Major SEO Trends in 2020 and Ahead | Lucid Softech

Major SEO Trends in 2020 and Ahead

By Lucid Softech IT Solutions | SEO,  05 Mar 2020

The year 2019 marked the end of a decade, a time period that was almost a revolution in the digital world.

Especially for the digital marketers, the beginning of 2020 is full of challenges, which might be opportunities in disguise, since “the boss” Google continues to follow its “customer first” approach.

So, is there something new in terms of SEO?

Are there plain challenges or newer opportunities amidst the fast-rolling Google algorithm updates?

If you look at it closely, while the basic stuff of using the quality content with relevant keywords remains the same, a lot has changed too.

SEO Trends 2020

Google, in close association with other massive partners, is ready to make every effort to be the best destination of a user’s journey.

No doubt, the searches continue to evolve and optimizing the website according to the search engines is the key to a website’s success.

Here, let us find out some of the newest trends that pave the path for SEO in 2020 and what it holds for the business websites, SEO service providers and digital marketers.

Latest Trends in SEO:

Again, while the content and the keywords remain the top priority, some of the latest SEO trends which influence the process in 2020 and beyond are as follows:-

  • Zero-Click Search is In
  • Video Marketing or Stay Behind
  • Do Not Miss BERT
  • Visual Search is seeing an Upsurge
  • Voice Search Optimization (VSO)
  • Build Quality Backlinks to Build Your Brand
  • Focus on E-A-T to Stay Healthy
  • Knowledge Graph Optimization

Let us dive a bit deeper into these trends and know the elements which could actually influence your digital marketing activities.

To spice up the content, we have some reviews by SEO experts, some important facts and details which are sure to offer a bang to your invested time.

Zero-Click Search is In:

If you follow digital marketing trends regularly or offer SEO services, chances are that you would have come across “zero-click search”quite often.

Zero-click search or no-click search are the search results obtained on the result pages above the top-ranking links.

Zero Click Search Example

In fact, these no-click searches aim to satisfy the users without even demanding a click on the organic search results.

According to the Search Engine Journal, 34.4% of all desktop searches result in no click while 62.5% of users never click search result links on mobile.

Zero Click Searches Statistics

So, you can also call these search results as enhanced search results, and these could be in any form such as:

  • Maps
  • Featured Snippets
  • Instant Answers
  • Calculators
  • Definitions
  • Knowledge Panels

How to Rank on Zero-Click Search:

As of now, there is no defined rule of how to put your website, webpage, content or image in the zero-search results. However, you can surely try these tricks to get results:

  • Begin your content headers with a “how-to” or “what is” phrase
  • Long-tailed keywords and their search results have a higher probability of ranking in the zero-search results
  • Questions or keywords in H tags, followed by a short content of not more than 60 words, has a higher probability of ranking better
  • Content having facts and figures has more chances of ranking
  • Addressing a searcher’s query directly too can help you put your content on the zeroth result. For instance, if someone searches “what is digital marketing”, your content should directly start from “digital marketing is ….”

Video Marketing or Stay Behind:

Before we talk about video marketing, let us see some facts which might serve as eye-openers:

  • Facebook garners over 8 billion videoviews on an average per day (Source: Social Media Today)
  • YouTube reports that mobile video consumption rises 100% every year (Source: Hubspot)
  • 55% of people across the world watch online videos every day (Source: Digital Information World)
  • 92% of mobile video consumers share videos with others if they find it interesting (Source: RendrFx)
  • 90% of userssay that product videos help them in making a decision for it (Source: Hubspot)
  • Including a video on a landing page can increase conversion rates by a whopping 80%(Source: Unbounce)
  • Video in an email can lead to a 200-300% increasein click-through rates (Source: Hubspot)

And does it require any more proof to prove how important the videos are for those obtaining digital marketing and SEO services?

Well, video marketing has seen a humongous upsurge in a very short period of time and having a video marketing strategy is extremely important to get good SEO results.

Video Marketing or Stay Behind

So, if you haven’t already made strategies for video marketing, it’s high time now.

Make sure you bet on high-quality recorded videos and live videos for your products and services to get meaningful outcomes.

Do Not Miss BERT:

BERT stands for Bidirectional Transformers for Language Understanding and it came into existence in October 2019.

It is a natural language processing technique, based in Google’s neural network and holds great importance since it keeps track of the basis of how the people search.

As per Google, BERT is the biggest leap forward in the past five years, and one of the biggest leaps forward in the history of Search.

