I recently put out the following simple request:
Looking to hear from SEO experts on how SEO has changed and what to pay attention to in 2020 and beyond. Any and all comments welcome.
I was quite surprised by the response, having received well over 100 answers from a variety of internet marketers, SEO agencies and self-proclaimed SEO experts, and have listed all the decent responses below. There is a lot of advice on this page, and I certainly don’t guarantee all of it is accurate. But it definitely gives you a pretty good picture on what the overall consensus is on the state of SEO today.
As this page is roughly 20,000 words long, here’s a summary of the main points people had on doing SEO the right way in 2020, as I see it:
- Include video with your written content.
- Regularly update old content.
- Long-form, comprehensive content beats short articles, but avoid fluff.
- Focus on creating great quality content – write for people, not search engines. Don’t worry about keyword stuffing or keyword density. With things like BERT, Google should be intelligent enough to recognize quality relevant content when it sees it.
- EAT (Expertise, Authority, Trust) is what Google cares about above all else, so work on building credibility in your niche and list qualifications. Build a real brand.
- Forget about old blackhat link building like spamming forums, directory submission and so on. These are a total waste of time now. Like how Google has gotten vastly better at identifying great content, they’ve also gotten vastly better at identifying spammy links. Natural links from authority sites in your niche are tremendously more powerful than any blackhat link.
- There’s a rise in voice search from platforms like Siri, Cortana and Alexa, so consider how to optimize your content for voice searches as well.
- Pay attention to mobile, and make sure your website is optimized for mobile
- Optimize for rich snippets to improve your click-through rate.
The common thread is basically this: build a real authority site that publishes excellent-quality, comprehensive content that people genuinely find useful, and which gives a great user experience.
Below are all the responses in the order they came in.
It may not be the sexiest answer, but blogging from our website is a tried and true way to increase traffic in 2020. There is a reason so many people do it and that’s because it works in so many ways. When we first started blogging, in May 2019, we received 305 organic visitors to the site and ranking for 249 terms. At the end of February 2020, we received 1,307 visitors and now ranking for 1,920 terms. This represents growth of 329% increase in organic traffic and 670% increase in terms ranking. Phone calls to the shop are up 77%.
Blogging is still a great way to bring traffic to your website and grow your website. You will find the most benefit in ranking long-tail keywords (Google search with multiple words). These are searchers who are already familiar with your vertical so you can focus on educating and providing useful information than closing them. A good blog builds trust with consumers who will reward you with business when they are ready to purchase. Our education pieces frequently draw a high volume of traffic to the site is converts more visitors to customers, as a percentage, than any other page type.
--Sam White, GT Automotive
The thing to pay attention to in 2020 and beyond is the increase in video as a message platform. It's becoming increasingly popular, along with podcasting. Multiple methods of communication for content pieces will be a key SEO factor.
A lot of businesses may find themselves more involved with their website initiatives amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Many businesses had to close their doors for weeks/months so far. Reevaluating their marketing strategy for the coming months will be a beneficial priority.
--Barb Davids, Compass Digital Strategies
Google has reduced its preferred character length from the prior 80 characters. Based on this case study, which found that Google is truncating (cutting off) 43% more titles than in prior years.
Titles that are truncated are getting fewer clicks than fully displayed page titles. As such, SEO experts are recommending writing titles of up to 50 characters or to include your most meaningful keywords in the first 50 characters.
You want your title length to be on-point and relevant. It should be in the 50 character range to be optimized both for Google’s rewriting rules and their new font sizes.
--Marsha Kelly, Best4Businesses.com
Update your old content and do internal linking. These two, rather simple, SEO tactics can provide some of the best quick wins to improving search engine visibility. Use an SEO tool like SEMRush to analyze your domain and look at pages that rank for keywords on page 2. Use that to inform how you could improve your content.
--Lance Beaudry, Avalanche Creative
Over the last few years, Google has been increasing the number of search page enhancements that provide answers to searchers directly in the search results. They started out with image carousels, the People also ask dropdowns and other basic answer boxes. Now more and more searches are showing these enhancements, plus there other enhancements showing up like Google's own products for travel like Google Flights and travel guides.
All of these, plus an increase in paid ads has made getting organic traffic more difficult. In fact, according to Jumpshot, now more than 50% of Google searches end without a click to a website . To counter these problems here are two solutions.
1. Implement Schema
Schema or Structured Data is json code that allows you to markup important pieces of information on your site. This makes it easier for search engines to crawl and interpret your content and increases the likelihood of having your site featured in an answer box or another feature in Google search pages. Even if a searcher doesn't click through to your site, you will still be providing them with valuable information and receive much more brand exposure.
2. Focus on Video
Google is increasing the amount of video they put in Google search results, and it is often in the top position for a search. By focusing your SEO and content creation on video, you'll allow yourself to capture these top positions in Google. Plus, you'll be able to get valuable traffic directly from YouTube. You should also add your videos to your site which will help increase engagement and time on site which helps improve your SEO on your website.
--Mason Stout, Senior Leaf
My favorite SEO tips for 2020 is to focus on creating content that is customer focused first, but also optimized for the keywords you want your brand to rank for online.
One strategy I love for brainstorming content ideas that are both relevant to my customers and helpful for SEO, is by using the website https://answerthepublic.com/. From there you can enter keywords relevant to your brand or service offerings and it will suggest content ideas based on the types of questions people Google the most. So, for example say I'm looking to brainstorm content ideas around the keyword SEO Tips. I would enter that keyword and then be taken to this page that shows all sorts of content ideas around SEO Tips.
From there you have a list of popular content ideas that are both relevant and heavily searched for online to create content for your website. You could also survey your audience on social media to see the topics they are most interested in from this list to really focus in on topics that will resonate with your audience and improve the overall experience your users have with your website.
--Matt Zajechowski, Digital Third Coast
Snippets have had a bad impact over the last 2 years, more significantly in the last 6 months where Google have experimented with removing the URL's and click-throughs - removing and readding in a manner of weeks.
This has impacted on organic traffic for sites that were previously getting good traffic from keyword positions 1-5 and also benefitting from having rich snippets. It's arguable that it's better not to have a rich snippet for a keyword now, as it results than less traffic to your site than a normal SERP result would.
I'd advise people to get a close eye on their snippets and compare their traffic from that keyword with and without the snippet being attached. Based on results they can either keep the snippet or unoptimise it to get it back to appear in the regular SERPS. In some cases, demotion can be a good thing.
--Brett Downes, Studio 54
According to the changes and Google updates of 2020, I'd like to share these 2 important tips to do the best SEO of your website:
1. Rank for Featured Snippets
Ranking for the snippet featured will help you stand out more. You can just steal some extra clicks from your competitors. For ranking as featured snippets, you content should be clear and concise, optimized heading tags and good use of external links in the content.
2. Boost CTR
This will directly lead you to good traffic and conversions. Use appealing headlines and powerful words to attract searchers, write a powerful meta description and use numbers in the title to draw attention.
--Navneet Kaur, WebSpero Solutions
These days, it's not enough to create fluff content that's stuffed with keywords. It hasn't been enough for a while, but updates keep making it less and less advantageous for companies. You need relevant content that utilizes organic keywords as much as possible, and you need to produce it consistently.
Ideally you should also produce both written and video content, as you have a better chance of placing higher with a good mix of the two. Articles should be on the longer side, 700-1000 words, full of information that will actually be helpful for visitors to your site. Ideally you should include followback links to relevant sources to make the articles even more credible.
Focus on keywords that aren't as heavily contested. Drill down to a specific niche you want to focus on and use the AdWords keywords tool to find long tail keywords you can base your content around. These strategies make up our SEO plan for 2020, and they're a great baseline for any business.
--Jennifer Walden, WikiLawn
SEO has changed in a way that it's getting harder to organically rank your website. A big part of our screens have been taken over by pay per click campaigns and information snippets. That means you have to change your approach and focus more on different types of SEO. A good example would be video or voice optimization for your business. Posting on social media platforms wouldn't hurt either. No matter what you decide to do though two things still remain constant: back links and time. You still need a large number of pages linking back to yours and I would personally recommend being patient since things move really slow in the SEO world. Good luck!
--Elias Manolopoulos, Aeon Ads
One of the most common things that comes up when it comes to how SEO has changed often revolves around content length. Over the past 2-3 years, there has been a somewhat longstanding belief that bigger is better and to rank, you simply had to copy what your competitors were doing but make it longer.
Google has understandably caught on to this and really clamped down on simply ranking the longest article. The days of 5-8,000 word juggernaut articles are coming to an end and marketers are starting to realize they are spending far more on content then they should be.
That's not to say you should stop producing lots of content, but instead of putting together monster-posts consider creating off-shoots of the original post as their own topic and build out different hubs to target many different keywords with many different articles - this strategy has worked incredibly well for us in 2020 so far!
In 2020 we will see lots of changes in SEO strategy, starting with letting go of SEO strategies such as link building through infographics and mass emailing. These strategies have worked with diminishing returns over the year, and are now becoming extinct as effective link-building strategies.
Other SEO techniques such as guest posting are still holding strong, as there will always be a demand for unique quality content. The same goes for quotable content from expert opinions, such as using the HARO platform for link building. I believe these SEO techniques still have a few years in them before losing their value.
Looking into 2020 and onwards, there will certainly be an increase in voice search, which is already changing the SEO-game. The rise of voice-assisted search by platforms such as Siri, Cortana, and Alexa will open the door to new SEO strategies. Online content will need to be optimized to factor voice searches, which also includes audio and visual content.
If you ever tried a voice search, you will notice the results can vary considerably when compared to traditional typed searches. When using voice search, most people tend to phrase longer questions than if they were typed/auto-filled by Google. In other words, voice search will include more long-tail keywords and the SEO will need to be optimized to reflect these changes.
--Luka Arezina, Data Prot
Since the beginning of the year, SEOs have tracked a lot of changes in the SERPs as Google continues to refine its algorithm. Of all of the recent changes, there are three things we have been advising our clients:
1) Starting in September 2020, Google will be moving every website in its index to mobile-first indexing. This means Google is grading (ranking) websites based on their mobile appearance. It's important for businesses to ensure they design pages for mobile searchers first, then consider the page on desktop browsers.
2) Starting on March 1st, Google changed how it treats rel=nofollow links. Publishers are now expected to tag links as rel=sponsored and rel=ugc (user generated content). For anyone in the affiliate space, this changes how they link to various affiliate sites. We continue to monitor backlink profiles for clients and have not seen a significant change in things yet.
3) Voice search grew in 2019 and will continue to grow in 2020. While it's still unclear exactly how to take advantage of voice search, one thing is certain - by using schema.org markup (structured data) to better tag content, there's a much better chance of that content being used in voice-driven searches.
