Table of Contents
Search Engine Optimization in 2020 is an ever-changing world, and getting websites to the top of the search rankings is ever more vital to businesses all over the world. Trends in technology will continue to shift as we interact with the internet in new and exciting ways.
With the advent of 5G, the growing use of smart speakers and the internet of things, and a greater reliance on smartphones, tablets, and wearable tech, internet searches are changing all the time. The algorithms that are employed by search engines will continue to change to accommodate rising technologies. Search engines will seek to deliver relevant content to users based on an ever-expanding set of needs, and it is important that your SEO strategies are angled toward these changes.
With almost two billion websites online standing out from the crowd is a challenge. The prevalence of SEO companies means that your competitors will be pushing hard to rank higher than you.
But if you run a business, you cannot afford to leave your ranking factor to chance, your potential customers want fast results from their searches. People don’t want to trawl through pages and pages of search results, so the answer they seek needs to be at the top of the results page. Search Engine Optimization in 2020 remains ever more important.
See Web Clares SEO tips for 2020 below.
1. SEO Tip for 2020 – Content Is Still King
When it comes to ensuring your website sits high in the search rankings, it is vital to produce consistently good content. While search engines may be crawled by machine, they are still looking for high quality content that is designed to be read by humans. For this reason, when creating content, you should always keep the reader in mind.
Of course, keywords are a crucial tool for getting your content onto the right results page, but once your website is up there with the top results, your content will be read. Beware of practices such as keyword stuffing, as this will always turn your readers off and lead to poor user experience. If you are solely writing your content for the benefit of the search engine algorithms, high rankings will ultimately fail to convert clicks into sales when your human audience is left confused about what you are offering them.
This means that whatever you share on your website should be well-written, readable, and relevant.
When you create content, it needs to be original. With so many websites out there, repetition and plagiarism will cost you dearly when it comes to achieving meaningful rankings. Using tools such as Copyscape will ensure that you are always creating fresh content.
Use Headings In Your Content
Breaking up content by using headings helps your readers go straight to the information that is most relevant to them. If something is easier to read, your users are more likely to share it too, which means more clicks.
But headings and subheadings throughout your content serve a purpose to your SEO strategy too. The search engine algorithms will see your headings and use this information to decide on how relevant your content is.
Keywords Are Key
Understanding the keywords that are the most relevant to your content is important. If you are not sure about which keywords to use, don’t just leave it to chance. Do some research. Use tools that suggest keywords for your content. If required, use the services of an experienced SEO specialist to ensure your content is targeted toward the right search queries.
However, as previously discussed, keyword stuffing can be a very big problem for your site. If you are not using your keywords in a natural way that provides a seamless user experience, then readers will see through it. Ultimately, although your content is designed to be picked up and pushed to the top of the search results through your use of keywords, algorithm updates are getting smarter and more efficient at spotting websites that try and force keywords into their content and neglect the overall readability of the text.
Pick The Right Length For Your Article
The age-old debate surrounding SEO has always been whether longer content yields greater success when it comes to page rankings. But fundamentally, relevance will still beat the length of your content. If you can provide a meaningful response using fewer words, then do so.
But if you want to really understand the length of articles that your user prefers, then you should be using Google Analytics to analyze the popularity of your content. See which pages and posts are getting the most hits. Use the time that users are spending on your page to inform you about whether that content is being read or just glanced at. If your users are just dipping in and out, is it worth pouring time and effort into long-form content that is not beneficial?
Backlink To Your Previous Content
If you want to add value to your content and back up anything that you are saying, add in backlinks. Inserting links back to your own content will help your search rankings, but it also helps your readers to find useful and relevant content from elsewhere on your site.
Using links to credible external sources will also helo your SEO. Not only are you backing up what you are saying, the search engines like to see this.
2. Ranking In Google’s Featured Snippets
If you want your content to rank in ‘position zero’ you need to be aiming to be included in the featured snippets. Designed to answer a user’s question quickly, featured snippets give a comprehensive overview to a search entry.
Being right there at the top of the SERP means that your users will not have to look any further to find the answers that they need. Optimizing your content for featured snippets puts you head and shoulders above the other entries on that first page of the results because of the amount of screen that is given over to this content.
Although featured snippets are generally pulled from the top ten results in any given search, they can come from further down the results if the content is formatted well. 70% of snippets do not come top in their relevant organic searches, so there is a clear opportunity for you to leapfrog this content and get yourself above the pile. Getting yourself up there will require you to make your content as ‘snippable’ as possible.
Using Featured Snippet Friendly Terms
The following search terms commonly do well at getting featured:
Using these terms in your titles, headings, and content may well help you.
Use Featured Friendly Formatting
For your content to get featured, you’ll want to format it in a way that is tailored towards this way of presenting search results.
