Competition tends to be fierce among websites, for the attention of audiences. If your website is to be found by your audience when they search on the Internet, you need to make sure that it meets specific requirements defined by search engines like Google or Bing. Meeting these requirements is best done through search engine optimization.
The rules of good SEO change all the time as the search engine giants tweak and evolve their algorithms. It's important that you keep up with these changes if your website is to stay at the top. What follows are 7 SEO trends that you need to pay attention to in the year 2020 to help make this happen.
Snippets are dominating search clicks
Google now comes with a new search results component called Featured Snippets. This component appears at the very top of the search results page, the place that is referred to as position zero. The snippet feature takes content from any authoritative website that answers the question that the searcher has, and displays it right in the search results page. With the answers to questions displayed front and center, searchers get what they need as quickly as possible.
More than 54 percent of all clicks on Google go to featured snippets (searchenginepeople.com/blog/googles-featured-snippets-roundup-recent-stats-studies.html). Trying to directly and succinctly answer user questions with content on your website is a good way to attract these clicks.
Leveraging influencers can help your SEO
Search engine users looking for authentic reviews and other trustworthy information often see much advertising among their results. Influencer marketing helps with this problem. Searchers tend to be more willing to engage with personalities on the internet that they know and trust, than with advertisements. This is the reason nearly 40 percent of marketers expanded their influencer marketing budget in the year 2018, and one in three online marketers spend more than $25,000 a year on it.
When you partner with an influencer, you can help bring more traffic to your website, and help extend the reach of your content. Influencers can also help you build quality backlinks, which are important for SEO. When influencers who are authorities in their fields link to your website, it can greatly improve your search engine rankings. Influencer-based SEO is important for 2020.
Optimizing websites for voice search
With the rise of voice assistants such as Amazon Echo and Google Assistant, optimizing your website for voice search can help you bring in greater amounts of organic traffic. People using these services tend to search with terms couched in conversational phrases. Search engines, then, need to do more work now to get to the essence of each query than they used to when searchers directly searched with short, to-the-point keyword phrases. Studies reveal that the year 2020 will see more than 50 percent of all searches done with voice (econsultancy.com/the-future-of-voice-search-2020-and-beyond/). To adapt to searches done in this way, it's important that the content on your website focuses more on conversational language, rather than on short keyword phrases.
Mobile user experience will be more important than ever
Research indicates that 80 percent of consumers search for local businesses using their mobile devices. This preference for mobile devices as a way to access the internet is only likely to become stronger in the year 2020. It isn't enough to hastily throw a mobile version of your website together for mobile users anymore. Since most of your visitors are likely to view your website on a mobile device, it's important to make sure that the user experience is outstanding, with the text being easy to read and the entire package being enjoyable to use.
You need to focus on the video medium
According to Google, YouTube is well on its way to becoming a replacement for conventional TV with most audiences. More than 60 percent of people, according to Google, would rather watch videos on the internet, than watch content on a television. Whether it's information, academic education or entertainment that people watch, it is online videos that are the preferred medium.
Not only do businesses need to focus on creating entertaining and interesting videos as much as they do on putting text-based content on their websites, they need to perform SEO on those videos as well. This means that you need to make sure that your videos contain important keyword phrases for your industry, and that these appear in the title and the description as well, to make them accessible by search. Good SEO practices in video are important for success in the year 2020.
Content quality is more relevant for SEO than ever
Online ads do work, but it's important to understand that nine out of ten online ads that are clicked on are viewed for under one second (insights.newscred.com/how-the-newscred-methodology-drives-content-marketing-roi/). This results in wasted advertising worth about $40 billion each year. This means that the only effective way to actually retain audience interest is to fill your website with high-quality content that is helpful, relevant and timely. Google and other search engines reward such content. In short, if your website helps directly answer questions that your audience has, without sounding like a sales pitch, it makes for better SEO.
The length of your content matters
Search engines associate exhaustive content -- content that runs over 2000 words -- with quality and authoritativeness. Studies show that pages with such exhaustive content usually draw more readers than pages with shorter content. Certainly, meaningless, long-winded content that isn't direct and to the point won't help; what does help is quality content that is comprehensive. In 2020, the trend toward such content will strengthen. Additionally, when you have exhaustive content, you will get people to spend more time on your website, something that Google sees as further proof of quality and relevance.
No matter what your industry, SEO is relevant to your ability to attract an audience to your website. With the constant changes and tweaks brought to the search engines over time, however, the rules of what makes for good SEO change as well. To make sure that your website is ready for the year 2020, you need to sit down with a search engine optimization professional, and thoroughly go over your website plan.
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