The new year has just begun, so for everyone who’s hoping to increase their website traffic, let’s look at the best SEO Trends 2020 to get you there.
The world of Search Engine Optimization is always changing, so let me give you a brief outline of what I think business owners should be keeping in mind, over the coming months.
Video Marketing Statistics
With almost 5 Billion videos being watched on YouTube every day, by the 30 Million daily visitors, we are experiencing a huge demand for video marketing.
Currently 50% of all Google search results contain at least one video, and since Google owns YouTube we can safely assume that those numbers will only increase in 2020.
Predictions are that video will make up 80% of online traffic by 2021, so over the coming months I would invest time and money into producing quality videos to grow your YouTube Channel, then embed those videos into the content of the blog posts, on your website.
Pay close attention to optimizing the videos you create for SEO, because as you do that you’ll traffic a large number of the people who view your videos directly to your business website, which translates into more products sold, and/or bookings made for your services.
Optimize Old Blog Posts
Republishing old blog posts is a great way to improve your Google Ranking. SEO is in a constant state of change, so as Google gets better at giving people the results they want, it’s good to go back and tweak your old content focusing on implementing the latest SEO strategies. As your post becomes a better fit for the Search Intent, you’ll significantly boost the organic traffic to that page.
Focusing on Search Intent
It’s essential to understand the importance of Search Intent, also known as Keyword Intent for SEO. In short Search Intent is focused on what the ultimate objective is, of the person who is searching for a particular term.
What are they looking for?
Google is perfecting the art of determining Search Intent, and giving users exactly what they want.
This is calculated by many variables, so putting in extra effort to modify your content, to not only get someone to your site, but to make sure that they’re able to quickly and easily find the information that they’re looking for when they get there, is imperative.
Visual Search Continues to Grow
Ben Silbermann, CEO of Pinterest said that “The future of search will be about pictures, rather than words.”
In recent years Google has changed their algorithm to prioritize sites that have both great content, along with great images on the page.
Here’s an excerpt from Google’s Blog:
“Also it wasn’t long ago that if you visited an images web page, it might be hard to find the specific image you were looking for when you got there. We now prioritize site where the image is central to the page, and higher up on the page. So if you’re looking to buy a specific pair of shoes, a product page dedicated to that pair of shoes will be prioritized above, say, a category page showing a range of shoe styles.”
~Cathy Edwards, Director of Engineering, Google Images
Visual Search is in position to really take off in 2020, so make sure you’re prepared!
With Google Lens (visual search technology) opening up a whole new world for search, it’s now become easy for users to simply take a picture to find the product they’re looking for. This offers an amazing opportunity for eCommerce businesses, as they learn to utilize and adapt to it.
Optimize the image SEO by using alt text, and implementing descriptive file names for each image on your page.
With Pinterest and Instagram at the forefront of Visual Content Marketing, we are sure to see continued growth in this area in 2020. Not only do images within a blog post keep the reader engaged, but when other sites use the “Concept Visuals” that you’ve created, embedded into the content of their posts, they often link back to your website, improving your Google Ranking and the value of your site.
Currently 20% of all searches on mobile are Voice Searches, and that number is steadily rising. I would recommend optimizing some of your content for Voice Search by having both a question and the answer on the page. Google’s algorithm for Voice Search is looking for FAQ pages, and 4 out of 10 of those come from a “Featured Snippet.”
Featured Snippet Opportunities
Look for Featured Snippet Opportunities by finding the Keywords that you’re already ranking on the first page of Google for, then optimize Featured Snippets for that term.
You can look on Ahrefs for a report of “Organic Keywords” that you rank for, that also have a “Featured Snippet.”
What’s Your SEO Score?
Enter the URL of any landing page or blog article and see how optimized it is for one keyword or phrase.
JunkEver seen this type of writing on the web? Seriously? What does this stuff even mean? What we’re looking at here isn’t high quality writing. No, my friends, this is junk. Everything you publish on your site or on the web should ad value for the searcher. Never, ever, is it OK to publish junk, anywhere on the web. Unfortunately, the web is littered with junk like this: See how the words “red apples” are repeated over and over in the content of this paragraph? The process of doing this is called “keyword stuffing.”
