Wisdom from 3,890 Professionals in the Field
Using data gathered from 3,890 SEO professionals for our annual State of SEO report, we’re ready to give you new insights on the disruptive factors in the industry. From the rise of generative AI to shifting content trends, there are many opportunities to use these new disruptions to your advantage and stay ahead in such a competitive time.
Ben Steele, senior editor at Search Engine Journal, joined me on this SEJ Show to break down the three significant disruptions in the SEO world and the opportunities they present. We examined the process behind implementing generative AI and what AI might look like next year.
Get tactics for communicating your SEO value, tips on new ways to cultivate your audience, and new content creation strategies for facing changing trends.
People noted that generative AI would be the biggest disruptor. However, respondents are largely positive; they feel optimistic about the impact of generative AI and its potential to affect their business’s bottom line. I think there’s an interesting duality to note there. It’s disrupting many things, but people are still excited about it. –Ben Steele, 04:33
You bring up a great point about adapting focus. The industry is incredibly dynamic. With the acceleration of AI, changes in search engine algorithms, and evolving user behavior, SEO professionals need to be agile. They have to reassess and adapt their metric priorities in real time to ensure they’re capturing the most relevant data, which translates to business value. That could be the reason we had to revisit the metrics we included in this year’s survey. –Ben Steele, 20:29
While I can’t predict the future with absolute certainty, what’s clear is that the traditional role of an SEO professional is already transforming. SEO is becoming increasingly interdisciplinary. It’s no longer just about optimizing for search engines; it’s about optimizing for user experience, understanding data analytics, and even having some proficiency with AI and machine learning models. –Ben Steele, 21:15
[00:00] – About Ben.
[03:57] – Top disruptors in SEO.
[04:33] – Has generative AI affected search yet?
[07:07] – User behavior toward new technology: voice search example.
[10:46] – Freelancers moving to permanent positions.
[12:15] – Impact of layoffs in tech companies.
[16:34] – Priority metrics for SEO professionals.
[18:05] – Agency vs. in-house SEO communication struggles.
[22:20] – Importance of click-through rate as a metric.
[27:25] – SEO’s role in ecommerce and Google Shopping.
[28:53] – Content’s role in SEO.
[29:37] – Top barriers to SEO success.
[30:57] – Communication barriers in SEO.
[32:31] – Frequency of Google updates.
[34:01] – Changes in Google SERPs.
[34:36] – Major takeaways in the SEO report.
[36:46] – Navigating SEO algorithm changes.
[38:03] – Communicating SEO value.
State of SEO 2024 – https://www.searchenginejournal.com/state-of-seo/
An SEO’s job is not just to drive traffic; it’s to complete that journey all the way down to the checkout. –Loren Baker, 26:08
What we’re seeing is a shift in focus. Last year, people were going back to basics and focusing on technical SEO. This year, we’re seeing a greater emphasis on understanding audience intent and traffic quality, not just raw numbers, but what this traffic means. –Ben Steele, 22:22
People are no longer convinced by the promise of getting you to page one for any term you want because the question becomes, ‘Page one for what? For something that nobody searches for?’ –Ben Steele, 38:03
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Connect with Ben Steele:
Ben Steele, the Senior Editor at SEJ, boasts profound expertise in digital content. Though he didn’t initially aim to become an SEO strategist, the skills he acquired for his role, combined with his self-initiated research into digital marketing, unveiled his genuine passion in this field.
His experience in professional theater not only refined his work ethic and leadership abilities but also fostered other invaluable attributes such as creativity.
Now, at SEJ, Ben contributes to their ebooks, consistently providing fresh perspectives and strategic content advice. Through his SEO endeavors, he artfully weaves the nuances of human experiences, journeys, and expressions into enlightening lessons for others.
Connect with Ben on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/writerbensteele/
Connect with Loren Baker, Founder of Search Engine Journal: