Where is SEO going in 2020?
SEO is a constantly evolving tool as search engines such as Google are regularly tweaking the algorithms that determine your search ranking to improve the search engine’s ability to identify high-quality content and the correct websites to deliver to viewers when they are searching for it.
1. Mobile SEO
Some of the most popular websites on the internet are now built to be user-friendly on mobile devices. This means that a website should be built in a way that a viewer is able to have the same experience on a laptop, a tablet, or a phone, despite the differences these mediums have in terms of screen space, screen orientation, and usability.
The reason why this is so important and is a growing trend with SEO is that searching for information on a website and on a phone is a much more nimble and instant way for people to use a search engine. This is because a phone is always on hand in your pocket, even when you are temporarily away from your laptop.
2. Link Building & Brand Building
Creating many fishing hooks all over the internet is a growing method that is being used by the world’s top marketers in order to boost organic traffic to their website and improve their search ranking. To be more specific about this, leaving links to a brand’s website on many different websites across the internet improves the chances of a viewer being directed to that brand’s main website.
To give this a practical example, many marketers have realized that answering questions about their industry on websites such as Quora is a frictionless way to subtly name drop their brand and provide a link to their website which then acts as a backlink for the viewer to click on and be redirected.
The growing trend with backlinks is to include as many of these links as possible across websites such as Quora, on affiliate websites, other channels, and the list goes on.
3. Voice Search
Since the introduction of voice-activated virtual assistants on computers and mobile phones such as Siri in 2011, voice search has become more and more popular as a means to quickly search for information when it is not possible to manually type keywords into a search engine. An example of this is someone who is busy driving a car but wishes to search for the best steakhouse in their area for a booking that evening. They can ask Siri to search the internet for “steakhouses near me” and the virtual assistant will pull up a list of search results. While this technology is already a few years old, it is becoming more refined in an attempt to make it more reliable and useful as a replacement for a manual search.
4. Featured Snippets
Featured snippets are king when it comes to finding information quickly. These snippets appear above both paid and organic searches and they are generated when the Google bots find information that perfectly answers a search query. The snippet provides a brief description of the content on a specific website relating to the search query and provides this to the viewer at the top of the search results with the aim of it answering their query without even needing to enter a website.
The reason this is important for boosting SEO is that this little snippet may be enough to pique a viewer’s interest which prompts them to enter the website through a link attached to the snippet. In order to make sure that your website takes advantage of this feature, make sure to include relevant keywords so that the Google bots know exactly what the content on your website is about, and which questions it is able to answer.
This one is huge… Influencers are a growing trend, particularly on social media that have afforded marketers the opportunity to tap into large audiences by offering influencers free products/services or a fee in exchange for exposure of a markers product/service offering. Influencers are seen everywhere and are a great way to gain viewers trust in a product/service since their favourite Facebook celebrity endorses it.
Influencers help increase your search ranking because they can assist in generating natural backlinks to your website which ultimately increases your organic traffic volumes and site ranking.
6. Digital Experience
With competition for a viewer’s attention becoming more and more cutthroat on the internet (due to more and more websites being made daily), creating a “competitive advantage” over other websites has become a big focus in SEO. In order to make their own website more appealing to a viewer, marketers have started to focus on maximizing the digital experience of the viewer when they are visiting their website. To elaborate on this, websites are now moving towards creating faster page speeds, easily navigable webpages, and increasing functionality with other integrated applications to make the customer experience of a viewer on that website better, as marketers have realized, much like we have known for decades in physical retail marketing, that a great customer experience is likely to produce a repeat buying or a viewer who returns to your website in the future.
7. Content Length
Please… please… PLEASE do not ever create long, boring, and uninformative content on your website. This is the biggest turn off for viewers who are looking for information quickly and have no issue with finding another website if they feel that their search problem is not being solved after 30 seconds of being on your webpage
In 2020, viewers want to look at content that gets straight to the point and lets them know instantly if they are wasting their time by reading through your blog post. Finding the correct content length is all about exercising the balance between producing enough useful information to the viewer, while not providing too much “filler” information that they get overwhelmed or disinterested.
Search engines have learnt that correct content length is key in high-quality websites, and that is why they are rewarding websites that have a good amount of content that answers viewers’ questions and does not create too much dwell time in the user experience.
Video is key in 2020! Nothing grabs a viewer’s attention like video, and it is especially powerful when paired with text in order to support an argument, learning or other content types. Many companies have started to create YouTube videos to include alongside their blog content or help center articles because viewers feel that this is a more efficient and more entertaining way of receiving information.
Usually, the inclusion of a video translates into much higher volumes of traffic compared to traditional text-style content. And as you know by now, higher traffic volumes mean higher search ranking!
Google has implemented a system that they call E-A-T, standing for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. This system is used to evaluate the credibility of a website, and the elements mentioned above should be taken seriously when designing a website and creating content for it.
To elaborate on this, Google analyses the expertise of the content displayed on a website based on the credentials of the brand attached to the website, meaning that if your website is providing information about digital marketing but their area of expertise is actually selling cat food, Google is going to rank the expertise of that content pretty low. Therefore it is important to provide content where the expertise of the publishing website or the author is clearly displayed such as attaching the name of the credible author, or just providing content that your website is known for and has experience with.
Similarly, with Authoritativeness, Google will do a search on an author of the content and see if they are mentioned on websites with authority. This means that if an author is only mentioned on Twitter or Facebook, they will have a lower score than an Author who is mentioned on a hugely popular blog or article focusing on a specific topic.
Lastly, the Trustworthiness of a website is based on its rating as a non-spammer which is determined not only by its reputation but also by the network of other websites that it has interacted with.
So in order to maximize your Google E-A-T score and boost your search ranking, all you need to do is make sure that the content you are publishing is from an author who has verified expertise on the subject and is “known” on the internet from their presence on other websites that have notable authority. Lastly, your website should only interact with other trustworthy websites and not those that have been “blacklisted” as part of spam, scam, or untrustworthy network.
Grow With SEO
Now that you know what the current talk with SEO in 2020 is, it’s time to work on the search ranking of your own website and use the current trends to take your website from ghost town to bustling city filled with organic traffic.
Like what you hear about SEO? Take a look at our blog on The Best SEO Tools In 2020 to dive into even more ways that SEO can boost your website.