It’s that time of the year again when we take a look at what’s coming to us ahead of this year in 2020.
BERT & User-Focused Optimization
In 2019 Google launched the new BERT algorithm and it naturally got a lot of attention. Every SEO company and professional worldwide started learning how to optimize for BERT. According to SEO Specialist Kelly Stanze, “Look at the mechanics of how something is crawled, indexed, and served in a variety of different search settings,” Stanze said. “With users having more options than ever in how they search for things, it’ll be even more important for SEOs to bear in mind the fundamentals of clean architecture and content delivery.”
Google has taken a massive jump towards making searches truly about intent matching rather than pure sting matching. Google is continually updating to optimize search results based on the users overall intent rather than just simply focusing on the content or page to keyword matching.
High-Quality, Optimized Content
Content affects everything in SEO, from your sites structure and internal linking strategies to the types of links that are built. Making it your top priority to have a very strong content writer on your team is crucial to success. 2020 will be the year where we all start moving away from targeting specific individual keywords and start focusing more on topics. Switching to more of a topic-focused content that addresses an entire conversation rather than worrying about a single keyword a page should be targeting. A few things that are crucial to understand when leaning away from individual keywords and more towards topic-related content are:
- Understanding who your audience is and how they search for content
- Understanding the intent behind the questions they are asking or the problems that need to be solved
- Giving solutions or answers in the format they prefer with quality and authoritative content
In 2020 it’s time that we take a hard look at the overall quality of the content and optimizing the content for the users rather than for the search engines.
E.A.T (Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness)
According to 2020 SEO expert Lily Ray, “Companies that struggle with a poor reputation, customer service issues or other trust issues will have a harder time competing,” Ray said. “These trust issues not only manifest themselves as reviews and feedback about your brand, but they also take the form of technical or security issues on your site.”
We expect that is will eventually become increasingly difficult to retrieve organic visibility without the proper expertise and credentials. There a few ways to have a online based competitive advantage:
- User Experience
- Customer Service
- Supply Chain Excellence
- Digital Branding
- Niche Products and Services
To stay on top in 2020 we are now bringing it back to 2017, to fix the messes of mobile sites. If you do not have a mobile-friendly and mobile-optimized website, it’s time to take immediate action and start on a fix! More and more SEO experts are now building out mobile-first, then making the websites compatible for desktop. This way sites do not need to be optimized for speed after the initial launch.
Link & Brand Building
In 2020 we are starting to move link building into a consumer-first approach. There are three types of journalistic writing which need to be focused on:
- Planned Editorial: This includes topics that are covered by journalist every year at specific points; including Black Friday or Christmas.
- Reactive Editorial: Includes features written in present time that are unplanned and cannot be predicted such as a breaking news story.
- Planned Reactive Editorial: Features that are written by journalist about topics that ties to a seasonal event or theme that is being covered due to a time frame. The public does not know the exact story until the feature is written on the morning of the journalist editorial meeting.
In 2019 zero-click searches were a massive reality. While more and more brand marketing is happening throughout Google itself and not necessarily your website. Now is the time to learn to adapt and take advantage by being more strategic regarding the information shown in search snippets. Make sure to include basic tactics such as increasing actual clicks over impressions, using newer schemas, image targeting, featured snippet optimization and favicon optimization. In 2020 we need to optimize for much more than just hyperlinks.
While we have only covered a small portion of the best new SEO trends for 2020, there are many additional tactics and trends you can apply to your website for a bigger and better outcome in 2020.