Let’s quickly take a look into what lies ahead for SEO professionals in the year 2020.
What are the SEO strategies and tactics that will work out and enable you to gain ground in SERPs and gain more revenue in 2020?
Explained below are the 10 important trends you need to go through and have knowledge about in 2020, just with reference to 47 of present-day top SEO professionals.
1. Understand Your Audience & User Intent
Do your audiences have a preference? Do they prefer a certain text, images, videos, and audio?
Having a clue of this is more essential than anything in 2020, as stated by experts.
You should be able to understand what someone is really hoping to find when they query a certain word or phrase and you need to provide them with the right way in the most appropriate manner according to Market Mindshif.
The president of AJPR, Motoko Hunt also added that the interest, preferences, and choice of your audience can change quickly more than you can even imagine.
It doesn’t matter if you get your website content well written or arranged, if it is not done for the right audience, the business won’t grow.
In the words of Julia McCoy, CEO of Express Writers, “Tomorrow’s high-ranking website is just about the audience.
He further stated that Google will surely reward you if your website helps or enhances your audience journey and that will make your visitor invest heavily in you.
This is really essential and important because ranking has not been stable over the past year so as to fix the intention of a user’s search query according to Jesse McDonald who is the SEO specialist and director of operations for TophatRank.com
It will be more sensitive than ever for SEOs and those who engage in content to pay much attention to users with the mindset of the keywords they are using as a target when creating their content.
Even Casie Gillette who is the senior director of digital marketing at Komarketing has also taken notice of Google’s shift in keyword intent.
He emphasized that we need to think more about the funnel and where we spend our time.
Gillette stated. Should I spend more time and money when trying to get ranked for a broad term or should I shift my attention down the funnel, where buyers are more enlightened and really interested in what I am selling?
In adjusting to make a change in this shift in 2020, you may need to change the dimension with which you carry out your keyword according to Chuck Price, who is the founder of Measurable SEO.
Anytime you are performing keyword research in 2020, it is good and compulsory to know that you go through the SERPs to check if websites like yours are ranking high for a selected phrase.
Price also emphasized that if the top SERPs get filled with review sites and your site is not included, then you need to move on to the stage.
This time around you need to stop matching keyword phrases and start ensuring that your content answers your audience questions in a detailed manner, says Jeremy Knauff, who is the CEO of Spartan media.
Normally, it is expected that you take out your content a little step further by providing answers to follow up questions that may be in line with their initial query, says Knauff.
2. Go Beyond Google Search
Is there any way Amazon and Apple can cut into Google’s search dominance? Eli Schwartz, who is the director of SEO and growth for SurveyMonkey believes so,
Schwartz said he thinks that 2020 is going to be that hit year that SEO functions won’t be just how to put in place for Google, but we will always take into records all other search engines as well.
Cindy Krum, who is the CEO of MobileMoxie also pointed out that SEO is just about showing up wherever and just how people generate traffic and move traffic and engagement for some things more than the other websites.
Scholz also stressed the fact that you need to think beyond driving users and visitors to your website by getting ranked number 1 in the SERPs.
You need to reason and contemplate on how you get the needed attention and visibility for your content to get featured in snippets and other interfaces with other hosted articles, so other content creators, influencers and opportunities as such to make sure your brand gets to your desired and target audience
In 2020, at least you should consider on how to optimize for devices, says Digital strategist and SEO consultant.
“For people with brands that can benefit from the exposure or products that can be sold, being optimized for a home assistant or audio-only devices can’t be ignored,” Schachinger said.
Undoubtedly, this requires the most quality content on the fastest channels set to meet the users anywhere they may be coming from.
Just according to IBM’s senior SEO strategist and security intelligence Keith Goode, “The whole search experience is our area of expertise and control and our target is not just to generate or drive traffic.
Goode said. “it’s to maintain that we have optimized that search experience, either web related or app-based or ( include the next big technology) based, to create the most efficient and interactive intersection of the user’s needs and the site’s offers that are realistic.
3. Structured Data Markup Is Key
Try to get used to data as soon as possible, said Marcus Tandler, co-founder and managing director of Ryte.
Now that artificial intelligence is gradually becoming very important and so much needed for, the structured data is becoming more important as well.
If Google wants to shift to an AI-first world, structured data is very essential. It doesn’t matter how good your AI is if it takes so much to creep the required information.
It will never be great or useful. AI needs a fast processing of content and how they relate to each other.
Now, you should try as much as possible to start going through and understand structured data, active and passionate behavior, and how they can link to behavior that shows the intent, so the action of search becomes a bigger effort of findability.
We also need to get ourselves more involved with Contextual relationships between topics and behavior which are backed by structured markup.
This seems to be the fast-rising trend we need to follow and start implementing for 2020.
Sherman suggested that the use of information architecture, metadata and of recent, structured markup, will give search engines the signals to try and understand highly-detailed content
4. Create Exceptional Content
In 2018, the Google algorithm update revealed that Google was working and putting all effort to focus on checking the content quality and the depth of website content according to Eric Enge, who is the general manager of perficient Digital.
Enge stated that the SEO performance of many sites has been tracked.
