Google makes around 500 to 600 changes to its algorithm each year. These changes, mostly minor, are made so that users enjoy the best experience.
In October of 2019, Google released BERT. BERT is designed to identify user intent from a search query. Changes in search engine algorithms have an impact on SEO. When BERT came out, there was a lot of noise and uncertainty.
However, Google is staying consistent with its guidelines for providing users with the content that they are searching for and providing valuable user experience.
SEO in 2020 is going to change some things. But for others, SEO is going to remain the same.
Here is what you need to know about SEO in 2020:
1. Think about the search intent.
Search intent is becoming increasingly important and will continue to gain prominence in the future.
With BERT out on the streets of the internet, if you’re not providing users what they are searching for, you’re not going to rank high.
There are four types of intent.
Informational intent is when users are trying to learn about something or gain information.
Navigational intent is when users are trying to get to a particular website.
Transactional intent, when users want to buy or sell something on the internet.
A commercial investigation is when users are finding information about a particular product or service, they might want to use in the future.
When creating content, a trick to rank well would be to include the question in your content along with its answer.
In 2020, you’re going to need to go beyond keyword research and identify the intent behind a keyword. By doing this, you’ll be able to maintain if not better your rankings.
By providing a one to one response to a search query, you’ll be able to rank higher on the search engine results page (SERP).
2. Optimize for mobile.
People are using their mobile phones to browse through the internet. In the US, more than half of all organic search engine visits are generated from mobile phones. Provide best live chat app support and optimize as much you can for mobile devices as well.
Around 30% of mobile searches are related to location.
Make sure that your website is responsive and has a quick load time. Each second is precious for your website. The longer your site takes to load on mobile phones, the higher your bounce rate will be, an indicator that people aren’t getting what they wanted on your website.
3. Keep building meaningful backlinks.
Backlinks are going to continue to be an integral part of SEO.
Backlinks from reliable websites such as a news outlet or an educational institution’s website are really good indicators that show Google that your website is trustworthy as well.
If you want to get on the first page of Google, you’re going to need fantastic content and backlinks, loads of backlinks.
One of the easiest ways to build backlinks is by guest posting (like this article!).
All you need to do is to find relevant and trustworthy websites that accept guest posts. Read their guidelines and submit great content.
While backlinks are necessary to your overall SEO strategy, you also need to focus on your outgoing links. Link to reliable and competent websites with high domain authority, and you should do fine.
4. Focus on creating content that provides value.
Content that doesn’t provide value is not going to sustain itself.
If your content is not able to provide what a user is looking for, Google is going to decrease your ranking, regardless of the number of backlinks you have or how good your website looks.
Without paying attention to search intent, and develop content that caters to a particular search query, you’re going to get steamrolled by others who do.
Visual content like infographics tends to do really well. If people feel that they got value from your website, they might consider sharing your content within their circle so that you might get even more views and possible shares.
Video content like tutorials do exceptionally well. If you optimize the title, description, tags, for each video you upload, you’re going to see much better results. People who want to see tutorials will see your content first. If you provide value, they’ll get what they need and stick around longer.
5. Pay attention to videos.
Video content is challenging to produce. Especially if you’re a little camera shy. But video content is on the path to be a key driver of online traffic.
Cisco says that by 2021, online video will make up 80% of all online traffic.
Video can be a massive opportunity for you if you can make a few changes.
The first thing that you need to do is to create excellent video content. You don’t need a production studio. All you need is your smartphone and some sunlight. Once you get the hang of things, consider investing in some lights and a good quality microphone.
Once you have your video content ready, you need to embed it on your website.
Make sure to do video SEO. That includes your video title, description, and tags. Another thing that you should do is to organize parts of your video so that it is easier for you to be the featured snippet.
Provide a transcript to your videos as YouTube can transcribe your videos with a hundred percent accuracy (yet).
6. Voice is here to stay.
Voice searches are becoming increasingly popular among adults and teens alike. According to a study, 41% of adults and 55% of teens use voice search more than once a day.
But before you start optimizing for voice, you need to step up your regular SEO game.
According to a study conducted by Brian Dean from Backlinko, Google tended to source voice search answers from the top three pieces of the content present on the search engine results page.
Adding a question and answer will also optimize your content for voice searches. Ranking in a featured snippet helps your voice search as well.
All of these techniques, except for adding a question and answer in your content, are difficult and will take time.
7. Make your website secure.
Google evaluates your website based on expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.
E-A-T plays a vital role in your site’s overall performance.
Making sure that your website is secure for its visitors and yourself should be a top priority. If a website visitor sees a pop up that says that your website is not safe, he’s going to run away and probably not come back.
An unsecured website can be easily compromised by malware.
Switch from HTTP to HTTPS to ensure security. While there may be some negative impacts when you make the switch from HTTP to HTTPS, they are worth it.
However, if you make the shift carefully or hire a professional to do it for you, you might mitigate the risks associated with the migration altogether.
To make your site even more secure, consider getting an SSL certificate. An SSL certificate will help keep data secure between servers, might increase google rankings, and increase customer trust on your website.
8. Don’t forget about the visuals.
Visual content is eye-catching and makes you stop your scrolling. Visual content will continue to see more growth in 2020.
Including high-quality infographics and images in your content increase the chances of your content getting more shares on social media, which is another good indicator.
Visual searches are also on the rise. With Google Lens, you to take a picture from your smartphone to find out precisely what you’re looking at.
Currently, Google Lens can identify around a billion different objects, which is pretty cool.
There are a few major (among many) things that people want to do with visual search, including shopping, learning more about landmarks, getting directions, nutritional information, etc.
To optimize for visual search, you can do a couple of things, including having fresher content on your website, images are at the top of the web page, and the web page has some decent authority.
9. Get local.
Local SEO is vital for your overall rankings.
If you run a coffee store’s website, you’ll want to pay close attention to local SEO as it will have a significant impact on sales.
Make sure that you list your business on as many directories as possible. Google My Business should be the first place that you list your business on. Make sure to keep your contact information and address consistently in all listings.
SEO will continue to change as search engines get smarter and make conscious decisions to put the user’s needs first.
SEO professionals who are not paying attention to these fast and successive developments will keep producing content designed for search engines and not people, which is not the best thing to do anymore.
By keeping up with the latest trends, you can maintain and perhaps even improve your search engine rankings.
Make changes to accommodate voice searches, visual searches, local searches, etc. in your overall SEO plan, and you’ll see an improvement.
HamzahAdil is a digital marketing executive who usually writes about business and entrepreneurship. SEO, social media, technology, and viral trends are some of his other interests. He’s currently working for a startup that has developed a new live chat application called SwiftChat. Live chat software helps businesses increase sales by pushing highly relevant offers to their website visitors at a reasonable price. Website: https://www.swiftchat.io