2020 SEO Trends To Know Part 1

With it being the last month of 2019 it is time to get started prepping for what the SEO world will have to offer us come the new year. With the latest algorithm updates, Google threw at webmasters the past couple of months and the fact Google is ever-changing in regards to SEO, it is time to start prepping for 2020. To get a head start on the new year lets take a look at what important SEO trends webmasters and marketers will need to know if they want to find success in 2020. Part one of this series will go over the first five SEO trends that are key for 2020 SEO success.

5 Important SEO Trends To Know for 2020

BERT & User-Focused Optimization

Ever since Google dropped the new BERT algorithm, webmasters and specialists have been trying to figure out how to optimize for BERT. A great way to do this is by focusing on user-focused optimization and technical delivery of content. Why you may ask? With BERT, Google is now taking a step to make searching really about intent matching rather than string matching to give searchers the best and most relevant answers to their queries. A search strategist at Hallmark stated

“With users having more options than ever in how they search for things, it’ll be even more important for SEOs to bear in mind the fundamentals of clean architecture and content delivery.”

Rather than writing content to just writing content around search strings users might search, the content will be written with user intent in mind. Rather than relying on keyword research tools, marketers can talk to customers to find out what their audience really wants so they can write content gear towards those wants.

High-Quality, Optimized Content

Just as we learned when we first start off in the SEO world, content is king. This is true because no matter how many changes the SEO world goes through the one thing that has been consistent is how much of an effect content has on a website’s overall SEO success. With any type of content your write you need to make sure that it is both valuable and relevant to your audience. As mentioned above, the BERT algorithm will make it so that writers pay extra attention to writing content in a way that is relatable to an audience’s intent rather than focus keywords.

With search engines evolving constantly, your best bet to beat out your competition in rankings is to have the best content on the web for the topic you are writing about. Doing this will allow you to target long-tail searches which are becoming a more common search method with the popularity of voice search. When you focus more on topics rather than chasing keywords and pageviews you will be creating content that addresses an entire conversation your audience may be pondering. Here is a quick checklist of how to properly write focus based content and how to move forward with it:

  • Understand who your audience is and how they search.
  • Understand the intent behind the questions they are asking or problems they need to solve.
  • Give them solutions or answers in the formats they prefer via on-point, quality, and authoritative content.
  • Execute in this fashion for every stage of their journey to create a satisfactory topical experience that serves their needs again and again.
  • Iterate because just because you do it well once doesn’t mean intent won’t change or someone else won’t do something better.

E-A-T

Over the past year, and will continue in 2020, Google has been focusing on providing searchers with the best and most relevant articles based on their queries, from sources that can be trusted. This is where the focus on E-A-T ( Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) comes into play. Google wants to ensure its users that they can trust the sources that are providing content to answer their searches, which is why having a good online reputation is so important and why customer reviews are a huge focal point. Companies that have a poor reputation or customer service issues will have a harder time competing for organic ranking in 2020 and beyond. This is why webmasters should make sure their websites are secure and that the business has positive reviews.

With this, when writing content, you should take the extra time to do as much research as possible for the topic you are writing for. That way you can provide as much information as possible so that your searchers know they are reading from an expertise source. For technical aspects of your website, ensure there are no 404 errors, issues that will hinder user experience, and to make sure your website is secure (HTTPS).

UX & Technical SEO

When it comes to important trends to focus on in 2020, user experience (UX) is a major one. This includes the overall experience from the interaction on SERPs to the landing page and then the experience after a user leaves your site (remarketing, personalization for returning users). User experience directly correlates with technical SEO and how a user interacts with your website and how your site delivers the answers they are looking for on your website. Making sure there are no broken links or pages on your site is just the start. You will want to make sure your website’s speed is up to par as more people are using their mobile devices to search and not many will want to wait over five seconds for a website to load. Speed is especially important because, along with secure websites, Google will be letting users know if your website loads slowly with a “slow warning badge.” Adding proper schema markup code and structured data code will help get your website shown on the web in other facets such as on the Knowledge Graph or if you have an FAQ page.  With Martin Splitt, from Google, spending a lot of time promoting good technical best practices, we can take that as a sign that webmasters shouldn’t ignore this trend in 2020.

Mobile SEO

It is no surprise the mobile usage and searching is taking over the web. Almost everyone has a smart device where they can access the internet on the go. With this, come voice search, Google’s Mobile-first indexing, page speed, and other facets you need your website to be up to par with. With mobile being a force in the SEO for quite some time, for success in 2020, you will need to implement 2017 tactics. This means building sites for mobile-first, then make them for desktop so you don’t have to worry about optimizing the website for speed after it is launched.

In addition to a website, with mobile searching, comes mobile SERPs and how they differ from desktop SERPs and how to properly rank for them. Notice the difference and see areas where you can outshine your competition, be it getting on the local-3 pack or have proper schema to appear in knowledge graphs. If you know your website doesn’t have a great mobile presence then you will need to fix that as soon as possible as you are already behind your competition.

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