Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is fast-paced and ever-evolving, with Google rolling out one algorithm innovation after the other.
As a consequence, the parameters for what will get you a top ranking are constantly changing. In order for SEO strategies – and digital marketing as a whole – to succeed, you have to keep ahead of the curve.
Here are the five of the defining SEO trends in 2020, to help you adjust your strategies and build a sustainable basis for high rankings.
1 – Video Content is Key
In 2020, online video keeps on exploding.
YouTube is already the world’s second-biggest search engine, right after Google.
A recent report by Cisco estimated that by next year, video will make up 80% of all web traffic.
Similarly, 43% of people in a HubSpot survey stated that they wanted even more video content than is currently available.
In terms of video SEO, good practices include organizing your videos into sections, using keywords in titles and tags, and providing transcripts. This makes it more likely both that your videos are found on YouTube, and that they appear as featured snippets at the top of SERPs.
What’s more, it has been shown that adding video to text posts will significantly decrease your bounce rate. This in itself is an important metric for Google – having users quickly leave your site can hurt your rankings. Video will prevent them from doing so.
2 – Optimize for Voice
Statistics show that voice search is becoming increasingly important for SEO in 2020. Today, 41% of US adults use voice search every day, accounting for a staggering 20% of all mobile searches.
These numbers show that voice optimization offers a huge potential to SEO marketers. The best part? Much of it is very straightforward.
Most voice searches are formulated like questions you’d naturally ask someone, like: “What is SEO?” or “Who directed The Shape of Water?”
Just including these questions in your content – followed by a concise answer – is already a huge plus.
Since well-written FAQ pages already follow this format, they’re an excellent basis for voice search.
Generally, starting your content with a short synthesis paragraph also boosts your chances of getting into Google’s Featured Snippets. SEMrush recently analyzed nearly 7 million Featured Snippets, and found that a 40-60 word summary seems to be a sweet spot for Google’s algorithm.
3 – Master Semantic Search and Intent Optimization
Google no longer just focuses on the exact keywords users type into its search field. Instead, it attempts to understand the larger query context and the intent behind the search.
This has two major consequences for SEO strategists.
First, it’s more crucial than ever to create in-depth, high-quality content with maximum value to readers.
Second, you need to focus on how you present your information. Studies have shown, for example, that organizing your website around topic clusters yields excellent results in terms of semantic SEO.
4 – Display E-A-T
Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. These are the key aspects on which your page gets ranked in 2020, according to Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines.
Even though it isn’t new, E-A-T’s weight in the page ranking algorithm has been increasing.
So how do you master it?
Secondly, off-site citations are another crucial aspect of garnering E-A-T brownie points. When an authoritative source – such as a credible news outlet, a popular podcast, or a high-ranking page in your niche – cites you as an expert, it supercharges your credibility.
5- Provide the best UX, Especially on Mobile
Finally, no matter how brilliant your content is, it’s essential to provide the best possible user experience. If your site loads slowly or displays awkwardly, visitors will nope out within seconds.
How to avoid this? Step up your technical SEO game, optimize your loading speed, and above all: provide a great mobile experience.
Mobile optimization is vital. In 2020, a whopping 87% of internet users are on mobile phones, and 40% of transactions are mobile.
SEO is constantly evolving and becoming ever-more complex. What had a site ranking number one just two years ago might now barely help it scrape the second page of search results.
That means SEO marketers need to keep up to speed and use the right strategies.
By focusing on semantic searches, featuring video content, optimizing for voice search and user experience, and mastering E-A-T, you can do just that. To stay on top of your SEO game in 2020.