5 SEO Trends to Look Out for in 2020

By: Dahlia Farhat

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important foundation of any digital marketing strategy that continues to change iteratively. With about 380 new websites created every minute, online competition continues to rise, and it’s time you invest some resources in learning what’s new in search engine optimization for 2020.

So what's all the fuss about SEO?

SEO is important for digital marketers and brands because, in short, it allows your website to appear on the search engine results pages (SERPs) whenever someone searches for a key-phrase or question for which your website has the answer or solution. That is to say, SEO helps increase your website's visibility on SERPs, which in turn, leads to more organic traffic to your site.

Being aware of new SEO trends can help guide updates to your website and ensure that more customers will be able to find you through search results. So, whether you just need an overview of the new changes in SEO for this year, or just want a refresher to your SEO strategy, this post will help to keep you up to date with new trends, and also give you a heads up for what to keep an eye on in the world of SEO.

Enough talking, let us now dive into 5 SEO trends for 2020.

1. Optimizing for Voice Search will Dominate

Before smartphones existed, people searched for what they needed by typing words into a search engine box from their desktop computer. That was how keywords for SEO were born. However, with the growing use of mobile devices and smart technology, voice searches are becoming a popular trend amongst internet users. Voice searches are not only done on phones but also on home voice assistants, such as Google Home, Amazon Echo, Apple Home Pod, Samsung Smart, etc.

Keep these voice search statistics in mind:
That just goes to show how fast the world is changing. Soon we will be able to use our voices to do things we’ve only imagined. Implementing conversational searches into your SEO strategy can help you optimize your website for voice search and enable you to receive more organic traffic. Voice searches have a large impact on SEO. This is because it's all about what you say, not about what you are typing in. So, short choppy keywords won’t be as important anymore. Search engine algorithms will have to do a lot more to find the most relevant sources of information for their users. It was predicted that by 2020, more than 50% of all internet searches will be done using voice. Additionally, voice-based searches in the form of direct questions will be a crucial part of SEO in 2020. Your business can shine against the competition in current search engines if you optimize your content and adapt to this new trend. Learn more about how to optimize your website for voice search by reading one of our previous articles: Ok Google, How do I optimize my Business for Voice Search?

2. High-quality Content

High-quality content is more important than ever. Want to know why? Google rewards websites with higher rankings on SERPs when they can provide users with content that is relevant, helpful, and timely. If all it takes is to provide answers to questions that users have, they will find you in no time.

Just make sure that your content is well researched, following a logical structure, and is easy to navigate and read. In 2020 and beyond, informative high-quality articles are the only type of content that will help grow the popularity of a website. To survive in 2020, you have to write something that is both relevant and valuable. It is time to move away from the obsession with keywords and focus more on topics. Make it your goal to write the best content for a specific topic. Also, avoid content that may seem too "salesy," as online customers are quick to detect and tend to ignore content of this matter. What people want is content that is educational, not content that seems like a sales pitch. Doing so will future-Google-proof your business and allow you to effectively compete for higher results in long-tail searches. If you can incorporate educational content that can be delivered to customers in easily digestible forms such as, blogs, videos, podcasts, and infographics, then you are on your way to hitting top ranks on SERPs. Of course, Google's editorial discretion isn’t perfect yet, but the day it does, the best content will win.

3. E.A.T. Focused Content

Google’s recent launch of the BERT update has allowed it to get better at understanding the relationship between words in a search query. What is BERT? It’s an update to the core research algorithm, which helps identify the intent behind the search query of a searcher. Ok, so what is E.A.T? E.A.T. is just an acronym used by Google and the SEO community. It is used to determine which websites demonstrate expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, on a given topic. Google’s quality guidelines are based on the E.A.T. concept. Content that focuses on this principle will rank higher.Websites with high E.A.T. scores are composed of :
  • Expertise: Expertise on topics and with great accuracy. Web pages with high-quality content and are written by an expert
  • Authority: Credible content that is both high quality and has credible awards.
  • Trustworthiness: A website including authoritative links pointing to it from other trusted websites.

