2020 may very well become a crucial year for SEO due to several reasons.
With voice search, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality stepping into the Digital Marketing landscape, it’s important to take charge before things become overwhelming.
Therefore, it’s essential to grab a follow up to the new trends and create a strong SEO strategy 2020 to shine out in the changing SEO landscape.
Artificial Intelligence technologies change the way we interact with content online, there could be a massive change in how we work as Search Engine Optimizers.
For example. Heard about the Amazon Search Optimization (AMSO)?
A huge percentage of Digital Marketing experts worldwide believe that 2020 will be the year of AMSO!
Look at the sales figure of Amazon’s Alexa Products!
With more than 20 million Alexa products sold in the market, Voice Search is going to be a dominating factor in SEO.
We, as SEO experts, have to show adaptability to Voice Search if we want to stay competitive.
But that’s just one upcoming trend we’ve mentioned.
Here are the 7 SEO Trends that will change the online landscape in 2020:
1. Search Intent and Code Optimization
‘Living in the Future’ is the only way out to keep your SEO strategy up-to-date.
One of the greatest change in SEO which experts are going to put on a pedestal is – Keywords becoming less important.
There has been a huge argument online about the relevancy of Keywords and how Intent-based search optimization will change the way Search Engines show results.
What is Search Intent?
Well, in today’s world, it’s not enough to throw few keywords into a blog post and expect it to show up in Top 10 of SERPs.
The reason is that Google is not showing results based just on the keywords, it is coming up with results by considering the intent of the search.
(Image Source: Wordstream)
To be precise, Google wants to show exactly what the user is searching for.
The intent behind the keyword usage will get further and further preference as we move into 2020 – a year where there will be a rise in mobile and voice searches.
How would Search Intent affect the new SEO trends in 2020?
If a user is searching for ‘Best way to optimize a website for SEO’ we are certain that the user wants methods to optimize a website for SEO purposes.
But with each method, the user may want to know why the method is great; what is needed to be done; how intensive the task is and so on.
What we are trying to tell here is that when we create content for users, we should do research and build helpful information which by the way, users did not even know they needed!
Finding keywords that satisfy the searcher’s intent can be a difficult task.
But not with the help of online seo tools. The tools can help you refine your keyword strategy.
This is great to satisfy the search intent, boost engagement and increase rankings.
Website performance and security is also a major aspect one should pay attention to.Let’s face it. The attention span of the user is reducing. This, on one hand, is a bane for websites who do not pay attention to user experience and a boon for the ones who do.Click To Tweet
It’s very important to optimize the website for speed as much as possible.
The utilization of CDNs, plugins, caching mechanisms, and strategic organization of scripts/CSS files is currently effective.
However, in 2020, websites taking longer than 2 seconds to load will be penalized.
Google AMP was developed to provide near-instantaneous website loading.
Therefore, your website speed in 2020 will always be under the radar.
For the developers, now is the right time to optimize JS/CSS and tighten up the HTML code.
2. Video Content Optimization will Rule latest SEO Trends in 2020
A recent Cisco white paper came out with astonishing results which online marketers and SEO experts like us should consider.
Video content will surpass all other content forms with consumption exceeding 85%.
This is huge.
The consumers who are using mobile data, a large percentage of that data is being consumed for audio and video content. It is expected that by 2021, 78% of the mobile data will be consumed on Video.
As a result, there will be a spike in advertisers trying to use Video as a major marketing tool.
With this, we would have to think about how we can optimize video content to meet the standards of search engines.
In other words, Video SEO will become one of the most important SEO trends in 2020.
What basic aspects of Video can you optimize?
Channel Name: We recommend advertisers to sprint to the 500 subscribers mark as soon as possible. The only reason behind that is to claim a vanity URL – something very important when it comes to SEO.
Use Channel Keywords: Channel keyword elements help the advertisers place important keywords to drive traffic. The focus should be on using more YouTube optimized keywords so that the channel gets high rankings on Google.
Channel Description: This is important. Don’t skip optimizing the YouTube description area. Advertisers should consider thinking about this from the usability point of view. Your audience would want to know more about you and Google digs that. Google rewards the attempts to make a seamless user experience.
As video viewership continues to grow, optimizing for mobile users, desktop users, and using video SEO is part of an effective video optimization marketing strategy that no business should be without.
Businesses that would fail to leverage Video marketing or do not pay attention to Video Optimization will suffer to get returns in 2020.
