It’s 2020 and by now everyone knows about Search Engine Optimization or SEO. This is the tool to incorporate popular and frequently searched keywords into your website’s written content.
By doing so, your website optimizes its potential to rank highly in a search engine. And because SEO has now become a well-known strategy, every website that is serious on growing its audience has implemented SEO into its marketing strategy.
So the question remains, “how do I stay ahead of my competition?”
The answer is to familiarize yourself with the top 10 SEO trends for 2020.
1. Say Hello To BERT
In 2019, Google launched a new algorithm named BERT. In short, BERT aims to understand natural human conversation by finishing a user’s typed sentences.
You’ve seen this before: you are writing an email and the suggested words to finish your sentence come up before you type them. This is BERT at work. More importantly, BERT is the first time that digital technology is trying to understand the nuances and context of human language.
So what do you have to do to adapt to BERT?
You need to understand your audience’s intent over keywords. While the importance of keywords is not going away, it is imperative that you understand what exactly your audience wants from your website.
Go for detailed consumer research to understand their wants and needs.
2. Good, no, – Great Content
We have all heard the clichéd phrase “content is king.” Well, as repetitive as it may sound it continues to ring true. As much as video and audio increase in popularity, the demand for great written content has not dwindled.
Firstly, if you haven’t already, make sure that your content team is comprised of skilled writers. The obvious issues of bad grammar, poor sentence structure and over-writing simply cannot fly.
Secondly, you want writers who can:
- Research a topic and understand the audience demand for it
- Understand how to communicate to a particular audience (i.e., style and tone)
- How to incorporate keywords appropriate (not just stuff them in for no reason)
- How to write solutions to problems and Calls-To-Actions (CTA)
Additionally, if you have an editing team, they should work in tandem with the SEO team to be up to date with the latest SEO trends. It does not hurt to go back to your old written content and update it to meet the new standards.
We live in the “fake news” era. As laughable as this phrase may have become, the Internet is sadly full of content that is falsified. Search engines like Google are cracking down on this. Content that is deemed to fit the “fake news” category will get shoved to the back of the line. If you want your content (and your website) to rank highly in a search engine, it must be trustworthy.
Be ethical and create content which states facts and is meticulously researched.
Now, moving beyond fake news, you need your content to be exclusive to maintain trustworthiness. One method for doing this is to emphasize the credentials of your company/website. Are your writers experts in their fields? This should be emphasized. Has your company/website received awards that laud its achievements in an industry? Emphasize this as well.
4. Be Mobile
Search trends on a mobile phone are different from trends on a computer. You have to do your due diligence and research these trends to make sure your content is mobile-friendly. After all, you cannot control whether your content is viewed on a laptop/desktop, or smartphone. You want to have it optimized for both options.
Rather than simply being an avenue of great content, there also has to be a vision behind your website. This vision needs to be made clear to your audience – in short, you need to focus on branding.
To get your writing to build your brand, you should approach your content strategy in a journalistic fashion. Here are the three types of content which should be focused on:
- The Annual Issue: Once a year there should be a focused, preferably long-form, blog post on a particular topic.
- Examples: If your website covers politics there could be a ‘State of the Nation’ annual issue. If you run a financial website there could be a ‘The Market Trends of 2020’
- The Response: If a major event happens in your industry, you want to have a blog post focused on responding to this event.
- Example: If you run a Cybersecurity website, and there was a huge breach of a large corporation, address this issue and what could have been done to prevent it.
- Breaking News: If you do not already, make sure that your website is up to date in writing ‘breaking news’ on a major and unpredictable news story from your industry
As we mentioned, the demand for writing is not dwindling. But the demand for video increases by the minute. Embed videos into your written content to show up higher in search engine results. If you write “how-to” blog posts, then a user is far more likely to read your blog post if there is an accompanying video explaining the “how-to.”
You want others to link to your website. This is called building backlinks and their importance cannot be underestimated. So how do you get this done? Here are a few tips:
- Promote your site to similar services. If you sell textbooks, let every college lifestyle blog under-the-sun know about it!
- Testimonials. Have customers write a great review of your website on their own digital platforms with a link back to your website.
- Add your website to directories. Use discretion, but adding your website to known directories like Yelp! can increase rankings in search engines
Oh, by the way, if you find the business of backlinks to be tricky – we’ve got you covered!
8. Less Is Not Always More
Do not shy away from long-form content in 2020. While you do not need to be excessive, long-form content often dominates the search results. This is because your audience wants in-depth content. The myth of the short attention span has been busted. Do not underestimate your audience’s desire for detailed content.
9. Zero-click Searches
If a potential customer wants to know your company’s phone number, they should not have to peruse your website to find it. It should show up with a quick search and show on the search results page.
While this may not bring a potential customer immediately to your website – in the long-run it helps build your traffic by making your website convenient and user-friendly.
10. Automation and Delegation
As we have established, two of the biggest trends in search engine optimization are branding and identifying your customer’s needs and wants.
With SEO Automation, you can gather quick data to understand your audience. You can use this collected data to decide your branding strategy. Delegate tasks to your team for consumer research, content strategy, and brand building.
Beyond the Top 10 SEO Trends
Now that you know the top 10 SEO trends for 2020, it is time to put them into action. Implement these strategies and watch your website’s traffic grow ten-fold.
As a matter of fact, why not see what SEO packages we’ve got in store for you.
You can thank us later!