With Search Engine Optimization (SEO) being so dynamic, it has become a necessity for businesses to rethink their strategies in order to stay ahead of their competitors. As new updates keep coming in now and then, it becomes essential for a search engine optimizer to be aware of what’s in store for the future. Here are five SEO trends to keep in mind for the coming year 2020.
1. VOICE SEARCH
SEO Gurus say that 2020 is going to be the year of voice search, even though voice search has been around for several years. Statistics show that nearly 50% of all searches on the internet will be voice searches in the coming year. All the smart devices that we have, including our phones with Siri, Google Assistant, Bixby, and Cortana or virtual assistants such as Alexa or Google Home, have built-in speakers and microphones to whom users talk more and more each day. In order to stay ahead of your competitors, optimizing your voice search is a priority, as there will be over 1 billion devices featuring voice assistants in the coming year. To optimize for voice searches, start with creating a FAQ page for your website. Next, create top-notch articles as ranking depends on the quality of long-form content and try to use simple words with short sentences.
2. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
Artificial Intelligence or AI search engines like Google and Bing have been investing a tremendous amount of resources in the new technology. Taking into account some recent Google updates such as the latest framework BERT (which is focused on natural language processing) is that you cannot build strategies around them, but you need to adapt for them. You cannot counter natural language processing, so you need to adapt to content strategies like using long-tail keywords, focus on technical delivery and clean architecture because this new algorithmic update BERT is all about matching search engine results with intent.
3. OPTIMIZING THE MOBILE USER EXPERIENCE
One of the core components of a successful SEO strategy is improving the mobile user experience. This has become all the more important since users are always using their mobile devices as a source of collecting information. Being able to optimize your site and having a site with a fast load time (on mobile devices, especially) is of utmost importance. If the mobile version of a webpage is not responsive, you might lose rankings on both mobile and desktop search engine result pages. Statistics show that if you have an e-commerce site and even one-second delay in load time can reduce their conversion rate by 7%.
Another metric is dwell time, i.e., the time between when a user clicks into your site, browses around the site and then clicks back to the results page. You want to make sure your website is optimized for mobile usability and dwell time because Google takes into account how much time a user stays on the page. When a user is staying on the page longer, it is telling Google that the content available on the webpage is valuable and this page should be ranked higher on the search engine results page. With the roll-out of mobile-first indexing back in 2018, having a stellar mobile experience is of high priority.
4. VIDEO CONTENT
Users are turning to video content to find out the information that they want to know in comparison to just reading plain text on a screen. Being able to optimize your video can provide better conversion rates and brand awareness. Metrics like engagement and time spent on a page is huge in the eyes of Google and other search engines, so by embedding engaging videos on your webpages can result in higher rankings on the search engine result pages.
5. SECURE SOCKET LAYER (SSL) CERTIFICATION
Among other trends that will be affecting SEO in 2020 is having a website with a security certificate. We hear this year-over-year, however in 2020, it will be mandatory for you to have an SSL certificate on your website. It is estimated that in 2020, Google, at some point, will most likely stop ranking sites that are not secure.
Secured Socket Layer (SSL) is a protocol developed to share confidential information over the internet securely. To get an SSL is simple. You can get a free one from organizations like Open SSL. Once you apply for it, your URLs will automatically convert from HTTP to HTTPS. The HTTPS ensures the users that your website is secure to use.
SEO has always been the most unpredictable pillar of digital marketing and a key aspect of the presence of every business online. Every time marketers try to play an expert in the game, the game changes. Coming 2020, make sure that these five trends are there in your SEO to-do list.