3. Voice Search will make almost 50% of all Online Searches in 2020
In the world of search, Voice is a very dominant trend and therefore, we as SEO experts should keep an eye on it in 2020.
Let’s have a look at few Voice SEO Search statistics:
- 58% of the consumers used voice search to find local business information during last year.
- 27% visit the local business website through voice search.
- 76% of smart home speaker users search for local businesses once a week. 53% of the users make daily voice searches.
- The voice recognition market will hit $601 million by 2020.
Voice searches may well become one of the most used search methods.
Brands need to optimize correctly for Voice. If they don’t, they will be buried by the ones who do.
Why is Voice Search Important?
People will say that Voice Search is quick and enhances productivity.
While it does that, we like to have a different take on this.
For us, Voice search is important because, with Voice, almost anyone can access the internet.
For users who are blind or can’t use a screen for some reason, Voice Search is the way out.
(Image Source: Bright Local)
Not just that, even illiterate people can now search on Google and get informative results!
We are absolutely fascinated by this!
Optimizing a website will require a different approach with Voice Search coming into action.
For example, when a person makes a voice search, terms like ‘when’, ‘how’, ‘where’, ‘why’, etc. will be featured more prominently.
(Image Source: crescatdigital.com)
The businesses which optimize their website for specific keywords will now have to change their approach to entertain these long-tail searches.
Websites which were focusing on keywords like ‘First-hand Automobile’ will now have to optimize for long tail keywords like ‘Where can I find cheapest First-hand Automobile’.
The new SEO trends in 2020 should see a shift to focusing even more on user intent, problem-solving and local searches.
4. Increased Social Media indexing will boost Organic SEO
The content marketing industry is set to become a $300 billion industry by 2020.
This will have a huge impact on Search Engine Optimization as these two go hand-in-hand.
The SEO trends in 2020 will focus more on creating content that satisfies the intent of a search.
When content creators focus on the customer, content creation will be done not just to rank on search engines, but to provide value.
In our previous blog, we wrote on which content marketing myths will ruin your 2020, you will read about how content production just for search engine ranking will eventually fail.
Social Media will play a huge role in SEO in 2020. Social channels will keep on increasing their depth to integrate with Search.
Not just in terms of more content being indexed and Google’s ranking, but also in a form where users can use these social media channels like search engines themselves.
For example – YouTube. YouTube is a social media channel and provides the ability to search. Facebook, with it’s Facebook Watch portal, has already stepped in the game.
Therefore, we can watch these new SEO trends to take a firm shape in 2020.
5. Optimizing CTR for Google Rankbrain
If you want to crush your SEO in 2020, it’s way too important to optimize your website for Google’s search engine algorithm – Rankbrain.
Your website’s Click-Through-Rate is a significant factor in deciding whether your content is relevant to the user’s search or not.
To make it more clear, we can say that if a user does not click on your website link when it shows up on SERPs for a particular keyword, Google thinks that you are not relevant for that keyword.
Google will drop your rankings like a stone. And that, will not be a pretty sight!
Google loves the search result which gets the highest clicks.
For example, Rand Fishkin, the creator of Moz, ran an experiment to showcase how important is CTR in deciding the ranking of your website.
So, he asked his audience to go search for a particular keyword (IMEC Lab) on Google and click on the search result he mentioned.
Here’ the tweet he sent out:
The website ranking for that particular website reached from nowhere to TOP 5 in just three hours.
A few hours later, the website ranked on top for that keyword search!
Let’s say a website ranks 6th in the first page of the Google’s SERPs. It is said that results that rank 5th – 8th get almost 4 percent of all CTRs.
If the website gets CTRs more than that, Google will think that it is great for the keyword and will move its rankings up!
Well, it’s simple.
If a person clicks on your website for the search query he made, it simply means that your website title is relevant.
If more and more users do that to your website, the CTR will improve.
This will result in a better Search Engine ranking.
How exactly can you improve your SEO rankings in 2020?
To rank higher on Google’s SERPs, you need to work on optimizing your Title and descriptions to make it more likely to be clicked.
Brian Dean from Backlinko suggests that to create a highly optimized Title and Description tag, one must seek the help of Adwords Ads.
Well, ad copies on Adwords Ads come into being after tens, if not hundreds of A/B testing.
Thousands of dollars are spent to make them. That means they are highly optimized to get the maximum CTR.
So, look for the words used in those Adwords Ads.
Understand the pattern of usage and use the same approach while drafting your Title and Description tags.
Brian claims that when he did this, the ranking of his blog post moved from 12th spot to number 5th spot on Google.