--Jeff Romero, Octiv Digital
In the last two years, Google delivered on concepts they've preached about for a while, especially when it comes to links. A link is meant to be a recommendation of another website. Many of the common link tricks like comment spam, link parties, offering scholarships for links and guest posting are no longer working. In fact, these type of tactics done at scale are more likely to get your site penalized.
If your site takes a hit after an algorithm update or at a random time, many site owners ramp up their link building. That's the opposite of what you should do. You don't have to get a full link penalty for your site to be held back by SEO-built links. If Google sees enough suspicious links, they may put less trust in all of your links, which discredits even your earned links. Analyze your backlinks and consider disavowing some links that were built specifically for SEO. That doesn't mean link building is dead. To build links, focus on actually adding value to users beyond SEO. This is a vague and hard concept to understand. The best place to start is Help a Reporter Out (H.A.R.O.). You have to actually know what you're talking about and write an interesting response, but that's what add value. You can also analyze data to write a comprehensive, unique report that other sites want to link to.
--Michelle Segovia, JourneyPure
As the online challenge keeps on expanding and new sites are being propelled, it's a great opportunity to reevaluate your substance promoting procedure and put resources into SEO. Sites must meet explicit necessities set via web crawlers like Google, and this is the place SEO methodology turns out to be significant.
You should realize what SEO patterns are seemingly within easy reach so you can refresh your site as needs are and guarantee that more possibilities and clients discover you in the web index results. and find Below some 2020 SEO trends.
1. High-quality Content is More Important Than Ever
2. Users Demand Excellent Digital Experiences
3. Snippets Dominate More Search Clicks
4. Influencers Should Be Leveraged for SEO
5. Secure Websites Are a Must
6. Websites Optimize for Voice Search
7. Mobile UX Will Determine Your Rankings
8. Videos as a Source of Information
9. CTR and Dwell Time Will Become Important Ranking Factors
--Kenny Trinh, Netbooknews
Gone are the days of “Longer content is better”. When I started a few years ago this was the advice that was always shoved down your throat. Now Google is placing more importance on relevancy. A good way to find relevancy is to see what is ranking in the top 5 and take notes as to what the format is. It can be hard to delete 6,000 words from the “monster guide” that you worked so hard to create, but doing this and matching wordcount and relevancy of content will help skyrocket your rankings.
My go-to tools for this would be Ahrefs and Surfer SEO. It has gotten to the point where I feel naked without them. I use Ahrefs to find out how difficult a keyword is to rank when I am creating a new guide. I use Surfer SEO for existing blog posts that have lost favor with Google over time.
--Derek L, Founder Floating Authority
Partner with someone in your field who has relevant credentials and have them listed publicly on your content. Google is placing more emphasis on Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness (EAT) as far as ranking content organically, so having an article writer or editor with credentials should help rankings.
We recently added a Scientific Advisor with a PhD in relevant fields to our team, and she edited the content on our product pages. She's now listed as the editor on each product page and we've seen a slight bump in rankings.
--Calloway Cook, Illuminate Labs
For SEO success in 2020, publishers should focus on posting high-quality content that positions their website as a trustworthy and authoritative source for information. Google's primary goal is to provide users with the highest quality and most relevant search results. While google still examines a webpage for the usual on-page, off-page, and technical SEO, they are able to closer analyze the quality of your content as a ranking factor.
For example, google wants to know the purpose of your website. Are you publishing content with the goal of helping users? Is your content is in the health, safety, or financial niches? If so, this is considered YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) content. Google can't risk delivering low quality, deceptive, or just plain wrong information on this type of content. Serving poor health or financial advice could have long-term negative effects on their users. One way that google is able to ensure the best results is by examining the EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) of your website. When it comes to SEO, factors like keywords, backlinks, and page-load time still matter. In 2020 (and beyond) your expertise is playing a bigger role in determining your position in the search results.
--Ilir Salihi, FreedomRep
SEO continues to take a shift towards user experience and intent. Google continually pushes algorithm updates that focus on improving these aspects. At the end of the day they want to provide the most accurate results to a searcher's query. I think it's important to really dive into keyword research to understand common queries and questions users have around your industry, then create long-form content around those queries. Content is still king, and the best thing you can do for your SEO. If you create content that is genuinely helpful for your audience, you'll see results. Don't create content just to bulk up and have more content. You also don't have to be a writer to create good content, you just need to be knowledgeable about the subject your are writing on.
You should also try to optimize for rich snippets to make your result stand out more in the SERPs. The more you can help to increase your CTR, the better.
Another thing to consider is that Google doesn't want users to leave Google. They are showing more and more of this through featured snippets. If you search for any movie times, recipes, flights, simple questions, and more, Google returns featured snippet results. Try and optimize for these featured snippet spots, which not only get you spot 0 in the search results, but really helps to increase your overall site traffic.
--Tonya Davis, ThoughtLab
I think one of the biggest changes that has occurred within SEO in 2020 is the increasing importance of long-form, comprehensive content. In the past it may have been possible to rank high for a keyword through high quality links alone. However, today it is imperative to create extremely thorough pieces of content so that Google will view you as an authoritative source of information within that specific topic. Additionally, Google wants for the user to click on your search result and to find everything they need on that one page. For this reason, it's essential for website owners to focus on creating comprehensive pieces of content that perfectly cater to their audience in 2020.
--Michael Anderson, Passport Explored
As time passes search engines like Google are evolving to become more intelligent than ever, Google's RankBrain and their Natural Language API which makes use of Neuro-linguistic programming models the old tricks simply don't work.
The lifeblood of SEO remains consistent though, and that is backlinks but something that doesn't get talked about enough is backlink velocity. Backlink velocity refers to how many new backlinks your website is gaining rather than your total number of backlinks.
It's one thing to have 1000s of backlinks but I have seen much better improvements in rankings with websites that have fewer backlinks but are receiving more fresh links on a monthly basis.
As Google and other search engines get smarter it's wise to focus on indirect SEO ranking factors like improving your website user experience by focusing on speed and the UX you will encourage people to stay on your website for longer and lower your bounce rate.
Google picks up on these signals and uses them to influence your future rankings.
The bottom line is, you can't control what Google does, so instead of focusing on your sphere of concern, focus on your sphere of control and create the best possible experience for your visitors and provide the best quality content you can produce.
These principles will never change and are far better areas to focus on than the latest tricks which only offer a short-term boost.
--David Alexander, Mazepress
I recommend building a mobile-friendly website that provides a great user experience for your customers. Mobile traffic is up 222% in the last seven years , as people are moving away from their desktops.
Another SEO strategy is to improve site speed. 37% of visitors bounce when your site takes five seconds to load. In order to ensure our mobile site loads quickly, we compress our images. This ensures that all our images are optimized for site speed while still retaining image quality. We also took steps to minify all our liquid code and prioritized script load order while trimming down the total number of scripts being called. Removing unnecessary assets on some pages while reducing image assets on others helped reduce site load time as well.
--Brandon Chopp, iHeartRaves
SEO has changed with each new algorithm update from Google. Google now focuses on EAT, which stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. If you are not an expert on the subject, then you will not get ranked very high in Google.
You now cannot keyword stuff and then write a 600-word article to get ranked. Only articles that are at least 1,500 words seem to get ranked now.
In 2020, everyone should pay attention to place an embed video from YouTube or another source into their content. I found that that pages with videos in them are ranking high in Google. This is because Google notices that the user is spending more time on the site, which lowers the bounce rate.
The focus of Google is to provide the user with the best experience possible. All site owners should keep that in mind when creating content. How can you help the user?
--Becky Beach, Mom Beach
Voice search is ever increasing and will continue to grow as we move forward in this digital age. Google search snippets are becoming a norm too. SEO professionals need to keep these factors in mind and they need to be creating content that can be easily read allowed by AI devices. As well as content that is short, sweet and right to the point. Content that answers what people are searching for immediately will be rewarded and moved into the snippets sections.
--Tess Robison, Money Done Right
E-A-T is the real gamechanger for me in SEO and will be the key factor in the industry moving forward. Google is trying to input more and more human data into its algorithm and, whilst I believe they are still in the early stages of implementing this, Google's track record shows they will only become better and better at it. What this means is that the conventional SEO tactics like untargeted link building are going to lose their impact.
It's going to become harder and harder to make Google think your site is the best to satisfy a user's query when it actually isn't. The future of SEO is going to be more about walking-the-walk for businesses and less about talking-the-talk.
Ensuring your content demonstrates your company's expertise and why a customer can trust you will be important. Link building will be more and more around getting links from the trusted sources within your specific industry as opposed to just trustworthy in general.
A simple, but significant, step any company can take is ensuring they are regularly getting customer reviews - ideally for specific products as well just for their company. Not only can product review schema markup enhance your appearance in search results but it's mentioned in Google's quality rater guidelines as a key user signal for trust.
--Arron Richmond, High Speed Training
One of the biggest ways SEO has changed is the new emphasis on video. Google is beginning to list videos higher up on search engine results pages (SERPs). For some search phrases, a video snippet appears at the top of the SERP with a clip from a relevant video.
Any SEO strategy in 2020 should include video content. One great way to start is to take your written content and use it as an outline for video content. I highly recommend uploading to YouTube so you can increase your reach and begin building a new revenue stream for your business.
--David Lynch, Payette Forward, Inc.
SEO fundamentals haven't changed in 2020. The two core components - write the best content on the internet and receive backlinks to that content - remain the same. Google will forever love those two! Now the way you go about executing these two tips may change. You may get a boost for adding a video to your written content in 2020, especially if it's on YouTube (owned by Google). And with the Google algorithm getting smarter, you'll want to go after quality backlinks from trusted domains. Getting links from spam sites may have worked in 2005, but not in 2020. Focus on quality in your content and links, and you'll start ranking high for profitable keywords.
--Brian Robben, Robben Media
While SEO is always changing in response to Google algorithm updates, it seems to me that in the last 12-18 months things have changed a lot. The primary change impacting several of our clients in the financial and nutrition sectors is the significant increase in content quality standards for what Google refers to as YMYL pages.
Your Money and Your Life pages are considered by Google to be more critical pieces of information that by their nature might have a significant impact on an individual's wealth and health if the information is inaccurate. I've noticed that Google is adhering to their quality rater guidelines of ranking-higher in search results that content which has high E-A-T scores.
The importance of Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trust cannot be understated. More comprehensive content from reliable sources has resulted in major shifts within Google's search engine results pages (SERPs). There appears to be a clear correlation whereby larger websites, in terms of quantity of pages, with longer content are ranking in the top positions. These websites also tend to have a greater quantity of backlinks, which is also critical to achieving high rankings.
My top recommendation for ranking in the top 3 positions of Google is to write well researched content with references to sources of information used within the article as well as links to other quality websites where additional information can be found. Think of the top queries your target audience would enter into Google and answer that query completely and accurately as well as providing links to additional resources where your reader can learn more. Both the reader and, therefore, Google appreciate it.
