How will SEO adapt to Google’s emerging technology and wider trends in 2020?
For those who are immersed in the search engine optimisation (SEO) industry, sometimes it can feel like you are constantly keeping pace – with the Google algorithm, that is. You see, nobody, with the exception of insiders at Google, knows exactly what makes Google tick. As soon as we think we know, the world’s most popular search engine can ‘move the goalposts’.
Exactly what Google recognises as being valuable in a web page can change from month to month and even day to day. But the best SEO experts understand how to adapt their content to align with what are thought to be the latest changes to the algorithm.
So looking ahead to the rest of 2020, what are likely to be the most influential features of Google, and which wider trends will SEO practices have to adapt to?
The value of voice SEO
Voice search is growing. In 2019, Google themselves found that 27 per cent of the global online population is using mobile voice search, and naturally, that means implications for the way in which we plan SEO strategy.
Voice search requests such as “where are the best hamburger places near me” tend to sound a little different to the way in which we would write a text search query. Because of their typical length, long-tail SEO keywords can prove to be more effective in this sphere.
There are also predictions that text search could be influenced by voice search as we increasingly speak instead of type to activate Google. That’s another reason why we could see long-tail keywords take on an additional significance.
Search for the ‘holy featured snippet’
Featured snippets are the questions which Google ‘answers’ at the top of search results in response to a search query, using information which it pulls off various web pages.
If you own one of these web pages, you have certainly hit the SEO jackpot, as these positions within search rankings have the same kind of prominence as paid ads, with the added advantage of being organic.
Featured snippets are increasingly answering the questions of searchers without them needing to click further, but we can expect the battle for these positions to heat up in 2020.
Content marketing experts who place importance on answering questions within their web page copy can expect to come up trumps. Question-based keywords can also be very effective in this regard.
Designing visitor experiences
Bounce rate – that is, visitors leaving a site from the first web page which they visit – can be an important factor in SEO. Persuading visitors to stay longer on a site and visit more pages can be crucial to those pages’ search performance.
And there is now more technology which web design experts can use to improve the visitor experience – this means faster page load times, captivating graphics at no expense to usability, and a better mobile experience with clearer navigation.
Your typical SEO company could be working even more closely with a web design partner to ensure that the digital experience ticks all necessary boxes.
Influencers = SEO value
What is an influencer? They are people who are trusted by online audiences as an authority or expert in a particular area – from business sectors to popular culture or sport.
If you can persuade an influencer to talk about your brand, you have scored a huge home run as a marketer. But what is the relationship between influencers and SEO?
In short, if an influencer posts a link to one of your web pages or social media channels, you can enjoy a massive upsurge in traffic, which can help your SEO. That’s in addition to the benefits for your brand and reputation.
Targeting influencers requires a certain amount of subtlety, and a good contact list. We could see more SEO agencies taking steps to open up a dialogue with influencers in 2020.
Those are just a few of the ways in which SEO might adapt to Google and the wider digital world in 2020. As an SEO firm London-wide, we would like to leave you with some parting advice: Effective SEO can demand a fine balance between technical aspects and engaging visitors – but never give up on refining your SEO strategy!
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