Top SEO Trends of 2020

Remember when we all thought the world was going to end in 2012?

Well, we’re still here today, and the earth is still ever-evolving just like SEO. Change in SEO strategies can occur for a handful of reasons.  It is important that your website’s strategy takes into account what works here in 2020.

Whether it’s Google updating their algorithm, optimization strategies becoming overused and outdated, or simply users adopting new habits over time, you need to make sure you are up to date with the latest SEO news

It’s crucial to keep track of the current SEO trends – it ensures that you’re getting the most out of your campaigns year after year. 

In this article, we will explore some of the top 2020 SEO trends and enable you to stay ahead of the curve, and most importantly, your competition.

BERT from SEO Street

Not too long ago, SEO was mainly focused on finding the keywords in your niche market that were the most searched on Google to begin ranking for them. 

The sites that were the most likely to rise to top-ranking positions simply used these keywords as much as possible. These sites would even employ strategies like duplicating pages with slight changes to each keyword, bombarding Google and achieving a top ranking.

Over time, Google caught on and began working smarter. AI and Machine Learning have made it nearly impossible to manipulate the algorithms. Towards the end of 2019, Google released Bidirectional Encoder Representation from Transformers, also known as BERT. BERT has been recognized as one of the largest algorithm updates since RankBrain back in 2015. The purpose of BERT is to enable computers to better understand human language by using multiple NLPs (natural language processors) in one.  

 

Although BERT is not something you can optimize for, it is vital that you have a well-optimized and buttoned up content strategy in place. 

New Scheming with Schema

One of the more popular SEO tips for 2020 focuses on building and implementing new schema markups. When schema markups are used correctly, they can be incredibly effective in helping you grab more of the coveted SERPs space in your space.  

In 2018, Google approved FAQ, Q&A, and How-To schema markups, providing new opportunities to inject unique page content onto search results pages. Although schema markup is not a new SEO trend, it still provides a meaningful opportunity to your website by giving search engines a better opportunity to understand your content.

By providing more value to your potential customers on the Google SERP, the chances that they click on your page increase dramatically. Even though there is no conclusive evidence that schema markup improves rankings, more often than not when you have more real estate on SERPs it equals more attention to you.

Hey, Siri; “What is Voice Search?”

Even though voice search has been around for nearly a decade, top brands like Amazon and Google have pushed this phenomenon to critical mass. Today, many of us are using voice search with smartphones, tablets or voice assistants.

31% of smartphone users use voice search at least once per week, and that number is only going up over time. Voice search is an SEO trend that will continue to move up and to the right, so while you’re conducting your keyword research, keep in mind using conversational language to attract your audience. 

Since verbal search is quite different from written search, you’re given a unique opportunity to use clever optimization efforts that can capitalize on newly-formed keywords and featured snippet opportunities that are unique to this form of search. 

You Too Should Use YouTube 

As ironic as it sounds, being a content writer, I love watching informative Youtube videos. There is something about being able to see and hear information versus just reading it off the page that sometimes helps me grasp concepts.

Youtube has become a more recent SEO trend to reach an audience in another medium as well. According to Google, 6 out of 10 people would prefer to watch an online video instead of viewing live TV.

By creating video content and optimizing your videos with specific keywords, you can get reach a larger audience that is looking to learn more about your niche.   

“SEO Near Me”

According to Google, the term “Near me” has increased by 150% over the last few years. This is where local SEO trends come into play. Most mobile devices have GPS enabled, which gives Google the authority to identify your current location and display the result that is the most relevant for you.

In order for you to show up at the top of the “near me” search results, you must have your Google My Business set up and optimized. This means claiming, verifying and filling out all necessary information on Google My Business (name, address, phone number, categories, hours of operation and your business description).

By having your Google My Business built and optimized, you’ll be able to reach a larger audience by appearing on the “near me” local map stack. These types of local SEO services are always important to Google.

Page Speed: If You Ain’t First, You’re Last

Your website’s load time is one of the most critical factors to your SEO today – Google uses it to determine if the site provides an efficient experience to visitors. If your competitors are doing more to optimize page speed than you are, you shouldn’t be surprised to see them above you in search rankings. 

In today’s world, so many of us are searching on mobile devices everyday that in July of 2018 Google decided that mobile page speed should be an official ranking factor. 

Neglecting either your desktop or mobile page speed puts your site at risk for getting pushed back on Google.

Outside of SEO, page speed is also crucial for conversions and a low bounce rate, as today’s web users expect a fast and seamless experience. If your site takes even 2-3 seconds to load, you’re losing an estimated 9.6%-13% of visitors due to poor speed.

Think about it; who wants to return the age of dial-up and wait several seconds to find what they are looking for?

Backlinks…They’re Still Hot

To be honest, backlinks will never not be an SEO trend. I wouldn’t necessarily call backlinks the hottest SEO trend for 2020; we have known for years and years now that backlinks are critical to establishing site authority and moving up the rankings on Google SERPs. With that in mind, let’s show a little bit of love for the importance of backlinks to SEO in 2020. Implementing off page SEO best practices that produce high-quality and relevant backlinks is a clear as day signal to Google that your content is worthy of being displayed on the first page for relevant keywords.

Learn More

Keeping up with Google and the changes that occur in the SEO world can be a challenge.  How do you make the game-winning kick when the goalpost is always moving? Subscribe to our blog to keep up with the latest news in the SEO world.

Author
Ari Cruz

Ari is a Bay Area native, she attended San Francisco State University as a student athlete playing volleyball while pursuing a BA in Communication Studies. In her free time she enjoys playing and coaching volleyball, cooking and traveling.

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