--John Vargo, Webolutions
SEO has changed drastically in the last year. Google has made a few updates that have changed how things are evaluated and ranked to ensure get the best results. When writing content, we strongly recommend focusing on Search intent in order to deliver the type of content the user is searching for, it’s all about quality now days not quantity. Another huge thing that has happen in the past few moths is E-A-T, which stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trust. Google is taking big steps to only rank content that is written by experts in a subject or topic, so working on improving E-A-T of your site should be priority number one.
--Jon Torres, Jontorres.com
An SEO trend that has picked up steam in 2020 is that content now needs to be more deliberate and specific than in year's past. As Google's algorithm continues to advance, searchers do as well, so it's important to create and optimize content around searcher intent. Aside from strategically optimizing the page title and meta tags, be sure to be deliberate when constructing the page URL and when adding alt tags.
You can gain insight into searcher intent by using a handful of SEO tools, but a couple of the most basic and accessible options are Google's *People also ask *(PAA) box within the search results and Google Trends. These tools serve as the perfect tag team as the PAA section is a great way to learn what people are searching for, and Google Trends comes in handy when figuring out which keywords to utilize.
--Robert Spinrad, SEOM Interactive
One SEO strategy for 2020 is adding a structured table of contents to each post. This structures the post to help user-experience, as well as for Google and other search engines to make it easier to crawl. I've seen the structure allow some of my and client posts to have extension snippets as well, making them bigger in search and increasing organic CTR and traffic.
--Stacy Caprio, Growth Marketing
SEO in 2020 has changed slightly from what's worked in the past. The fundamentals are the same, but understanding how Google works today will give you an edge to getting better rankings. Aside from new changes with E-A-T (expertise, authority, and trust), having great, high-quality content and a solid link building campaign is what will get you consistent rankings. Understanding entities and natural language processing will help your content rank better, though. By having this included and embedded within your content, this will give Google more context and clues as to what your content is about as well as what it should rank for.
--Mario DeAlmeida, SquareFoot
A great SEO tip for 2020 is to focus more on mobile. On September 2020 Google will switch all websites to mobile-first indexing. This means that use Google will increase the focus on mobile user experience to evaluate websites on SEO. A good way to be prepared is to use Google PageSpeed Insights to check and make your website more mobile friendly in 2020 and so get more organic traffic.
--Erico Franco, Agencia de Marketing Digital
The line between optimizing content for SEO and user experience is about to snap.
When content creators overthink SEO strategies, they end up with robotic-sounding, keyword-stuffed articles. But Google is becoming more human by the day.
Search engines like Google gauge the value of a page based on the cumulative statistics of visitors. In other words, the longer readers stay on a web page, the better your articles will rank for relevant search queries.
It's no longer possible to grab high traffic keywords and stuff them into your content. Google ranks articles on page one whether or not they even *mention* the targeted keyword.
It all boils down to overcoming the once apparent separation between optimizing for search engines and catering to the human reader. If you can master both aspects of SEO in a single article, you can rank on Google.
--Trinity Owen, The Pay At Home Parent
*1. Dramatic Rise in Voice Searches *- Some studies suggest 2020 will see 50% of searches being completed via voice. Smart speakers and smartphone virtual assistants are becoming more popular, intelligent, and comprehensive in functionality, so SEO professionals need to be on top of optimizing for both text and voice searches. Voice and text searches have unique cadences, structures, and other traits that require specific strategies to properly address. Voice search queries tend to be longer, frequently target quick/one-off questions, and are great for searches that contain local modifiers like “near me” and “open now.” SEO strategies that do not incorporate optimizations for voice search in 2020 will be left behind in favor of strategies that do.
*2. Featured Snippets and Knowledge Graphs Taking Prominence in the SERP* - Traditional organic search results are moving lower and lower down the Google SERP in favor of paid results, featured snippets, map packs, and knowledge graphs. Featured snippets are quick answers to common questions, map packs are the integrated Google Maps functionality found in the search results, and knowledge graphs are the information dumps for popular topics found to the right of the results. Google values these since they improve their users’ experience by providing the information users are looking for without leaving the search results page. Here’s an example of a search result and these features’ placements: https://prnt.sc/pz82w6
Unlike paid results, the other features are drawn organically, meaning SEO professionals can optimize for them. Google automatically curates these in response to common questions, so by building your content to include a concise and accurate answer to certain queries you can be featured at the top of the page, sometimes above higher ranking links that are not written as clearly. About 20% of queries are answered using rich snippets and this number is only going to grow with the increasing use of smart speakers/assistants which often use them to quickly answer voice searches.
*3. Improved Understanding of Search Intent with BERT Update* - As Google continues to improve its algorithm, it is improving its understanding of user search intent. Google’s most recent algorithm update, known as BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers), or BERT for short, directly addresses user intent, affecting 1 in 10 search queries. With BERT Google can use the words surrounding a word to better understand what it means in context. This comes into play particularly with longer, more conversational queries (often found with voice search) and with prepositions like “for” or “to.” For example, “parking on a hill with no curb” used to confuse Google. The algorithm would place too much importance on the word “curb,” producing results for parking on a hill *with* a curb. After BERT, the proper results now show.
What this means for SEO is that content creators should focus on creating experiences for the user, not Google. In the early days of Google, SEO professionals could use tricks to improve rankings, but as Google gets smarter, fewer of these will work. By answering specific questions and creating a positive user experience you will play into what Google is looking for now and what it will be looking for in the future.
--Greg Barkley, Effective Spend
Recent updates to Google's algorithm have reflected a much stronger consideration for authority and professional credentials. I've noticed big winners in the Health, Finance, and Insurance SERPs to be the sites that have budgets and connections to post content authored by industry professionals. It's an easy sell for these industries to be given more consideration for authority considering the implications of the information. They fall into the YMYL (your money your life) category after all. I can easily imagine this stronger consideration for authority to slowly start trickling into other industries where it's been historically less observed. Outdoors, home, and consumer tech are some that spring to mind. For those already creating high quality content, taking advantage might be as simple as clearly displaying authorship of website content.
--Zack West, Novomotus
The big focus for SEOs in 2020 is content improvement. Pages that rank and convert the best are longer and provide useful information. Look to see where pages can be combined and find a tool that will give you some semantic keywords to include in your content. SEMrush has a great writing assistant tool that provides great information on additional topics and phrases to include in your content.
--Tom Brodbeck, FoundSM.com
For years now, Google's advice to website owners and marketers has remained remarkably consistent: build technically-sound websites and create useful content with users in mind.
The technical part is easy enough - nothing has really changed in this regard, the same principles for core technical elements like crawling, indexing, structure and hierarchy apply as much in 2020 as they have done in previous years. Yet it is surprising how many sites still get the basics wrong, so perhaps the first tip should be to check the technical health of your site on a regular basis - especially if you have multiple stakeholders working on it at any one time.
But really, it's the latter part of that sentence - create useful content with users in mind - where the most change has occurred. In fact, all recent algorithm updates have been centred around it.
With all my clients, we've been working together to think about ways we can put the focus on users. Within that, there's a couple of things to consider:
1. Studies show the number one thing users want is for a website to make it easy for them to complete their objective. So, I figure out what they want to do and create content which helps them do it. For example, if a user searches for best restaurants in London, it's more than likely that their intent is to learn about and compare a number of places. This is why the websites of individual restaurants really struggle to rank for such terms, whereas sites like TripAdvisor and TimeOut dominate.
2. Trust is exceptionally important for users, especially when there's money involved. Building trust is hard, but it's always been an important part of the conversion process - now it's also a key part of SEO too. Some basic questions I try to answer with my clients are: If a user looks up your brand online, what will they find? Do you have any reviews or testimonials? Do those reviews come from verifiable sources? Is there a clear explanation of who you are and your credentials? Is your website secure? Are you using ads and, if so, are they detracting from the user experience? Are you a recognised authority in your field? How can users contact you?
Sites who focus on these two areas, whilst getting the technical basics right, are definitely on the right path for 2020 and beyond.
On a separate, final note, I still see a lot of outdated and dangerous link building practices across the industry. Blog and infographic submission sites, comment spam, low-quality directory listings, and social bookmarking are still all being sold into clients, who don't know any better, as link building! In 2020, Google and Bing will most likely ignore and void any value from these types of links, but there's also a chance of penalisation for sites who are clearly still going with these methods.
Here's a bonus tip/plea for anyone still doing any of the above: please stop.
--Sam Sheppard, Cabana
SEO for the past ten years or so has very much been about gaming a system that many viewed as naturally unfair. However, the largest change in recent years and 2020 specifically is that the system itself finally now awards the people that are trying to adhere to the Google Webmaster Guidelines. That means that the best way to find SEO success in 20202 is to create great content, share that content, and have other highly authoritative websites link to you content; it's as simple as that. Much of the technical issues that have been guess work are now standardized with practices like Schema. That means you can now focus your time on creating content that your users will find valuable and organically promoting that content.
--Alexander M. Kehoe, Caveni
*A myth exists in 2020 that Google's AI is so advanced that it can understand the content of your page, and rank it appropriately even if it lacks traditional SEO indicators. This just isn't the case.*
*The Google algorithm is still a machine that uses factors like keywords in the meta title, keywords in the H tags and keyword density to understand the topic of a page.*
*Don't overestimate Google's capabilities!*
*Based on this, my number one tip for ranking pages highly in 2020 is to not forget the basics. *
*Sure, links still remain the primary ranking factor, and other indicators like page speed and mobile-friendliness are crucial. But if Google can't easily understand what your page is about because you think you can just 'write naturally and rank', think again.*
--Clive Harris, Solopreneur
1. SERP (Search Engine Results Pages) features are becoming more sophisticated than ever. More and more searches are resulting in zero clicks because people are able to get the answers that they need directly from Google. This is a good thing and a bad thing. You may be getting less clicks from certain queries that previously brought you tons of traffic. However, on the plus side, these are usually pretty simple search queries where someone really only wanted a quick answer. So it's not a huge loss on the whole.
SEO's will need to do research and find out which queries they actually want to rank for and which SERP features they want to optimize for. For instance, a Mexican restaurant in Seattle will want to ensure that their establishment shows up in the SERP features for Mexican restaurants in Seattle. This feature will show several local Mexican restaurants with their ratings, location, phone number, hours, and more. This feature likely results in fewer clicks for organic rankings for this search query. BUT, these featured restaurants are likely to receive more customers than restaurants that aren't featured in this box.
2. Discovering consumer intent is Google's primary goal. It's been this way for some time, but they continue to step their game up and every iteration is a little better. Their newest learning algorithm, named BERT, is continuing this objective. For this reason, it's more important than ever to ensure that you understand the intent of the consumer that searches the query you're trying to rank for. If you try to serve those people as effectively as possible, your content will be safe from nearly any Google update.
