Search Engine Optimization has always been a crucial part of achieving success online.
Creating a blog or website isn’t enough to thrive in today’s digital landscape.
Once you’ve built the perfect hub for your online content, you also need the right strategy to attract more visitors to your door. That’s where search optimization comes in.
Unfortunately for newbies to the world of SEO, the rules are constantly changing.
The strategies that might have worked five years ago are no longer relevant today. What’s worse, if you’re unlucky enough to choose the wrong solutions for your SEO campaigns, you could even risk a drop in your ranking or a Google penalization.
Fortunately, we’ve put together this list of 2020 SEO trends to help you out.
The following insights will show you which Google search trends are relevant for this year, and how you can make the most of them going forward.
- SEO Trend #1: BERT
- SEO Trend #2: Featured Snippets
- SEO Trend #3: Websites Optimize for Voice
- SEO Trend #4: Mobile UX Dominates Rankings
- SEO Trend #5: Secure Websites Are Crucial
- SEO Trend #6: Leveraging Influencers for SEO
- SEO Trend #7: High-Quality Content is Still Crucial
- SEO Trend #8: Build Your Brand
- Are You Ready for The Google Search Trends?
SEO Trend #1: BERT
Back in 2019, Google launched a new algorithm: BERT.
Naturally, the algorithm gained a lot of attention as experts around the world struggled to optimize their sites for a new set of rules.
However, rather than focusing all of your attention on a specific algorithm and how it works, it might be better to learn about BERT, and then consider what it means for your long-term strategy. For instance, the BERT algorithm is all about understanding the topics and context behind search queries.
Google is using BERT to make sure that searchers online can get the kind of content that’s important to them in the search results.
So, how do you take advantage of this strategy?
You focus on writing content based on user intent.
Ask yourself, what do your customers really need when they’re coming to your website? When someone searches for “digital marketing” in relation to your site, are they looking for digital marketing tips, insights into the latest news, or a digital marketing tool like SEMRush?
Knowing what your customers actually need from your content will help you to reach the right audience and rank higher with the search engines.
SEO Trend #2: Featured Snippets
Another crucial consideration when it comes to Google search trends in 2020, is featured snippets.
Featured snippets are brief summaries of answers to specific search queries. They’re displayed at the top of the SERP results, above organic and paid ads.
Featured snippets have been around for a few years now. However, we’re only beginning to see their true value. Almost half of all search results end up with no clicks because customers get the answers required directly from the featured snippet. Indeed, the featured snippet gets more traffic than the first organic search result according to Ahrefs.
If you want to overcome the challenges of the featured snippets, then you need to aim to show up in this environment. That means using more question-based search queries and answers in your content. You should also use questions from the “People Also Ask” space on Google to inspire your content.
Plug those questions into a tool like Ahrefs and see which keywords will deliver the best response for your campaigns. Remember, 54.68% of clicks resulting from the Featured Snippets. No company can afford to take this trend lightly.
If you want to overcome the challenges of the featured snippets, then you need to aim to show up in this environment. That means using more question-based search queries and answers in your content.
Additionally, you need to structure your content by using appropriate and relevant H2 and H3 HTML tags for the queries and answers you want to rank for. Don’t unnecessarily litter your content with it, use the headings naturally, but keep in mind Google uses these for featured snippets.
Finally, make sure you have a proper table of contents for your post or article.
SEO Trend #3: Websites Optimize for Voice
Before the growth of smartphones, people searched for the content that they needed by typing specific words into search engine boxes on their computers. Keywords for SEO were born from this strategy.
With the growing use of mobile devices and smart speakers, however, voice searches are becoming increasingly popular among all users. By 2022, experts predict that 55% of all householders will have a smart speaker in the US.
So, how do you make sure that your Google search trends are taking advantage of voice search? It’s easier than you think. Start by thinking about what your customers are likely to say when they search for specific questions online.
Your content and keywords need to become more conversational. Rather than just ranking for “SEO trends”, try ranking for “What are the latest SEO trends?” Tools like Ahrefs can offer helpful insight into the questions that your customers are already asking when they use their smart speakers:
You can also make clever use of appropriate H2 and H3 headings and phrase those as a question followed up by a to-the-point answer paragraph.
SEO Trend #4: Mobile UX Dominates Rankings
For years now, we’ve known that Google search trends have been heading towards a mobile focus.
Customers have increasingly begun to search for what they need through their smartphones. This is particularly true in the world of local search. However, in 2020, any website that doesn’t have an excellent experience to offer on mobile could lose its visitors.
4 in 5 customers conduct local searches on Google using their mobile devices. So, how do you make sure that you’re prepared for this mobile-oriented environment?
You can use Google’s handy Mobile-Friendly test to check how mobile-friendly your site and pages are.
So, begin with the back-end of your website. Make sure that your pages are easy to use on any device. That means quick loading times, even on mobile, and navigation or buttons that are easy to click and use.
At the same time, don’t ignore the front-end! Responsive design is key here. Your website needs to adapt layout, UI items and other content to different screen sizes across various devices and adjust accordingly.
