Ai is coming for your content in 2024. It’s time to change your content and SEO strategy.
by Darlene Veenhuizen
In this era of evolving content strategies, a notable transformation is underway as budgets significantly shift away from typical content we’ve seen online. This transformation is not merely a trend but a strategic response to the growing skepticism surrounding AI-generated content.
AI is changing the landscape of SEO, and in turn, it’s impacting every aspect of content marketing.
With Google, the new Generative Search Experience, and people ditching search engines altogether for AI platforms and social search, there is plenty to talk about regarding 2024 content marketing strategy.
In a landscape where authenticity is valued more than ever, there’s an increasing recognition that showing your face on camera and social media, or speaking directly to your audience can be the most compelling way to bridge the gap between the digital realm and genuine human connection. That’s why emerging formats like video, podcasts, and influencer marketing are stealing the spotlight.
It’s not just about convincing Google; it’s about forging meaningful connections with your audience in an age where authenticity reigns supreme.
Here are some of my 2024 predictions for SEO and AI:
AI will impact SEO, and that, in turn, will impact your content marketing strategy in the following ways…
You’ll stay on the Google Search Results page longer
Google announced their rollout of Search Generative Experience (SGE) in March 2022, so it isn’t new, but it is extremely important. This update should change your entire marketing strategy because it includes a deeply integrated AI chat search, emphasizes social and video content, and significantly alters the way ads and organic rankings get displayed to users.
Google is using AI to search through user-generated content and find the answers to your questions without you having to dive deep into these communities or platforms yourself. Therefore, Google is attempting to get you to stay on its platform longer (probably related to some tactic around selling Google Ads).
In the same turn, people are a bit distrustful of AI answers, and they like to get results from “real” sources. This is an area where we’ll have to wait and see exactly how far SGE goes, but I predict it will impact most of the content areas listed in the next section.
You’ll end up using AI to search instead of Google
As trust in AI increases and the power of it is realized, I predict that more people will be turning to AI as a search engine. I’ve already seen colleagues in the industry saying things like they won’t use Google anymore; they are exclusively using AI platforms like ChatGPT4 and other platforms like Perplexity.
You can now enter images into ChatGPT4, as well as ask it questions and ask for video results.
In this podcast, the hosts outline the same themes and changes regarding content creation. Instead of going to YouTube to find instructional and basic informational videos, AI can deliver those to you—about almost anything you want to know about.
The difference is that AI can’t yet find things that are very specific or find a way to summarize a personal experience in a way that they can algorithmically publish. But an unofficial prediction is that it will come at some point in the future.
Your SEO rankings for general content will go down
Because of generative search, B2C companies could see a significant drop in SEO rankings if they don’t make changes to their content creation and marketing strategy. Any content that is what content creators and bloggers used to consider the “low-hanging fruit”: frequently asked questions, general information about your product or service, simple Q&A articles, basic how-tos and explainers—these things will not give back much in terms of traffic. AI will search this content, find better, more specific answers, and then serve it up right on their results page to the user. You might be giving the answer, but Google will be taking the traffic.
Think of your new content filter as this: If ChatGPT could answer this question accurately, based on what is already published on the internet or your site, they likely will answer it for you, and better.
Your SEO rankings for highly specific content will go up
The more researched and thoughtful information that AI can’t generate is going to be more highly valued. So steer clear of the cheap and quick content, and go more towards content that is created with more insights and value added.
In addition, there is an algorithm update that values more researched, user-friendly, high-quality written content over low-value content. We don’t totally know what that means (because Google is certainly that Wizard behind the curtain), but in the past, Google has valued titles and subtitles for user-friendliness, readability, like correct grammar and easy to read sentence structure, and longer-form content over shorter articles. Always aim to write over 500 words, at a minimum, but it could be that Google will start prioritizing even longer-form content than that.
There is a bright side to B2B content marketing…
The thing is that B2B solutions are so specific and varied, and often at a much higher price point, that AI is not to the level of being able to condense answers to questions around B2B products and services. And social sharing on B2B is helpful, but most of the time, purchasers are going to still have a longer, more high-touch buyer’s journey. They will want to visit and read your website, get a personalized quote, view your past clients, case studies, or portfolio, and maybe even schedule a phone call or meeting.
B2B content marketers should be paying attention, however, to the advancements in AI and how they are impacting B2C to keep in mind the changes that will likely impact them down the road.
How to shift your content for Generative Search in 2024:
Your content needs to shift to add more value
I predict that to stay on top of AI and Google, your content will need to go deeper. Think about ways that you can deliver more value, a personal perspective, or specific examples from your own experience.
Lean into specific, insightful, personal, and highly researched content for better results.
Thought leadership is rewarded
The fact is, you can’t stand behind vague stances, blah opinions, or loose checklists anymore. Being an expert and showing up like one, both with knowledge and confidence, is going to be rewarded in the content marketing game. This ties into video content, especially, and our recommendation to put your face on video. Drive the conversation forward; don’t just add to the noise.
Have a specific voice and share it with the world.
Long-tail keyword phrases will help capture more traffic
This goes to the point: the more specific you can be, the better it will work to your advantage in terms of SEO results.
Keep in mind Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Rating Guidelines, which rate Experience, Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T). These factors are still critical for ranking content. It used to be that the really long-tail phrases were too obscure to use as an indicator of what your users wanted to know about. So when it came to content creation, we didn’t really pay much attention to them. Now, you’ll want to capture those as much as possible while adding our authority and expertise to our answer.
Write from the real-world experience of the author, referencing the author or company’s credentials to increase perceived expertise by the search engines and users.
Backlinks will still be important, as well as citing your sources
Whenever possible, make your content clickable and shareable. Be one of those really great content creators who people look forward to hearing from! Don’t create content that makes claims without backing them up (unless you are strictly speaking from personal experience).
Social Media and Social Proof become more important
This may be controversial, but because AI is generating content and coming up with all the answers, people will be drawn to the human connection. Adding social proof to your website and blogs in the form of testimonials and reviews is going to be really important
While the idea is out there right now that social media might be, or is already, “dead,” with AI actively searching social platforms and forums for answers, it’s safe to say that it is not dead but absolutely changing the way we engage with social media and content as a result.
Messaging and content writing that sounds like ChatGPT will only make you look lazy
AI is still at a point where we can detect it. When we read it, something is off, and it just feels a certain way. Content writing will be overrun with certain “ChatGPT voices.” You can go on TikTok and buy 50 prompts for 50 bucks or less and get the same content as everyone else. And your results will be exactly what you’d expect: underwhelming.
Content that sounds like it was written by an AI is not getting you anywhere. Don’t be lazy just because you have access to an amazing tool. It is a tool, but don’t rely on it as your beginning and ending. I use AI to help with workflow, inspiration, or to get past that blank page. But I never hit publish on anything without making it the right voice for ourselves or our clients.
Stop fooling yourself. If you use ChatGPT or AI for writing, everyone can tell.
(By the way, if you need guidance on how to better write for your brand, check out our Brand Voice Guide.)
DASH predicts the future will change, and fast.
We’ll know more about all these ideas and predictions as AI search continues to improve and be tested at scale. It should be an interesting year in the world of content marketing!
As you plan your marketing strategies for 2024, consider these content shifts and trends I’ve mentioned here. Stay tuned for more predictions from DASH Content Collective. We’ve got your back when it comes to navigating the ever-changing world of social media!
DASH Content Co.
Marketing, Strategy, Design, UGC and Content
115 NW Oregon Ave, #7, Bend OR 97703
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