Did you know that over 90% of all web traffic comes from search engines?
Whilst the likes of social media and outdoor billboards will always have their place in the world of marketing, nothing really beats SEO. It’s the ultimate way to drive your target audience to your website, where you can start converting them to customers.
But it’s also constantly changing. With Google updates and new methods appearing all the time, it’s important you stay up to date with SEO developments. If you don’t, you could quickly fall behind.
Stay ahead with our top 10 trends for SEO in 2020.
1. Optimizing For Voice Search
When it was first introduced, it seemed unlikely that voice search would amount to much. It was difficult to use and seemed impractical – unnecessary even. But, fast-forward to 2020 and voice search is becoming a huge part of our daily lives.
This is largely down to devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Home. These voice assistants are linked to search engines, making finding the answers to our questions easier than ever. In fact, half of our searches this year are set to be done by voice alone – that’s a very important statistic!
This could affect your SEO in a number of ways, including:
- People want direct answers to questions, e.g. ‘How old is Donald Trump?’
- The query and context becomes as important, if not more, than keywords
- Focus on question phrases using ‘what’, ‘who’, ‘where’ etc.
- Local SEO is becoming more important (we’ll talk more about that later)
It’s also worth taking into account that the Google Assistant is using Speakable (BETA) to answer questions from news sites. This can provide 3 different results and use text-to-speech audio to read them aloud. It then sends the article to the user’s phone.
2. Zero-Click Searches
It’s clear that the way we look for answers is changing not only from the use of voice search but also zero-click searches. This is when the answers to the search queries appear directly on the search results page. It completely removes the need for the user to even move away from the SERPs and click on an article.
This isn’t new – in fact, way back in 2011 Google started displaying flights and prices in a tool on their page. This was followed by featured snippets, which displays the answer from an article in a small box, removing the need for the article to be clicked on. Voice search has only enhanced the era of zero-click searches.
This will make SEO harder but there are ways to adapt. Here are some methods that could help you in the zero-click era.
Know Your Keywords
Knowing which keywords will be clicked on is going to help you continue to drive site traffic. You can do this with analytical tools. For every keyword, take a look at search volume vs. search visits, which will show you which queries are being answered more frequently with zero clicks.
Once you know this, start implementing the keywords that draw more site visits into your results.
Win Featured Snippets
If you’re ranking highly on SERPs, you’re more likely to get your content placed in the featured snippets. You should also be looking to answer search queries in your content; the best answers are brief but accurate.
People Also Ask
The People Also Ask box is a great space to get your articles ranked high on the SERPs. By answering frequently searched questions succinctly, you’re more likely to be featured.
3. Keywords Are Still Crucial
Whilst the zero-click era is affecting the way we see SEO, there’s no doubt that keywords are still crucial to your success. Whether searches are made by voice or manually typing, the importance of keywords remains.
But in 2020 keywords are gearing more towards topics and becoming far more specific. A great way to sort yours is by starting with a keyword, like ‘search engine optimization’, typing it into Google, and seeing what comes up from autosuggest.
You can also use SEO keyword tools for similar results, but these have the benefit of including data to help you pick the best keyword topics for your site. Remember, your keywords should be picked based on site clicks rather than search volume!
4. Focus on Entity Popularity and Entity Engagement
There’s no doubt that local SEO is important. In fact, 80% of local searches that end up on your website will convert, leading to paying customers. In 2020, entity engagement and entity popularity are set to drive local SEO.
These are measured by a whole heap of factors, including:
- Brand mentions on social media
- Positive reviews on Google My Business
- Positive reviews from other websites
- How many people search your location on Google Maps
All of these show that your business is popular in the local area, so Google will place more value on it. If you want to improve entity engagement and popularity, make sure your Google My Business is up to date and keep your name, address, and phone number the same. We’d also recommend staying on top of your social media – it certainly counts!
5. Users Want Video
81% of brands are already using video for marketing, so if you’re not already then this year’s the year to start. It’s one of the easiest ways to absorb huge amounts of content, making it a must for your brand.
Consumers love it too. In fact, last year 80% of all global consumer web traffic was meant to come from video, making it a huge part of our worldwide web activity. Where the audience is, your brand should be following.
It was also found that over 70% of people can be persuaded to buy into a product or service through videos. If the people are there and the strategy is working, why wouldn’t you give it a go?
Here’s how to incorporate video into your SEO strategy:
- Add schema tags to help search engines identify your video content and rank it
- Upload your video content to multiple platforms to maximize exposure
- Include captions and a transcript for every video you create
- Optimize video titles with keywords for extra SEO points
- Always make your videos mobile friendly
Social media is a great place to start sharing video content, but you can also add video into blogs or directly on your website. Or look to video sharing platforms like YouTube to tap into an already existing audience.
