While some things in the SEO landscape never change (e.g. including relevant keywords in your titles, optimizing for mobile users), overall, it’s quite dynamic. The major trends you’ll see changing in 2020 are all done in pursuit of Google trying to become users’ end destination. It’s important to consider these trends in an attempt to stay ahead of them.
The new Norm: Zero Click Searches
There are many new SERP features (e.g. featured snippets, local packs, knowledge graphs) that have led to the trend of “zero-click searches.” What this means is that a person’s query is answered in the SERPs so they don’t have to click through to a website. While this may make you want to panic, you shouldn’t because what this means is that more people are looking for your address and phone number instead of a quick, easy answer to their questions.
Optimizing for Rich and Featured Snippets
Now that zero-click searches are so prevalent the SERP’s information is more important than ever before. There are a few ways to stand out here including:
- Rich snippets are easy to get but they lead to lower CTR so while your position in the SERPs remains the same, your results are more noticeable.
- Featured snippets consist of an entire block of information at the top of the SERPs. These will greatly increase your CTR.
Good SEO here requires you to have structured data. You should also look at what content your competition has in their featured snippets. It’s this content, not where you rank in the SERPs, that matters most when you’re optimizing your website today.
Be Prepared for Changes to Local SEO
Many zero-click searches where the results are shown in the SERPs are local searches that show up in local packs. When these are viewed on a mobile device they can take up as much space as the entire SERP itself. To ensure that it’s your website that’s being seen there, make sure your keywords include phrases such as “near me.” The easiest way to accomplish this is by creating a Google My Business page for your company. You should also build a solid backlink profile by checking out your competition and trying to get these same links too.
Get Used to Machines – They Aren’t Leaving
Google has been using learning algorithms for years now to improve their users’ experience. It also helps them get rid of webpages that are stuffed with keywords. This will become even more important in 2020 when Google releases their newest algorithm, BERT. There are three mechanisms Google uses here and BERT is only one of them. While it’s an algorithm that that’s used to analyze a search’s structure so the keywords’ context is better understood, the other two are equally as important. They include:
- Neural Matching: This determines the query’s meaning
- Rank Brain: This adjusts how the SERPs rely on the data that’s collected regarding the users’ behavior
Make Brand Building a Priority
Today, organic search is almost completely dead. Paid search is being used by an increased number of companies which means the ROI for paid searches is also decreasing. Nevertheless, paid ads are still growing in prevalence even though they’re more expensive. This is why today you must put more effort into building your brand and people’s awareness of your brand. Even Google is confirming that these things are both necessary and important for businesses to do today.
SEO rules are continually shifting and changing. For instance, Google My Business is now more important for some businesses than their own website. Keeping your hand at the pulse so you can adjust to these new challenges will provide your business with the best results in the years to come. However, as a business owner you’re probably already quite busy. In this case, make sure you reach out to the Affordable SEO Company and have them take care of this job for you.