Listen up. SEO is still as important as ever. Don’t get dissuaded by influencer marketing or programmatic ad buying — search engine optimization is still a juggernaut within the marketing space. However, SEO best practices are changing year to year, and even month to month. As search engines tinker with their algorithms, what gets valued changes.
This leaves SEO specialists and content creation specialists in a place of constant limbo. They need to stay updated on the latest trends and updates put out by Google and Bing. Then they must implement these guidelines into the technical and content sides of their SEO practices.
“There will no doubt be a lot of new and exciting SEO trends in 2020 and beyond, but it’s important to note that many of the new SEO algorithms (such as Google’s BERT) are mainly focused on user intent and providing said user a great experience. Therefore, no matter how the SEO landscape changes, you can’t go wrong if you focus on creating relevant, useful content that is written with the end-user in mind – not search engines.”
– Chris Winters, Venta Marketing Senior Campaign Manager
At the most basic level, the best SEO practices remain the same: exceptional content creation and sound technical maintenance. However, we have identified five critical SEO trends for 2020 that you need to start using in your strategy. We all love the power of Google, but when SEO guidelines shift, it’s time to pay the piper.
Landing in Position Zero
Position zero or the zero-click search ranking has quickly become the utopia of SERPs. Since its inception a few years ago, the value of placing as one of the top three organic links has quickly become devalued. People are getting the information they need without having to click on any links or if they are, a large portion of the clicks are going to the content in position zero.
These selected snippets by Google — directly, accurately, and clearly answer the stated query. Aiming to land in position zero requires content that focuses on understandable, expert information that solves the question of the user.
Content and Voice Search: A Loving Relationship
Mobile searches surpassed desktop searches a few years ago. With smart technology, voice searches are carving out a large chunk of everyday internet queries. Voice search is here, and here to stay. As more people ask questions to their speaker or smartphone, content needs to keep that in mind. This translates to blogs, services pages, videos, etc. needing to be crafted in a way that centers around questions that focus on “what” or “how” — as those are the two biggest trigger words in current voice searches.
Video, Video, Video
Video content receives the best engagement rates of any form of content. At its heart, SEO is seeking to connect users with the right information — and information that the user finds useful or entertaining. Incorporating video content in your SEO strategy is no longer a good suggestion, but instead a requirement. In order to climb the SERP rankings, producing dynamic content is essential. Users engage at a higher rate, spend more time on the page, and are more likely to navigate through a website.
Prioritize Mobile UX
As mentioned, mobile searches garner the majority of search engine queries. This requires that your pages, and website as a whole, prioritize the mobile user experience. Therefore, technical SEO needs to be perfected. From fast loading times to ensuring no-redirects occur, these backend aspects need to be in order to provide a good experience for page visitors.
ABO: Always Be Optimizing
Content quickly becomes outdated. The information you produce has a lifespan in relevancy, whether that is determined by new information or competitors that produce it in a better way. In an effort to maintain the value your content has to users, you should refresh, edit, and add to your old content in a six-month cycle. In doing so, you can protect and improve the rankings of your already existing content.