Curious what the best SEO practices look like now that it’s 2020?
You’re not alone.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is an ever-evolving, rapidly-developing process. What worked two years ago may not work now, and may, in fact, actually hurt your website.
That’s why it’s important to stay privy to the current ins and outs of getting your pages to rank high on Google and other search engines. It’ll also help to see which direction things may be trending, so you can get a jump start on future SEO strategies.
Let’s take a look at nine of the best SEO practices in 2020.
1. Zero-Click Searches Are In
Google’s got one job: to deliver answers as quickly and accurately as possible to its users. That’s one reason zero-click searches have become the new normal in terms of SEO. This appears to take a lot of control out of your website and put it back in the hands of Google.
What does zero-click search mean? Go Google something and you will likely see the answer at the top of the page.
Thanks to snippets and other features installed into Google’s search engines between late 2018 and early 2019, this tool now effectively removes one’s need to visit your website. They’ve got the answer they were searching for right from Google and can move on.
To counter this, you should focus on what’s actually going to get you clicks onto your website. Think of topics that can’t be answered in a short, 60-word snippet, or write content that encourages users to click to your page.
2. Paid Advertising Is Going To Become Less Effective
More and more people are moving to pay-for-click advertisements on Google, so the price is only going to go up over the next few years.
This is also going to make the practice less efficient, which is why building your brand is more important than ever when it comes to search engine optimization.
Google needs to like and trust your website, and believe that you are an authority that helps other people get solutions. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck in the loop of paying for advertising with diminishing returns.
A trusted search engine optimization company can help you achieve this, but you can also follow some of the other tips on this list to get ahead of the curve.
3. Keywords Still Matter The Most
At the end of the day, your website’s value and authority are largely going to be determined by the type of content you’re creating.
This is why doing keyword research is vital. If you don’t have at least a handful of “heavy hitters” in terms of value, your page simply won’t rank high.
More companies than ever are investing in SEO, so it will really benefit your business and overall strategy to invest extra time in making sure you’re creating content around the right keywords. Do your research thoroughly.
4. E-A-T Still Reigns Supreme
Sticking with their plan, Google will continue to rank websites based on their ‘EAT’ model (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness).
Depending on the type of brand you are, these three terms may vary in terms of importance.
For example, if you run a site that offers medical or health advice, every single piece of information must be well-cited and your authors must have accreditations to speak to what they’re saying.
Otherwise, Google will not consider your site authoritative or trustworthy, and you won’t rank high.
5. Engagement Matters, Too
Google is still keeping a keen eye on things like bounce rate, dwell time, and return visits. They want to see people that find your site engaging with the material, or else you’ll be dropped down the list.
One way you might increase engagement is to focus more on influencer marketing. When another trusted source has an audience that can speak to your abilities, users will be more likely to stick around on your site and engage.
6. Voice-Based Tech Is On The Way
Hoping to anticipate and capitalize on emerging SEO trends?
Get ahead of the curve on the voice-based searches then. The market for voice-based shopping is expected to jump $40 billion by 2022.
As voice-based technology becomes more a part of our daily life, this is one trend you simply can’t ignore.
7. Local SEO Is Changing
Many local SEO strategies have been affected drastically by many of the things already mentioned—snippets, keyword research, and the ‘EAT’ model, to name a few.
But local SEO is still important, especially if you run a brick and mortar business but want to grow your online presence.
In fact, things like online reviews and customer engagement in your area will become more of a focus in terms of what Google looks for when ranking local businesses.
8. User Experience
Perhaps the biggest trend in 2020 and beyond that isn’t brought up as much is UX, or user experience.
Google needs to know that its searchers are in good hands with your website, and they’re using everything from your landing page to returning users to determine how well you’re taking care of them.
This means things like site speed, page speed, and mobile-friendliness are absolutely essential if you want to rank high on search engines.
Google’s algorithms are better than ever before. But that doesn’t mean robots can fully understand things like context when they’re perusing your site to see what you’re about and how you help people.
When designing your site, prioritize things like:
- Structuring pages so they’re simple and logically sequenced
- Align keywords with each other so they’re easy to follow
- Give Google opportunities to connect you to other sites, like Amazon and Facebook
Basically, lay out these data “hints” on your pages to ensure Google knows what’s up.
The Best SEO Practices In 2020
Search engine optimization has changed drastically in recent years, and will only continue to evolve as time goes on.
The best SEO practices in 2020 involve getting ahead of the curve on things like voice technology, the ‘EAT’ analysis of your website, and staying focused on local SEO.
What worked two years ago won’t necessarily work anymore, so the sooner you implement these changes, the better.
For more SEO strategies and tips, peruse our blog or explore our website. Good luck!