Every marketer or business owner who understands the digital world knows that the new year brings new SEO trends and changes to the search engine algorithms and the preferences of your audience. But, make no mistake: these SEO trends are not just waves of changes that come and go. They usually dictate how the market is going to look like and what you must do to stay on top of it.
Some of the most important factors that our SEO experts advise our clients to take into account in 2020 have to do with the type of content you put on your page, how good the user experience is for your website’s visitors and how well you meet their needs.
Let’s dive in deeper.
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1. Featured Snippets
Featured snippets are the fragments of websites that answer a search query most concisely, according to the Google algorithm. They are placed before the first result in the list and are written in a bigger font. If your content appears in the featured snippets, you’re doing it right. It means that your website answers the most commonly asked questions about your industry in a clear and relevant way.
Another thing you can incorporate when optimising your content for featured snippets is your video content. More and more videos are included in the search results, and this is a huge wave you can ride in the future of online marketing. Creating video content that answers the most commonly asked questions is an effective way of ranking high. Organising the content of your videos into clear sections can also help Google identify the most relevant section of the video, and present it on its own in the featured snippets.
It might not be a trend since it was always a big deal in SEO, but backlinks should be a big part of your SEO strategies in 2020. No matter how good your content is, without backlinks, it’s harder to get to the first results. And backlinks are built on good content and some elbow sweat. Many SEO indicators are not relevant unless you already have a good ranking, but link building is one of the essential factors to consider in SEO.
3. Voice Search
With more and more users choosing voice search for their daily enquiries, including voice search optimisation in your 2020 SEO strategies is more than wise. Before getting into more detail, it’s important to mention that Google tends to choose its voice search results from top 3 ranking websites, so if you’re not there yet, voice search can be lower on your priority list.
Still, it’s not a bad idea to optimise some of your content for voice searches. Focus on commonly asked questions about your business and include them in your page, together with a clear answer.
4. Mobile User Experience
SEO in 2020 still has a lot to do with mobile optimisation. Since most people conduct local searches on their mobile phone, having a mobile-friendly website is a must if you want to keep up with the competition. When optimising your website for mobile devices, always keep the user experience in mind, and make the mobile version of your site fast, concise and entertaining. Mobile searches will give you a good idea of what users need to find out and testing different formats should bring you closer to the top ranking.
5. Local SEO
For small and big business owners alike, local SEO literally puts their place on the map. Optimised content for local searches, doubled by good management of your Google MyBusiness page will help you rank higher in the Google Local Pack: the map and a list of the top ranking 3 business that includes their NAP, rankings and a call button.
Keeping an eye on citation pages and updating your information all the time is going to help you grow your web presence and build valuable links.
6. CTR and Dwell Time
Dwell time is not equivalent to CTR in SEO, which is why we should treat these two factors as separate indicators. The dwell time is the amount of time spent by a user on a page before bouncing out. CTR only refers to the number of people who clicked on a page from a SERP, while the dwell time variable offers information about what happens afterwards.
While dwell time is not a variable to be obsessively monitored, it can give valuable information on how engaging your content is. If you put the CTR and the dwell time into perspective, chances are you can use them to make your SEO better.
7. High-Quality Content
If you feel like you’ve heard this before, it’s because the content quality is just as important in 2020 as it was since the rise of content marketing. Your marketing strategy can incorporate the newest SEO tools or not, can be a pioneer in the audio and visual search or not, but the quality of your content should be one of your top priorities.
If you want to get good rankings, then building your brand’s expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (the Google EAT acronym on everyone’s lips since 2018) is crucial. And, you can only do that through relevant content and backlinks.
8. Page Speed and UX
User experience makes a big difference in competitive industries, where it’s so easy to find a company that provides the same type of service/products. Page speed is one of the major indicators of great user experience since so many users are browsing on their mobile devices, while on the move or in their limited spare time, expecting super-fast loading pages and mobile-friendly websites.
Besides looking for the most relevant and helpful information on the web on the topics they are interested in, users also prefer having all their information in one place. This is why content length is also relevant when it comes to SEO. Research has shown that articles and blog posts of over 2,000 words are most effective in bringing traffic on a page. A piece of content that keeps the reader for a longer time on your page also contributes to higher dwell time, and all these factors combined will make your page rank higher.
10. Search Intent
A subject that is only growing since last year, when it was a massive topic, search intent should preoccupy you, as content that doesn’t match will simply not convince the user to visit your page. Bringing more organic traffic to your page goes well beyond keywords, and lacing your blog posts with keywords is not enough to make your content relevant, and Google has learned that.
Knowing more about the search intent can help you optimise your new content and also revisit your old posts and rewrite them to match the search intent.
As Google and other search engines are getting more accurate in finding out what users actually want to find on a website, marketers, and website owners face new challenges when it comes to optimising their content and pages in order to meet the newest requirements.
Knowing what indicators will weigh most in SEO for 2020 will help you to be more prepared and experiment with tools and strategies that are fit for your brand.