--Greg Birch, Drop Ship Lifestyle
Now more than ever, the focus has shifted towards adding relevant content to your site, rather than people linking to your site. Don’t get me wrong, backlinks will help you, but they will come naturally if the content on your site is useful to users. Understanding what users are searching for in your industry and answering those questions will ultimately decide your site’s performance.
--Konstantinos Tsilkos, PharMed
The single most disruptive change I've seen in the last year has been keyword intent. Where you could previously rank a page or blog post for a high traffic term, even though the intent was a bit of a stretch, nowadays it's a gamble. Sometimes you can get away with it for a few months, but you can't expect it to last the next update.
For the longest time, affiliate sites were taking the lion's share of traffic from ecommerce sites who sold the products that each searcher was looking for. Now that's getting more difficult. But in the same way, smart ecommerce store owners are putting the effort into product guides when they want to rank for a keyword with that intent.
I regularly see sites that are losing rankings, and traffic, as they aren't adapting to these changes. Simply putting the time or budget into keyword research, creating a content map and the associated pages or articles can get a website dominating the SERPs again.
--Jase Rodley, Dialed Labs
SEO has changed a lot, even in very recent times, but the direction became clear to us a long time ago: you can’t trick Google.
Profile links were very popular 5 years back, and to a degree they still worked. You’d knock out 1000 profile links pointing back to your site, or intermediary pages, and filter your profile spammed link juice back to your site. It was never a good plan but people kept doing it, ignoring that Google gets smarter.
The lesson they should have seen is...Google gets smarter! Even if you get away with something today, a few years down the line they’ll look at your site again, and drop a metaphorical piano on your website from a great height. Google is vengeful.
Knowing that we see tricks people were still pulling in 2019, and didn’t copy. The reason is that we don’t want to build up our website just to have it fall at a later date. Not to mention tricking the search engines has always seemed unethical as well as short sighted.
So for 2020, don’t just consider your strategy in regards to what you can get away with in 2020. Think long term. Sure someone finds an exploit to briefly help them get an edge on you, but before long Google will swing its vengeful eye their way, and they’ll be gone.
Instead you need to focus on what Google actually wants. High quality links from sites that Google already trust. Use ahref to check DR and this will give you a good idea. The higher the DR, the more point there is to getting a backlink. Then only get backlinks from the best sites. Quantity is less important than quality.
With that said, you also need the pages you get links from to be actually relevant and useful. If the site linking to you is junk and only ranking as it found an exploit, that bad image will eventually be passed on to your site, at least in the eyes of Google. So make sure any site linking back actually has a reason to exist, is enjoyed by the public, and has a high DR.
Guest posts remain a good way of getting a link from such sites, especially as then the page linking to you is contextually relevant, as that also matters a lot.
Above all, think long term. It’s not about what you can get away with in 2020, it’s what you want the super advanced algorithm in 2030 to look back at what you are done now and still approve it.
--Morgan Taylor, LetMeBank
The mobile era is here. In the last quarter of 2019, mobile devices accounted for 52% of global website value; Google has moved to a mobile-first index.
-Tip: Make sure you have a responsive site
Snippet, answer boxes, frequently asked questions are all over the SERP now
-Tip: Optimize your content around question-like search queries and numbered lists.
Google is creating a map of your links; they want to see relevant sites to your niche linking to your site.
-Tip: Focus on quality links, not quantity
It's not about how many links you have, is about the quality, the more relevant and niche links you have the better
- Tip: Connect with people on linked in and collaborate on a piece of content, you're more likely to get quality links this way than by sending mass email campaigns.
One thousand words are not going to cut it; Google wants to see pages that cover all questions people are looking for regarding a search query.
- Tip: Go deep when writing your topic, use FAQ to address all possible questions related to a specific search query.
SEO is more complicated than ever before; competition is fierce as information on how to optimize for SEO is widely available.
-Tip: Build a brand, create visuals to include in your blog posts, and make sure your slogan is there, building a brand is and will always be the best way for companies to stand out.
What to pay attention to for the future?
Voice search and visual search
Speaking is faster than writing, and voice technologies are developing fast, stay on top of voice search trends to learn how to best capitalize on this opportunity.
Have you heard of Google lens? Google wants you to point your smartphone camera at things and get search results that way. This is especially important for retailers. For many consumers, it'll become more of a habit to take a photo of a certain product they might see lying around in, let’s say, a waiting lobby, and do a visual search to find out where they can get one.
--Eulises Quintero, Titoma B2B Electronics Design & Manufacturing
1. Voice search is using and will be trending in 2020 because it's easy just to say what you need. Amazon, Google, and many others are working on this way of communication over the device and searching for answers over the search engine.
2. Providing quality content. Content on the internet come in different ways. But blogging is the first option when people are searching for content because if it has something interesting to offer than it will shine through the search engines. Creating quality content has been the biggest achievement in 2019 and it will be more appreciated in 2020.
3. Video content is on the rise. Youtube and other social media platforms that consist of video content are easier to be attractive because a 1 mint video has much more attractiveness than a 1000 word blogpost.
--Adeel Shabir, Indoor Champ
Youtube and video in general is something to pay attention to in 2020. More and more people are watching videos everywhere from their desktop, to phones to televisions. Companies should be putting out more video, not only through search engine like Youtube, but also on their websites, to sell products and services. Our company is in the middle of a huge project to change all our main product images to videos. No longer will an image be the default of our products. We believe more and more companies will be implementing this as well in 2020.
--Jeff Moriarty, Moriarty's Gem Art
The most crucial tip for SEO in 2020 is Social Media. Social signals that include the totality of webpage's likes, shares and overall social media visibility in the eyes of search engine crawlers indicate the interaction of people on your brand's content on social media. The collaboration of SEO and Social Media together give audience relevance and value, both directly and indirectly. Similarly, the more people engaging with your content through Social Media, the higher your page SERP (Search Engine Result Page) ranking. I make sure to add a social share widget on my page to allow users to share my content on social sites which directly impacts Google rankings.
--Rameez Ghayas Usmani, PureVPN
There is just one thing to remember when it comes to SEO now, and forever far into the future. Never worry or care about Google. N ever please Google. Instead please your traffic. Google's only job is the rank #1 the best website relevant to a specific keyword entered into the search. The next question then is: well HOW does Google know which website is the best website?. Simple really. The best website is that website that provides the most value to user. I tis the website with the best user experience, user engagement. Keep your traffic loving your website and you will be outranking anyone, no matter what new Google algorithms roll out.
--Jerryll Noorden, WeBuyHousesInConnecticut.com
Basically we need more pay attention on onpage SEO, why? because right know to achieve ranking 1 is not hard at all. Currently we saw that Google Search engine change their search query result from broad into phrase match. Which mean, if I write SISTEM ERP this word must located in URL, Title, Description, H1 and Paragraf on your website. If you can focus on main keyword phrase, it will help other combination of keywords such as SISTEM ERP INDONESIA, SISTEM ERP UMKM and so on.
--Victo Glend, HashMicro
In 2020, content is king! Optimizing your content is one of the best things you can do. When Google is ranking your site for particular keywords, it’s looking at how well your content answers the question of the person who’s searching. I update content once per six months. I will do it more often if the content needs to change drastically based on current events but I try to make the writing so thorough and detailed that it will not need updating on a regular basis.
I have a few tips for stretching a content budget so that businesses with budgets small and large can implement this SEO strategy:
See if you can work out a long-term bulk pricing deal with a dedicated content writer.
Source the images and do the editing yourself. Take that burden off the writer if it lowers the cost.
Post the articles yourself in your CMS. Again, if it takes the burden off of your writer and lowers the cost.
Otherwise, see if you can diversify your writing and find a super talented writer coming out of school who is open to writing at a lower rate, but may need extra training from you. Either way, try to have a few writers so you can have a lower blended content cost all in. I recommend sourcing writers through Upwork, The Writer Finder, and by emailing writers you see on the Internet and asking them if they have availability to work on new projects.
--Kevin Miller, The Word Counter
One of the biggest ways in which SEO has changed recently pertains to the way Google analyses webpages. It used to be that keyword density, the amount of times you included a keyword you were trying to get a page to rank for, what a critical ranking factor. While it's still important to include a keyword you want to rank for in a page at least once, Google's algorithms have become ever more complicated.
Ever since the Hummingbird update came out, Google has been trying to rank websites based on user intent. For one word queries, this can be tricky, as intent is vague. For example, someone with the query globe could have the intent to buy tickets for the Globe Theater, find information about globes of the earth, or learn who's nominated for the Golden Globes.
In some ways this is old news. Google has gotten better and better and gauging intent since 2013. However, I think we've recently reached a tipping point where Google has gotten so good at measuring intent that keyword density is completely irrelevant.
Even keyword research, in general, has changed. Longtail keywords, which make up the largest percentage of all queries, are more important to optimize for than ever before. Instead of choosing a keyword to optimize a page for, you now need to choose an intent to optimize a page for. You should still use vocabulary within the content for that page that is supported by user search data, but it should be rich with synonyms, not just the same words used repeatedly.
--Joseph Pineiro, 360training
In the past, SEO was more algorithmic. If you do X, then you get result Y. Now, Google's algorithm is more intuitive than ever before, It no longer only takes into account just what you do, but also your intentions and other holistic factors.
Now, Google prioritizes expertise, authority and trust [EAT] — meaning that your SEO goals need to accentuate EAT standards! Below demonstrates how every SEO goal can be more EAT focused by asking a series of questions:
Does this goal...
- ...Guide you to provide deep and comprehensive resources for industry specific topics? *[Expertise]* - ...Aim to establish you as a credible leader and example in your industry? *[Authority]* - ...Help ensure that the consumer's experience is the number one priority? *[Trust]*
As SEO experts focus their efforts on these three areas Google bots and real human users can both be appeased!
--Madison Mingus, Bestcompany.com
The current trend to rank well in SEO is writing a lot of content and making the page look decent by breaking up the large chunks of text content on the page. It's about covering up the long content on the page with images, cool design features so that people stay and scroll/read through the content instead of leaving it. That's what good SEO's do today. Finding the balance between having an SEO friendly text and page design. That won't go away so soon, because it works well for rankings. In the future I expect Google to value content size less. An ideal page is one with as little Seo friendly content as possible but ranks well. I expect more pages with less content will rank in the future as the algorithm will be more sophisticated and focused on user experience and more sophisticated ranking signals.
--Filip Silobod, Honest Marketing
Schema markup makes it possible for search engines to understand the entities, actions, and relationships on the web to serve a better user experience for visitors. The reason it is so important to take this next step is because Google will supplement your website’s search results with additional info in the form of rich snippets and allow search engines to better understand the content and context related to your site – driving higher click-through rates in your organic search results.
