Optimizing SEO in 2020: Trends that make your website score
2019 was an eventful year for marketeers involved in SEO website optimization. Where SEO optimization in the early years was quite straightforward, this field grew into an increasingly complicated playground of possibilities. But what do we learn from the SEO trends of 2019? And even more important: how do we prepare for a fantastic SEO year in 2020? High time for some SEO optimization tips!
Growing importance of qualitative content: Google EAT and Google BERT
That spamming search engines such as Google with texts full of 'keywordstuffing' is not a good idea has long been known. SEOs are increasingly switching to an approach where the quality and expertise of the basic text is paramount. Are SEO keywords worth nothing in 2020? They still are worth their while! And Google BERT has everything to do with that.
Google explains the BERT update as a way of better understanding language, improving search results and making them more relevant. In other words: keywordstuffing, in which keywords are cramped into texts under the heading of 'search engine optimisation', is no longer necessary. It is better to write a linguistically sound text based on thorough expertise, and to place the keywords in natural but strategic places in your article and on your page.
Whereas in the past the number of keywords per 100 words in a text (keyword density) used to be counted desperately, in 2020 you will also be better able to capture the search intention of someone who ends up on your page or article. It's not always easy to find out what different intentions your target audience has when typing a keyword, but as soon as the puzzle fits, you can win with content marketing within SEO!
We briefly mentioned that expertise in content marketing is also increasingly important for SEO. This shift from content-less articles to more in-depth articles, written by people with expertise, is a result of Google's EAT algorithm. EAT stands for Expertise, Authority, Trust and is a change in the algorithm. It ensures that content (especially on sensitive YMYL topics such as health, pharmaceuticals, taboo subjects, finance, etc.) is better ranked when this expertise is clear and is written by experts. In summary, Google wants to offer reliable, safe, well written and relevant content to search engine visitors. As SEOs we therefore have the responsibility to achieve this together with our clients.
Optimizing SEO in 2020 with structured data for better results
Especially within certain sectors, there is certainly still profit to be made by adding structured data, which greatly improves the visibility of your pages in the search engines. Retailers can implement structured data for their products, allowing brand, price, availability ... appear in the search engine results. Local Business provides more information about the opening hours or the address. These changes make your pages appear in more visible formats in the search results and increase the clicks to your website.
In the field of structured data, we have seen two striking changes over the past year:
- Fewer stars (rich snippets) in the search results. Google only seems to show reviews in the 'product' type schema.
- Appearance of FAQ and corresponding answers. As a result, this takes up twice as much space.
Mobile SEO optimization becomes even more important with mobile first indexing
In July 2019, mobile first indexing became the standard for Google when it comes to assessing the performance of websites. No surprise of course, because people are surfing more and more from mobile devices. From mobile first, the mobile version of a website is first viewed by the search engine to determine the ranking of a page for a keyword. In 2020, it is therefore crucial to optimize your website quickly, responsive and also linguistically for mobile. Especially if your target group is often on the road.
Results pages (SERPS) are increasingly versatile and become more competitive in 2020.
A results page on desktop looks completely different from the same page on a mobile device. It is therefore important to take the intention of the keyword into account from the very start of the keyword search and what the different search result pages might look like. Based on this, you can make the landing pages on your website as relevant as possible.
Year after year SEO also becomes more competitive. The importance of longtail keywords, which are still less competitive than midtail or shorttail keywords, strongly increases. This also means that, as a company, you need to research better what (potential) customers want to know about your company and how you can respond appropriately and relevant to this. With the help of images, video or local SEO, which are becoming more and more integrated in the search result pages, you can also appear more often in the search engines via non-textual content. So there is a need for a good strategy to further dominate the different aspects of the SERP in 2020 on all the different devices.
And what is the status of Voice Search?
Already in 2019 it was announced that 2019 would be the year of voice search within SEO. Search engine optimization would change forever and digital assistants such as Google Home or an Amazon Alexa would appear in every home. However, this ambition has not yet been realized. Is it a matter of time and will 2020 be the year of voice search? Comscore believes that 50% of searches in 2020 will be conducted via voice. We don't think it will be that fast, but if there is any movement in voice search, we at Grava will adapt our SEO services according to the best practices for this specific domain. As early as 2019, longtail, search intent and featured snippets became increasingly important and will certainly help to further dominate voice search
A tip? Check out keyword tools such as answerthepublic, invest in structured data and speed up your website!
What will Local SEO bring in 2020?
Year after year, people search more 'locally' within the search engines. Search word combinations with 'close by', 'close to home' or city and city names are becoming more common. The rise of mobile devices undoubtedly encouraged this. People are more often on the move and therefore look for solutions to their problems (products or services) or for answers to their questions via their mobile. People increasingly know what they need and how to use search robots to find what they want. By focusing on local SEO, you appear in the search results as soon as your target group starts looking for the services or products you sell.
In this context, at Grava we followed an insightful SEO meet-up with colleagues of SEO Benelux on local SEO. We expect that Local SEO will occupy an even more prominent position within this field in 2020. Therefore make sure that as a company with physical points of sale you have claimed and optimized your Google My Business listings. Also company pages with ‘Name and Address information’ are a must-have. And keep in mind the integration of more locally inspired keywords.
SEO optimization remains an interesting field in 2020
The list of SEO trends for 2020 undoubtedly goes even further and some new major algorithm updates may appear. So as SEOs we have to keep adapting to achieve qualitative and good results. Our SEO strategies are based on relevance, quality, search intent, accessibility, speed and safety of websites. That is why we, as an SEO team, would like to continue to build better websites for better results in 2020.