New decade, new trends? SEO has been declared dead almost every January, yet never really goes way – it develops, adjusts, and remains important. Darwin would be proud. Which adaptations, developments, and trends can we expect in 2020? Here are our top 7.
1. Featured snippets will increase
You know featured snippets – those cool useful short answers that Google shows you on top of the SERPs – way above anything else. Cool, right?
They aren’t completely new but are changing and improving a lot as of late. Latest studies show that almost half of searches result in no clicks as the users already get their answers on the SERPs. Crazy! Another study by Ahref suggests that snippets get more traffic than the first organic search result. Wow! If that’s not enough evidence to make you go “Tell me how I get those snippets into Google” I don’t know what would.
The best thing to do here is to aim for question-based search queries and keywords. You could check the ‘people also ask’ section to get insights on other related questions for more details.
2. Video is a must have
Videos are loved by everyone by now. People, bots, everybody. Therefore video should be part of every SEOO strategy and digital marketing efforts.
If you create helpful youtube videos that support your existing website content you can benefit from the video craze. That doesn’t mean that you will pop up on the first page of search results just because you add a video though, but you will quite likely see a traffic spike.
Don’t forget to optimize your videos and then content surrounding them though!
3. Go long or go home
The saying ‘Content is King’ will never go away. The number one concner you need to have is to create high-quality content. That’s the way you can beat the competition and make it to page 1 in the rankings. It’s not only quality though, quantity also matters.
If you google ‘perfect blog post length’ you will so loads of different arguments. However most people agree that it should be at least 2,000 words per post as sites with long-form content enjoy more visibility – given the content is good of course.
Your content should always answer user questions. If you figure out the problems of your users and answer their problems in your articles, they will come, stay, and share your findings.
Longer articles, if good, will make people stay longer on your site. Google will think that’s because your site has great content which in return boosts your authority.
4. Influencers meet SEO
17% of businesses spent over half of their entire marketing budget on influencers. – OMG!
This shows that even though we all hate on influencers and it seems like their influence is diminishing, they still hold some value for marketers., especially those in fashion, beauty, ecommerce, travel, and lifestyle.
The keyword here, as we all know, is authenticity as online users very often are overwhelmed with ads and hence are looking for authentic information they can trust. Many times this information comes via influencers that review products of interest. Influencers trump ads. Easy as that.
That’s nothing new though. Now how can we connect that to SEO? Easy! If you work with an influencer your visibility will increase, so will your traffic which, eventually, will impact your ranking.
Always keep in mind that you work for your audience and if they like influencers, give them influencers. Whatever impacts the bottom line in a positive way is something worth considering.
Ideally you would partner with influencers who are already established within your niche and well liked by your target audience. Hopefully you will receive some nice backlinks on the way which then again influences your ranking.
5. Voice search: People search how they speak
“Google, can you show me the nearest street food place?”
According to current research we’ve seen 33 million voice searches in 2017, and March 2019 showed that 202% of mobile queries are voice searches so expect voice to play a more important part as we move forward. It’s not just fun and games anymore, it’s a must have!
We can all see that it becomes more popular to talk to your phone like you would talk to a friend. It’s not ‘weird’ anymore to do so. As there’s no stigma attached anymore more people will follow the trend and use voice search to make searching easier.
What’s interesting here is that when we speak we mostly use ‘long-tail keywords’ – meaning we don’t just say ‘hey, what’s a good noodle place?’ but we say “what’s the best rice noodle shop near me”. As we all know, people who use long-tail keywords are already in the consideration stage, meaning ready to spend money are close to converting. We should use this to our advantage when optimizing for voice search (e.g. via bullet point lists and a focus on local ranking).
No, not that Bert. BERT. Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers. BERT enables anyone to train their own question answering system. A huge change and the first time Google introduced such a change since 2014 (RankBrain).
BERT is going to impact approximately one in ten queries. If you include BERT in your SEO approaches you might increase your chance of ranking on the first page for featured snippets (see above)
The biggest impact will probably be felt on conversational queries (where ‘to’ and ‘for’ matter). How to optimize for that though? There’s no “BERT SEO” – you can, however, optimize for user intent. Matching user intent is the A and O to improve in this area.
What you could do is to analyze the top ten content on page one of the SERPs for any given keyword. Check if the results are informational, transactional, or navigational. Once you know that, you know what kind of content to create!
Lots of companies now use a digital first approach (finally!) in order to improve customer experiences. Most of those who did report revenue growth due to those changes. All good!
What if, however, you create good content and then nobody can find you because your page is too slow? So make sure that your loading speed is on par with your content. The same goes for complex user interfaces. Don’t confuse your user!
You don’t just go for one click, you go for building a successful business and long term relationship with the user. Will he come back? Will he recommend you to others? This all determines your success – don’t gamble on that!
Hence giving the user an awesome experience is crucial. Focus on making the user happy, and the user will return the favor.
Bonus Trend: Mobile search!
87% of internet users are on mobile phones and 40% of transactions occur on mobile. Last year Google moved to ‘mobile first’ indexing. Those three factors alone let you know how important mobile search now is.
Therefore you have to optimize for mobile. That’s not only responsive designs though.
Think voice search, long tail keywords, content, technical SEO and so on. If you want to know more about all that, feel free to get in touch 🙂
Which trends do you see happening?