As online competition continues to increase and new websites are being launched, it’s time to rethink your content marketing strategy.
Change in technology is happening quickly, therefore you need to position your website to get the most benefit from these ever evolving changes.
It’s no longer enough to publish content unless you’re using it to consistently solve users’ problems with it.
Along with that, your content must meet quality standards set by search engines like Google, and this is where SEO strategy becomes very important.
Search engine optimization entails designing a good website that stands out from those of the competition and making it easier for users to find the content they’re looking for — especially when they find you through search results.
That’s why it’s good to know what SEO trends are on the horizon so that you can update your content accordingly and ensure that more prospects and customers find you in the search engine results.
So, let’s dive into the 12 SEO trends for 2020 and consider applying them to your strategy sooner than later:
1. Snippets Will Increase in Presence
Google has evolved in recent years to deliver a better search experience for the user, like through Featured Snippets.
Featured Snippets usually appear above the number #1 organic result, commonly referred to as “Position 0.”
To take advantage of this innovation and drive more clicks to your website, try to provide clear answers to commonly asked questions.
Featured Snippets are evaluated and boosted to the top depending on their quality, which Google has a way of determining. Don’t take this trend lightly, as 54.68% of clicks from Google originate from Featured Snippets – proving that they drive more than half of search engine clicks.
Featured Snippets represent a great opportunity for content creators, since it gives the possibility of generating more organic traffic even when you’re not ranking at the top number #1 position.
2. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the most important technologies today and not only for search engines.
Companies such as Google use artificial intelligence to improve the results of user searches, especially in the unique searches that occur every day.
So how did AI become the new norm within Google algorithms? Let’s see the timeline:
But how does artificial intelligence work?
Without delving into the cumbersome technical aspects, artificial intelligence has progressively learned the characteristics of what makes published articles valuable or not.
Then, AI automatically classifies these web pages and determines their rankings- with very good precision. This is already a reality; companies like Google are applying these technologies right now.
3. Importance of Voice Searches
Before the existence of innovative smartphones, people only used words that they plugged into search engine boxes on their desktop computers to find answers that they were looking for. It is from this where keywords were born.
Nowadays, knowing how to optimize your website for voice search can help you generate more organic traffic if you understand and implement conversational searches into your SEO strategy.
With the growing use of mobile devices, voice searches are becoming a popular trend among internet users. These searches are not only done on phones, but they can also be performed on home voice assistants such as the Amazon Echo, Samsung Smart TV, Voice Pod, etc.
But how do voice searches change SEO?
Voice searches affect SEO in a big way since it’s all about asking questions via voice instead of entering search queries. Subsequently, the terms have become more conversational and targeted.
However, when using voice searches the search engine must do a lot more work to get the relevant information that the user is looking for at that moment, making short choppy keywords not so important anymore.
But this change is imminent considering that by the year 2020 it is expected that more than 50% of all internet searches will be initiated through voice. Therefore, your content should adapt to this new trend to stand out in the current search engines.
Is the idea of re-creating your digital marketing strategy to include voice search blowing your mind right now? Cardinal SEO Experts can help- contact us today!
4. Videos as a Source of Information
Just as voice searches are becoming much more popular, videos on the internet are also exponentially on the rise.
To further demonstrate this point, studies from Google and other organizations show that 6 out of 10 people would rather watch online videos than television. Therefore, it seems that YouTube has now become the new TV.
Current Internet users, especially millennials and younger, prefer to get information through online videos, either for academic purposes or just for entertainment. That’s why implementing online video should be on the radar for most businesses.
Want to implement video into your digital marketing strategy but don’t know where to start? Cardinal SEO Services can help!
A quality video can attract many users if it is dynamic and doesn’t put viewers to sleep.
But how does this affect SEO?
To reach more people with your videos you need to optimize it for search users. To do this, use appropriate keywords in the description and headline of your video which will guarantee that the video reaches the largest number of people who are interested in that subject.
5. CTR and Dwell Time Will Become Even Bigger Ranking Factors
As people get more used to lightning-fast internet connections and having a wealth of information at the tip of their fingers at all times, website/email click-through rates (CTR) and dwell time (aka the amount of time a person spends on a web page before bouncing out) will matter even more in the success of your SEO efforts.
Both metrics are important as they show great insight into the satisfaction of the web searcher. By seeing how long they are lingering on a page or what other links the person is clicking on can inadvertently tell you, the marketer, how interested they are in your content and if they are finding what they are looking for.
The more time spent on a page generally indicates how satisfied a person is in finding what they are looking for, but we’re likely to see SEO home in on this factor more by 2020.
One thing to note is that in SEO dwell time is different than CTR in that CTR tracks the number of people who clicked on a link based on the number who saw the SERP whereas dwell time is more interested in what people do after they click on the page, not the number of people who click on it.
6. Mobile UX Will Determine Your Rankings
A website that does not have a mobile version may lose most of its users in the coming years as mobile web pages are a growing trend that will get even more popular in 2020. Especially since more people around the world are obtaining smartphones as more cell phone towers are being built with better connectivity.