--Carolyn Lange, K2
SEO in 2020 has changed drastically. One of the biggest changes I've noticed is the hard emphasis on the importance of content. Keep your website simple, but keep your blog populated. Incorporate standard SEO tactics like keywords, titles, metas, and alt tags into the blog page you're writing. Stop adding more top-nav pages, and start adding more blog posts!
--Ephraim Glick, Midsouth Commercial Roofing
One of the most notable changes in local SEO this year (barring recent activity as a result of COVID-19) would be the shift we see with Google and their Google My Business platform. Google continues to test new Google My Business features, for what seems like new tests running almost monthly, all in an effort to retain as much traffic on Google as possible. From 'Reserve a Table' button that redirects to a Google reservation platform (instead of the restaurant website) to pushing third-party delivery services directly on the listing (for which the restaurant may not even participate).
These associated efforts by Google have also bled into more national organic results, we've seen far more searches result in no-clicks. There have been instances where impressions have grown year over year for a client, but the same keyword no longer produces significant clicks.
It's important that SEOs lean on each other to report new features or tests being rolled out in order to formulate a solid plan to navigate the volatile landscape that now is search marketing. My other piece of advice, use Twitter to engage with the SEO community.
--Morgan Flores, RyTech, LLC
SEO has changed over time but we still see that link building is a good seo strategy to grow your website. Especially link building through relevant, niche blogs and media outlets.
Focus on building links from relevant, niche blogs that have a high domain rating from 30 to 90. Create relevant high quality content for your niche. This will help drive a significant amount of traffic to your website and should increase sales revenue too as the traffic is relevant for your product/service.
--Lennart Meijer, The Other Straw
Rich Schema is one of the main areas companies should be looking at it in 2020. With Google showing more and more data from your website in the search results, there is no reason to give them as much information as possible in order to make your listing stand out. Most companies are doing things such as pricing, reviews, stock status and ratings, but companies should also be looking at FAQ, product, article and blog markup as well. Developers can find all the information they need online in order to set it up. The sooner you do it, the more of an advantage you will have over other competitors in your industry.
--Celeste Huffman, Rogers and Hollands
The biggest change to SEO is that optimising for the search engine is no longer the right approach. We always have to put the customer first, by delivering the content they value the most on a platform that is mobile-focused and shared across publications that they are likely to read.
Organic traffic is the most cost-effective media channel but it has to be earned by crafting engaging content, executing the right strategy and having patience.
Additionally, brands need to be maximising every page visit. CRO needs to be integrated with every campaign, too, as businesses need to improve efficiency, now, more than ever before.
--Katie Derrick, ItWorks
The time when SEO was basically keyword research, website optimization and link building is over.
In 2020, brand reputation and content quality and relevance are the most important criteria. SEOs should act like digital marketers who can spread the word about their brand on social media, deal with online reviews, create very high quality content that answers people's questions online, such as long form articles, videos, infographics, charts or maps.
SEOs should learn every aspect of digital marketing and become multitaskers to succeed.
--Gregory Golinski, YourParkingSpace
There was a lot of focus on Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) in 2019 and I see this continuing in 2020 and beyond. With the glut of content on the web and public focus on fake news, Google needs to remain relevant by returning the most valuable and trusted search results for its users. So we need to keep improving how we demonstrate our E-A-T. For many sites this may involve displaying social proof, referencing authoritative sources, improving author bios, marking up any affiliate links, keeping your content up to date and accurate, and earning more citations and links.
--Quentin Aisbett, OnQ Marketing
Over the last decade, the focus for SEO has been on providing quality content and this will continue to be important in 2020, especially in industries such as healthcare and finance. With the current global situation, people are looking to experts for their health and money questions.
Google now places a larger emphasis on E.A.T. and making sure that websites that fall in the category of Your Money, Your Life (YMYL) prove their expertise, authority and trustworthiness. Including information on your website such as your qualifications, credentials, awards and past experiences help build the trust and prove expertise.
--Nat Alleblas, natalleblas.com
SEO has changed a lot within the recent years, especially in* 2020* as there is much higher competition on search engines to rank higher. SEO in recent years has been a combination of *good content*, *quality backlinks*, *mobile-friendly UI*, and good *on-page SEO optimizations*, but in 2019 a new member has been introduced to that list as *voice search optimization *and in 2020, search engines pay more attention to this than before. Therefore in order for a website to rank on search engines in 2020, all these *five *areas must be optimized* properly* and* effectively*. Also in 2020, most major search engines such as *Google*, pay more attention to *domain quality score* and the *relevance of the backlinks* to the website more than ever before as there is a lot of competition and Google only wants to promote websites that give users the best experience and relevant information possible.
--Anjana Wickramaratne, Active Digi Solutions
I believe one of the biggest changes that we are not entirely prepared for yet is the transition into SEO for voice.
Many of us understand the importance of video now in our marketing techniques as well as specific long-tail keywords and how critical it is to create good content.
However, voice queries are more and more frequent now and being able to target these and get on top of it early will give you a good lead in 2020.
--Andrew Taylor, Net Lawman
A lot of changes in SEO have happened and this year I think we'll see more quality content in the offing. Gone are the days when inadequate, irrelevant and keyword-stuffed content would still rank. Search engines have grown and updated themselves to distinguish high-quality content. They have advanced enough to understand the unfavourable experience of lousy content. If you want to be ahead of this, high-quality content is the key. You will have to write something that is relevant and valuable,
UX or user experience will also play a crucial role in SEO. Optimizing your site and making it user friendly will go a long way in accomplishing this. The faster your site, the better! Remove all those old links that don't work. Make sure you organize your site so that it's easier to navigate. Although it's not much, organizing your website has a significant effect on customer experience. An organized yet straightforward site can have a lasting impression on customers.
--Jeremy Harrison, Hustle Life Media Inc.
Optimise your content for featured snippets. Featured snippets are stealing a lot of traffic from the #1 ranking in SERPs, simply by addressing common search queries. Using a tool such as Ahrefs you can discover which of your keywords are displaying on SERPs with a snippet. From there, add a small 40 word paragraph directly related to the searcher intent into your identified pages. Not only will this help you to compete for the featured snippet position, it'll also bolster your word count and the page's quality score. It's a win-win.
--John Butterworth, CRCC Asia
I'm an entrepreneur that's been running an affiliate marketing business for more than two years now. And SEO has been an important focus of our business.
You need to have a secure and fast website to rank well in 2020. It's the bare minimum that search engines like Google expect from any website. This means having an SSL certificate for your website. And making sure your pages load within a few seconds on all types of devices like desktop, mobile, and tablet.
Another tip for SEO in 2020 is to have good on-page optimization. This includes having the right keywords in your content. Making sure the content provides high value and is of the expected length considering your competitor's content. You also need to get high-quality backlinks to your pages. And have strategic internal linking on your website.
--Kevin Rodrigues, Gardening Mentor
Recently, the world of SEO and marketing has entered a new filed as the importance of social media is becoming more and more prevalent. This means each company should have a strong presence of social media sites and really interact and engage with it's followers. This is a general and somewhat simple tip, but it is proven to have more importance with each passing year.
--Will Cartwright, SMP Nutra
* Websites must be optimized for voice search Voice user interface allows users to interact with websites through voice commands so it adds usability and functionality to your site making it accessible to all users including those with limitations and disabilities. It is not just about complying with the ADA, responsible web design and corporate social responsibility goals but it is also good for the bottom line by reaching a broader audience. Inclusion is the right thing to do and it is good for business. Smart speakers are only getting more popular going forward so being able to optimize for voice search will be key to maximize the marketing and advertising opportunities on Siri, Alexa, Google Home, etc. Brands that perfect the branded skill² with more customer-friendly, less invasive ads are going to win big. Are you prepared when customers ask for help like Alexa what is the best Mexican restaurant in Boston?² if not you are missing a big opportunity! There are always new shiny objects in marketing to distract you, social media and technology are 24/7 but SEO is here to stay whether it is via Google or voice. You get one chance to make a great first impression so if you want to improve the impression you are making and give your business a boost make sure your site is optimized and voice search is very important.
* Content quality and length matter for rankings Web pages that contain long high quality content get more visibility and shares so becoming that trusted source and influencer with timely and helpful answers to questions gets rewarded quickly. Search engines notice when sites publish consistently and can see how long people stay so building a strong reputation as a site that informs and educates pays off in higher organic search results too. Users are savvy and can tell if content is too salesy or self promoting which gets ignored.
* Mobile UX determines your ranking In a mobile first world, you have less time to grab people, attention spans are shorter than ever so video will be used even more to boost rankings, show don¹t tell for maximum impact, rich content drives engagement, traction and growth. The world is moving to mobile first or mobile only, fewer people accessing web on big screens so everyone is tailoring their site, message and content accordingly. More people watch videos than TV now so adding video to your site and using the right keywords for video descriptions and headlines will insure you do better in searches too.
--Paige Arnof-Fenn, Mavens & Moguls
Seo 2020: It is all about proximity searching. Over the past two years “near me” searches have increased 500x. Therefore the #1 focus for local SEO is optimizing Google My Business profiles. Make sure you are writing posts the target your key phrases, sharing pictures ( at least 2x your competitors. Of course as it should go without saying that all sections of the profile should be completely filled out. Focus on getting reviews. Lots of them. Then make sure you respond to all of them. Good and not so good.
The best is you don’t need to hire an SEO to do this. Every business owner can optimize their Google My Business profiles. Therefore the #1 focus for local SEO is optimizing Google My Business profiles.
--Eric Rutin, rutinmarketing.com
Create content around the chatty and conversational keywords
Based on recent research, 50% of searches will be voice searches by the end of 2020. People use short phrases as they have no time to type all sentences. When voice searching, they prefer complete questions or sentences. With the help of artificial intelligence, an online search is becoming more conversational and user friendly. As the audience starts using programs like Siri, Alexa, etc., search engines might get to the sites that are optimized with casual and chatty keywords. In addition to that, you should take into account that voice searches usually use the W-questions - “Who”, “What”, “Where”, “When”. That’s why it’s imperative to use a conversational tone throughout the content. Not only does it help to increase search engine rankings, but also the users will get a casual conversation experience with your site.
--Alexandra Zelenko, DDI Development
*1) Content Intent: *Your content should be based on user intent. Your blogs must be successful in fulfilling the reader's needs and deliver value to them. Keep an eye on your top competitors and analyze how they are able to fulfill user intent. Make an in-depth analysis of your keywords mixed with your competitor's research.
*2) Persuasion: *If you are an SEO you know very well that getting backlinks is a must-do job for your content. The most effective backlinks are that you get in the form of a contextual link. For this purpose try to go for persuasion and build relationships with the authors of other blogs you are willing to get linked from. Asking directly for the link would not do the favor. Persuasion is a long process but very fruitful in the long run.
