2020 SEO Trends That Will Influence Your Business
Since the birth of the internet and the SEO specialist, the landscape has continued to grow and evolve. SEO is very dynamic, adjusting as Google’s algorithms continue to change.
While some things stay the same: put relevant keywords in your titles, make it a priority to optimize for mobile users, etc. The opposite is true and other things continue changing in a never-ending circle.
This, more than anything, defines major SEO trends for 2020, since now we need to find the best ways to stay effective within the framework created by Google and other search engines.
1. Snippets Dominate Search Clicks
As Google continues to evolve over the next few years, they are going to continue to deliver a better search experience for the user. One way Google is updating is the SERP (search engine results page) feature like Featured Snippets.
Featured Snippets will usually appear above the number #1 organic result. This is more commonly referred to as “position 0.”
To take advantage of this feature and drive more clicks to your website, you will need to provide clear answers to commonly asked questions on your website. Google has a way of determining how Featured Snippets are evaluated and get boosted to the top depending on their quality.
Do not take this trend lightly. 54.68% of clicks from Google have originated from Featured Snippets. This proves that they drive more than half of search engine clicks.
Featured Snippets represent a perfect opportunity for content creators since it gives you the ability to generate more organic traffic even if you are not ranking at the top number #1 position.
2. Optimized Zero-Click Searches
Thanks to the SERP features like featured snippets, Google’s Local Packs, Knowledge graphs, and others are now more than half of all searches. These SERP features are often referred to as “zero-click searches.” That means that the user’s query is answered on the SERP itself, without them having to click away anywhere.
Rich snippets are easier to get, and they will also bring lower CTR (click-through rates) improvements compared to a Featured snippet. Your results will be more noticeable, though, even if your position in a SERP will remain the same.
Featured snippets — which is an entire block of information that is shown at the top of a SERP — bring great increases in CTR. But getting one is quite a bit more tricky.
● Start by considering what kind of searches are occurring to produce the zero-click searches. These can be: people looking for your address and phone number. Also, people looking for an answer to a quick and easy question. Those particular clicks probably would not convert anyway and you do not need to worry about it.
● You should identify what keywords can actually bring you clicks. Using Rank Tracker in conjunction with your Google Search Console account. You can analyze which keywords are actually bringing you clicks out of the ones you’re optimizing already. Therefore, you save yourself a whole bunch of time and effort optimizing for queries with keywords such as “when,” “how many,” and so on.
● Getting both of these types of snippets requires that your data is structured. Turn to WebSite Auditor and check if the data on your site is already structured.
● Use Rank Tracker to find opportunities for Featured snippets. Look out specifically for keywords for which your competitors already have a Featured snippet.
3. Local SEO
You will find that with the zero-click searches happen to bee local searches. Which the results are showing on the SERP itself, in so-called Local Packs. For mobile devices, a single Local Pack might take up as much space as an entire SERP shown to a user.
You can optimize this by containing keywords such as “near me” or “address” and “phone number” in one fell swoop, by creating a Google My Business page for your company.
A specific feature of local SEO is that you need to have not just any backlinks, but the ones that Google deems locally authoritative.
4. Influencers for SEO
People often feel overwhelmed by intrusive ads and are looking for information they can trust and authentic reviews. Hence, the rise in influencer marketing on social media channels. People are much more likely to engage with a respected and well-known person than they are with an ad.
Digital marketers and media companies over the past year have been increasing their investment in influencer marketing because it has produced excellent results. According to Linqua, “39% of marketers increased their influencer marketing budget in 2018” and 30% of online marketers were spending between $25k and $50k on influencer marketing.
Hiring or partnering with an influencer can help you amplify your content reach and generate even more traffic to your website. Which can then lead to building valuable backlinks. As you know, backlinks are one of the most important factors that Google uses when evaluating a web page’s ranking.
When developing your influencer marketing strategy, you will need to consider what type of content you want them to create and how it can link back to your website. And be sure to partner with influencers that are relevant to your industry and your audience. If they are an authority figure with a strong digital presence, their backlinks can be gold.
5. Websites Optimized for Voice Search
With the increase use of mobile devices, voice searches are becoming a popular trend among internet users. These searches are not only done on phones, but they can also be performed on home voice assistants such as the Amazon Echo, Samsung Smart TV, and other smart home devices.
Knowing how to optimize your website for voice search can help generate more organic traffic. You should understand and implement conversational searches into your SEO strategy. Tailoring your content to answer questions rather than short choppy phrases will help increase your ranking.
This change is imminent considering that by the year 2020 it is expected that more than 50% of all internet searches will be initiated through voice. Therefore, your content should adapt to this new trend to stand out in the current search engines and cater to what people are searching for and how they are searching.
6. Mobile UX
If you website is not mobile friendly then you are very far behind. As mobile web pages are a growing trend that will get even more popular in 2020. Especially since most people around the world are obtaining smartphones as more cell phone towers are being built with better connectivity.
