7 SEO Trends In 2020 To Be Prepared For
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is an ever-evolving beast of the marketing world, and the constant changes within the space are part of what makes it something that is put on the back-burner of many a marketing strategy. However, with Google’s constant algorithm updates (3,200 in the past year alone!), it would be remiss to ignore it.
With 3.2 billion internet users globally making multiple search queries every day (3.5 billion and counting) that lead to millions of websites, the digital landscape is a highly competitive space – to say the least. To make sure the right eyeballs are landing on your website (for terms related to what you are offering – whether a product or service), well-planned SEO tactics are key.
Many businesses end up avoiding doing SEO because they find it daunting, or find that they have a better return from paid media. While it could be true that a short-term, high-spend paid campaign can get the results that you are after, for long-term brand success, SEO is a crucial pillar to your marketing strategy and overall efforts.
As we mentioned, the world of SEO is constantly changing. If you’re thinking about getting your SEO efforts going or getting your strategies in better shape, take a look at our definitive SEO how-to guide. Also, to prepare yourself in 2020, here are 7 key trends that will surface that you can further optimise for:
SEO Trend#1: Voice search – when they speak, be found
Voice search is growing exponentially, and will be the biggest change to hit the SEO space, with 50% of all online searches predicted to be voice-based by next year.
Voice search is all about asking questions in real time, meaning the targeted terms in SEO are more conversational. However, when using voice searches the search engine must do a lot more work to get the relevant information that the user is looking for at that moment. This makes short choppy keywords not so important anymore.
To optimise for voice search, ensure your content is designed to answer genuine queries rather than targeted to a specific keyword or set of keywords.
SEO Trend #2: Local SEO – Location, location, location
46% of all Google searches are location-based, meaning nearly half the searches are primed for local targeting and optimising. 34% of “near me” searches done via desktop and tablets result in store visits. Local optimisation brings your business to the attention of the audience that is most likely to visit you. It also associates you as a recognised business for the particular search term they are found for.
Ensure you claim and optimise listings across Google My Business, Apple Maps and Bing Places, while encouraging your customers to leave a review to increase your brand’s trustworthiness. Also, confirm that your site is mobile friendly, as most of the local searches are done through a mobile device. Voice search ties in here as well, as many times people are looking for businesses to visit as they are moving.
SEO Trend#3: Mobile-first index and UX – it’s all about the experience
You could have a truly responsive website on desktop, but if your mobile version is not user-friendly, you are seriously going to miss out. 52% of global internet traffic comes from mobile users, and this number is only growing with the increasing adoption of smartphones into people’s daily lives.
However, 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 interface has to be easy to read, grab people’s attention and then have the ability to answer their questions or at least keep them entertained. You can check whether or not your website is fully optimised for mobile with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
SEO Trend #4: Video content – Capture their imagination
Current internet users prefer to get information through online videos, either for academic purposes or just for entertainment. This is especially true for millennials and younger audiences. That’s why implementing online video should be on the radar for most businesses. A quality video can attract many users if it is dynamic and doesn’t put viewers to sleep.
To reach more people with your videos you need to optimise it for search users. The description and headline are prime real estate for appropriate keywords. This will ensure that the video creates maximum impact amongst the audience most likely to engage with that subject.
SEO Trend #5: Image search – Look good, feel good
Human beings are visual creatures. In fact, according to MIT, 90% of information transmitted to the human brain is visual. Image search, or visual search, is a rising trend that has come with the rise of artificial intelligence (AI). Images are scanned by AI to understand the elements, and showcase the relevant desired results.
So how do you optimise for visual search? Firstly, it is important to add descriptive alt-text to images including relevant keywords to rank for the right content. It is also key that all image titles, alt tags, file names and image size are optimised for a quicker website and for better context.
SEO Trend #6: Content quality – Don’t say things for the sake of it
Informative and quality articles are the only type of content that will grow a website’s popularity in 2020 and beyond. Online consumers are quick to detect and ignore web pages or blog articles that are too salesy.
Google, or any veritable search engine at that, aim to provide relevant search results to users. That is why when you put up content to rank, they should also be content that helps. This is why sites that try to answer users’ questions better than anyone else ranks higher than those that do not.
Ideally, you should publish high-quality content consistently so that your website will always stay active and fresh in the eyes of Google and its ranking algorithm. Google is also particular about the “dwell time” or the time users stay on a specific webpage. When you write useful content for people, this tends to go up and so does your ranking.
SEO Trend#7: Search engine-focused content – It’s not only what you say, but where as well
Currently, Google is considered the best internet search engine available and they are constantly updating their platform to improve user experience. While it’s unlikely that Google will lose its popularity, there are other search engines out there.
However, platforms like Amazon (which aren’t traditional search platforms) require you to optimise your content based on their standards. Apart from Google, it is also important to consider parameters on search engines like YouTube, Facebook, DuckDuckGo, and Bing. Before posting content on your website, ensure that you can have a good rating on any platform that has search capabilities.
While you prepare your marketing plan for 2020, it is integral that you keep SEO as a cornerstone within it. With the changing dynamics of what SEO can do for your website, make sure you check off all these things:
- Optimise for voice search as well as image search.
- Location-based SEO is key to get your immediate audience engaged.
- User experience is important, and a great way to focus on that is to ensure mobile-first UX designs.
- Image and video based content are key in this visual age we live in.
- Make sure your content is helpful, informative and engaging – and publish regularly. Also, optimise for search engines that are not Google.