Google has started the year off with a bang. The entire SEO industy has already seen big changes and we are just a couple weeks into the new year. SEO is not just ranking for keywords or coming up in search results. Instead, think about SEO as getting the most possible organic (qualified) traffic to your site. Here are 5 trends that you need to be aware of.
Five Major SEO Trends for 2020 are:
- Featured Snippets and No Click Results
- User Experience and Performance
- Voice Search and Rise of Visual Searches
- Video Continues to Surge
- Meeting E.A.T.’s Guidelines – Being Expertise, Authoritative, and Trustworthy
1. Featured Snippets and No Click Results
Featured snippets have been around for a while, but in 2019 into 2020 it has shifted the way keywords are targeted. With Google trying to provide more information to users on the search result pages, which results in no-click results. With the trend of featured snippets and rich snippets, spot zero has now become absolute instead of spot one. Yes, sometimes the terminology can get ridiculous. “Spot Zero” essentially means a result that comes before anything else. Here is an example of recipes showing up in spot zero for the search “ways to cook a turkey”.
Click through rates also have shown the effectiveness of featured snippets. Ads click through rates are on the rise while organic click through rates have been decreasing. This is specifically effective on mobile for it accounts for the majority of zero clicks and paid search growth. This is based a lot on screen size and many of the top results being more isolated from others.
2.User Experience and Performance
In 2020 a growing trend is the merging of “search engine optimization” to “search experience optimization”. User experience and performance is the bread and butter of SEO. User experience and great SEO rankings go hand in hand. Regardless of how good your content is, it won’t be effective if it doesn’t load quickly and If your website has a low quality user interface. But if your website has a high quality user interface and loads quickly, the effect would be the opposite. Users want easy to use, fast, and straight to the point search results and if your site doesn’t deliver that then users leave the site which brings the bounce rate up. All this as SEO’s know, effects your rankings on search engines causing your content not to be found. Ultimately, SEO success relies on a solid user experience and that is why the merging “Search Engine Optimization” to “Search Experience Optimization” is very important to pay attention too.
Furthermore, gone are the days where having a flashy homepage is important. Animations, motion, multiple layers, sliders and elements of that nature do 2 negative things; 1. they slow your page down, 2. they are desktop centered. The vast majority of ALL web traffic is mobile. Designing anything desktop first is no longer best practice in any industry,
3.Voice Search and Rise of Visual Searches
Voice assistant technology is already being used by millions every day. From google home minis to other voice assistant technologies available on our phones, watches, computers and much more they are always listening. That is why voice search can not be ignored when it comes to optimization of a website. Voice search is a great form of organic traffic and also can be very location specific for example “what is the best deli near me” or “what is the best places to eat lunch in New York”.
Also try using longer, more detailed sentences and questions with answers in optimization like above example because people search using voice search by the way they talk.
The Rise of Visual Search – The New Way of Searching Google
Another rising trend that is important to pay attention too is the rise of visual searches. Visual Searches can be a game changer for SEO with more people conducting more visual searches than ever before! According to Google, “Google Lens has already been used 1 billion times along with other visual search software”. People want to search with visual search software due to its accuracy, easy to search and find what you are looking for, and they are visually able to see the results. Here is an example of this:
This person saw this chair at a office and really liked it, so they opened their Google lens and it brought up related results of chairs similar to that chair. That is why image SEO is key. By using descriptive file names and writing alt text for every image and the image is authoritative and respected as well as the website it comes from.
4. Video Continues to Surge
The need for online video is surging! Video is a great source of SEO content expecting to make up 80% of all online traffic by 2021. In short, video is VERY important and is a great medium of traffic that should be utilized. Ways to improve your SEO this year with video is, video featured snippets.
SEO optimization of titles, description, and tags is key! Also another way to improve SEO in video is growing your youtube channel and also include more video in blogs so people would stay on your site longer improving your bounce rate with the help of those videos. Video is a very important asset to any SEO and marketing strategy and should be utilized more in 2020.
*It is important to note that authentic, less produced video, is still often many times more engaging than just picture or text content. Let people see the people behind the business.
5. Meeting E.A.T.’s Guidelines – Being Expertise, Authoritative, and Trustworthy
E.A.T. which stands for “Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness” is being emphasized more and more by Google. Google wants reliable trustworthy sources who know what they are talking about that will help rank your website higher with Google. This is also important for link building (which yes is still important!) by getting referenced by other sites which helps build authoritativeness with Google. Also don’t be afraid to be transparent on your website for it helps build that up as well. In short, make sure your content meets E.A.T. ‘s guidelines of being expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness to rank higher in 2020.
Take away: If you can’t bring anything new to the table in your industry, it’s going to be nearly impossible to rank well for searches.
6. Bonus Tip: Audio Devices ARE Listening
One of the most common questions we get at speaking engagements is “is my phone/siri/alexa/google listening to my conversations?”. The answer to that is yes, unless you just have that functionality totally turned off. That being said, the devices aren’t interested in your conversation as a whole. Instead , they are looking for specific words that companies have paid for as audio triggers. Once your device hears these words the device is given a token and that token follows you to other devices/apps that are related by account. So if you’re talking about mirrors in the bathroom and get an ad on Facebook for a mirror, don’t be alarmed. Instead just see it as a tailor made suggestion based on your preferences.