--Usama Raudo, Withintheflow
1) Mobile adaptability. We see that a lot of online merchants still neglect their mobile site. In 2020. where the number of mobile users is around 60%, that means missing on a lot of opportunities. Usually, the most critical part of the website is neglected on mobile - the buying process. Often we see that the CTA buttons are too small; the dropdowns are hard to manage with a finger, and on the checkout, the letters are different. A bad mobile experience doesn't just affect the trust of the user; it also affects SEO. Google has been announcing for the last several years that they are going to apply mobile-first indexing fully. But in 2020. we see it happening.
2) Creating content that matches the query. SEO stands for search engine optimisation, but bottom line, it's focused on people. We see a lot of websites that create content around specific keywords, but their content doesn't answer the search query. That leaves the user who landed on the website with a bad experience and increases the bounce rate, which is one of many ranking factors.
--Tihana Drumev, Best Response Media
Rank Brain and the launch of BERT shows Google is slowly evolving its algorithm to be as “human” as possible. Content that resonates well with actual humans will be rewarded accordingly with better rankings. With this in mind, my advice for business owners and fellow SEO professionals is to stop finding ways to circumvent Google algorithms. It's short-sighted and could lead to penalties. Instead, focus on serving better content and educating your target demographic. Place yourselves in your audience's shoes and understand what makes them tick, this will help your website provide content that meets their needs to a greater degree. Explain complex products/services with videos rather than long blocks of text. Capture your customer's attention by listing the reasons why you're better than the competition. Present case studies and whitepapers to convince them to avail your services. These advice aren't new but some it still rings true even more so today.
--Jeffrey Barroga, Paxful
While the fundamentals of SEO have not really changed, Google has been working hard over the last few years to eliminate the dodgy tactics that allowed businesses to bend the rules and dominate the search results.
Now, Google expects to see signs of you being a real business, not just a standalone website with a few links. It expects to see social profiles, mentions of your business on other sites, local directory listings etc. All of these things help Google paint a picture of your business and help build its trust in you.
My advice for 2020 would be to focus on building your digital footprint. Host local events, partner up with local businesses... the list goes on.
--Ryan Scollon, ryanscollon.co.uk/
Updates to Google search in the last year point clearly to their increasing focus on search intent and natural language. Last fall, Google expanded the way search algorithms focus on terms in context instead of individually, allowing users to get better results on more nuanced questions. “How to bake bread without yeast” previously returned plenty of standard yeast breads because the terms bake, bread, and yeast were all present. Now, those results are focused on yeast-free recipes.
Search is getting more focused on how users are searching and SEO needs to share that focus. Google wants to serve quality content that satisfies user queries. Trying to hack that system is counterproductive. Instead, get in the head of your audience: what are you looking for and how are you looking for it? Think about whipping your phone out of your pocket to answer a question or talking over your shoulder to your smart speaker. Short or long, your content should be highly specific. Long-tail keywords are more valuable than ever.
I’m excited about these changes because we can focus more on delivering value without so much “talking to the robot” to gain search attention that will serve that content to our users. However, that does mean unlearning some outdated advice about content length and keyword volume. Instead, I’m a big advocate for digging into research on how people are searching for your topics and using that information to zero in on specific queries.
--Quincy Smith, ampjar.com
SERPs are starting to look different: If you haven’t noticed Google is making more room for ads on their result pages. Whereas there used to be one, maybe two on each page, they’re starting to publish three of four ads at a time. This leaves less room for organic search results. At the same time, they’re making the “People Also Ask” box bigger, which creates more opportunity to rank for related questions. And they’re starting to include video links at the top of more pages, so it’s a great time to invest in video content.
Influencers have more power: At first, a lot of people thought micro-influencers were a gimmick. And I don’t blame them. I mean who would have thought that someone with 1,200 followers online could drive so much traffic to your site. But, we’ve learned that influencers are actually very powerful. A link from an influencer in your niche can put your site on the map, so to speak. In our experience, we’ve found that working with influencers results in lower bounce rate, higher dwell time, and increased return visits. In other words, it can provide all of the things you’re looking for, so it’s usually a good investment.
Voice search is very important: If you haven’t started to optimize for voice searches, it’s time. Our stats show that more than 50% of teenagers use voice search every day, and 60% of all mobile users use voice search at least once a month. That’s a big audience, so you have to cater to them. For SEOs, this means that you have to rethink the way you write content. People speak differently than they write, so you have to start writing your voice searches.
--Claire Onidi, SerpCreative
Try to diversify your SEO strategy as much as you can. Optimize schemes and infographics for Google Image search. Add podcasts and videos if it matches your niche.
These measures not only give you a chance to rank on other resources but also increase your chances to rank better on Google.
--Daria Khmelnitskaya, SE Ranking
Well, SEO changed a lot, I have to say. Website owners should pay attention to voice search. It would be a good idea to test a speakable schema on your website, especially if you are local businesses. The next thing he would like to point out is User Experience. Make sure your website is fast and easy to navigate. Website speed is now one of the main Google's Ranking Factors. The third thing I want to mention is Engaging content. I know we heard this a million times, but it's true. Don't create content for the sake of it. Make it meaningful. Create visuals, infographics, videos. Boosting your site portfolio in these areas will help your site’s ranking.
--Dino Rezo, Udonis
SEO in 2020 will be even more focussed on creating quality content. To improve the organic rankings of the website you will have to create large pieces of unique content, that adds value to the reader. This should be the centre point of attention.
By doing this, you will improve the domain authority over a longer period of time which will increase your organic rankings. SEO will be even more around playing the long term game, as Google will continue to get better in detecting low-quality content that is purely created for SEO purposes.
--Jeroen Minks, Vazooky Digital
'I think one significant way that SEO has changed and will continue to change in 2020 is the relaxation of the importance of rank tracking. Already it is becoming increasingly difficult for rank tracking software to give you truly accurate data due to the heavy localisation of some search terms - it is simply impossible to give a true 'rank' for a term like 'man with a van' as each person searching it is being shown results unique to their area - there is no true overall rank.
Combined with the increased use of featured snippets on the SERPs and the increase of zero-click searches because of these, the idea of SERP real estate is also looking like a different ball game going into 2020. As an SEO, I am paying more and more attention to trying to win some of these featured snippets to make my brand more visible, as well as doing more in-depth keyword research to find out the true 'converting' keywords which will actually result in clicks and conversions. The principles of SEO are still the same, but it may become more worthwhile being even more tactical with the keywords you target now.'
--Louis Watton, Shiply
-- Focus on the end user to futureproof your SEO (and other digital marketing investments). Oftentimes, marketers obsess on the technicalities without thinking whether it’s great for the user.
-- If you do decide on something specific, website speed is the most important one to address. Mobile-first indexing means Google uses the mobile version of the site in its rankings, but majority of sites out there still have terrible mobile sites.
-- Video content is hot right now. But the more important aspect of SEO you should use are schema markups. Very few are using it that’s why those who do have an edge in Google. They get more SERP real estate.
--Ariel Lim, ariel-lim.com
With Google planning on labeling slow-loading websites in Chrome speed and performance will continue to be one of the top-ranking factors maybe even more than before. With it, there is a tangible shift from keyword-based search result to more topic-based results. AI influence will certainly grow, as will voice search but I don't expect them to take over. At least not this year.
--Nebojsa Radakovic, Bejamas
Take advantage of broken links
There are tons of websites out there that have outdated or broken links. These broken links can be repaired but first, you need to find them You can do this by using free online applications to, like deadlinkchecker . Once you’ve found broken links you can relink them to other sites to ensure that your website is running at its full SEO capacity.
Guest post to other websites as much as possible.
You should also guest post to other websites as much as possible. It’s an organic way to promote your website and its one of the tried and tested methods that have worked for all these years. By guest posting to other sites, you’ll get tons of traffic as well as new viewers. Try to guest post to websites that are more popular than yours to jumpstart your SERP ranking.
Optimize for Mobile Searches
More and more people are using their phones to search the internet. Sadly, not all websites are optimized for mobile phones. This discourages them from visiting unoptimized websites, reducing their potential traffic. Optimize your website for mobile, it's not that hard.
Keep your content original and fresh
You should try to keep your content original and fresh. A lot of websites these days spin articles and copy the contents of their competitors. This may give them good SERP rankings in the short run, but Google will find out eventually. It’s better to create original content than risk being labeled as spam by Google.
--Anh Trinh, GeekWithLaptop
*Pay Attention to Visual Search SEO in 2020*
Visual content is dominating our social media, so it's no surprise that visual search is becoming one of the most important facets of SEO in 2020. Google Lens has now been used over 1 billion times and it is yielding impressive conversion rates for businesses. 62% of millennials say that they want visual search over any other technology, so it will become increasingly indispensable for your site to be optimized for visual search results.
Follow these five steps to improve your visual search SEO: 1. Make sure your images have relevant file names and descriptive alt text. 2. Feature the image you want to rank at the top of the page. 3. Use captions to signal search engines about the content of the image 4. Create long-form content to signal your page as an authoritative source in your industry for the related topic 5. Keep your page fresh by updating it regularly with new and updated information.
--Taylor Randolph, ParkFellows
Google and other search engine's algorithms have evolved a lot from the past. Long gone those days where you could just throw in a bunch of keywords and some backlinks and you'll rank high. Now, the focus has been shifted towards quality and user experience.
Instead of focusing just on the number of backlinks, SEOs now need to look at the quality of links as well. Content quality is a huge deal nowadays. Search engines, especially Google are now shifting the focus from keyword-based ranking to topic-based ranking. You can't just write content around particular keywords and expect them to rank well. You should cover the topic in-depth, as well as different pages on your website should be focusing on that topic as well. This helps to position you as being an expert on a particular topic.
The 4 best SEO tips in 2020 and beyond are:
1. Focus on content quality. Make sure you cover the breadth and depth of it. Breadth here means you need multiple pages that talk on the topic that you want to rank for and depth means each page should cover each of the related topics in-depth (Be the complete solutions to your readers' problems)
2. Focus on quality, not quantity when building backlinks.
3. Machine learning and rank brain is becoming more and more important. Make sure you focus on improving user experience such as reduce the bounce rate, increase time-on-site, etc. Google is monitoring user behaviors and this plays an important role in ranking.
4. The ultimate aim of any website and business out there is to build a brand. Brands are the ultimate solutions to the problems and Google loves ranking brands that are widely recognized. So don't ignore other types of marketing as well.
--Jackie Owen, Techjackie
Don’t ignore the easy opportunities:
Leverage internal SEO tools including, metadata optimization, web page tab optimization, and the open graphic protocol.
Metadata and web page tabs are pieces on your website’s backend where you can directly tell search engines what your website is about so that they can better categorize your services. This makes it easier for those looking for businesses like yours to find you.
Then, the open graphic protocol https://capeandbay.com/shipyardblog/open-graph-protocol-marketing-opportunity/> is a piece of code made by Facebook and now used by most of the large social media platforms that allow you to define what links to your pages will look like. This gives you an opportunity to optimize both the text and title that shows up as well as the image. Use this to make your content visually appealing in every way.