While you’re at it, also consider focusing more of your attention on local searches if you have a nearby audience. For instance, rank for “Digital consultant near me” or “Where’s my closest consultant?”
SEO Trend #5: Secure Websites Are Crucial
When it comes to SEO trends, it’s easy to overlook things like user experience and user safety. Companies get so caught up in ranking for keywords, that they forget about the importance of an excellent experience online.
However, if your customers don’t feel safe visiting your website, then they’re not going to stick around. That’s particularly true now that Google is labelling all websites without an SSL certificate with the “Not Secure” brand.
Google states that HTTPS helps to prevent outsiders from tampering with the connections between your users’ browsers and your websites. Gaining your own SSL certificate is an excellent way to put your customer’s minds at ease. It adds this handy padlock to all of your URLs:
Other ways that you can ramp up the security on your website include:
- Add security certificates to your website: If you’re accepting transactions on your site, a “verified by visa” label could significantly improve your customer’s experience.
- Reviews and testimonials: Comments from other customers that are happy with your product or service make a real difference to your trustworthiness.
- Use the right checkout process: Make sure that your checkout experience is quick, seamless, and packed with the right payment methods for your customers.
SEO Trend #6: Leveraging Influencers for SEO
Building the trustworthiness of your website through reviews and SSL certificates can earn you the respect of both your customers and the Google algorithms. That’s because Google search trends often revolve around the concept of EAT today.
EAT stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness.
So, how else can you show Google that you are what you EAT?
One option could be to take advantage of influencers. 17% of businesses spend more than half of their marketing budget on influencers today.
In a world where customers are frequently overwhelmed by ads, influencers offer an experience that feels genuine and authentic. With the right influencers, you can increase your visibility and amplify your content reach. At the same time, you highlight the authority of your site.
After all, if you can convince someone influential to work with your business, then you must be a worthwhile brand. Focus on harnessing the impact of influencers that already connect with your target audience, like @Dove does here:
SEO Trend #7: High-Quality Content is Still Crucial
While there are some online ads that can drive business, the truth is that the best way you can reach your audience is through the right content. 91% of total ad-spend online today is viewed for less than one second.
While quality original content might not be one of the newest SEO trends, it is one of the most essential. You need to ensure that you’re speaking to your audience about the topics that they’re genuinely interested in if you want to thrive.
So, how can you do that?
One option could be to start by checking out your competitors. Tools like the MozBar for SEO can help you to see what kind of keywords your competition is ranking for. This gives you an insight into both the topics that you should be covering and the keywords and phrases your competitors might have missed.
Another option is to experiment with different types of content.
While written blogs and articles are still excellent, video has a massive impact on your audience too. 6 out of 10 people say that they would rather watch online videos than their television.
Make sure that you’re creating videos that speak to your audience, using the language that they use naturally and the right tone too. Additionally, think about how you can optimize your video descriptions and titles for the search engines. Keywords and properly-managed meta descriptions are vital for video content.
It’s worth noting that Google owns YouTube, so having your brand show up there with relevant keywords is likely to have a positive impact on your brand importance and ranking in the SERP’s.
SEO Trend #8: Build Your Brand
Finally, one of the biggest Google search trends that we’re likely to see in 2020 is also one that many companies are bound to overlook.
If you want to be successful in today’s digital landscape, then you can’t just write the right content. You need to connect with your audience on a deeper, more emotional level. That means building a successful and engaging brand. Remember, linkless mentions are becoming increasingly important in 2020 SEO trends. Both Google and Bing are using mentions of your company on social media and digital forums to determine your ranking.
That means that although building quality link profiles is still relevant this year; you also need to get your customers and other people talking about your brand in different ways.
Use social listening tools like Sprout Social to ensure that you’re generating the right buzz on your social media channels. Get active on platforms like Reddit and Quora to answer questions that your customers have, and direct them back to your website in the meantime.
A big part of the SEO trends that your business will be pursuing this year comes down to making sure that you spread your company’s name as far and wide as possible. The more Google sees people talking about you on other websites, the more expertise and authority you will be seen to have.
Are You Ready for The Google Search Trends?
It’s impossible to ignore the importance of SEO trends in any industry. No matter who you are and what you’re trying to sell, you need to make sure that your websites are reaching both your customers and the search engines. However, many companies can forget that there’s more to SEO than just using keywords. You also need to optimize your content for your users in a range of other ways too.
The 2020 SEO trends covered above should give you a good insight into where search engine optimization is heading this year, and what you need to do to stay ahead of the curve.
However, don’t forget to keep an eye on your own personal SEO trends too. Using the right analytical tools can give you an insight into which campaigns are driving the best results for your search strategy.
For more tips on how to make the most of your online business in 2020, stay tuned with Why Websites Work!Disclaimer: Some of the links here and elsewhere on this blog are affiliate links that may provide me with a small commission at no cost to you. This enables me to run this site without annoying ads and to keep providing relevant and actionable content for free. Thank you!