There are three types of format that Google use in featured snippets
- Paragraphs – A short and concise paragraph that summarizes the answer. This may be posted alongside an image
- Lists – You can create your answers in the form of a list. For example, for an article titled: ‘10 Best Places To Visit In London’ you would list your responses with numbered headings, expanding on the information below each point.
- Tables- Simple image-based tables that deliver information that answers the question in a way that users can easily grasp.
Setting your information out using one of these formats may help it to rank in this way. Getstat states that the most common format is the paragraph, however, it is worth looking at how your competitors are ranking for their featured snippet and setting out your content in that format.
Look For Opportunities
Having questions to answer will give you the angle for you featured snippet focused content. You’ll need to start thinking about the types of questions that users may be commonly searching for.
Make a list of all of the related search questions relating to your specific topic, then search them and see what comes up. This will let you know who you need to beat when it comes to taking that coveted featured snippet spot.
Answer Lots Of Questions
If you can angle much of your content toward providing responses to questions, then the search algorithms will start to see your website as being knowledgable and worthy of using for snippets. By tailoring your content toward this type of search results entry as often as you can, you’ll feature more often.
If you can answer more than one question in the same post, even better. Include multiple questions that surround the same subject and provide responses for all of them at the same time.
Should You Be Concerned About ‘Zero Click’ Searching?
Featured snippets are great in the respect that your content gets pushed to a premium spot above the rest of the search results. But when all of the information that the user is after is laid out for them on the search engine results page, what motivation is there to click on the link?
Another area where this is found is in Google’s Local Pack where local information is presented at the top of a search along with a map and the contact details of the applicable local businesses.
Having all of the relevant information from a site presented to users at the top of the search results will mean that there is no need to visit the website. This ‘zero-click’ searching may seem like a problem, especially if it affects your click-through rate. With more than half of search queries being solved through the use of these means, it may look as though it will be bad for business.
But there is very little need to worry about having your content presented this way within the search engine results page.
If your users are just searching for information from your sites, such as your opening hours or your phone number, then these clicks would not convert anyway. These are potential customers who are using your services or getting in touch with you anyway.
You should instead try to see this type of content presentation as an opportunity.
3.Optimize Your Content For Voice Search
200 million homes have smart speakers, and the numbers are continuously rising. Smart speakers offer users handsfree access to their favourite music while planning your day, controlling your lights and home security, and much more.
Devices like Alexa Dot and Google Home are great for quick responses to internet searches. With people living such busy lives, having their queries answered out loud saves users a considerable amount of time and energy.
But voice search does not just end there. Smartphones come equipped with their own AI, and searches through these are becoming more and more prominent. Think about users who may be driving and have their phones set up to handsfree and need to know the opening or closing times to a restaurant they are planning on visiting.
Getting your content optimized for voice search is vital in 2020. The reason for this is that it is estimated that half of all internet searches will be made via voice. Don’t miss out on being part of that.
Think about the way that people engage with voice search. They ask a question. How do you improve your voice search optimization? By framing your content in a question and answer format. That way, if you are providing a direct response to a potential question, it will fare much better than a body of the text.
Remember those featured snippets? They are often used to create the responses that voice search will read to you. By implementing the same techniques as you would drive your content to the converted featured spot above the SERP, you could also be enhancing your chances of ranking higher in voice search.
4. Artificial Intelligence Is Becoming More Advanced
We are living in the age of machine learning, and this has a dramatic effect on the way that search results will be viewed. Algorithm updates in 2020 will continue to be led by the way in which machines have learned about our search habits.
The more time progresses, the greater the picture they get about how we use technology as a society. This will govern changes to SEO strategy, meaning that future decisions surrounding the way we need to react to technology and interact with it will be made by technology.
5. Mobile Searches Will Continue Rising
Mobile searches have long overtaken those made from a desktop. For half a decade now, searches made from a mobile device have led the way. So much so, that Google uses its smartphone crawlers to index your site.
With nearly half of the population of the world owning a smartphone, it is very clear that your website needs to be completely mobile friendly. This is especially true since the amount of smartphones is only rising, and the percentage of all searches being made from a mobile device will also continue to increase.
This means making sure that your content is optimized for smartphones. Much of this will come down to your website design, so make sure that you work with your website designer to ensure there are no issues associated with images not fitting onto screens.
6. In 2020, The Fundamentals Of SEO Still Remain True
Many of the fundamental elements of SEO remain and, while there may be tweaks to the algorithms used in crawling and indexing websites, you should still do your very best to adhere to the basics, while implementing changes suggested in the changing SEO trends.
There Is Always A Need For Speed
You should always do everything possible to ensure that your page load speeds are maintained at the highest levels. Your potential customers will be making their searches and if your site comes up in the results and they click through to you, but it fails to load quickly enough, they will go to the next site on the search results.
Google generally yields a lot of potential hits to any search query. While relevance plays an important factor in how they prioritize these results, other factors such as the page speed are very relevant. Google, and other search engines, like to get it right the first time. They don’t want to be sending their users to websites that don’t load quickly. The success of a search engine lies in its ability to provide the right information and the right website.
