It’s the start of a new year. With that comes the usual forecasting trends articles.
Here is our look ahead with five SEO and content marketing trends for 2020:
SEO Trend 1: BERT
Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) is considered to be the most major change to search on Google in the last five years. BERT models are being used by Google to gain an improved understanding of searches. The impact can be seen both in search ranking and in featured snippets.
Google is attempting to better understand the intent of the search, rather than simply finding a result that best matches the search phrase used.
How does this affect your SEO efforts?
Gone are the days of jamming search phrases into your content. You need to have an understanding of search intent when you are creating content. Instead, look at the “people also ask” area on Google, as that’s what their machine learning is telling them that users are searching.
You can use other resources and channels as well to understand what your audience truly desires. Put email marketing, social media, your forum, polls, and surveys to use.
Putting your focus on search intent won’t just be good for your SEO. It provides the individual making the query with what they’re in search of and gives you more qualified leads who are more likely to convert.
Google is on the constant pursuit to provide the best possible experience to its users. If your content is optimized for search intent, you will be rewarded. It’s also important to note that this doesn’t only apply to your sales funnel. There are questions that could come up after a purchase. Your customer care and support pages must also be optimized for search intent. Google’s BERT models will reward this work and so will your customers.
SEO Trend 2: Quality content
Just because this has been the case for a while, doesn’t mean it’s not still relevant. It’s a big enough deal that we felt the need to remind you for 2020.
You want to have the best and most relevant content for your target audience. This will help you rank for long-tail searches. It’ll also assist in boosting site authority and other important ranking factors.
To better understand your audience, you should do these three things:
- Do market research to understand your audience and how they’re finding you.
- Research the search intent of your visitors.
- Create comprehensive content that makes it easy for visitors to get the answers they need.
It’s more important than ever to be able to write the way people talk. As search engines continue to improve their understanding of natural language, the content that is of the best quality and is written naturally is going to top the rankings.
SEO Trend 3: User experience and technical SEO
Creating a positive user experience for your site visitors is of the utmost importance in 2020.
This is backed by technical SEO.
These are factors that play into positive user experience and technical SEO:
- Page speed: The sites that load the quickest have been a priority for Google since their Speed Update in 2018.
- Uncluttered pages: Your site must make it easy for a visitor to find what they are looking for with simple navigation and clear CTAs.
- Mobile friendly: Google also makes mobile-friendly sites a priority, in no small part because nearly 60 percent of all searches are done on mobile.
- Wellformatted content: The readability of your content is also super important, so be sure that you’re using short paragraphs, bullet points, not too many big words, and break up your text blocks with images and subheaders.
SEO Trend 4: Mobile-first
As mentioned above, so many searches are being conducted via mobile these days. That means it’s necessary to prioritize the design of your site for mobile, even over the desktop experience.
It’s not only about design, though. It’s also important to have an idea of the mobile user experience.
Here’s what you should be considering:
- Is your text well-spaced and designed for a small screen for easy navigation?
- Are your links far enough apart so that fat fingers aren’t going to accidentally hit the wrong one?
- Are your images leaving enough space for your text?
- Do the videos on your site load too slowly?
Attention spans are smaller on mobile. Make sure your content is ready for a mobile audience.
SEO Trend 5: Brand building for link building
Backlinking has long been an SEO strategy, but building your brand might be the best way to accomplish that in 2020.
If you have a strong brand, customers will be more likely to share your content, which in turn will also assist in link building.
Yes, what your marketing team and SEO specialist are doing will be helpful for your SEO. As your brand grows, you will gain more trust with your audience, which will result in more backlinks and improved search rankings.
Looking to the future of SEO
It’s imperative to stay on top of SEO trends, as search algorithms are constantly changing.
Staying up-to-date will not only set you up for the year, but for years to come.
Is there anything we missed? Share your SEO trends in the comments below.