One of the things SEO experts love and hate about SEO is that it is always changing. 2020 is not going to be any different. If you are dependent on organic search engine rankings for a significant amount of traffic or you are interested in SEO, here is what you need to know about major SEO changes going into 2020.
Content Authority Is Only Growing
For a long time, Google has depended on string matching and backlinks (to a major extent) to determine rankings of webpages in the organic search results but it is increasingly getting better at determining user intent.
With the launch of the new BERT algorithm, this process is only gaining pace. Therefore, if there is only one thing you want to focus on in 2020, I suggest making it about optimizing your content for users along with an increased focus on content delivery.
Simply put, you need to align your content with the different access points users use to search. Increasingly, “search” is all about intent matching which means your content should adequately match the intent of the user instead of just being focused on matching a specific keyword or phrase. In fact, many experts believe that keyword research tools are going to become much less relevant in the near future.
Your focus, as a smart SEO, should be to figure out how your customers interact with the search engines and optimize the content on your website to provide answers to their queries.
Google has always said that Webmasters should focus on serving the end-user and should not prepare their content for search engine algorithms. With the latest launch of algorithms, Google has also become much better at rewarding Webmasters who follow this rule. As a Webmaster or as an optimizer, your job now is to work with people who know how to write engaging content. It will not only help you march ahead in 2020 but will also Google-proof your website in the long run.
Focus on long-form content that goes into detail on a certain topic. You will rank for long-tail keywords and keep in mind that long-tail keywords account for around 70% of all the queries on a search engine. The long-tail queries will grow further with the increasing use of voice search. In other words, the content should be focused on a particular topic and shouldn’t be created around a single keyword or a bunch of keywords.
Don’t Over Think User Experience
User experience is a buzzword that has gained traction in the last few years but it is going to become more relevant as time passes by. When it comes to user experience don’t just think about navigation and other things but you need to think about the overall experience of the user. Focus on giving the best possible experience to your users during their visit and Google should take care of the rest.
A Mobile-First Focus Is Paramount
Everyone and their grandmother are now aware of the mobile-first index being used by Google for organic rankings. However, not everybody realizes the importance of being mobile-first.
Most people still design their website for desktop and then, make it mobile-friendly but this is not what Google wants. Users mostly use their smartphones for searches and for other online interactions which means you need to focus on mobile SEO. Make sure the mobile version of your website offers as great an experience as it is for desktop users. Also, take a close look at the mobile search results to leap ahead of your competition.
If you are still not taking advantage of structured data, you are already well behind smart SEOs who have started focusing on this aspect a few years back. While search engine algorithms are always getting better, having structured data on your website allows the algorithms to better understand the content and that shows in the rankings.
In terms of link building, focus on building links that drive traffic and are not meant only for improvements in search rankings. Branded link building is the future and as a smart SEO, you need to focus on building links that are not only good for search rankings but are also great at driving direct traffic.
2020 Is Going To Be Epic In SEO
Overall, 2020 is going to be an exciting year in the search engine optimization industry as every year eventually turns out to be. If there is one thing you can say about Google with 100% certainty, it is that Google will continue to surprise and therefore, you need to be prepared and focused on serving your users instead of search engines if you want to Google-proof your business.