Your website should load within the first two to five seconds. With 40% of users abandoning a page if it has loaded within three seconds, you need to work fast.
So, if your page speed is not up to scratch, your visitors will barely get to see your site before they leave. But fundamentally, if this is a continued issue, then Google may penalize you by knocking you to a much lower position in the search results.
Perform regular checks on your website to ensure it is running fast enough. Check the page load speeds across a range of different devices.
Google Search Console and Google PageSpeed Insights will provide you with some valuable information about the speed that your website is currently loading. This will help you to identify elements of your site that may be causing it to load slowly. This could be elements of your site, such as any plugins. These changes can then be made to improve the speed of your site easily.
Additional speed problems may come from your web hosting. Ensure you have sufficient bandwidth, and if your needs cannot be met by your current host, shop around and find somewhere that won’t hold you back.
Keep Pushing Your Domain Authority
Using tools found of Moz.com and Arhefs, you can find out your domain authority. This will give you an insight into where they believe Google scores you in comparison to other sites.
Building up your domain authority score is a long slow process, and sometimes you may take one step forward and two steps back. However, you should continue to persist.
Your domain authority will look at many different factors. The age of the site, the amount of content that is on there, your on-page SEO, your local SEO, mobile optimization, and so much more.
Use the tools found on Ahrefs and Moz to give you an indication of your performance and to give you an insight into where your SEO strategies may be lacking.
Keep Up With Social Media
Social media has long reached maturity. Facebook will turn 16 this year, and the likes of Twitter are not really that far behind. Social media has become complete entwined with our lives and businesses have become heavily reliant on the opportunities that all social media sites offer. With vast amounts of marketing budgets being spent on the likes of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, YouTube, and Twitter advertising, the reach, and power of social media is undeniable.
Building your brand on social media should go hand-in-hand with your SEO. There are many very real opportunities for organic and viral marketing via social media, and this is no different in 2020.
By using the right social listening tools and analytics on social media to look for brand mentions will mean that you can get in there and engage directly with users that are expressing opinions or interest in what you do.
Continue to share your content through social channels, and use the right tone and language to prompt engagement and sharing.
Local SEO Is Still Vital
Amidst all of the changes to technology, it is clear that we all still exist in the real world and technology enhances our enjoyment of it. If your business seeks to attract local customers, your local SEO strategy should be something that you continue to work on.
This means making sure that you are claiming any local business listings related to your business. The more directories that feature your companies phone number, website, address, and opening hours, the better. Getting your business onto social media will help here too. Use Google My Business and make sure that every single aspect of your business is covered.
Link Building Is Still A Good Strategy
Link building in SEO can still yield good results in the longterm. By earning links to your site on other reputable sites, your reputation will be enhanced. Link building can take time, and an SEO specialist may be able to help you achieve this through the use of techniques such as blogger outreach. This is a technique where influential bloggers are approached and will share your link on their related content.
Having your links associated with reputable sites services to validate your website. The higher the domain score of the site that is hosting your link, the better. Before you head off and look at your link building, make sure your website is fully optimized, and you are doing everything that you can to drive your organic traffic through other forms of SEO. This will ensure that your link building does not appear ‘spammy’ in the eyes of the search engines.
Be sure you take care when you pick the sites you are to be linked on. A well-placed link on a high-traffic website will stand you in good stead and can assert a sense of quality about your blog.
Using SEO Services In 2020
One of the best ways to stay ahead of the game in terms of your SEO is to make use of the services of an SEO specialist. Have your business handled by a team who not only understands your needs but who has their fingers on the pulse. Search engine optimization will put your website at the top of your potential customer’s search results.
A good SEO will be able to direct you toward the type of SEO strategy that you need. After all, every business is different. Using trusted SEO specialists will mean that you’ll be kept up-to-date with any changes in SEO trends that you need to be aware of.
Web Clare offer SEO Packages to suit most businesses.
SEO Tips in 2020: Conclusion
SEO in 2020 looks to be exciting, with greater advancements in AI, voice search, mobile technology, and much more. As with all aspects of search engine optimization, there is always continual change.
Whenever search engines such as Google bring out new ways to improve the user experience, it will always mean that the SEO industry and website owners need to adapt their techniques. Techniques such as voice search featured snippets, and the use of mobile devices will continue to rise, and as they do, there will be algorithm updates. Being ahead of the SEO trends in 2020 will make sure that you are ready for these.
Continued implementation of the basics of SEO will always be needed, though, and your competitors will always be looking to improve their search engine optimization game. If you want to stay ahead of the game, be sure and implement a full SEO strategy for your business and website. The SEO tips for 2020 in this article are a good starting point. This may mean making use of an SEO specialist in order to drive your continued success. Contact Web Clare for SEO.