With the COVID-19 Pandemic, culture is changing across the globe. Pivot your company dynamically to change with it. Depending on your industry and audience try to leverage the unique needs that this situation creates.
Some companies are looking to help their communities and shine through good deeds while others are hoping to brighten up their consumer’s day with some comedy and distraction. Whatever your angle, work to get it out there digitally and quickly.
Get into popular culture:
Connect to your audience on a deeper level with pieces of the culture that matter to them. Look at emerging social platforms https://capeandbay.com/shipyardblog/tiktok-advertising-is-it-right-for-your-business/> and the way your specific target market really prefers to be talked to. Today’s market is full of noise, get personal and conversational to stand out and gain traction.
Communicating effectively with your consumer base is crucial for your business success. Try looking into micro-moments and how to leverage digital strategy at every stage of the consumer journey. https://capeandbay.com/shipyardblog/how-content-marketing-and-emotional-storytelling-drives-consumer-interest-part-1/> This helps your company deeply connect with your audience while providing them the type of quality content that they’re looking for.
Your audience has questions about your industry. Answering these in the form of Q&As, FAQs, blogs, and social posts will establish your brand as a thought leader and make you easier to find online.
The more traffic your company generates, the higher search engines will rate it. This will, in turn, lead to even more traffic when you leverage your standing to continue creating worthwhile content. Keep people coming back and recommending your pages by simply providing them the tools they’re looking for.
Find someone within your industry that isn’t a competitor. For example, if you are a dress shop a shoe store may be a great partner. Someone who has the same or a similar enough audience that can recommend your services as you recommend theirs.
This way each brand’s loyal customers can be shared and a mutually beneficial cycle can be found. Partnerships like these will generate traffic as well as establish both brands as reliable within the industry..
Don’t be afraid to change these relationships as your company continues to grow and evolve. Sometimes agreements are only useful for set periods of time and can only take your company so far. Be sure to monitor and track the success of each campaign to better understand the needs of your audience as well as your company.
--Sarah Steinman, Cape and Bay Marketing
These days, it seems like everything can be an SEO factor. I mean 8-10 years ago, all you had to do was to stuff your text with keywords and build a few backlinks. These days, keyword research and backlinks are only a mere basis of any SEO tactic.
For instance, many SEO experts mention expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T) of websites as a ranking factor. Even though people from Google deny this (because you can’t really make something so immeasurable a ranking factor), they do confirm using secondary signals that correspond with E-A-T.
What this means is that no-name authors from newly created websites can’t expect much until they gain trust and authority in their niche. No matter the quality of content, you start with less ‘expert’ content, build backlinks, collect reviews and gradually build your way up to your own E-A-T.
--Anastasiia Khlystova, HelpCrunch
Here are 3 essential tips for SEO this year:
Use long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are keywords composed of more than 2 words. Using this, you can be sure that there is less competition, compared to using short-tail ones.
Optimize for voice search. More and more searches will come from voice-enabled gadgets as the year progresses, so it is a must for your website to be optimized accordingly. Use keywords that are most likely to be spoken other than typed.
Consider position zero. The old SEO guidelines are geared towards ranking first to third in the search results. However, the new guideline is geared towards winning position zero, which is the Google Featured Snippet. Consider ranking for this to get better results.
--Norhanie Pangulima, Indoorchamp.com
As time passes, many new inventions and trending innovations are taking place, one of which is voice search. Trends of voice search nowadays are increasing day by day, which affects and changes the SEO and online business strategies because of voice search people did not go or click to your website as they get enough information through voice search, which decreases your website traffic.
To handle this you need to design strategies a way that your content either a video, infographic or other come in google featured snipped.
--Ali Ubaid Ul Hassan, Angel Jackets
Nowadays, SEO is not just getting ranked on Search Engines. It also involves how to give the best customer experience. Here are some SEO tips to enhance customer satisfaction.
One SEO tip is improving website speed and mobile-friendliness. This one is a basic SEO tip but very necessary to increase user experience. The majority of the users will leave the website if it is not loading fully within 3 seconds. So, website speed is a basic yet necessary factor in SEO. Also, nowadays, users prefer to browse the websites through their mobile devices so it is compulsory to have your website mobile-friendly. While doing link building, focus on earning links with the great content instead of user generated links.
Also, customers want a consistent experience. So, in the SEO strategy, the brand message should be consistent in all digital channels, whether it is content, social media or advertisement.
--Jitesh Keswani, e-Intelligence
We obviously can't overlook current events when we talk about SEO in 2020. If you look at Google Trends, COVID-19 is on everyone's minds. SEOs should start preparing for the long-term fallout of COVID-19, particularly in the financial realm. Now's the time to optimize for semantic ideas related to finances, including keywords with the word coronavirus.
--Kenzi Wood, Kenzi Writes LLC
Constantly be on the lookout for ways to make your site cleaner, faster, and easier to use. Simply changing your add-to-cart button color can increase your conversion a large amount, as can adding a guest checkout option. Make sure you're keeping up with other websites when it comes to usability. You need to be careful, though. Sometimes what isn't broken isn't worth fixing. Make sure you test a new layout, color, or design before making a permanent change. Also, the tiniest technical issue can cripple your conversion rate, so you need to have trust your web development staff when making these changes.
5 most effective ways for improving conversions.
High quality images and /or video on your product pages
Well tested checkout process
Guest shipping option
Decrease loading time
--Tyler Brooks, JAM paper
One of the major things that changed in SEO is that nowadays, optimizing for a keyword is no longer enough. When you take a look at the search results for a certain term, you will notice that the results on the first page aren’t heavily optimized for the keyword you searched for, but at the same time, they perfectly answer your search query.
In other words, Google got a lot better at figuring out the search intent - and giving you exactly the information you need, regardless of the keyword you type in. Moreover, it’s becoming evident that keywords themselves have lost the importance that they in recent years. The only thing that really matters is writing the best piece of content that meets the searchers’ needs perfectly.
--Malte Scholz, Airfocus
Search engines and SEO are ever-changing, fluid entities and 2020 is no different. The biggest thing I think that SEOs will need to keep an eye on is more crowded SERPs. There are more map packs, knowledge panels, ads, etc. than ever before. It's becoming more and more rare that the first page of SERP is just '10 blue links' -- this makes it imperative that SEOs understand all the different ways to get their brands on the first page of SERPs.
SEOs can look at this in two ways. 1) Our space is shrinking and there's more noise to compete with. 2) There are more opportunities to have first page real estate now.
The SEOs who look at it from the #2 lens will find that there are more tools in their toolkit and more opportunities to increase visibility for their brands in SERPs.
--Chris Wilks, BrandExtract
In my opinion, there will be two outstanding tips for SEO 2020 is Outreach and Voice Search SEO. Because nowadays devices like Alexa, Echo, Google Home, Apple Homepod, etc. gradually getting lots of interest from the people, it will sure that the next evolution in SEO is voice search optimization. While content remains the same and equally important as it has now. And many content writers are available globally but still, opinions from different industry specialists or experts will give more importance and useful to the readers and that will happen through the Outreach method.
So, for every SEO expert or agency, these two will play a crucial role in their SEO strategy and will give much more benefit to their clients if done properly. If any freelancer or an SEO agency still not used these two strategies then this is a good time for them to go with it.
--Tarun Gurang, iFour Technolab
Adjust the topic of content to the needs and intentions of the target group and, additionally, strengthen it with key phrases.
It is not about writing long text that is inconvenient to read on mobile devices but about making it attractive for people who need a quick answer to the question.
Content builds credibility and it’s one of the most important factors that convince users to stay on the website!
It is worth paying a lot of attention to analyzing seasonal trends or unexpected events, such as the current global situation related to the threat of an epidemic. Of course, if you have something really valuable for users to say on this topic.
You cannot forget about the proper optimization and readability of the content. Take care of the document structure, use headers (H1, H2, H3), highlight the most important sections, include attributes in the pictures. All to make your content easier to find and then perceive.
--Irena Zobniow, Insightland
There is one specific, slightly alarming trend coming up. The rising popularity of correlation tools like SurferSEO is going to impact content quality significantly. As these tools analyze top-ranking competitor articles and provide insights into the words, keywords, length, etc., of content pieces, articles are going to start to look a lot alike. That means site visitors will be missing out on good content that goes the extra mile and is unique, as people may try to optimize content specifically for ranking with the help of these tools. Basically, the more people use these correlation tools, the more all articles on a certain keyword will look alike, which ends up as a net loss for site visitors.
--Domantas Gudeliauskas, Zyro
SEO today is practically unrecognizable from the way it was in its early years. Shady practices like keyword stuffing that helped low-quality sites dominate search results in the beginning have been stamped out by Google through earth-shaking changes to its algorithm. Today, only websites with quality content have a chance to rank high in the SERPs. Content, indeed, has regained its status as king, and will remain so for the foreseeable future.If content is king, then video is well on its way to becoming the king of content judging by the way they show up in search results. Video is 50 more times more likely to appear on Page 1 of the SERPs than pages with only written content. Then again, that doesn’t mean you should do away with written content. On the contrary, it’s advisable to publish longer content, if only for its ability to increase dwell time.Of course, optimizing for mobile is still something webmasters must pay attention to in 2020 and beyond. More than 80% of Internet users are on mobile after all, and you can only expect that figure to rise with each passing year.
--Shawn Bryne, My Biz Niche
With the release of Google's BERT algorithm update, plan to create content that more holistically address the entire conversation compared to chasing keywords and hoping you will rank. The goal should be to create a group of content that delivers what your audience is looking for and simultaneously meets your business objectives.
--Matt Edstrom, GoodLife Home Loans
In 2020 and beyond, mobile optimization is an important component to consider in instituting a successful SEO strategy. For instance, as an E-commerce business, we have seen a direct positive correlation between increased mobile enhanced pages, organic traffic, and SERP rankings. Enhancing pages for mobile usability is a relatively simple process, and requires web pages incorporate image optimization, avoid large text blocks, display smaller text sizes, and eliminate pop-ups. Additionally, enabling accelerated mobile pages (AMP) further increases mobile accessibility, and subsequently, dramatically improves organic search rankings.
On a side note, web pages incorporating schema.org structured data via JSON LD are leaving significant impressions on organic search engines. Including structured data within your website enables search engines to easily read your site, and increase SERP rankings. Additionally, schema markup allows Google to display rich snippets, such as reviews and prices, which further improves CTR.
--Bill Joseph, Frontier Blades
In the mid-2000s, keyword-stuffed articles seemed to dominate the first page of the SERPs regardless of whether the content was relevant to the user seeking answers. Since the Google Panda update in 2011, high-quality and relevant, valuable content changed SEO for the better. One thing that I think will be of greater importance in 2020 and beyond will be refining the keyword research process to understand user intent. Instead of a set of keywords, a focus on topics. Google is evolving into more of a problem-solving tool than just a search engine, and mastering how to solve peoples' problems will be of greater importance as it will provide more value to the user.
