Every year, do you notice informational articles about SEO trends? There’s a good reason for that. Google keeps companies on their toes by constantly changing their game. In fact, Google algorithms have turned the giant into more of an answer engine than a search engine.
Whether you type in a few words or a complete sentence (less is more, by the way), you’ll find that Google almost always comes up with related content. Nowadays, they’ll even throw in a few videos in their new carousel reel and a ‘People also ask’ section with targeted answers to your queries.
So, what do you say we make 2020 the year we ‘do’ instead of ‘desire’? Make it your goal to create a website that stands out, ranks well and experiences a slew of traffic. There are a few, definitive ways to do that, starting with smart keyword selection and ending with site security. Let’s get technical, shall we?
We don’t wonder anymore if the guy running ontointo the Tube is talking to himself. Clearly, he’s telling Google, Siri or some other robotic wonder to find a local restaurant or call his best mate. Since voice searches can get us what we need much faster than our clunky texting thumbs, it’s ramping up in popularity.
And, if Google sniffs a trend, it’s going to acquiesce to it. All the people out there with hands coated in raw chicken who want to know what temperature to set the oven to will call out to Siri or Alexa, saying things like, ‘What temperature do I cook chicken thighs?’ or, ‘temperature chicken thighs’.
Optimising your site for voice search means something very specific about the way we’ll approach keywords in 2020. Longtail keywords will be more important than ever before. Users want specific, targeted results whenever they start a search. So, incorporating the right longtail keywords into your latest blog post is a good step in the right direction for voice optimisation success.
Make Your Keywords Matter
Keywords have always been important. But, with voice optimisation, featured snippets and video carousels on Google, the 2020 game is even tighter. (Actually, we’re about to discuss how to tackle all those new goodies put out by Google. But, first, we need to have a serious chat about keywords.)
Before you do any other content marketing, social media marketing or web design, give some serious thought to your keywords. It’s important to lace your company site with the appropriate keywords for your content. There’s a plethora of best practices there, but here are some of the most important places to add your primary keyword as you create content:
- First 150 words of your landing page
- Company URL
- Page (or meta) description
- Image alt text
So, if you’re in the business of selling organic essential oils, then it’s important to research the most popular keywords pertaining to essential oils. Is it ‘essential oil’, ‘essential oils’, ‘organic essential oils’ or ‘essential oils for sleep’? The only way to find out is to conduct a keyword-based search. There’s a multitude of free tools out there to help you with that process.
From there, be sure to add your primary keyword to your URL (if possible), meta description, landing page and more. Now, why do we keep saying ‘primary’ keyword? Well, this is the highest-ranking keyword that relates to your industry.
There are also secondary keywords, or keywords that track just a little bit lower than the primary keyword. You’ll want to sprinkle those keywords throughout the remaining pages within your company site.
Maintaining a company blog is some hefty work. We often find that people underestimate the time, effort and attention that goes into a robust blog. But, the truth is, a blog may not be enough anymore. Since the wave of the future is video-centric, it’s worth some more of that time, effort and attention to create marketable videos.
YouTube works a lot like Google (since Google owns that, too) so the technical side of things won’t be too challenging for you once you get a hang of all these SEO tactics. Video production time? Now, that’s another thing.
But, here’s what we’re trying to strike at. Google has added a new carousel for videos that appears even before the organic search results pop up. That means, if you’ve produced a high-quality video, added all the right keywords to the title and meta description and hashtagged it properly (along with a few other tricks), you could rank so well on Google, you’ll land even higher than the first organic search result. That’s a worthwhile endeavour, indeed.
Blogging is something you’ll want to square away before video, but it’s not quite as new as that nifty video carousel atop Google searches. So, let’s talk good ol’ fashioned blogging for a moment. Insightful, educational and well-written blog entries are essential to your success.
First, these posts will exercise your expertise in your industry. Second, they’ll provide a platform to delicately advertise your business through valuable content, link building and calls to action. They’re also the perfect place to implement your keyword research findings. All these items revolve around the ranking factors that you want to target.
Let’s return to link building. An important blogging trend is the move away from short content. Long-form content seems to rank better because Google will suspect you’re sharing more in-depth information and possibly award you a gold star. That means one weekly post at 1,500 or 2,000 words may serve you better than, say, three 500-word articles.
In the midst of your article, no matter the length, you always want to incorporate internal and external links. Let’s return to our example of essential oils. If you’re writing an article about summer allergens, then you might incorporate a link to your company’s list of diffusers as you mention the importance of eucalyptus to clean the air around you.
That link will be embedded in the anchor text. Choose two to five words to embed your link and it’s up to you whether or not you’d like that anchor text to be a keyword. See if you can find three to four opportunities to include internal links throughout your long-form blog post.
Three to four is also a solid consideration for your external links. As you write about summer allergens, maybe you’ll include a statistic from the National Health Service about the number of people who suffer from hay fever in Essex. Just make sure your external links come from high-authority entities and don’t compete with your own business in any way.
Think In Snippets
We’ve talked a lot about rank. Most of us aim to land within, say, the first five slots on Google’s search results. But, what if you could rank even before the number one spot? That would require a featured snippet.
Honestly, a lot of what we’ve already discussed will bode well for you. And here’s where those lovely blog posts come in. If you’ve written a clear, educational post that concisely answers a direct question, then you may be headed for snippet territory. Think of your keywords in the form of questions.
So, if you write an article about essential oils for dogs, then try to get right to the heart of essential oils that are unsafe for dogs. Most featured snippets answer questions in 40 to 50 words.
You’ll want to try to figure out what the world wants to know about essential oils by searching online forums such as Reddit, Quora or Yahoo Answers. Knowing this will help you with the focus of your snippet-worthy article. Also, see what the competitors are doing to land the coveted snippet position as you aim to make way for your company.
Security Is a Must
In a world full of cyberspies, no one in the know will touch your website if it’s not secure. If someone’s about to visit your website but they see the little ‘Not Secure’ warning pop up, it’s likely they’ll keep on searchin’ and so may come across a competitor.
Google wants to see your website is secure and, more to the point, this will have an impact on your bounce rate. If your site develops a reputation for high bounce rates, Google will discipline you in the form of a lower position in organic searches.
To do this, you’ll need to enable to HTTPS protocol on your website. That means a small purchase for a Secured Socket Layer (SSL) certificate. You can find free certificates out there – although we’d caution you to do your research – or you can pay a few quid per year.
SEO Trends for 2020 Success
And there you have it. SEO trends encompass a sea of ranking factors, so it’s best to tailor your focus to a few specific tactics. Taking aim at video and blogging alone will give you a fine focus.
Whether you’re looking for affordable SEO services, local SEO services, small business SEO services, web design or a general sprucing, we can help you. Here at Lion Spirit Media, we roar when it comes to content marketing, copywriting, media relations and SEO practices.
Allow us to help you wear the SEO crown starting in 2020. Together, we’ll create a tailored approach to help you create a robust online presence and drive traffic. We’ll focus on your SEO game, PPC ads, content, social media and web development to deliver ROI-driven results. Feel free to send us a line today to secure 2020 as your biggest year yet.