Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an industry that, since its inception, has never stopped evolving. This should come as no surprise: any major industry that’s technology based needs to always be growing, adapting, and developing in response to the ever-changing market.
2020 promises to be one of the most innovative years in the history of SEO. Even in a field that’s defined by its ability to track with the latest trends and technologies, recent advancements have been proceeding at a breakneck pace.
All these advancements are exciting, of course; but they can also be a little stressful if you find that you’re not up-to-date. After all, if you’re a business owner, you should be doing everything you can to keep current with the latest developments in the world of SEO. Your competitors certainly will be! Read on to learn about what to expect with SEO in 2020:
Voice searching as a technology certainly isn’t new. Actually, it’s probably older than you think: digital assistants like Siri first started to appear way back in 2011! That means we’re approaching a full decade of being able to search the web with our voices alone.
Nevertheless, in the early years this was a technology in its infancy, and it had more value as a novelty than as a legitimate search feature that SEO companies had to take note of. Lately, though, all that is changing: more and more homes are making use of digital assistants such as Siri, Cortana, and Alexa.
The newfound popularity of these digital assistants has had – and will continue to have – a profound effect on the world of SEO. After all, it has completely changed the way that people search the internet. It’s now possible to search the web while you are engaged in other activities, such as driving, cooking, or planning an event. Finding a nearby pizza place is as simple as asking your smartphone a question.
With voice searches becoming ever more popular, search engine optimization is being tailored to match it. After all, people do not speak and type the same way: often, they’ll type only one or two words into a search, whereas a query that is spoken out loud may be much longer and more complex. This means that, in 2020, SEO companies will have to make major changes to various common keywords, as well as anticipate questions related to the businesses that hire them.
Search engines such as Google are making every greater use of Featured Snippets. If you’ve spent any time searching for information online, you’ve most likely already seen a snippet relating to your query. It’s actually a very advanced technology, making use of algorithms to try to place the right answer to your query at the very top of the search results.
For example, if you were to search, “Where is the Eiffel Tower?” you would get back page after page of search results, with all of the information on the Eiffel Tower you ever wanted to know. But in a box at the very top of the page, you’d receive the exact answer to your specific question: the exact address, in Paris, France, of the Eiffel Tower. That box is your Featured Snippet, and if it answers your question, you may never read any further on the page.
The same applies to businesses. For example, if you search, “best food near the Eiffel Tower,” a very short list of restaurants will show up. The restaurants in this snippet, of course, will have far more visibility than any others searched for in the area.
It’s for this reason that businesses are clamoring to ensure they show up on Google’s Featured Snippets. SEO companies will be working overtime in 2020 to ensure their clients utilize the right keywords and keep within the optimal word count to try and earn a spot in that coveted box.
Each year, artificial intelligence (AI), becomes more and more advanced. And while we’re probably still a few years away from robot butlers ala C-3PO in Star Wars, AI is already having a profound effect on the world economy. The fact is that an AI can discover patterns that humans simply can’t, and in the world of Search Engine Optimization, this is a huge plus.
Major search engines such as Google will make use of AI to read the entirety of your website as a search is happening, and utilize the information therein to decide where you should rank in a search result. You will need to be a step ahead of this in 2020.
If you put your SEO data in the hands of the right AI software, it will be able to deliver you a huge amount of incredibly valuable information. It can discover the best recommended keywords – and other keywords related to those – as well as recommended word count, and all sorts of details pertaining to your potential customers’ preferred searches.
Here’s another feature of the Internet that has become absolutely ingrained into our daily lives: videos. People view multiple internet videos every day, and take in a good deal of their advertising from them. Online videos have replaced television and radio for millions of people all over the world.
Despite this popularity, however, many businesses still aren’t grasping how to optimize searches so that their videos appear first. It’s simply not the same as other types of SEO, and if you want to know what to expect from SEO in 2020, you will need to start thinking about video SEO.
If you want to take advantage of the power of online videos, you have to create a product that people will watch – remember, your videos are competing with thousands of other things for their attention – and ideally, one they will come back to. In 2020, you will have to work with your SEO company to ensure your videos rank.
The last few decades have seen more and more industries become digitized, and in 2020, everyone will be looking to their phone for nearly everything. Each year, more and more purchases happen online, and more and more people don’t even bother with a desktop compute for most of their chores. It’s all done via mobile phones.
Despite this, some businesses remain desperately behind the times when it comes to Mobile User Experience (UX). The fact is, it doesn’t matter how great your product is; if it can’t be easily accessed on a phone, you simply won’t sell. In the world of SEO in 2020, nearly every business everywhere will have to ensure that mobile users have a positive experience when searching their products online.
If you have spent vast amounts of money – not to mention countless hours – to ensure that your business ranks high in search engine results, then it would certainly be devastating to lose all that in an instant. And yet, if your web security is poor, this is exactly what can happen.
In a world where more and more things are becoming digital, cyber security is becoming more and more critical. Indeed, the security of your website has a direct affect on your SEO rankings. If your site becomes hacked, that could spell the end of your SEO rankings, but even unsuccessful attempts from hackers can slow down your traffic.
Why are hackers targeting your site, anyway? Well, the reason is actually SEO. By putting malware onto your page, hackers can alter the links you have on your website and replace them with spam. Ultimately, this can lead to your site becoming blacklisted, which will have a profoundly negative affect on your business prospects. Despite this, only about half of businesses take the time to protect themselves from malware. In 2020, make sure that you are fully committed to user safety.
Chances are, you’ve already put some thought into location-specific SEO. After all, most businesses operate at a local level and you will presumably be targeting a specific demographic, whoever they may be. How granular you should get with this; however, depends on the nature of your business.
In other words, let’s say you are operating an Italian restaurant in a major metropolitan area. If that’s the case, you’ll want people in that area to find you when they search “Italian Restaurant,” “Italian Food,” “Best Restaurant Near Me,” and similar queries. It’s crucially important that your SEO has a specific focus on your area, otherwise your restaurant will simply get lost among the vast amount of other search results for “Italian Food.”
One of the more recent developments in the SEO world, schema markup is currently rather under appreciated, with few business owners understanding its true value. In 2020, that will begin to change.
Schema markup is a code that’s placed into your website that helps to organize your search results. Without it, the search engine won’t know what to focus on. So while your page may come up, as far as the search is concerned, it will just be a jumble of information.
As an example, let’s go back to the aforementioned Italian Restaurant. If your restaurant is famous for its ravioli, you could put schema markup around the word “ravioli” on your website, rendering it more important than the thousands of other words there. That way, when local people search, “ravioli near me,” they’ll be able to see a snippet of your menu. This can be invaluable when driving traffic to your site.
Although it can feel like a lot to keep up with, these constant developments are what make SEO such a powerful and effective tool. These changes are exciting, and having a thorough understanding allows businesses to utilize them for their advantage. That’s why it’s so important to work with professionals who live and breath SEO and digital marketing, and who can understand the possibilities for your business.
Try Intrix Media’s free SEO Audit today, and get a thorough analysis of the SEO status of your website, as well as the improvements you can implement.