--Alex Azoury, Home Grounds
In reference to your query about how SEO has changed, I work as a PR & Outreach Executive at Colewood Internet. Here my job entails working in SEO day-to-day. It is a known fact that Google is one to continually update algorithms quite often so these are some of the trends I expect to see during 2020.
In 2017, there were around 33 million voice search queries, suggesting that the more people use voice search, the more people will use it the way they type for search queries.
Around 87% of the internet use their phones to access the online world, with around 40% of them transacting on mobile. Thus, it's vital that you build sites for mobile first and then make them compatible for desktop interfaces.
Given the current situation of the pandemic we are currently facing, local results is one of the top trends. This is due to people being in lockdown, they would want to be searching for local results as the restrictions placed on the public to go outside of their homes means they would be unable to travel very far from home.
--Umarah Hussain, Colewood Internet
Google continually changes its algorithm, which affects the work of SEO specialists. Despite numerous technical changes (i.e., the introduction of new link attributes or changing the AI for better understanding of the query context), the core principles remain the same.
In 2020, we still need to create meaningful content for users, not something keywords-staffed for the search engines. We still need to use ethical methods of link building. We still need to make sure that our websites load fast and are easy to navigate. The only dramatic change is that Google is getting better with spotting and penalizing the sites that utilize black hat techniques.
--Kevin Miller, The Word Counter
Relevancy beats authority.
Up until recently big sites in any niche dominated said niche because of their authority. They ranked for everything without even trying.
But now, Google has gotten to the point where they can understand text and content much better and are thus able to rank less authoritative pages that are highly relevant to the query people type in Google. This is an excellent opportunity for smaller websites to compete and beat much stronger websites. Right now, it's a true David vs Goliath situation and David wins, and his slingshot is a well-chosen long tail keyword:) So, my tip for your readers- target a long tail keyword that is relevant to your business, and write an article optimized around it. Don't worry about the big guns ranking, because they rank with authority alone, and they don't intentionally target long-tail keywords. You can beat them!
--Nikola Roza, nikolaroza.com
One thing that drives SEO growth for my work is building “backlinks to your backlinks”, the so-called staircase strategy. If I publish a guest post on a new site, I mention my existing, related articles with a backlink. Whenever I find or finish an article which links to my site, I write a summary and share it on Reddit. With this approach, you win in multiple ways: traffic to your articles increases, at the same time you get stronger backlinks, and on top of that you make the publishers of your (guest) posts happier as you help to promote their blog/website - a guarantee to work together in future.
--Peter Thaleikis, bring your own ideas Ltd.
I have noticed savvy human and non-human website visitors demonstrate increasingly patience with fluff content. They land. They leave. They don't come back again. You don't rank well in search results. Visitors don't convert.
With many people restricting their movements and working from home, now more than ever is the time to stop producing useless content. It clutters the Internet, wastes valuable time and resources, and satisfies no one. Instead, produce quality content - content that is well researched and cited, easy to find, digest and understand, up-to-date, accurate, unique, and valuable.. Useful content empathizes with your audience, understands what it is they're trying to do, and helps them do it.
Stop spinning your wheels producing inconsequential content. Invest wisely. Survey the landscape to identify unmet information wants and needs and satisfy them. Satisfy them better than anyone else. Then promote the heck out of it.
--Donna Duncan, B-SeenOnTop
In 2020, every organization, no matter industry or size, should leverage a technical, cloud-based SEO crawler that can accurately crawl environments with new code and automatically flag critical issues that the new release will potentially cause. These crawlers are able to review hundreds of domains simultaneously to drive higher SEO. As our world becomes more virtual-led and we continue to move critical assets online, the importance of leveraging SEO tools will only increase.
--Michal Magdziarz, DeepCrawl
*1. Focus on Search Intent:*
Google aims to provide users with the foremost relevant result for their query. Google has stated its mission is to “Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” So yeah, that’s a small amount of a giveaway.
Your content should align with the “3 C’s of search intent” which are Content type, Content format, and Content angle. Take help from the search results and top-ranking pages to truly understand what people want to see or what they are looking for. According to that, you can provide content.
*2. Implement FAQ Schema:*
FAQ Schema behaves as customer support content, which suggests the possible queries related to the product or service that users might want to know. Google likes this type of content because users can find more information with less effort.
There are so many plugins, and extensions are available in the market to implement FAQ Schema. Just install it, add your question and answer and implement on the relevant page. One of the major advantages of the FAQ schema is that It improves CTR.
--Boni Satani, Zestard Technologies
For some odd reason many people believe that SEO may be dead in 2020. I'm here to assure you that it's not. SEO is alive and kicking ha! But it's changing, like anything should be in the digital space. Things to focus on for 2020 in SEO are:
- Backlinks. Backlinks are a vital and very significant ranking factor for search engines. Good backlinks not only show Google that the site can be trusted but they are also significant for domain ranking and page authority scores. This isn't to say that you can get any site up and running and just get good backlinks. Good content is also key.
- Content is King. If you're an SEO you've heard that saying & it's still very relevant. Ensuring your site has relevant & quality content that is optimized is essential. Make sure you're answering your audience's questions with images, infographics, listicles & simple long form content.
- Technical SEO & User Experience (UX). I believe that the first thing to look at when an SEO has been asked to audit a site is the site's overall health. Ensuring your site is not only healthy but has a good user experience is very important. Technical SEO & UX go hand in hand. For example, if your site's page speed score is really low & takes forever to load, users will not be happy with the experience and likely bounce.
- Structured Data or Structured Markup. Structured data better explains the context of your site to a search engine as well as letting search engines know how the elements of your site relate to each other. This allows for not only your users to better understand your site but also for search engines to do so as well. If your site is understood well by a site then the likelihood of it performing better on search engines is high, when combined with other strategies as well.
--Laila Mahran, Upgrow
*1. Optimize content by user intent.* When writing content, it is important to optimize it for your customers and not for the search engines. Plus you need to respond on the user intent. There are tools, such as cognitiveSEO Keyword Tool and Content Optimizer that makes each keyword based on intent: information, commercial or branded. And allows you to optimizer dedicated content for each type of keyword. *2. Don’t underestimate the power of creative technical SEO. *Fix any issues you might have and make your website crawlable. People often neglect testing their website and that can bring lots of issues. By is a way to get some huge wins. *3. Build your website on a strong foundation based on keyword research and data analysis*. I would recommend you build your site architect and plan the content for your website by taking into consideration accurate keyword research and optimization. Your website should be a customer-centric destination. *4. Understand what your audience is searching for*. Perform various tests and analyze your audience to see what do they search for and if your website is in their search results.
--Andreea Sauciuc, cognitiveSEO
In 2020 you have to work more on your content writing skills as search engines are preferring audience-focused content. It has been that users are not happy with the keyword-rich content experience as content writers are focusing more on keywords rather than the quality of the keywords, and it has lowered the conversion rate.
1. Now the game of SEO is not about the keyword-rich content but value-rich content. Focus on the ideal avatar of your client, which is often overlooked.
2. You need to know about your target audience and their needs or what their searches are about. Understanding and focusing on this will help you create better and compelling content for your audience.
3. Try to resolve the issues of your audience that they face during the search. Know their search struggles and why they are facing problems during the search. You can get knowledge about this through an online survey.
4. You can make your content competitive by adding unique and high-quality graphics and videos.
5. Go one-on-one, talk with your audience, ask their experience and opinions about your site and content or what they think or suggest to you about your content or website.
--Brandon Foster, my school supply lists.
*SEO increases the visibility of any website in the search returns in order to drive more organic visitor to the websites. But like everything, SEO trends are evolving and changing every year. A few most notable SEO trends to keep your eyes on in 2020 and beyond are shared here.*
*Find Topic based keywords*
*Keywords or keyphrases will remain equally relevant, if not more in SEO trade in 2020 and beyond. The perspective of Google’s search protocol in analysing keywords has been evolved. But SERP’s primary logics still operate on keywords and hence, keyword research remains as the core of SEO strategy. Instead of finding direct keywords, find a group of similar topics and use those as long tail keywords. For Example: Google Adsense definition, Google Adsense utility, Google Adsense jobs etc. In order to find the keywords which are mostly used be the users, find the most clicked keywords than the most searched keywords.*
*Influencers will be key factors*
*Effectiveness of your contents is determined by the engagement metrics. Google will be using engagement metrics more intensely to quantify and evaluate your contents before determining the ranks in the search returns. The most tracked engagement metrics are bounce rate, dwell time, time on page, return visit, social shares, comments etc. Influencers play the most direct role to boost the engagement metrics, because by their influence people and visitors move towards brands. So influencers are going to be one of the most important factors in any SEO strategy in 2020 and beyond.*
*Voice search will rule SEO*
*Today 60% of smartphone users below 25 years perform voice search every day and 75% of smartphone users have used voice search at least once in the last 6 months. Trends reveal that voice based shopping is going to be nearly $40 billion by 2022. All these info tell that voice search optimization will be the most vital part of any SEO strategy. The voice search queries which are verbally used as direct questions will dominate the voice search in the coming years. Hence SEO experts must concentrate on flexing their muscles in voice based SEO in 2020 and beyond.*
--Andrei Vasilescu, DontPayFull
My number one SEO for 2020 is for Webmasters, SEOs and content marketers should focus highly on satisfying search intents by picking the right query and creating content that completely answers that query.
Although Backlinks are still relevant for rankings but less focus would be placed on that. And more on helpful contents.
Satisfying search intent is all about giving people what they want and how they want it presented to them. Nothing more less.
--Khris Steven, Khrisdigital
During the crisis, SEO is dormant overall. Unless your brand is a part of the cure or is following the news cycle, it's hard to compete. This is a great time to plan new content and start writing it. The sooner you can launch your content that has depth and expertise, the faster it will age on Google.
Content doesn't rank overnight, so make sure to promote it on social media and do outreach to bring attention to your content. The second aspect is building relationships with influencers that can help your business. It's important to launch this as apart of your outreach strategy.
--Mike Zima, Zima Media
The most doable tip you can start doing right away is to get your basics right, so you don't have to worry every time Google announces their updates.
-- Technical SEO: make sure that your website is mobile-friendly, responsive and fast loading.
-- Content Optimisation: make sure that your content is of high quality. Don't just write something for the search engine but write some informative content that might be helpful for your audiences.
-- Backlinks: the quality always comes before the quantity when it comes to the backlinks. I would recommend treating your SEO campaign as a long term and infinite game. When you have to choose between using some quick and tricky method and difficult but useful and high-quality to get the results, always choose the latter.
--Fonthip Ward, Noria