Businesses that struggle with poor reputation, customer service, and trust issues will have a hard time competing. Trust issues don't only concern reviews and feedback, but also with the technical and security issues on the site. Thus, trustworthiness will be extremely important for publishers in 2020. Also, since Google will be removing any out-of-content search results, it is important to create content that accurately answers search queries. Additionally, offline is coming online. Therefore, one main differentiating factor for businesses is whether they will be able to create an accurate and convincing online representation of their offline worlds. All the offline things that Google cannot see like events, conferences, awards, and partnerships are suddenly taking a large importance in the world of SEO. What that means for you, is feature your partnership, event. awards and anything else Google cannot see, so that Google can feed on its need for credibility and understanding.

For more help, read more about Google’s Search Quality Rater’s Guidelines.

4. UX and Technical SEO

One of the biggest SEO trends that should be focused on in 2020 is user experience. This refers to the full experience a user gets from the very start to finish of their search journey. This starts from when they are first interacting with the SERPs, to when they get to your landing page and even the experience when they leave your website. It’s all about thinking how you can provide your users with the best possible experience and value during their visit. Since 4 in 5 consumers conduct searches through their mobile devices, websites that are not mobile responsive may lose users and views in the months and years to come. However, it is not enough to just have a mobile version of your site, it’s important to note that the website interface should be easy to read, grab people’s attention, have the ability to answer questions, or at least keep them entertained. Navigation should always be logical and easy to understand. Sometimes brands use words or jargon that are unfamiliar to their audience. They think that they are being smart and creative, but it's actually something that ends up backfiring. If your audience doesn’t understand what you mean, they will bounce back to the SERP. If you have high bounce back rates, it will impact your search rankings. So be careful! Remember, when creating a user experience, put yourself in the shoes of your target audience. Also, when talking about technical SEO and UX, target both site speed and page speed. No matter how good your content is, none of that matters if you have a complex user interface or if the web page doesn't load quickly enough. It has been proven that a one second delay in the loading of your web page can decrease your conversion rate by 7%. Google has been discussing and focusing on site speed, with the new Chrome “Slow warning badges, ” and speed reports in Google Search Console. Also, International SEO Consultant, Aleyda Solis expects to see a shift into a more technical SEO ecosystem powered by JavaScript framework usage, PWAs and SEO automation for large websites. So, be sure to keep up to date with all UX and technical SEO strategies and trends as they come in 2020.

5. Structured Data

As just noted above, high-quality content is an important part of SEO for 2020. But as important as it may be, keep in mind that search algorithms still don't fully understand content. The whole point is to give search engines the hints that they need to better understand your web pages and to deliver the results based on a user's intent. All you have to do is structure content to be understood and make sure each element relates to other pages within your website.

In addition to accomplishing all this, you also have to make sure that you are putting yourself in a position where you can take advantage of future features brought out by Google and structured data consumers. This year has been huge for semantic data and Google has been updating its initial guidelines and adding support for all kinds of new structured data, such as FAQ Pages and Fact-check. Google is advancing into extracting more information from your web pages and giving publishers more exposure. The good thing about this is that it provides SEO with a competitive advantage over website owners who are not keeping up with Google’s moves. So, you better keep up! Don’t think you're all good to go in 2020 just because you marked up all the most common data in 2019. New types of markups are continuously being added as well as being improved upon.

If you want to implement structured data to your website but have no prior technical knowledge, don't worry, it’s not required. There are so many tools, plugins, and solutions that allow you to implement structured markup to your websites. Here are some options available to you:
Also, just as a heads up, don’t fully rely on plugins you’ve installed to structure your data correctly the way you want it. Always go back and check.

What’s Next

SEO is moving fast. 2020 will be a challenging year for SEO as site owners compete to earn a significant portion of organic traffic from all search engines, but mainly from Google. Don’t be alarmed though, instead get ahead of the competition by staying up to date with all the SEO trends provided for you in this article and by exploring the trends mentioned. Those who are fast to grasp SEO trends and strategies find themselves ahead of the slower-moving competition. Get started on revising your SEO strategy by including voice search optimization, high-quality content, UX and technical SEO modifications, structured data, and E.A.T. focused content. Need some help? Get in touch with an UpOnline representative today.