Search engine optimization (SEO) has been one of the most fast-changing marketing fields since the day it was introduced. It is updated almost every year to focus on technology development and users’ intent and expectations.
It is designed so that people could find relevant information easier. Following the trends can give an incredible boost to any website, whether it is an e-commerce one or a blog. We at WritingMetier believe that ignoring those changes, on the other hand, can lead to a significant reduction of visits and views of the page. There are several trends one needs to keep in mind regarding Google SEO in 2020.
1. Announcement of Mobile-First Indexing
The conversation about mobile-friendly pages has been spreading around for years now. The rise of mobile devices and their affordability for a huge part of the population led to the growth in mobile internet searches. This process is believed to continue growing. It is steady for almost every search platform and the statistic shows 64% of organic searches to come from mobile devices in 2019 for Google. It means that more people use the platform via their smartphones than PCs or laptops, and it does change the game.
It is not surprising that Google couldn’t ignore that, so they introduced the mobile-first website indexing. It means that the mobile interface of a page is now the predominant version. The Google algorithm will now prefer the mobile interface of the webpage for indexing and ranking. And if the page doesn’t look good on a smaller screen, it may results in a lower ranking for both variants of the website, not only the mobile one.
Overall, it shows that the main focus now on the smartphone screen performance and usability of the site. Nowadays having a fast and convenient mobile interface is not recommended, it is simply necessary.
2. Voice and Visual Search
Voice search is one of the trending topics now as it will shape the way we see search intent in the future. However, it might be not as fast-growing as it was predicted by some; the process is quite steady, so it is worth preparing for.
Voice search is built differently, mainly as it is used via home helping digital devices. The users tend to ask questions the way they would interact with a human and not just name keywords and phrases. And the answer is expected to be helpful and satisfactory right away. Usually, the algorithm uses the first searches on the topic to provide an answer. It means that the content should be helpful, it should provide a clear answer to the question, it should also be structured the way that algorithm can find the answer quickly. And the main thing – it should be given naturally, the way people speak.
Visual search is also believed to become more and more popular in the future. It is especially relevant for Google, Amazon, Pinterest, etc. To optimize for visual search, one should add descriptions to the pictures with the use of keywords, use schema markup to images, the images must be of high quality and easily accessible.
3. The Rise of the Snippets
Featured snippets and related questions have been already introduced by Google to make it easier for users to find relevant information. They offer fast answers for the most searched questions and base their further suggestions on users’ clicks. Snippets are placed before the first organic search position, which has already influenced the clickability of these pages.
Featured snippets show amazing performance by attracting about 58% of the clicks to the page featured in snippets. After all, if you see the answer to your question right away, there is no need to scroll down even the first page of the searches. It will result in an increasing number of visits to the sites that appear at featured snippets. To optimize a website one should use structured data markup and provide qualified answers to commonly asked questions. Also, the FAQ scheme or structure content with headings can be used. The main point is to have clear information that is useful and helpful for people.
4. Users’ Intent Is the Main Focus
SEO is not only about using proper keywords now. The guidelines have already changed to answering the public intent with the use of semantic analysis. Long gone are the times when it was all about using keywords to attract organic searches. Of course, they are still important, but it is not so straightforward now. It is all about understanding what the audience is looking for and providing relevant content accordingly.
For example, if a person searches for “eco-friendly tourism” the intent might lay much wider than simply this phrase. It might include eco-friendly tourist organizations, information on how traditional tourism is harmful to ecology and locals, how to avoid that, tips and tricks to make a trip more eco-friendly.
Eventually, it all comes to understanding users’ intent and their requests. What the person might actually be looking for and what resources can be helpful to them. One should create excellent content that the audience is looking for. It should be not only unique and compelling but should also solve a user’s problem. To focus on users’ intent, one must analyze the targeted audience, study Google results of the topic’s searches or use semantic search tools to have a better understanding of related fields.
5. Users’ Experience
Another key trend is the perfect quality of page performance. Even if the site has the most exciting content but it loads slowly and is not convenient to use, a person will leave it faster. If a load’s speed takes even one second more, 7% of the visitors will leave the website.
There are many ways to increase the site’s quality and make it more usable. The most important factors here are:
- Safety of the visit, usage of Http protocol. The fast one is http/2; however, the more efficient http/3 has been already introduced. Check whether your hosting provider supports it;
- Loading speed should be on top for both desktop and mobile version;
- Convenient interface and search through the site;
- High-quality pictures and videos;
- Original content in a structured and comprehensive form;
- Longer articles as people prefer to find all the answers on one page.
It is crucial to implement the most recent technologies, like WebP, PHP 7+, etc. They allow better users’ experience on the page.
6. Diversity of the Content
Another trend is providing a user with all the options of the content regarding the question. Google page now offers not only top links, but also video content, images, graphs, snippets, related questions. It means that the content should be diversified to tick all the boxes.
It also means that the page should be optimized for more elements that might be useful for the audience. Some of them prefer video content; others look for statistics and related pictures. It is what SERP marketing is about – covering all possible intents of the user. Eventually, it gives more opportunities, as the website might not be ranked the first for a written article, but will get higher ranking regarding video or other visuals.
The SEO trends of 2020 focus hugely on answering the users’ intent and providing all unique and helpful data promptly and structured. It is also about the implementation of the newest technologies, such as visual and voice search and orientation on mobile screen performance of the page. The audience is interested in getting clear results as fast as possible and having extended knowledge on the topic. It is important to follow these trends to stay relevant and increase the website’s popularity.
This is a guest post by Vasy Kafidoff. Vasy Kafidoff is co-founder and CEO at WritingMetier. He specializes in education, technology, and marketing strategies and follows all the newest updates in these fields. He is interested in SEO and digital marketing and the ways it influences businesses and start-ups. Vasy likes to share his personal experience through his blogs. What good is knowledge if you cannot share it with others?
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