15 Experts Weigh in on What They Think will be the Top SEO Trends of 2020
If you are an expert in SEO, you know that it’s not something you learn once. The best SEO techniques are always changing, and what was successful in the SEO world this year will more than likely not be successful in 2020.
15 SEO experts have weighed in on what they think will be the top SEO trends in 2020. As experts in their field, you may want to take their advice and give these tactics a try.
15 SEO Trends to Try in 2020
1. Voice Search
Voice search is arguably the largest change to how SEO practitioners approach their strategies in several years. Even more so than standard web search, voice search prioritizes immediate, concise answers, stripping away extraneous detail to get me just the facts around the voice search query.
As such, we anticipate that the increasing popularity of voice search may come to benefit sites and pages that write in brief, concise methods, giving users (or speakers!) just the information they need in a consolidated package.
To optimize for voice search in SEO, we also recommend utilizing schema code to help search engines better understand the content and context of your site’s pages. Schema code is a universal language that Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others have all agreed to recognize as the single way to identify key pieces of information on a page. For example, using schema for eCommerce allows you to tag what parts of the page contain a price, color, size, shipping, and other options. This way, if a user searches for Blue Converse shoes, the search engine can immediately scan the page and find the best match for that query.
Adding schema markup is relatively easy, and a good SEO can readily partner with a good developer to place it on your site in a matter of days.
– Sam Underwood, VP of Business Strategy with Futurety, an Ohio-based data analytics, and marketing agency.
2. Transparency and Trust
Website transparency and trust will be a theme for the next few years. Too many hidden writers and so-called experts are curating bogus content on the internet. The Google Medic update will be the beginning of the effort to crack down on low-quality and bogus websites.
Trust will also be at the forefront of 2020’s SEO trends. Allowing user mechanisms to solicit feedback will be critical. It will be equally important for website owners to respond to feedback to improve customer confidence.
– Wyatt Doolittle, CEO, National Cellular Directory
3. User Signal
We saw strong evidence in 2018 that user signals are playing a much more important role in search rankings and I think we will continue to see that role expand in 2019. If you build great, informative pages, keep users on your site and don’t give them any reason to click back to the search results because they need more information, your chances of ranking high increase dramatically. We’ll be doing everything we can to improve all pages of our sites, creating the type of content that answers questions, adding even more videos as well as assembly instructions and owner’s manuals.
– Dave Hermansen, a 15+ year eCommerce veteran at Store Coach
4. Website Speed, Mobile Optimization and Video Content Optimization
Usually, when reading, ‘the SEO best practices’ people expect to find something extraordinary creative. And when there are tons of useful ideas to optimize for SEO, some major features tend to be underestimated, one of them is the website speed. Looking at this from a user experience perspective, are you going to wait for a website to load? Of course, not! You’ll find other sites (which might be your competitor) and get that information you were looking for. That’s why, I strongly believe that when it comes to the website optimization and SEO best practices, one needs to start from the very beginning and pay attention to things which might seem to be less important at first sight, but they are not in the long run.
So, only after going through all the basics of site optimization should you focus on other stuff. Just to be clear, I’m not saying there is some sort of ranking system. It’s important to understand that first of all. A user has to find your site (where keyword research, meta tags optimization, etc. come into the picture). Thereafter, your main task should be to keep the visitors on your website – where your site speed becomes critical.
Another factor that you should consider is about mobile optimization. This is important since the number of search queries that are done via mobile devices is constantly growing, and it’s super important to meet this user need.
However, when speaking about other tactics which will work great in 2019, I can’t but mention video content optimization. I think that the different types of content production will lead to some adaptations in search engine algorithms. Video content, for instance, will be crawled directly instead of that we have now – crawling only the traditional text content that surrounds the video.
– Oksana Chyketa, Marketer at Albacross, a free B2B lead generation platform.
5. Providing Value To The User
Backlinks used to be everything. But like keyword stuffing in the early days of SEO, Google is bound to realize that like other manipulating schemes, backlinks are easily manipulated. Methods like paying for backlinks, exchanging backlinks, and manipulating backlinks via personal blogs, cause Google to realize there are other, better metrics that measure the strength and popularity of a site.
Enter Bounce rate, Time on Page, and Click-Through Rate.
These metrics show Google a website truly delivers value to the user. If a user stays on a website, that tells Google the website truly was helpful to a visitor. The strategy to go after is to provide actual value to the user. This is done through publishing genuinely amazing content and solving the problems the user came to seek help with browsing the internet.
– Jerryll Noorden, Real estate investor, WeBuyHouseInConnecticut.com.
6. Becoming Mobile-Friendly, Establishing Local SEO, Voice Search
Getting mobile-friendly- People are always searching for products and businesses through their smartphones in their local area while on the go, and this will continue to be popular in 2019. Mobile friendly, responsive sites achieve higher rankings in Google search, mostly while searching on a mobile device. For many businesses and their customers, mobile-friendly sites are much faster, easier, and more affordable. This will continue to become an even bigger trend in 2019 as smartphones continue to evolve.
Establishing local SEO- Local SEO marketing has become more popular. As businesses begin to grow and add several locations, local SEO helps customers find your business in their area. With mobile-friendly sites evolving as well, local SEO will hope those looking for stores in their area while searching on the go. Businesses can increase their local SEO by listing themselves on Google My Business, Google Plus, Google Maps, yellow pages, and review sites such as Yelp, and professional associations/directories.
Voice Search- With the development of Siri, Alexa, and many other personal assistance voice apps, businesses, and services are going to have to change the way they present their information. For these voice applications to distribute their information properly, companies will have to change their information to more of answering questions/problem-solving a type of presence. This will become a bigger trend in 2019 as the development of these products continues to expand.