The sites that always offer a well-detailed and comprehensive quality always top the rankings throughout the whole year while sites that provide weak content always suffer and don’t get ranked.
Enge said, he expects to see an array of sites that provide best quality experience to get well-ranked by Google and also get rewarded
“Google was continually tuning their algorithms in this area throughout the year, and I believe there is still a lot more tuning for them to do,” Enge added.
That implies if you’re still producing content simply to keep your blog alive, that won’t be okay enough anymore, said Tachalova Alexandra, a digital marketing consultant.
Keyword Research Just Got An Upgrade.
There is a new approach to keyword research. Now, get related data that you have never seen, just like keywords, with better insights and higher ROI.
What is expected of you is to create content that solves a problem? Content that can inspire people and connect with people.
Then, if you can provide an answer to a question, get a lead, try to make a sale, and help yourself with SEO (link building), manage your reputation and build your social proof with a quality piece of content, and then that makes you win.
Always carry out your research, try as much as possible to be the solution to the problem people have and always provide tangible things that everyone will benefit from.
Just like Shelley Walsh, director of shellshock, he expects to see the level of content quality rise in 2020.
When we talk about content strategy in SEO, it is not just about providing answers to a query and getting users to your page, but it also entails the use of language to engage the user and guide the user with the next line of action.
Walsh was of the opinion that, “Since there are still just a few people doing well, more use of content maps and experience maps would always help this.”
5. Increase Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness
Creating and building up expertise, authority, and trustworthiness fondly known as E-A-T in Google’s search quality rating tips will be another major key trend in 2019.
Even though the E-A-T guidelines are well scripted for Google’s algorithm raters, rather than Google’s algorithm itself, it helps us understand where Google is facing in the short term, according to Jones, who is the founder of DHJ Ventures.
“I do think this will help SEOs start to understand that particular quality that comes with context. You cannot rank so easily by writing useful and beneficial content unless you are already an authority on a given subject”.
Grant Simmons, who is the VP of search marketing at Homes.com once said you should focus on content distribution and promotion from a well-known standpoint
You need to hire experts to write, utilize, and leverage data from known entities and make sure credentials and recognition are given to both, with the right authority and affinity accorded to the promoted brand.
Simon stated further, “How could you get more writers to your blog, speak, and write? How can you accomplish all these?
It is that high level of expertise that Google is on the lookout for to power their results.
6. Invest in Technical SEO
Every year websites always grow in complexity, thereby making technical SEO a strong part of an investment in 2019 and way beyond.
Some of the major areas where the focus will be are on the technical side of SEO which includes:
- Speed: Sites will get to finally start to become simpler and faster as SEOs discover that Google is rewarding sites more than any other once you can think of (First meaningful paint) speed according to Jon Henshaw, who is the founder of Coywolf Marketing and the Senior SEO analyst at CBS interactive
- Progressive Web Apps (PWAs): Your thought in 2020 should be about how your website can live on PWA in the future. How can your PWA become a memorable experience, so your users will like to put on their home screen?
7. Win with On-page Optimization
On-page optimization will remain relevant and useful in 2020 according to Wright Tony – the CEO and founder of WrightMC.
In his words, we are still getting unprecedented results from nothing more than on-page SEO tactics for so many companies that come in the door, Wright said.”Like I said in one of my articles, links are important and are the biggest bang for most companies’ SEO bucks being currently the ongoing on-page optimization simply because On-page SEO is not a set-it-and-forget-it tactic”
8. Get Ready for Voice Search
In the last decade, “the year of mobile” turned to some kind of joke. Every year, the expert predicted that this will be the awaited year of mobile.
It continued like that until it came to reality in 2015. To be fair, this is the year of voice search.
Though voice search got a lot of mentions and attention in 2018, it is set to beat that mark in 2019.
According to Aleyda Solis, who is the international SEO consultant and founder of Oranti, voice search is just like a pound of a bigger shift, ranging from specific results to “answers” which is also a bigger part of “conversational search Journey.”
Voice search is set to gain more attention and popularity and relevance in 2019 and that shift has started already.
Though voice seems the easiest way to request answers in some cases, it is certainly not the best way to fulfill the intention in a more advanced manner especially when comparing services and products.
9. Watch Machine Learning
Machine learning has now come into life in 2019, though we have seen machine learning several times in search with Rankbrain.
We have not really felt its impact of what it means. But according to Dave Davies who is the CEO of Beanstalk Internet Marketing, this is set to be the year that changes are set to occur, and the prep work is ongoing with some of the layout shifts and changes the engine is pushing out to drive to answer intents rather than just questions.
In the words of Jenn Mathews, he said machine learning is not just that we will sit back and watch on Google and other search engines but what companies need to adopt and use to develop useful content for SEO, starting with a set of data that is majorly based on specific variables. Machine learning with the need for analysis and reporting, as trying out new strategies, is essential to understand successes and failures.”
10. Optimize Your Blog for Featured Snippets & Other Google SERP Features
In conjunction with optimizing your own website, you also need to optimize for the Google search experience in 2020.
This means that optimizing for some featured snippets (a.k.a, position Zero) and other Google search features will always be essential and important trends and more necessary than ever in 2020.