This is a great way to aim for that first page you always dreamt of!
6. Think Mobile first for Google’s Mobile-first index
Mobile is the way to go when developing your website.
Since the number of mobile users is only going to increase in the future, Google recommends everyone to create websites that are responsive and produce high-quality on every device.
It is of high importance to create consistent content across all the platforms – from mobile to desktop.
When creating websites, you should understand that Google crawls both – the desktop and mobile version.
When Google says that it recommends mobile-first indexing, it does not say that it will not crawl your desktop version.
It’s just that when Google figures out that you have a mobile-friendly website up and running (which it recommends), it prefers to show your website higher than the websites that are not mobile-friendly.
(Image Source: Moz.com)
This immensely helps to boost your page rank.
We also recommend you to move from the ‘m. version’ of your website to a responsive design that works on all platforms.
It’s a great decision when you choose to create a responsive design for your website.
But there have been instances when they fail to pass in their usability test.
If users are facing difficulties using your website on their device, they won’t think twice before pressing the back button and moving to your competitors.
In 2020, when a huge percentage of your website traffic will come from mobile devices, it is highly imperative to take appropriate measures.
With a totally responsive design, you’ll still want to ensure that mobile page speed and load time are prioritized. Not just that, images and other dynamic elements should also be optimized correctly for the mobile experience.
If you are going for a separate mobile site, you’ll want to check the following:
When creating content, you should consider creating high quality and valuable content that already exists on your desktop website. Content may include texts, video, and images. When you include the alt-attributes to your images, your images become crawlable and indexable.
When it comes to structured data, you should include the same markup on both mobile and desktop version of the site. Make sure you put the mobile versions of the URL in the URLs mentioned within the structured data.
You should ensure that titles and meta descriptions are of same character length on both mobile and desktop versions.
Make sure you add the social metadata like OpenGraph tags, Twitter cards and other social metadata on mobile as well as desktop version.
XML and media sitemaps
Chrome DevTool’s Device Mode is also a great tool to make sure you are building a mobile-friendly website. It utilizes the device mode and simulates a list of different portable devices. It shows how the website performed on all the portable devices.
Another Google tool you can use to check whether your site is fast enough for a mobile phone is Test My Site. It takes a minute to tell you the time required by your website to load on a device using a 3G connection.
7. Long Form Content to produce Higher Search Rankings
There are a number of factors that go when we define quality long-form content.
It’s very important for marketers to understand what Google’s search engine and the users love.
Let’s get it straight – Long Form Content Produces Higher Search Rankings.
SerpIQ ran a study to understand what length of content got better rankings.
(Image Source: serpIQ.com)
It clearly shows how well a long-form content does on search engines.
But here’s something you must understand:
Google does not decide the page rank by just counting the number of words.
When we talk about Backlinks, research shows that longer-form content tends to have a greater possibility of earning quality backlinks.
This helps in improving the search rankings significantly.
Why does long-form content produce more backlinks?
Good long-form content tends to be more comprehensive and have great value proposition than short content.
More the usefulness of the content more will be its shareability.
Google claims that users do not enjoy short bits and pieces of information.
It recommends writing a longer form content where a user can find everything he is searching for in one place.
The fact is – anyone can write a short piece of bite-sized content in no time with zero experience.
But that content will not withstand the competition over-time and will drop in its ranking.To be precise, a ‘Top 100 lists of...’ is way better and linkable than a ‘Top 10 list of...’. Click To Tweet
Long form content is still a great strategy and will remain the top SEO trend in 2020.
But that doesn’t really mean you have to produce long-form content for the heck of it.
It is imperative to craft the content in a way which your users will absolutely love to consume.
Make sure you produce long-form content to provide value that you believe only your content can provide.
There you have it.
With the advancement in science and technology and the changing user behaviour, we will experience major SEO updates and trends that will rule 2020.
These will focus on how to make the internet a more transparent and safe place to transact & consume information.
2020 will be the year of Voice Search and effective content production in the form of videos and long-form written content.
2020 will be an exciting year, not just for Search Engine Marketing and Optimization, but for the entire Digital Marketing Industry as newer and interesting updates come in.
And since you are here, we would like you to subscribe to our newsletter to always stay ahead in Digital Marketing. Subscribe to never miss our blog posts!
Dinesh has been doing digital marketing since 2007. Now he manages a team of digital marketers, developers, and project managers. As the CEO of Ads Triangle, Dinesh has helped hundreds of businesses to grow their revenue through digital marketing.