Search engine optimization remains an evolving industry. The SEO trends in the past years were proof of how its development, growth, and best practices have changed.
To date, there are 1.75 billion websites on the Internet, making the search market highly competitive. So, to ensure that users find what they’re looking for, Google tweaks its search algorithm constantly.
Ranking on SERP is a challenging feat. But, it shouldn’t be if you know what trends to watch out for.
In this article, we compiled 7 SEO trends that you should be aware of if you want to stay relevant this 2020.
7 SEO Trends you Should Focus on This 2020
1. Content is King
Content remains king this 2020. And, it will probably be the case, not just this year, but in the future as well.
High-quality content still has the most impact when it comes to search ranking. Regular publishing of good content will help your website rank organically for relevant keywords and search terms.
If you want Google to favor your web pages, make sure that your content is:
- free of spelling and grammar mistakes
- adds value to your target audience
2. User-Focused Optimization
Google has fully applied BERT – a natural language processing model – to Google Search. The purpose of BERT models is to ensure that users will get the best content match for their queries.
Before, Google’s search algorithm relies heavily on keywords to match user queries with answers. However, the tech giant realized that it’s not the most efficient way of providing relevant answers to people.
BERT allows Google Search to understand the context and intent behind a query. So, what is it now for you?
To put it in perspective, you can’t optimize for BERT. But, you can optimize your content for your target audience.
As per Google trends analyst John Mueller, the best that we can do is to write naturally. He said:
“If there’s anything that you can do to optimize for BERT, it’s essentially to make sure that your pages have natural text on them.
Kind of like a normal human would be able to understand. So instead of stuffing keywords as much as possible, kind of write naturally.”
Simply put, write good content for your target audience.
3. Optimization With AI
You probably know by now how Google uses artificial intelligence to improve Search. As more people go online to find things and conduct transactions, Google’s algorithm will continue to grow smarter.
There’s no doubt that AI has played a crucial role in the way we optimize our content. And this year, we need more AI tools to create better content and gather more data.
You need to adapt to the ever-changing SEO landscape, and using AI marketing tools will make things easier for you. Below are three of the best AI tools that you can use to improve your SEO strategy.
BrightEdge is a platform that uses AI to give content creators and marketers a unique view of how changes in SEO affect their brands. Its numerous features allow for real-time measurement of content engagement across the web.
Pave AI uses artificial intelligence technology to convert Google Analytics data into insights that can help you improve your content marketing strategy. The tool offers customizable reports and data-driven recommendations from a multitude of marketing channels online. Pave AI is the best tool if you want to reduce the time you spend analyzing data from platforms like Google Analytics.
INK is an AI-powered text editor that’s developed explicitly for content writers. It provides writers real-time SEO insight about their work and gives recommendations on how to improve it. INK’s AI can calculate the Topical Completeness of your content, which is crucial if you want to make sure it’s user-focused. With INK, you don’t have to worry about BERT anymore.
4. Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness
The latest SEO trends reveal that Google favors expert, authoritative, and trustworthy (E-A-T) websites significantly. Backlinko refers to these three as the Domain Authority 2.0.
According to Backlinko, E-A-T has been a part of Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines for years. However, the search engine giant appears to be mentioning it a lot nowadays.
For instance, Backlinko noted an algorithm report where Google cited E-A-T as a ranking signal. It read:
“Our systems are designed to identify signals that can help determine which pages demonstrate expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness on a given topic.”
So, aside from publishing high-quality, relevant content, make sure that you also work on your site’s E-A-T.
5. Visual Search Optimization
The advent of smartphones equipped with high-powered cameras gave birth to visual search. What is this emerging SEO trend?
Visual search uses real-life images like photos and screenshots to find anything online. For instance, using Google Lens to find a dress or Pinterest to do a style match are examples of visual searching.
At the moment, visual search is commonly used in the fashion industry. Visual search offers answers to queries like “what stuffs look like this?” or “I know what I’m looking for once I see it.”
Even if you’re not in the fashion industry, it’s still advisable to optimize your pages for visual search. But if you don’t know how, feel free to follow the quick tips below.
- Use images relevant to your page topics.
- Make sure that you’re using high-resolution images.
- Use multiple images, especially in long-form content.
- Optimize your image titles and descriptions.
- Optimize the size and file types of images.
- Don’t forget to add alternative text (alt-text).
- Include captions.
6. Voice Search Optimization
With the growing popularity of voice assistants and smart speakers, optimizing your pages for voice search is an excellent move.
According to a study conducted by Adobe Analytics, 91 percent of brands they surveyed were already making significant investments in voice. A considerable percentage of the respondents believe that voice can help drive conversion, increase revenue, and improve user experience.
In a separate report released by SEMRush last year, it predicted that half of all online searches this year will be made through voice. There’s no doubt that voice search optimization is one of the SEO trends that you should prioritize this year.
How will you optimize for voice? Just follow these Edgy tips:
- Aim for the top three organic results on SERP. According to SEMRush, 80 percent of answers provided by voice searchers were from the top three Google search results.
- Target featured snippets since 60 percent of the answers returned by voice searches came from featured snippets.
- Consider user intent or the reason why someone asks or search for something online.
- Use long-tail keywords in your headers then provide a quick answer below it.
- Make sure that you use structured data in your page so that Google can understand your content better.
7. Link-Building is Still key!
Link-building remains part of the SEO trends you should focus on this year. If you want to improve your site’s domain authority and page ranking, creating an effective link-building strategy is still the key.
For the uninitiated, links can help you gain traffic and build your website’s online presence. It’s the best way to reaffirm your site’s credibility and obtain access to a network of publishers and high authority pages across the Internet.
Starting a blog is an excellent way to begin your link-building strategy. Cover topics related to your industry, company, or products and services that you offer.
To emphasize, make sure that you post regularly and that your content is relevant. Quote industry leaders and add a link to their pages. If you’re lucky, you can get a backlink from them.
You should also build a relationship with other site owners, companies, and potential audience within your niche. You may join niche-related communities like forums and social groups like LinkedIn and Quora.
Building your link network is not an easy task. It takes time and effort, but will surely pay off when done the right way.
Remember, never resort to link buying and other black hat tactics. It’s 2020, and Google’s search algorithm is more intelligent now than ever.
SEO trends are changing. That’s a fact, and the only way for you to survive in the highly competitive world of SEO is to adapt.
If you want to see better results this year, make sure that you’re on top of your game. Focus on the trends that you think will affect your SEO strategy the most.
For instance, if your previous posts were mostly centered around keywords, change your approach this year. Prioritize your target audience and offer content that will add value to them.
Be bold and be smart when it comes to your SEO strategies this 2020.