SEO is an ever-changing, and businesses are always trying to outrank each other so it’s crucial to know the SEO trends for 2020. Every business wants to attract and retain a bigger audience as it often translates to more sales. It’s a never-ending cycle where businesses adapt and embrace the current trends to help them compete.
Google is notorious for its constant algorithm updates, which affect rankings in unexpected ways. For example, today, you could be ranking on the first page for a large chunk of your keywords, and after an update, your keywords begin to tank. A site with little influence and authority could also see its keyword begin to improve after an update.
It’s always hard to anticipate the ripple effect of Google updates. However, you can improve rankings by embracing SEO trends before they become obsolete. Ride the wave just like everyone else and watch as your rankings improve. The SEO trends for 2020 include:
1. Voice Search
As technology continues to improve, people are becoming more reliant on voice commands. Almost everyone is using a smart assistant, whether it’s Google Assistant, Siri, Cortana, or Alexa. As of 2019, there have been over 12 billion smart speakers sold. These devices are gradually becoming the go-to devices for search queries.
You see, most Americans find it easier to voice search a query than to type it down. It’s estimated that in 2020, 50% of all web searches will be via voice searches. According to Google, over 20% of mobile web searches in 2016 were voice searches.
The popularity of voice searches is expected to continue increasing, especially now that smart assistants are accepting more languages.
If you hope to capture some of this traffic, you need to optimize your website for voice searches. You want to provide relevant content to search queries. Use long-tail keywords and bullet lists to outline your points. This makes it easier to rank for certain keywords and (if you’re lucky) acquire the coveted featured snippet results for your industry.
2. The Dominance of Featured Snippets
It feels exhilarating when your content is in the featured snippet. A snippet or a rank zero result is a summary that Google displays over top-ranking pages and ads. This is the first thing a user will view when they input a query.
Featured snippets are quite interesting as they are not always top-ranking pages. In many instances, you’ll find that the featured snippet is not from the top page. Instead, the snippet features a page ranked in positions 5, 6, 7, or even 10. These pages could be pulling in more traffic than the top-ranking pages due to their direct relevance to the search query.
3. The Rise and Rise of Influencers
It’s no secret that influencers have a considerable impact on consumer decisions. Influencers are the go-to source of product information. A quick search on YouTube for the best phone of 2019 will yield tens or hundreds of results. If you want to purchase a new phone, you are likely to find a techie who will review all the top options available and recommend at least one or two. The same applies to fashion, beauty products, power tools, gardening tools, etc.
Consumers want to get a feel of how the products function before they make purchases, and influencers seem to satisfy this need. They are seen as the source of authentic and unbiased information about products and brands. You can leverage the influence of these individuals to pull in more traffic and, ultimately, more sales.
4. Customer Experiences Will Continue to Rule
Your business hinges on customers to grow. Therefore, you ought to prioritize your customers’ needs. Google ranks pages depending on factors such as relevance and prominence. However, there is one key factor that is often overlooked – page load speed.
Customer experience is vital for your rankings, which is why some pages have a high bounce rate which is sometimes caused by searchers rarely spending the time to wait for your page to load. If the page doesn’t load in a few seconds, they’re likely to go back to the search results and move on to the next web page.
5. Videos Will Continue to Rule SEO Trends for 2020
The use of videos is among the top few SEO trends for 2020. Search engines love videos, especially Google. YouTube is an extension of Google, which means that videos are bound to appear in Google’s universal search. It’s no surprise that 80% of videos that appear in the universal search are from YouTube.
Video content is an integral part of modern society, and it would be unwise to ignore it, especially if you’re a digital marketer. Unlike written content, videos are engaging and easily capture the customer’s attention. Therefore, create video content for your pages or use YouTube videos that answer the same questions/problems as your content. Be sure to seek consent and credit from the owner.
This strategy might not necessarily improve your rankings, but it could increase your traffic, especially if you’re lucky enough to have the video indexed on page one.
6. Longer Content to Improve Rankings
Long and high-quality content is seen as the easiest way to creep into the top pages. A typical article on the top of Google pages always has an average of 2,000 words. This is partly because content length influences rankings. You see, users want comprehensive content that answers their queries, and a short-form article will rarely capture all the points.
Also, Google monitors how long users dwell on your page. A typical 2000-word article will take close to 7 minutes, while 500 words will take less than 2 minutes. If a user spends more time on your page reading your content, Google will interpret that as a sign that the user is enjoying your content and, therefore, your content is a good result for their query. This translates to higher rankings and improved authority.
7. Mobile Search Continues to Soar
Mobile searches have been on the rise ever since they overtook desktop searches. The consistent growth hasn’t gone unnoticed as Google introduced mobile-first indexing to improve mobile user experience.
As a digital marketer, you must internalize that mobile phones account for more than half (50%) of online searches. You need to optimize your content for such users and improve your user interface for smooth interaction.
Summarizing the Top SEO Trends for 2020
SEO is complicated and hard to conquer. You might implement the best strategies and still rank low. You could be ranking in the top three spots and still have less traffic than pages in the bottom half of the first page. SEO is like a game of chess; you have to anticipate your opponent’s next move. Anticipate algorithm updates and tweak accordingly. Embrace and adapt according to the latest SEO trends for 2020 and start changing your results (and bottom line).