Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the oldest but one of the most effective and indispensable marketing tactics available to marketing professionals. Over the years, the nature of consumer behaviour evolved, as did the SEO landscape. In this highly competitive world, where readers identify what they want and don’t want to engage within less than 8 seconds, staying on top of the latest SEO trends will allow users to optimally design their site’s content and architecture and rank higher in natural search results on search engines like Google and other platforms.
In 2020, we believe that the impact of Google Bert algorithm on search engine optimization would be widely discussed and analyzed. And, zero-click searches will become the new normal. Let’s take a look at the seven important SEO trends that will shape the marketing efforts in 2020.
1. Impact Of BERT
Google released its most important update in five years – BERT, in October 2019. An acronym of Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, Google introduced this tool to understand the intent behind search queries and do a better job helping end-users find useful information by applying it to both, ranking and featured snippets in search.
As a result, SEO professionals will need to focus on user-focused optimization, clean website architecture and content delivery. Since the search queries’ trend will shift from keyword stuffing to more intent-based optimization, the SEO team will be required to closely observe how search engines like Google discover, crawls, index and serves web pages in a range of different search settings.
2. High-quality Natural Content Will Win
This SEO trends follow Google’s BERT trend in close succession. Google has time and again stated that the best way SEO professionals can make the BERT algorithm work in their favour is by producing great SEO content.
“There’s nothing to optimize for with BERT, nor anything for anyone to be rethinking. The fundamentals of us seeking to reward great content remain unchanged…. My answer was that BERT doesn’t change the fundamentals of what we’ve long said: write content for users,” wrote Google’s Search Liaison, Danny Sullivan in a series of tweets.
Therefore, 2020 would be dedicated to writing content that is relevant and valuable in natural text for the readers by understanding the nuance of the words used in a query.
3. E-A-T Rating Will Continue to Matter
In 2020, your business’ E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) score would continue to matter when it comes to SEO ranking. The organic visibility of companies with a low reputation will get affected negatively.
In the coming years, the focus will be on weeding out fake information, scrutinizing the reputation of a company (and also of the individuals who are authorized to publish content on the company’s behalf), and highlighting quality content that demonstrates genuine expertise and credentials.
An accurate, authentic and convincing online representation of your business is what will contribute to a favourable Google E-A-T score and assist SEO professionals in successfully implementing marketing initiatives in 2020.
4. User Experience and Technical SEO
SEO professionals should focus on user experience – be it the initial interaction in the SERPs, website loading speed or the overall landing page experience. It also includes connecting with people who have previously interacted with your website or mobile app through remarketing and personalizing content for returning users.
The primary objective of this SEO trend is to channel all energies into answering two questions – how can you deliver the best user experience in the most efficient manner AND what value you can provide to your users when they visit your site.
From investing in good technical practices to augmenting the technical foundations of your site, technical SEO will become bigger than any other SEO tactics in the coming year.
5. Mobile SEO
A big SEO trends that would make a reappearance in 2020 is Mobile SEO. Companies with the mobile-first approach would win and those with poor mobile sites would struggle to gain visibility on search engine results. SEO experts believe that delivering a positive user experience through mobile SEO should be every business’ priority.
SEO professionals can leverage this SEO trend by building sites mobile-first and then making them desktop-friendly, as opposed to building a desktop site first. This would simplify the website speed optimization process. As 84% of smartphone users discover products through a browser or mobile platform, it is important to keep in mind that most of the users will find your website via a mobile device.
In 2020 make mobile performance insights a part of your online reporting, visualize the user journey of mobile users (and address the pain points), and study the mobile SERPs.
The discussion about Mobile SEO would be incomplete without voice search. In the Google I/O keynote, Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO revealed that 20% of mobile queries on Google are voice searches.
As voice search picks up pace, SEO professionals will have to work on ways to improve voice search optimization in 2020. The impressive voice search adoption rate coupled with BERT’s intent-based search algorithm will compel businesses to optimize their website for voice search.
Marketers can optimize for voice search by focusing on featured snippets, user intent, long-tail keywords & questions, page speed, structured data, and local SEO.
7. Featured Snippets
A trend that has travelled from 2019 and will get bigger in 2020 is featured snippets because zero-click searches are gaining importance. Although it is a recent development, the trend has already shaken up the search page ranking ladder. Therefore, the website with the highest real estate on a Google search will win in the coming years.
Sharp SEO professionals with the best On-SERP SEO strategy will be able to increase brand awareness and click-through rate.
The 2020 SEO landscape will be marked by major changes, courtesy of the recent developments introduced by Google like BERT and search snippets. By prioritizing mobile experience, optimizing for voice search, translating user search intent with technical SEO and focusing on great content, SEO professionals will be able to improve the organic ranking of their business. But we believe that marketers who can crack the search snippets code will succeed in securing the top position.