency of the information provided. Sites that demonstrate high levels of trustworthiness are those that provide reliable, factual information and have secure connections (HTTPS).

If your industry is a bit more saturated than other markets, you might be thinking, how in the world am I supposed to beat out some of my competitors who are huge companies, or well-established brand names? 

Start small, don’t feel overwhelmed. There are clear steps you can take to establish your brand’s authority, trustworthiness, and reputation. Here are a few: 

  • Remove lower-quality content
  • Get active and encourage mentions on public forums
  • Display author bios that highlight their expertise and credentials
  • Earn high-quality backlinks from authoritative sites in your industry
  • Publish testimonials, case studies, reviews, and other forms of social proof
  • Ask customers to leave good reviews on reputable sites like Yelp, the BBB, Amazon, or Google

5. Support Multiple Long-Tail Keyword Phrases

With every algorithm update that Google releases, the search engine becomes more advanced. Google can now understand relevant subtopics of a specific keyword. 

For example, suppose you were to search for "home exercise equipment." Google now understands that "budget equipment," "premium picks," or "small space ideas" are relevant subtopics, and SERPs will display a broader range of results. 

What does this mean for SEO? There will be a lot more competition for shorter-tail keywords. But if you utilize long-tail or more specific keywords with three words or more, you’ll have a higher chance of seeing your domain on top results. 

Let's say you’re trying to rank for “custom branded apparel.” You may include this keyword in your title, meta description, and URL. You can also incorporate “logo jackets for companies,” “branded sweatshirts and t-shirts,” and “sweaters for businesses” into your content as well to help you rank for related terms. 

6. Create New Content

This might seem kind of obvious, but sometimes marketers get too caught up in the details of on-page SEO, and neglect to focus on creating new quality content for searchers. 

When you create new content you also have a chance to optimize for today’s SEO best practices on the first go. Focus on page titles, content headers, subheads, image alt text, and industry-relevant keywords.  

Fresh content is also seen by users as more valuable than old content. When people are searching for an answer to a question, they often look at the date for relevance. If your posts all have old dates and outdated information, they will quickly skip over to the next search results. 

Finally, freshness is a ranking factor in and of itself. The more you publish, the more frequently Google will index your pages, and the more quickly your content will rank.


7. Update Old Content

Though you may be busy creating new content, you can’t neglect updating your old content. If you only publish new content, your old content will fall off the map and become irrelevant. Since you probably invested a lot of time into those old posts, don’t miss out on the opportunity they could offer. 

One of the easiest ways to go back and refresh old content is by doing a link audit. Find and fix any external links that are broken or outdated. This not only improves user experience but keeps you from being penalized by Google for having too many broken links. 

Go back and update your internal links too. As you create fresh content, don’t forget to go back into relevant old content and add links to these new posts. This tells Google that there is a relationship between these pages, and will help Google index your new pages faster while helping your posts rank higher for relevant search queries.

8. Focus on User Experience

Every SEO tactic should somehow relate to improving user experience. In 2024, this will be more important than ever before. After all, the renewed focus on Core Web Vitals is all about user experience. 

But on top of that, Google also considers bounce rate, dwell time, and click-through percentage. The goal is to have a user click on your result, spend time clicking on different pages, and spend at least three minutes on your site. 

Here are some factors to consider when analyzing user experience: 

  • Mobile-friendliness - Does your site have a mobile responsive design? 
  • Navigation - Is it easy for users to find other pages on your site? 
  • Page speed - Does it take forever for your site to load? 
  • Interactivity - Do you have features on your site that get users to interact with your content? 
  • Content quality - Do you have typos, broken links, or just plain poor content? 

By improving some of these areas, you’ll see that users will begin to spend more time on your site. As a result, Google will start to rank your site and corresponding pages higher in SERPs. 

9. Don’t Forget About Images

Over 10% of all Google traffic is for images. So, to conquer SEO in 2024, it’s essential to know how to optimize images for search. 

Ensure any images you use are high quality and relevant to your keyword. It should be clear to users what your content is about just by looking at your image. Always compress the images you use before uploading them to your site. One large image can slow down a fast site. Remember, Google is looking at page speed as a ranking factor. 

Image alt tags are also essential. This is the text alternative to images and is used by search engines to help associate keywords to your image. Additionally, this is what appears if your image doesn’t load.

When writing your alt text, include relevant information and keywords where appropriate, be careful not to keyword stuff. If it doesn’t make sense to incorporate the keyword, don’t include it. Google might see this as spam and penalize your site as a result. 

10. Build Up Backlinks

Backlinks are the heart of SEO. You really can’t have a solid SEO strategy in 2024 and still ignore building high-quality links back to your site. 

Backlinks are a critical way to build brand authority. When a reputable and authoritative site links back to yours, it boosts your E-E-A-T factor, signifying to Google that your site provides valuable answers to searchers.

Here are some quick tips for creating an effective backlink strategy: 

Consider guest blogging

  • Analyze your competitors' backlink profiles to uncover valuable insights
  • Use SEO tools like SEMrush to identify potential link-building opportunities
  • Reach out to relevant sites in your niche and let them know about your content
  • Find broken links on other websites and suggest your content as a replacement

Mastering SEO Techniques: Get Ahead of Algorithms and Competitors in 2024

It’s impossible to keep up with every single Google algorithm update. Keeping track of the latest trends is helpful, but still difficult for a busy marketer. So the biggest SEO technique to keep in mind at all times is to optimize for people. 

In 2024, people and experiences are at the core of every SEO technique and trick out there. So focus your time and energy on developing high-quality content that answers and informs your target audience. 

Get in touch if you need assistance developing your 2024 SEO strategy. From keyword research and link building to content creation and optimization, our SEO experts will help you outrank your competitors and accelerate the growth of your business.

Editor's Note: This post was originally published on April 2, 2021, and has been updated for accuracy and current best practices.

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