For more tips, take a look at our article on video marketing for SEO.
6. Data Analysis is Crucial
One of the great things about digital marketing and SEO is the opportunity for data analysis. When it comes to top SEO tips, data is definitely up there.
You can use real-time data to help track your SEO and improve it. We recommend using Google Analytics for this – it’s free, simple to use, and has tons of great data you can view and act on.
Data analysis can help you:
- Align your marketing with the demands or needs of your target audience
- Identify the preferences of your customers
- Keep track of bounce rate, response errors, redirects, and loading times to optimize your website
- See which of your URLs are the most and least crawled
- Look at where the majority of your traffic comes from
The overall point of analyzing your data is so you know you’re not wasting time and money. You want to know your campaigns are working and where they can be improved, and data helps you do this. Spend time going through yours and you’ll see big payoffs.
7. The Power of Influence
17% of companies are putting over half of their marketing budget into influencers. If that doesn’t prove their importance, we don’t know what does.
Consumers these days are looking for information they can trust about brands, and influencers have that appeal. From blog reviews to Instagram posts, they’re more likely to trust what the people they follow say over an ad from your brand.
To make sure your influencer marketing works, you should always opt for influencers who have the same morals and values as your company. This makes your marketing more authentic, which consumers are looking for.
It also helps as they’re more likely to have a similar following as the audience you’re looking to target. If they’ve already got them listening, why not talk through the influencer and tap into a huge potential market?
Once you’ve chosen the right influencer and perfected your campaign, here are some of the SEO benefits you can expect.
Build a Strong Link Portfolio
Building internal links and backlinks is essential to hitting those top spots in the SERPs. Influencers can provide you with quality backlinks that search engines will value, adding more authority to your site. It also increases the chance of other people backlinking to your site – and these could be sites with higher-authority domains.
Create Enticing Content
Creating quality content that your audience actually want to read isn’t always easy. One of the latest SEO trends is to have influencers help you out, writing content that their audience want to seek out and read. Google looks at content quality, keywords, and social media shares to rank your articles, and bringing a guest influencer on board could bump you up the SERPs.
Increase Reach and Engagement
It’s hard to be heard in the business world, but getting reach and engagement is essential for SEO. But having influencers write your content can help. Not only do they have a bigger audience, but that audience trusts them as much as they would trust their own friends. They’ll want to read your content and will actually engage with it, finding it persuasive because they trust the author.
8. Mobile Leads the Way
Desktop browsing is almost a thing of the past with mobile devices and voice search taking the lead. In fact, almost 60% of all searches are currently from a mobile device.
So, it’s no surprise that Google is putting so much SEO weight on mobile-optimized sites. In 2019, they even introduced mobile-first indexing. This means that when they crawl, index, and rank your website, they’ll automatically use the mobile version. If you haven’t got one you could be penalized.
In 2020, one of the biggest SEO trends is of course to create mobile-friendly websites. When Google makes a change, we listen! Make sure your SEO strategy is mobile-driven this year.
9. Follow E.A.T
Following the launch of Google’s BERT update, one of the most prominent search engine trends involves E.A.T. As Google gets better at understanding context within words and the relationships between them, they can better match searchers with the correct results.
Rather than just look at the keywords used, Google can look at the real intent behind the query.
Because of this, your content needs to follow the principles of E.A.T to rank higher:
- Expertise – Create expert-written, quality content
- Authority – Your site needs to have some authority on the subject you’re writing about
- Trustworthiness – Try and build authoritative backlinks that point to your website
If your content doesn’t fit into Google’s context, you’ll be bumped from the SERPs. In other words, it’s time to E.A.T!
10. Evolving SERPs
We already touched a little on how the search engine results pages are evolving. From PPC ads to featured snippets, organic search results have been pushed down. Google has changed and people are starting to search in different ways.
For businesses, that means you should be looking at top SEO tips that will help you adapt. A flexible strategy could be essential to maintaining success over the coming years. With such quick changes, who knows what the SERPs will look like in one years time?
Stay adaptable and on top of changes to maintain a flourishing SEO strategy.
The Top 10 Trends Tell You a Lot
We think the top 10 trends in SEO tell you so much about the coming year and the current state of marketing. This year, it’s all about authority, adaptability, and analytics. Make sure you keep up with the new trends for another successful year.
If you think your business could use the help of experts, get in touch with Riserr today. When it comes to SEO, we know our stuff. We can create you a winning campaign that suits your brand, audience and – of course – Google.