Keyword StuffingGoogle defines keyword stuffing as the “practice of loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results.” Quite often, keywords appear over and over again in lists, groups, or patterns. Most of the time, these keywords appear totally out of context and repeated over and over. And, guess what? Google doesn’t like keyword stuffing. This is because the act of doing keyword stuffing is an attempt of manipulate Google’s algorithm. Google especially hates any attempt to manipulate their algorithm in any way. What happens when Google finds out a website is trying to manipulate them? Yep, you guessed it. Whenever Google finds violations like this they will “add a slap” to the website and penalize it in the rankings. In real world examples, this usually means that the offending site will drop out of Google’s First page into the second, third, or hundredth page. Basically, the offending website disappears from Google’s Search altogether and it can take alot of work to make that website “move to the top” again. Sometimes it’s not even possible.
Why Publish this Junk?So why do we see this so called “keyword stuffing” across the web? Once upon a time back before 2012, keyword stuffing was actually common practice among people that did SEO. The reason that SEO people did this was because it actually worked. The combination of keyword stuffing and publishing articles across the web would actually make a website go to the top of Google. Unfortunately, the web was littered with more examples of things that look like this: Keyword stuffing is, at it’s core, spam. And, Google hates spam. When the engineers at Google saw that the web was being littered with all this spam, they decided to do something about it.
Google RespondsSo, what happened? Google got smarter. Around 2012, Google started releasing a whole bunch of updates to their algorithm that began to penalize sites for keyword stuffing. At that time, thousands of sites that were using keyword stuffing dropped out of Google completely, never to be seen again. 2012 were dark days for many SEO’s because they lost thousands of hours of hard work down the drain. Because they considered Google unpredictable, many people stopped doing Search Engine Optimization completely. Since 2012, Google has gotten better and better at recognizing and penalizing all types of spam. The actual process of Google’s engineers updating the algorithm, over and over, have made it much more intelligent. It’s my opinion that all this algorithm updating has made Google into the first Artificial Intelligence (AI). No worries though, Google isn’t an artificial intelligence that wants to “take over the world,” it’s an AI that wants to make the world a better place by giving the user a great experience. Thing about it? If suddenly, Google started delivering search results that had spam, would people keep using it? Of course not. People would start flocking over to Bing (gasp) and Yahoo (double gasp) away from Google. Google would start loosing it’s 64% desktop market share of the search engine market. For that reason, Google’s top concern is delivering an excellent user experience. Google wants:
- people to quickly find what they’re looking for.
- results that solve problems.
- results that answer questions.
- to suppress spam as much as possible.
Adding ValueOne of my mentors would always repeat this mantra: “Always add value to the web.” When he said this, we meant that whenever we publish anything online, we must make sure that it adds value. We need to make sure that the content we’re publishing answers questions, solves problems, and helps people. Why is Value so important to Google? The reason is that sites that provide a high amount of value help people quickly find what they’re looking for. The more value that people find using Google, the more they’ll tend to keep using Google vs other search engines. When a site answers questions that people are asking for, that’s value. When site’s provide direction to life’s persistent questions, that site is providing value. When a site has a high quality design, that’s value. When a site publishes excellent content, that’s value. Value also gets ranked at the top of Search Engines.
How Can You Add Value?Ok, we get it. Value is, well, valuable. Publishing high quality content on your site will actually boost your company in the search results and also increase your site’s value at the same time. So, what are different ways that you can add value to the web? Here’s a list of pages or blog posts that you could create on your site to add more value:
- Blog Posts that answer your most common questions.
- Pages that Answer Specific Questions.
- Videos about your Company’s Service and/or Offerings.
- Info-graphics about humorous, interesting, and great topics.
- Transcriptions of videos or audio that you’ve recorded on your phone.
- Blog Posts that comment on trending relevant topics on the web.