Do Not Miss BERT

BERT allows Google to comprehend the gist of the language used in the content and also understand individual words within the search.

However, the bad news is that you still cannot optimize for BERT.

There’s nothing to optimize for with BERT, nor anything for anyone to be rethinking. The fundamentals of us seeking to reward great content remain unchanged.

Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan)

How BERT can Hurt:

As obvious from the above definition, BERT focuses on the content created on a particular website and if you do not focus on user-specific content, BERT will surely hurt your website.

So, while you focus on quality content only, it is important to create content that meets the approval of the users and the audience and at least aims in helping them out.

Visual Search is Seeing an Upsurge:

How much do you like a webpage that has text, text and only text?

Can simple text make a website visually appealing? No!

Google too understands this, and this is one of the major reasons why websites need to be visually brilliant and there’s a great rise in the visual search.

You may wonder how visual search matters in terms of the identity of your website, but it surely does since people conduct visual searches more than ever before.

Visual Search is Seeing an Upsurge

If you look at the stats, Google Lens has already been used over 1 billion times and Pinterest receives over 600 million visual searches every single month. 

In fact, if you open Google Lens and start scanning the objects in your room, chances are that Google would identify almost all the elements.

So how do you and your website match pace with this immense upsurge in visual search?

It’s simple! Go for Image SEO.

It’s important to focus on the image file name, alt text and most importantly, how well you make use of the keywords in your image descriptions.

But is this enough to get your images the best rankings?

That’s not a promise, neither by us nor by Google.

In fact, while each one of us is using similar SEO strategies, Google would rank images only if:

  • The website has a good authority
  • The website has good content which is refreshed and updated regularly
  • The website where the images are central to the page and high up on the page

So, while the visual search can influence your SEO services and strategies, it is also important to know what goes where to get results.

What We Learnt till Now:

Here is a small recap of what we actually learned in the above SEO trends:

  • Zero-click search satisfies the needs of users instantly and even before they reach the top-ranking website on the first page. Reaching this spot is worth the time and effort.
  • Videos and Video Marketing are an indispensable part of any SEO or digital marketing strategy
  • Bidirectional Transformers for Language Understanding or BERT helps Google in understanding the intent of the content. Therefore, the content should be user-specific, besides being high-quality.
  • Visual search is more important now than ever so focusing on image SEO and content on the website can really help a lot.

Voice Search Optimization (VSO):

Sorry to bombard you with facts again but you would be sorry to miss these:

  • Google, Yelp, and Bing together have a 90% share of the world’s voice search directories (Source: Search Engine Watch)
  • In 2017, daily voice search trends revealed that the rate of use was at 41% for adults and 55% for teens. (Source: Forbes)
  • The most common uses for mobile voice assistants are in the car while driving (62%) and while relaxing at home (38%). (Source:eMarketer)
  • On average, people type at a speed of 40 words per minute. Voice interactions are more efficient in comparison at 150 words per minute. (Source: eMarketer)

No doubt, voice search is certainly at the pinnacle of all the SEO trend right from a number of past few years and the voice search market is predicted to be a multi-billion-dollar industry in the next few years.

Voice Search

Have you optimized your website for voice search?

What can you actually do about it?

Here are some important tips that would help you get better results when using voice search:

  • Make sure you choose the correct keywords. Having keywords that depict a question, such as how, what, when, why, where can really help.
  • Use of long-tail keywords is really helpful in optimizing for voice search
  • Again, questions as headers and short, precise answers have chances of ranking better
  • Using conventional language in formulating your content is sure to offer results.
  • Websites ranking high on voice search have a good loading speed.
  • Websites that are optimized for mobile searches too have a better chance of ranking better on voice search.
  • A good Google My Business listing with a consistent NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) will help you capture your local search results as well.
  • Most importantly, your website should have good readability. Preventing jargon and using simple, natural language is the key.

Build Quality Backlinks to Build Your Brand:

Be it 2012 or 2020, the one thing that has not changed in SEO is having quality backlinks.

Though the methods of producing quality backlinks have seen quite a bit of change, backlinks are as essential for SEO, just as SEO services are for your website.

And having said that, yes, the methods of getting backlinks have turned more sophisticated and there are some newer, healthier alternatives too.

For instance, while getting a backlink from a high-authority website is still in, you also need to build high-probability link channels with custom search engines.

“Focusing on quality [backlinks] over quantity is what can help to protect your site as Google updates.”

