SEOs know that the most valuable career skill is the ability to adapt to change, and there has been an incredible amount of it in the last 12 months. Industry headlines and random folks on X are happy to remind you that your SEO is “dead” in light of these developments, but the truth is that there has never been a more exciting and dynamic time to be in SEO.
As the new year dawns, the confluence of AI with existing frameworks will allow many to surge forward into new content streams and opportunities to connect with audiences via new channels. Across the industry, the rate and complexity of adopting AI tools will drive SEO growth and push advantage for audiences that have grown to expect innovation every day.
Sophisticated AI connectivity
AI has become a part of everyone’s workflow for SEO and marketing. Within the products we consume and how we create and manage content, AI has become an expectation rather than an exception in our lives.
Driven by a competitive landscape and customer expectations, in 2023, we saw AI emerge as an enhancement for 100s of SEO and martech products and tools. In a recent survey from Mailchimp, “88% of marketers believe their marketing organization must increase the use of automation and AI to meet customer expectations and stay competitive.”
In 2024, we should expect to see this trend continue but also to become more sophisticated. The first iterations of mainstream generative AI centered on discovering this new shiny object and what it could do. AI summaries and image generators have now become commonplace. However, after this initial fire sale, those who had solid marketing and SEO frameworks before generative AI hit the zeitgeist are now best place to use the tools today.
For example, Wix has applied AI widely across our systems for almost a decade, introducing our proprietary Artificial Design Intelligence in 2016. Three-time Google Cloud partner award winner, Wix CMS and business solutions include machine-learning powered AI like Google Translate, Vision AI and Google Ad management for years. So AI is, as they say, “not new.”
But with the mainstreaming of AI in marketing and SEO, Wix added AI capabilities to its SEO tools to increase access to SEO capabilities:
- Within the editor, the Create AI text tool allows users to generate keyword-focused copy intended for specific page types and intents. For category pages, about pages and other static pages for users.
- The AI Image generator is useful for helping users create illustrative images to accompany blogs and other content.
- The AI Meta Tag Generator works in tandem with the Semrush keyword research integration and helps to ensure that blogs and other pages have well-structured keyword-optimized meta tags.
- Wix Studio has a tool called Responsive AI, which evaluates the desktop UX of a web page and uses AI to adapt it to different screen sizes and breakpoints with the click of a button.
Each tool builds on existing frameworks and data back automation to get exceptional results; this is the sweet spot. SEOs and digital marketers will see automation, AI and data science enable them to bring new innovative value to clients and customers.
During 2024, expect to see those with solid data and firm marketing foundations surge forward with mature, well-integrated AI for more than just parlor tricks.
Headless for omnichannel
The era of AI will make headless CMSs even more appealing in 2024 as there are opportunities to surface content in new and exciting ways by engaging on-demand generative technologies. Unlike traditional CMS, headless doesn’t have an integrated frontend (head). This gives developers and SEOs the flexibility to use a range of tech to display content on different platforms, such as websites, mobile apps or IoT devices, via APIs. This flexibility is incredibly valuable in the multichannel marketing landscape of the TikTok generation. This means that headless offers incredible opportunities in omnichannel marketing consistency and quality.
The concept of the headless CMS hit critical mass in 2023, and over the last year, Wix Headless joined the trend. Empowering developers to use Wix frontend systems with any tech stack compatible with consuming data from a RESTful API, like React and server-side technologies, such as Node.js, has created more fluid opportunities for growth and experimentation. Integrations with Github and Netlify open more options for APIs, SDK and Next.js templates. These open systems create the infinite possibilities that make headless particularly appealing in the generative age.
Headless content systems connected to custom GPTs and other AI tools will almost certainly be integrated with existing headless solutions like chatbots to create seamless generative experiences.
Feed management as an SEO skill
Throughout 2023, SEOs have observed changes in crawl rates and percentage of pages indexed by Google bots.
Though indexing is never promised, this may occur because Google has begun to portion off how it crawls different elements of your website using APIs and differentiated feeds in conjunction with specified structured data.
Google’s guidance seems to be continually driving content producers to categorize and organize their content into dedicated Google channels like:
- Google Merchant Center
- Google Manufacturer Center
- Google News
- Google Business Profile
Feeds for each of these channels need to be optimized to perform optimally. Feeds left unmanaged trigger errors and distributed accurate information, wasting time for users and bots. Careful management requires putting rules in place to specify what goes into the feed and managing the tech configuration, like valid dynamic structured data, so that data flows freely.
While dedicated feeds and channels are not new, we are starting to see that indexing participation in these feeds does not seem optional. From Wix’s experience, we’ve seen clients struggle to get indexed in other ways and only be able to get products indexed via Google Merchant Center. Given how Google Search Console and Google’s SERP are organized and that the way they serve content is becoming continuously segmented by intent and customer journey, this seems to be a natural progression.
This article was written by Crystal Carter, Head of SEO Communications at Wix.