Hands up who wants to be found on page 1 of the Google search results page? SEO Trends are constantly evolving and chances are if you’re a digital marketer, website owner or brand, being found on page 1 will be high on your list of 2020 goals. In a nutshell, mastering your SEO efforts will skyrocket your listing to the top when someone types a query for which you have an answer or solution, leading to increased organic traffic to your website.
So whether you’re looking for an overview of what’s new in SEO or a refresher to your current SEO strategy, the follower pointers will guide you on what to work on for the rest of 2020.
1. Featured Snippets Dominate
Featured Snippets usually appear above the number #1 organic result, commonly referred to as “Position 0.”
To take advantage of this feature and drive more clicks to your website, you need to provide clear answers to commonly asked questions on your website. Don’t take this trend lightly, as 54.68% of clicks from Google come through from Featured Snippets.
2. Leverage influencers for SEO
Collaborating with an influencer or ambassador can be a super credible way you amplify your brand awareness and generate more traffic to your website. They can also help you build valuable backlinks which Google favours highly when ranking your web page. So next time, you’re developing an influencer strategy, make sure to plan how they can create fresh, relevant content to your industry and link it back to your website.
3. Secure Your Website
User safety is paramount to the website’s user experience. How many times have your clicked away from a site for looking sketchy or from seeing a “page not secure” warning? It’s no surprise that high bounce rates are detrimental to the position of a page in the organic search listings.
For this reason, we highly recommend enabling HTTPS protocol for your site. HTTPS gives website users a secure connection that is both encrypted and authenticated to deliver a secure browsing experience. So Google is likely to reward those who implement thus boosting your SEO ranking.
4. Voice Search Optimisation (VSEO)
With the growing use of mobile devices, voice searches are becoming a popular trend among internet users. Voice searches affect SEO in a big way since it’s all about asking questions via voice instead of entering search queries. Subsequently, the terms have become much more conversational and targeted.
However, this means search engines need to work harder to segment the relevant information that the user is looking for, making short, choppy keywords not so important anymore.
5. Mobile UX Will Determine Your Rankings
Your website MUST be optimised for mobile because of the sheer amount of people using mobile. This is a trend that is only continuing to be built with studies show that 4 in 5 consumers conduct local searches on search engines using their mobile devices; searches on smartphones are 88% while searches on computers and tablets combined make up 84%.
6. Artificial intelligence will continue to evolve
The most recent step in this progression of artificial learning is the introduction of Google’s Bidirectional Transformers for Language Understanding (BERT), a neural network-based technique for natural language processing. Google itself says that the algorithm represents “the biggest leap forward in the past five years, and one of the biggest leaps forward in the history of Search. This means for webmasters and SEO experts alike, it’s more prevalent that ever to write “content for users”.
7. YouTube is the new TV
In tandem with the rise of voice activated search, studies from Google and other organisations are showing that 6 out of 10 people would rather watch online videos than television. Millennials and younger are preferring to consume content, be it academic or entertainment in video format. From an SEO perspective, you will have a better chance of reaching your audience by using appropriate keywords in the description and headline of your video along with tagged by category.
8. CTR and Dwell Time
In this fast-paced world with high-speed internet connections and information at the click of a button or voice-activated search, users are less and less patient with slow load speeds and poor site navigation. Website and email click-through rates (CTR) and dwell time (aka the amount of time a person spends on a web page before bouncing out) will matter even more to the success of your SEO efforts in 2020.
9. Content is King
Users want content that is relevant, helpful, and timely—and that is what Google tends to reward with higher search engine rankings. People head to search engines with questions, and your web page needs to deliver answers. What people want is educational content delivered to them in easy to digest forms, such as blog posts, step-by-step guides, listicles, instructional videos, podcasts, infographics, etc.
10. Users Value Excellent Digital Experiences
No matter how interesting or relevant your content is to readers, none of that matters if your blog post or web page doesn’t load quickly enough or if it has a complex user interface. In fact, even a 1-second delay in page load time can result in a huge loss for your business.
Having taken the above trends on board, it would be remiss not to work on building your brand & reputation online to solidify your SEO efforts…
Brand building and reputation are essential components of modern SEO. Brand awareness with relevant mentions across multiple platforms (from Google Search to Google Images, Google My Business and Bing Search) can create an enormous impact on your SEO efforts. Getting on board with these gatekeepers allows you further interact with your target audience. Utilising social media listening tools is a handy way for you to monitor every mention of not just your brand, but even the type of service/product you provide.