— Adam Riemer, SearchEngineJournal.com

So, what are some of the best ways to get quality backlinks?

Well, this is nothing too new and you just need to focus on some popular methods such as:

  • Using skyscraper method
  • Reclaiming lost link equity in 404 pages
  • Publishing linkable videos
  • Broken link building (popularly known as the Moving Man Method)
  • Focusing on building high-quality non-follow links on sites such as Quora
  • Preparing ultimate guides and FAQs

And while there are endless methods of building backlinks, moving out of the social bookmarking world and exploring the newest ones is the key to success.

“Sadly, much of the content being published is simply not worth linking to. 75% of it is getting zero inbound links. So forget the ‘more is better’ approach to content if you want links. Go with quality instead. Your content will generate links only if it is truly exceptional—’remarkable,’ as Seth Godin would say.”

— Brian Sutter, Forbes.com

Focus on E-A-T to Stay Healthy:

While the competition between the sites to stay at the top is intense, Google has its own ways of checking your overall reputation.

E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness of a website, a brand, a business and those who publish content on behalf of these.

Whether you consider it good news or bad, E-A-T is currently not a ranking factor and you cannot optimize for E-A-T as this isn’t an algorithm as well.

Focus on E-A-T to Stay Healthy

However, E-A-T essentially represents the overall reputation of your brand and if your reputation is good enough, you surely have better chances of rankings.

“Companies that struggle with a poor reputation, customer service issues or other trust issues will have a harder time competing.These trust issues not only manifest themselves as reviews and feedback about your brand, but they also take the form of technical or security issues on your site.”

  • Lily Ray, SEO Director, Path Interactive.

But while you cannot directly optimize for E-A-T, here are some of the ways which could help to offer you a better brand identity:

  • Make sure you have the names of authors and their biographies in all the editorial content.
  • Personal branding is worth an investment.
  • Find out low-quality content or pages and either edit them or discard them completely
  • A secure website (HTTPS) has more reputation than a non-secure one (HTTP).

Knowledge Graph Optimization:

Google Knowledge Graph is not a new concept and it has been a part of google search results ever since 2012.

This knowledge graph by Google can be displayed in two ways:

  • In a boxed section known as Knowledge Graph Card which appears on the right side of the search results
  • As a carousel appearing at the top of the search result pages

But is your website or content fit enough to appear in google knowledge graph?

Knowledge Graph

This too is decided by google on the basis of users’ search behaviour, semantic search and entity indexing etc.

“Google is finding ways to include entity related information in search results through things such as augmentation queries. You can optimize entities that your site is about by doing things such as optimizing those for Google’s Knowledge Graph and making sure that they appear in Knowledge Panels.”

— Bill Slawski, Director of SEO Research, Go Fish Digital.

How to Find Your Way into Google Knowledge Graph:

Well, getting into the google knowledge graph is no rocket science at all.

All you need to focus on are a few important points and these are as follows:

  • As aforementioned, list your business in Google My Business
  • Be a part of all the social media platforms. You would have seen social media pages like Facebook and Twitter page ranking for a website instead of the homepage.
  • Ensure to have good customer reviews on your website and social media pages.
  • Quality backlinks are key for the google knowledge graph too.

So, these are the major SEO trends that are sure to play a big role in the make or break of a website, brand or business in 2020 and afterwards.

While we have seen the details of each and every process, let us conclude by having a brief view of each of these.

Conclusion:

  • Aiming for the first page ranking in Google search is not just enough in 2020. You need to aim for Zero-Click Search as this satisfies the needs of the users instantly and offers better outcomes to the website owners.
  • Having a Video Marketing Strategy is almost mandatory and as per SEO experts, no SEO strategy is complete without having a Video Marketing Strategy.
  • Google uses BERT or Bidirectional Transformers for Language Understanding to understand the quality of your content and how much value it generates for the users. It’s important to optimize your website content accordingly.
  • Visual search is also a rising trend and proper Image SEO could be the key to your success.
  • Optimizing your website for Voice Search is a very important factor that separates a good and a better website.
  • Having high-quality backlinks from high-authority sources was, is and will be mandatory, at least in the near future. Though, there are lots of new methods to get quality backlinks.
  • Optimizing your website for Google Knowledge Graph has its own benefits and this SEO trend is sure to grow in the future.

That’s it for now! Hope you like the blog.

Besides, we would love to hear your feedback, comments, queries, and suggestions in the comment section.

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