What is ahead for SEO professionals in 2020? If your goal for this year is to earn more revenue and dominate the SERPs, it is important to constantly re-evaluate your ongoing search engine optimization strategy.
Google and the search engine algorithms are constantly changing, which means you have to adapt if you want to remain competitive. The fact that more websites are launched every year means your competition continues to increase, as well.
Dive into the top trends and SEO developments you need to incorporate into your strategy in 2020 if you haven’t already.
Voice search is nothing new when it comes to search engine marketing strategy but it will continue to be a key component of SEO success for those who implement it. With the prevalence of home voice assistants such as Amazon Echo or Alexa, optimizing your website for voice search can help you generate more organic traffic.
The best way to implement voice search into your SEO strategy is to tailor your optimization towards answering questions. Gone are the days when short choppy keywords were the focus of search. Nowadays, conversational and more targeted terms would rule.
Search Intent and NLP
Natural language processing (NLP) is one of the biggest evolutions you’d expect with SEO in 2020. This will impact how you craft content on your website because Google is shifting away from its focus from keywords towards the intent behind searches.
Current SEO practices that are heavily hinged on keyword research will no longer hold its value. Instead, these obsolete practices will be replaced with intent searches to deliver more accurate and relevant content to web users. It is important to consult with your trusted consultants or SEO team about this to make sure that your website is answering exactly what searchers are looking for.
Google’s algorithms have tremendously evolved throughout the years with the aim of improving user experience. One way they have done this is through the Featured Snippets. This snippet typically appears above the number one result in an organic ranking for a given search (also known as Position 0).
For website owners, the goal is to make it to the Featured Snippet for a related search. This will drive more clicks to your website and boost your SEO performance. In fact, Google reports that 54.68% of clicks on Google come from the Featured Snippets. But getting to the Featured Snippets is the biggest challenge. Content creators should aim to provide clear, detailed, and concise answers to commonly asked questions in order to reach that ranking.
When Google launched its BERT algorithm in 2019, it garnered a lot of attention. The best way to take advantage of this new update is to optimize your content for users. This is what SEO experts recommend website owners do – to focus on user-focused optimization and how the content is delivered.
There is no longer a need for users to put in search queries that they think Google would understand. Instead, Google is transforming how they assess search queries in such a way that content creators have to focus on natural queries and optimizing their content with delivering information as the main priority (not just keyword optimization).
Local SEO is another area that is not given as much importance as it should be. A long-term plan should be developed for locally based businesses if you want to leverage both online and local sales.
It involves different components working together as one. It starts with an accurate and updated business listing on Google. Customer reviews are also important because it supports the credibility of the business. And make sure that you are optimized for question-based keywords or “near me” searches.
Brand building in SEO for 2020 is focused not just on the brand creation but must be tied to link building efforts. To succeed with SEO, you can leverage media placements to push your brand, not just links. Link building activity should be brand-driven, as well.
You have to realize that customers are getting smarter. Bombarding them with links won’t be enough. You need to share stories, bring value, and tie your products or services somehow into that.
The use of influencers for SEO is another major development in 2020. Nowadays, web users find ads intrusive and they lean more towards authentic reviews from people they can trust. This is where influencers come into the picture.
Influencers are bloggers or media personnel whose followers trust. That provides added credibility to their marketing efforts. You can leverage that trust and relationship they have to tap into their audience. You can also use influencers to build valuable backlinks while generating more traffic to your website.
Secure Websites Are a Must
SEO developments in 2020 go beyond generating more traffic to your website. It is also important that you give confidence to the users of your website about its safety and that of their information. Enabling the HTTPS protocol in your site is now a must. Google states that the HTTPS protocol can prevent intruders from penetrating the communication exchanged between your pages and their users.
Without a secure website, users will not be as confident in interacting with your content. In fact, some visitors might not want anything to do with your website at all. As the owner, it is your responsibility to protect their privacy.
The use of video marketing for SEO is another factor that has been dominant for a while. But in 2020, expect that it will take center stage as Google is giving more priority to websites that provide more video content. In a study conducted by Google, they have determined that 6 out of 10 people would rather consume videos online than via television. Youtube is, therefore, the king of SEO for 2020.
Putting up video content is not the end-all marketing strategy here. It is also important to use appropriate titles, keywords, and descriptions to your video content so they can be easily targeted for the right audience.
If you have not optimized your website to become mobile-friendly yet, you need to act immediately. Gone are the days when you must be picturing your web users using a desktop.
Nowadays, a huge percentage of users are browsing websites from their mobile phones. Make sure your site is optimized to deliver a favorable user experience. It is also important to assess mobile SERPs in 2020. This will give you a sense of direction when developing your mobile SEO campaign.
Backlinks Are Still Important
Don’t believe anyone who claims that backlinks are no longer relevant in SEO for 2020 – it still is! But for SEO developments, you need to focus on backlinks as an off-page strategy that will add credibility to your website. But as always, quality is more important than quantity. Focus on obtaining credible backlinks from quality websites.