More businesses are realising the value of organic traffic to their websites and so the online competition is going to get stiff in 2020 and beyond.
Businesses will be working to improve search rankings for their websites to increase organic traffic. This is because organic site visitors are more likely to convert into customers as they are already looking for a solution to their problem.
In this article, you are going to learn the 10 SEO Best Practices to use in 2020 if you want to achieve higher rankings on search engines and get more organic traffic to your site.
Ready? Then let’s begin.
1. High-Quality Content
We’ve all heard that “content is king” and every “SEO guru” insists that you need to write high-quality content. But if you ask these SEO experts to define the meaning of quality content, you get varied and opinionated answers.
The most common question is about “the minimum word count fit for search engine rankings”. Some will tell you 1,200, others 3,000, or 2,000 and so forth. But the answer to this question is that more content doesn’t mean better content. This is one of the reasons Google can show a “snippet” showing the age of an actor when you search for it instead of a whole article. Which shows Google is evolving more and more from being a search engine to an answer engine.
Here are the best practices to ensure high-quality content in 2020:
2. Keyword Research SEO Best Practices
Google used to generate search results by matching keywords in the search queries to content available on the internet. So content that had more keywords related to the query would have better chances to rank higher even if the content didn’t answer the users question as well as the one with fewer keywords.
Through AI technology and various algorithms such as BERT, Google has evolved to understand searches and their semantic connections better. Therefore, today, content is more about the quality and relevancy over inserting certain keywords for the purpose of them being there.
Here are the best practices for your keyword research strategy in 2020:
3. Local SEO
According to Smart Insights, 46% of searches on Google have local intent. This means that in 2020, local business authority is going to be a major ranking factor for higher rankings. More businesses are going to try to make it to the top of search results. This is because almost every local search by users results in either an online or offline sale.
The authority of a business is determined by 2 factors: entity popularity and entity engagement. Entity popularity is determined by the number of mentions a business gets on social media, articles, videos, etc. While links are much better than brand mentions, mentions still can impact local SEO if they are many.
Entity engagement, on the other hand, will be determined by “engagement metrics” such as:
All these are important metrics that show the level of authority your business has in its location. Therefore, optimise your Google My Business (GMB) listing and constantly update your NAP ( Name, Address, Phone) to keep it accurate.
4. Link Building
Google has consistently made it clear that content and link building are the two biggest SEO factors. A website with great content but no links is like a beautiful island that remains undiscovered and isolated in the vast ocean because it lacks a path for people to find it.
Backlinks enhance referral traffic and increase your ranking potential because they provide routes through which your target audience can get to your website.
Here are the best practices for link building in 2020:
5. Featured Snippets and SERP
A featured snippet refers to a short and quick answer to a searcher’s question that appears on SERPS. The purpose of the featured snippets is to provide the right answer quickly to the user. Statistics show that 8.6% of all traffic goes to the snippet and 19.6% of the clicks go to the first organic result. So by optimising your content around the answers to search questions by your target audience, you increase the chances of occupying the featured snippet position.
Here are the best practices to optimise for featured snippets:
6. User experience on your website
User experience is going to be one of the biggest trends in 2020 and beyond. This is because Google considers user experience as a ranking factor. Page speed plays a vital role in improving your website’s user experience.
Here are some of the best practices for better user experience on your website in 2020:
7. BERT and User Optimisation
Google launched a new algorithm known as BERT in 2019. It helps Google understand the topics and intent behind sentences, paragraphs, and search queries. So instead of analysing texts to match keywords, BERT improves the relevance of search results for users by understanding the intent behind search questions and statements.
Create content primarily to help your target audience solve their challenges. Instead of intentionally sprinkling keywords throughout the article, focus more on user optimisation. Aim at creating content that meets the user’s intent.
8. Content that focuses on E.A.T
Google considers the Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness (E.A.T) of a company for search engine rankings. Companies that have a poor reputation may find it hard to rank in the first SERP, specifically if you are in the “your money or your life” categories such as legal, finance & health.
Google will consider the content on your site and who it is authored by, reviews, and feedback about your brand. It will also check if your site has security or technical issues. Google will also examine user experience. If your customers find the purchasing process difficult, then it may hurt rankings because Google prefers directing users to sites with excellent customer experience.
Here are the best practices for E.A.T in 2020:
9. Voice Search Optimisation
According to BrightLocal, 56% of all voice searches are made using smartphones. This statistic means that voice search is popular among mobile users and mobile search is critical in the search industry.
Here are other statistics related to Voice Search Optimisation:
Since most questions in Voice search are in the format of direct questions, they will likely play a crucial role in SEO in 2020. Voice search questions begin with keywords such as How, What, when, why, and where.
Here are the best practices for Voice Search Optimisation:
These points are critical for Voice Search keyword research.
Videos are still going to be one of the important digital marketing trends in 2020.
According to a report by Zenith Media, the average online consumption of videos per person every day is likely to rise steadily in 2020 and beyond.
Zenith forecasts that the average amount of time people will send consuming videos in 2020 is 84 minutes and in 2021 it will be 100 minutes. It also revealed that certain countries like China are already consuming an average of 103 minutes of video per day.
Wyozowl reveals that 96 percent of people agree that videos helped them understand more about a product or service. This means that adding videos into your SEO strategy will increase engagement with prospects and existing clients.
Here are the best practices for video SEO strategy in 2020:
Now that you have learned SEO best practices to implement in 2020, what are you going to do next? We can help you improve your search engine rankings and increase organic traffic to your site.
At Lemon Pulse, our experts will help you achieve your business goals by proposing effective SEO strategies. We will conduct an SEO audit for your website to identify ways to improve organic traffic to your site. Based on your target audience, we will help you design a formidable content strategy to increase engagement and attract prospects to your brand. Let us help you grow your business!