It’s the start of a new decade, which means new technology, new marketing trends, and new SEO tactics! The SEO universe is ever-evolving, so it’s important to stay on top of new algorithm updates, features, and strategies.
So, what’s the deal with SEO in 2020? It’s important to continue working on the basics, like keyword research and page optimizations, but I see the following areas playing a major role in SEO this year: Technical SEO, Voice Search, Google’s People Also Ask, E-A-T, and Content. Let’s take a closer look.
Let’s Get Technical
While traditional SEO is important, it’s imperative that SEOs invest more of their time and energy into the technical side. Technical SEO means optimizing your site for crawlers. This is where it’s very beneficial for your development team to have a basic knowledge of technical SEO since they will most likely be the ones to implement the changes. Technical SEO includes, but isn’t limited to, robots.txt, structured data implementation, URL canonicalization, reviewing and fixing crawl errors (4xx, 5xx, 3xx), page speed, pagination, and more. Here’s a list of some of my favorite tools to use:
- Moz’s crawler tool addresses any potential technical issues and/or warnings on a site.
- Google has a free speed test to check page speed on both mobile and desktop.
- Our very own ironscan.io is an SEO evaluation tool to check your site’s SEO strengths and weaknesses.
“Hey, Google, Define SEO”
Voice Search was first introduced in 2012 and is just now starting to ramp up. With the help of schema.org, SEOs can place schema markups on their pages in order to provide a descriptive vocabulary that is easy for search engines to understand. How does this help with Voice Search, you may ask? Using the ‘speakable’ markup, search engines can identify content that can be read aloud on Google Assistant devices using text-to-speech (TTS). ‘Speakable’ is still in beta through Google, but I expect this to play a big role in SEO this year as it continues to grow and evolve. Schema markups can also make an impact on your chances to rank for a featured snippet.
People Also Ask…
The People Also Ask SERP feature has caught my eye in recent months, particularly how this impacts SEO and how to optimize for it. You’ve probably seen PAA in search results and have clicked on one of the questions, which can then trigger 3-4 similar questions and can go up into the hundreds in some situations.
Certain keyword searches can trigger PAA’s that can trigger featured snippets, an opportunity that SEOs shouldn’t pass up. If you want to try to rank for a featured snippet within a PAA, make sure you include solidified, clear questions and answers in your content based on long-tail keyword research.
E-A-T Isn’t Going Anywhere
Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trust (E-A-T) is and will continue to be, a staple in SEO, but keep in mind that this is only for what Google defines as YMYL (Your Money Your Life) sites. YMYL sites have the potential to impact a user’s physical, emotional, or financial health and wellbeing. Even though you can’t technically optimize for E-A-T, it’s important you make sure your content is trustworthy and comes from a place of authority and expertise. If you’re interested in diving deeper into E-A-T and Google’s Medic Update, take a look at our rambling from last year.
It’s All About the Content, Baby
Content is still king. If your site doesn’t have a solid content strategy in place, you most likely won’t see the rankings you’re hoping for. Write with keywords and search intent in mind. The more content you have, the more opportunities you’ll have to rank higher on SERPs. There’s no such thing as too much content, but that doesn’t mean you should produce mass content that’s of low quality for your user. And when I say content, I don’t just mean your typical blog post. Depending on the industry you’re in, provide users with case studies, white papers, press releases, and video. You can also repurpose your blog posts into infographics available for users to download. Finally, be sure to update old content with new, relevant information where it makes sense.