As we already know, technology and how people find information through their mobile devices is getting so advanced that it’s not enough to just have a mobile website. The website interface has to be easy to read. It will need to grab people’s attention and then have the ability to answer their questions or at least keep them entertained.
Studies show that 4 in 5 consumers conduct local searches on search engines using their smartphones, and other searches conducted on smartphones are 88%.
Your pages must be optimized for mobile devices if you want to keep up with your competitors. And keep in mind that the higher you are in the Google mobile page index, the more prominent your page will be.
7. Videos as a Source of Information
Videos on the internet are also exponentially on the rise, just as voice searches are becoming much more popular. Studies from Google and other organizations show that 6 out of 10 people would rather watch online videos than television.
Having optimized video content will allow you to reach more people with your videos. To do this, use appropriate keywords in the description and headline of your video, this will guarantee that the video reaches the largest number of people who are interested in that subject.
8. CTR and Dwell Time – Important Ranking Factors
People are becoming more accustomed to lightning-fast internet connections and information at their fingertips. Website and email click-through rates (CTR) and dwell time (the amount of time a person spends on a web page before bouncing out (bounce rate)) will matter to the success of your SEO efforts.
Both metrics are equally important as they show greater insight into the satisfaction of the web searcher. The length of time that someone lingers on a page or other links the person clicks on can inadvertently tell you, the marketer, how interested they are in your content and if they are finding the information they need.
In SEO, dwell time is different than CTR in that CTR tracks the number of people who clicked on a link based on the number who saw the SERP, whereas dwell time is more interested in what people do after they click on the page, not the number of people who click on it.
9. High Quality Content
In 2017, there was an estimated $38 billion in digital ad spend waste, meaning that Ninety-one percent of total ad spend is viewed for less than a second. Online ads still work for driving business, but because of the waste we’ll see that they’ll get even more expensive in the coming years.
Because of this, it is important to create a high-quality piece of content, which is an essential element of effective SEO strategies. Users want content that is relevant, helpful, and timely. Plus, Google tends to reward you with higher search engine rankings. People head to search engines with questions, and your web page needs to deliver answers.
Content marketing must be well researched and follow a logical structure that is easy to navigate and read. Studies have shown that pages that have articles of 2,000 or more words usually get more readers than an article with fewer words.
But higher word counts alone is not enough—the content must be comprehensive enough to answer all the questions users have and be able to address closely-related questions.
Ideally, you should be publishing high-quality content consistently so that your website will always stay active and fresh in the eyes of Google and its ranking algorithm.
Informative and quality articles are the only type of content that will grow a website’s popularity in 2020 and beyond. What people want a site that has educational content delivered to them in easy to digest forms, such as blog posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, etc.
According to the Economist Group’s “Missing the Mark” Report, “71% of readers say they were turned off by content that seems like a sales pitch.”
10. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the most important technologies today. It is being used in a wide variety of industries to create unique, personalized experiences for consumers.
Companies such as Google use artificial intelligence to deliver better search results to its users. For years now Google’s been using learning algorithms to improve their users’ experience with search and help avoid keyword-stuffed webpages. In 2020, this will be more important than ever with Google’s latest algorithm named BERT.
With BERT, you should be creating outstanding content. The goal here is not simply to rank for any keyword. In the future and now, intent matching is paramount for creating successful content. Because right now, simply ranking without matching intent will cut you off from a huge number of SERPs.
Every time you think you have figured out SEO, you will see the rules changes. We need to always keep our fingers on the pulse, then, and adjust our work to the new challenges we’re facing, to provide the best results possible for our clients. You can never be stagnant and must be adaptable.
If you are struggling with your SEO, reach out to the experts at Blue Water Marketing. They have a team of experts to help solve your SEO and help increase your ranking on the SERP.
Contact Us today to schedule a consultation today.
11. Internal & Outbound Links
One way to improve your site’s E-A-T is to use internal and outbound links strategically. Linking to your other relevant content pieces inside the new ones you publish as well as outside resources gain authority and trust.
Most site owners are resistant to this practice because they think any link to another site is a distraction that will lead the reader away from their page. However, that’s just not true.
As long as you are not linking to a direct competitor, linking out to other high-quality information sources to prove points, back up research, or add strength to your argument or topic analysis strengthens your E-A-T score.
According to a Reboot study, linking out to other sites shows you associate with them.
If you link out to topically relevant pages that have authority, that counts positively for you. Because you are showing the user (and Google) pages related to yours that may expand and improve their experience.
Boosting Content Marketing ROI
There is not one tactic that is going to gain you more ROI from content, but rather a sleuth of actionable steps. All the above items are interconnected, just like a spider’s web. Each part is important and none will do it all. This is content marketing strategy at work.
If you pour all your focus into one part of content marketing, you will lose the big picture. Do not look at it as if you are looking through a microscope, look at the forest, not the trees. With hard work and patience, the ROI will come.