However, technology and how people find information through their mobile devices is getting so advanced that it’s not enough to just have a mobile website- the interface has to be easy to read, grab people’s attention and then have the ability to answer their questions or at least keep them entertained.
Studies show that 4 in 5 consumers conduct local searches on search engines using their mobile devices. And as you can see below, searches on smartphones are 88% while searches on computers and tablets combined make up 84%:
Since more people are searching from their smartphones than from a computer, it’s important to have a mobile version for your website to reach the most amount of people interested in your product.
Your pages must be optimized for mobile devices if you want to keep up with your competitors. And keep in mind that the higher you are in the Google mobile page index, the more prominent your page will be.
7. Creating Quality Content
Online ads still work for driving business, but we’ll see that they’ll get even more expensive in coming years. And unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that customers will respond to your ads.
Ninety-one percent of total ad spend is viewed for less than a second; this led to a $38 billion in digital ad spend wasted in 2017.
That’s why creating quality content has become very important in SEO. Quality content is helpful, timely, and actionable by immediately assisting users in getting their questions answered.
But what makes up quality content is relative and for companies that are just starting out in the world of SEO, navigating it all can be confusing.
However, remember that the goal of creating quality content is one that is aimed at users — content that helps people to respond to a need and provides more than enough information to be able to make a decision and take action.
This content must be well researched and follow a logical structure that makes it clear and easy to read.
Casual, informative, and quality articles are the only type of content that will grow a website’s popularity in 2020 and beyond, since online consumers are smart and quick to detect and ignore ads that are too salesy. According to the Economist Group’s “Missing the Mark” Report, “71% of readers say they were turned off by content that seems like a sales pitch.”
What people want is educational content delivered to them in any form such as blog posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, etc.
8. Improvement of the User Experience
No matter how good your content is, none of that matters if your web page doesn’t load quickly or if it doesn’t have a simple interface to understand.
It’s proven that Internet users leave a web page if it does not load in a few seconds, this being a very important factor in the world of SEO. In fact, a 1-second delay in page load time can result in a huge loss for your business.
Once you’ve improved your page speed, you also must make your website easy to use by making it simple and easy to understand, following a logical structure. These factors are the difference between your webpage being in the top positions of a search engine or not.
9. Content Quantity Matters
We already talked about how the bar must be raised on the quality of the content that you publish, but we should talk about the quantity as well.
Web pages with longer quality content usually get more visibility today. But how is this possible? Well, the truth is that internet users prefer to get all the information they need from a single source if it is reliable.
Studies have shown that pages that have articles of 2,000 or more words usually get more readers than an article with fewer words.
But the quality of content goes beyond the word count- it must be comprehensive and rich enough to answer all the questions users have and be able to address closely-related questions.
In addition to this, the more time users spend on a web page, the more likely Google will reward that page with more organic traffic.
Ideally, you should publish high-quality content consistently so that your website will always stay active and fresh in the eyes of Google and its ranking algorithm.
10. Leverage Influencers
It never hurts to have a recognized, well-known and trusted person endorse your brand, which is what social media influencers do these days. This practice may not be directly related to content optimization but it is an ongoing trend.
Digital marketers and media companies are spending more money on influencer marketing because it has become a newer way to drive results.
According to Linqua, “39% of marketers increased their influencer marketing budget in 2018” and 30% of online marketers were spending between $25k and $50k on influencer marketing.
Hiring or partnering with an influencer can help you amplify your content reach and generate even more traffic to your website.
In turn, you’ll have the opportunity to land some leads and increase your sales (especially if your content has some commercial intent that sells a popular type of product or service).
11. User Safety
User safety is another trend doesn’t have much to do with online content optimization but it is still very relevant for users.
Because if a user doesn’t feel safe visiting a web page then they’re very likely to leave quickly or not visit your website at all, and this could affect the position of that page in the organic search listing.
And if you’re trying to collect personal information from your users on your website via a web form, then you have a responsibility to protect their privacy.
It’s extremely important to assure your users that their data will be protected for as long as they stay on the page.
There are still many vulnerabilities on the web, but every day there are new security measures that can be implemented into your own website.
12. Use of Other Search Engines
Currently, Google is considered the best internet search engine available and they are constantly updating their platform to improve user experiences.
But is there another search engine that competes with Google?
While Google will never stop being so popular, there are other search engines apart from Google.
Platforms like Amazon require you to optimize your content based on their standards, along with smaller search engines like YouTube, DuckDuckGo, and Bing.
So before posting content on your website, ensure that you can have a good rating on other search-enabled platforms.
SEO is very important today for businesses irrespective of the industry. Although this doesn’t refer only to the use of keywords — it also entails optimizing content for users.
After all, Google is a search engine that processes information based on how search users behave and it’s getting more accurate which means that each year new trends appear that changes the way in which information is published on the Internet. And this ensures that all users can get their questions answered in a matter of minutes (or even seconds).
If you’re already familiar with these trends, then that’s great- it’s time to double-down on them so you can generate more targeted traffic from Google. But if you still have questions and need help with SEO services, speak to one of our SEO experts today.