Just as you feel that you have this whole search engine optimization thing figured out, search engines go and change all sorts of features, requiring you to devise an entirely new SEO strategy. The internet is constantly evolving, and as new digital technologies emerge, search engines move rapidly to adopt them to improve their services for web users. While there is no telling exactly what the New Year will bring in terms of SEO trends, as a small business owner, you might try to stay ahead of the curve by resolving to update your SEO strategy in the following ways:

Mobile Optimization

In truth, small businesses should have made the resolution to optimize their web pages for mobile browsing way back in 2017, which was when mobile web traffic first surpassed web traffic originating from desktop computers. As the past six years have progressed, mobile traffic has increased at an alarming rate, while desktop traffic has remained relatively stagnant, even falling slightly as some web users abandon their desktop devices entirely in favor of smartphones and tablets. Search engines are savvy to this shift, and to ensure that top search results are accessible to mobile users, search engines have heavily rewarded websites with mobile-friendly designs. If you haven’t before thought about how your website might look to users on smartphones and other small screens, 2024 is the year to change that.

Local SEO Emphasis

Web users have been trying to search for business specific to their local area since search engines first appeared online, but only in the past few years have search engines been able to understand their requests and filter their responses appropriately. Now, we know that web users making local searches are by and large intending to contact a business in their area and likely make some kind of purchase, which means that capturing that traffic is exceedingly important for small, local businesses. In 2024, you should commit to working with a digital marketing agency capable of optimizing your website for local search; they may take advantage of white label local SEO to provide you the best SEO services possible.

AI Integration

It is no secret that the capacity of artificial intelligence has expanded dramatically over the course of 2023. Generative AI platforms like ChatGPT are demonstrating astonishing capabilities, and tech companies — search engines, included — aren’t hesitating to integrate AI power into their products to boost efficiency and accuracy. Of course, AI isn’t perfect; there are more than a few examples of AI chatbots failing to hit the mark with their responses, so web users will need to continue to apply their own discretion while performing web searches. Still, it might be prudent for you and your small business to look into what AI integration into search might mean for your web pages and search rankings and make appropriate accommodations.

Voice Search Optimization

As virtual assistants have become somewhat ubiquitous — in our smart home systems, in our smartphones, in our cars — voice searches have become more common. Often, voice searches use more naturalistic language than typed searches, and web users engaged with voice search often need quick snippets of information that can be read to them via a virtual assistant. As with local SEO, voice search SEO has particular strategies that aim to capture this unique web traffic, so you might talk to your digital marketing service to learn more about what you might do to optimize for voice in 2024.

Visual Search Optimization

Though not nearly as popular as other alternative forms of search, visual search is still a potentially powerful tool for capturing and converting web users for businesses in certain industries. Retail, in particular, can benefit from optimizing for visual search, as many web users utilize visual search to find attractive items like clothing, accessories or gadgets used by their favorite social media influencers. Visual search isn’t perfect, but with the help of AI it could become much more functional — and lead to much more engagement with businesses that are prepared to capitalize on it.

As frustrating as it might be to contend with ever-evolving search engine algorithms, the constantly changing landscape of web search gives your business continuous opportunities to achieve greater success online. If you set the right goals, 2024 could be your business’s biggest year yet.

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