– Andrew Ruditser, Technology Coordinator, MAXBURST, Inc.
7. Know Your Target Audience
The ever-increasing frequency of updates from Google ensures newer trends in SEO. Moreover, the emergence of mobile as the device of choice for browsing the Internet has also revamped the rules of the game to a great extent. As mobile search results increase their say in SEO, the page speed, and the responsiveness of the website will play a vital role in the year 2019. For an eCommerce Portal, optimizing its content for Search engines is essential.
While several SEO tips can be helpful, the most important of them is to create and use the content that buzzes with your target audience. All online businesses need to create content that is original and support it through meticulous practices such as meta-tagging. Furthermore, with voice recognition algorithms getting better, enabling the users to take to Voice Search, the websites would have to comply with new rules for conversational queries to be on top of SERPs.
– Swapnil Bhagwat, Senior Manager, Orchestrate TechSolutions
8. Structured HTML Question and Answer Snippets for Voice Search
The trend I’ll be hopping onto is providing more structured HTML question and answer snippets near the top of my pages to optimize the chance my page will be the one pulled out for voice search. This is becoming increasingly important as more people are using Siri, Alexa, and voice search when looking for answers to questions. This can even be used for eCommerce stores by answering questions at the top of the page such as, What is the best coat for hiking in the rain, etc.
– Stacy Caprio, Founder, Growth Marketing at acceleratedgrowthmarketing.com
9. Aiming for One of the Top Five Spaces on Google Search
What’s better than ranking #1? Ranking in a featured snippet. By appearing at the very top of the results page, a featured snippet satisfies the user’s desire for an answer quickly and efficiently. The majority of featured snippets are pulled from the content that occupies the top five positions in the results page, but that doesn’t mean the top spot is out of reach for a newer or less authoritative website.
My top tips for ranking in a featured snippet include: focusing on creating content that answers specific questions, using bulleted or numbered lists to break up content logically and featuring high-quality images and videos with relevant metadata attached. Earning social shares and backlinks will also help to cement your content’s quality and relevance.
– Amy Kilvington, Content Marketing Manager at Blinds Direct
10. Review Score
Google’s August update, often referred to as the Medic or YMYL update shows just how serious Google is about recognizing the trust and authority of a website. That’s why I think that one of the big trends for 2019 is that reviews will become a much stronger ranking signal for eCommerce and businesses.
Google is clearly looking for ways to establish whether the websites it favors are also recommended by real customers, and one of the easiest ways to do this is by analyzing the data made available by the many independent review websites in existence.
In 2019, I believe that no amount of links or good content will be able to make up for a large portion of negative ratings a business receives, so business owners need to be thinking about how to improve their service in 2019 as well as how to get happy customers to leave their positive reviews.
– Richard O’Connor – Marketing & Strategy Director at First Mats Ltd
11. Website Optimization and Content Marketing
I believe voice-optimized websites will start to flourish as Google puts more emphasis on voice queries. So optimizing for voice phrases in your content will become the new norm. Page Speed, Mobile Optimization, and HTTPS will become even more of a ranking factor, and websites that ignore or take these issues lightly will suffer. Optimized Product Descriptions will still be the defining factor in your struggle to fight for Organic Traffic. Something most eCommerce companies lack is a proper content marketing strategy, aiming to become a hub for basic queries loosely related to your product can make stealing Google rich snippets very easy and rewarding.
– Dan Young, Founder of LoudDigital
12. Accelerated Mobile Pages
With Google’s mobile-first index update in March 2018 and later the mobile speed update in July 2018, it is clear that Google is prioritizing the mobile version for content and ranking – which makes sense if more than 50% of the world’s searches are done on a mobile device. Local results are more likely with mobile searches, users want faster results without having to click through to another page, and image results and videos often appear higher in mobile searches.
As such, identifying keywords for mobile searches, understanding your users’ intent and what micro-moment Google thinks the user is in (discovery, research, purchase moments to name a few) are important first steps to optimizing for mobile. Using AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) where possible will help to improve user experience as Google continues to emphasize page speed across devices, as well as Google’s mobile-friendly testing tool to make sure your content reads easily and plays smoothly across mobile devices.
– Amy Ahlblad, partnerships manager at Glamping Hub
13. Flat Sight Structure
It’s becoming increasingly important for websites to find the perfect balance of complexity and simplicity, especially considering the methods search engines are using to spider sites. A flat site structure means managing content, running countless page crawls, and creating an overall user-friendly experience. Likewise, a flat site structure enables visitors to find any page on your site with the fewest amount of clicks. However, it takes some serious SEO agility to format your site architecture properly. We found that the easiest way to flatten our site was to promote lower pages through internal links.
– Nate Masterson, CMO of Maple Holistics, a company dedicated to cruelty-free, natural, and sustainable personal care
We will be looking to employ focused backlink work through 2019. As a men’s fashion brand, it makes total sense to work with men’s fashion bloggers and gain natural backlinks which drive the right type of traffic to our eCommerce store and builds domain authority resulting in a higher search engine ranking. In 2019 don’t get backlinks for the sake of gaining a backlink, make sure they’re relevant and serve a purpose.
– Jamie Rice, Owner of Search Online Marketing
Although we are not an online retailer, based on our findings, we recommend that eCommerce businesses in 2019 to at least employ voice search optimization. This is because if you want to catch your customers online (which is all the time nowadays), then the best time would be in their micro-moments. Micro-moments are instances when consumers need things instantly, and they go online to search for them. Like a birthday gift, gadget for fixing something, or how to do a certain task. That’s when you can cache in their attention by coming up on top of the voice search pages because they are too busy to type.
– Janil Jean, Head of Overseas Operations at Logo Design Guru