With 2020 now well underway, how well placed are you to be ahead of your competition for SEO?
Which SEO strategies and tactics are you going to implement to help you dominate the SERPs and make this year your best yet?
Our expert SEO team has selected five top tips and trends that you need to be aware of and bring into your strategy. These tips for future-proof optimisation will keep you ahead of the curve.
Prepare for Voice Search
Voice search is set to be a break-out platform for marketers in 2020 and one where SEO needs to be ready.
In 2016, Google revealed that around 20% of all mobile search queries were made using some form of voice search. This figure could rise to 50% of all searches by the close of 2020.
With platforms such as Alexa, Google’s Assistant, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Apple’s Siri becoming increasingly commonplace in homes, talking now sits alongside, and may become a genuine rival for, typing as a means of conducting online searches.
Voice search is becoming integrated with snippets and mobile search – again, Siri and Cortana – and optimising content for this will be a key trend. Optimised content for snippets is one tip for 2020, but voice search extends this need further.
This will, of course, mean optimising content for long-tail keywords and natural phrases as the majority of voice searches are questions. So, ensure content reflects the language that forms the basis of a voice search, and create a detailed FAQ page founded on long-tail queries.
Don’t Focus On Rankings
Understanding the true value of SEO is crucial to ensuring you allocate resources to the most profitable areas of your business.
Ranking highly is important, but how does it improve your bottom line? Instead of jumping straight in to improve a ranking, work out how to move forward beforehand. An easy way to value organic traffic is to look at the cost-per-click (CPC) for keywords within Google Keyword Planner. Essentially, you should devote time to your most valuable pages.
We’re not saying you should completely disregard rankings, but instead consider the monetary value of SEO traffic, just like you would with PPC spend/profits. SEO is extremely time intensive, so you need to focus on the areas of your business that will deliver the biggest return on investment (ROI).
Essentially, forget about hunting for the ten blue links – Google has evolved its ranking criteria and so should your SEO strategy. Search features and organic results now have a greater influence on rankings. So, this is how you should present your SEO campaign when pitching and reporting. Bear this in mind when forecasting SEO to a new client or business, use current traffic and the search trends that might influence them.
SEO Enhanced Video
Enhanced content has been the lifeblood of SEO, but what’s next? How can you take the next step?
Video must become SEO-enhanced in the same way. It’s estimated that video will account for well over two-thirds of all web traffic by 2022. However, when used correctly, videos can be key in driving conversions.
Tik Tok, Instagram TV and videos on YouTube all see increased usage, so incorporating video into your content is a great way of increasing engagement. This is especially true as some online and mobile users don’t have time to read blog posts.
The greatest benefit of using video content is the user experience. However, videos also increase the amount of time users spend on a page, which can directly influence rankings. Creating education-based videos, such as a “how to”, can lead to backlinks due to their shareability, which still influences SEO.
Like images, there are easy rules to follow to have videos rank. Besides data extraction from a crawl, you need to optimise metadata with keyword-orientated titles and descriptions. Another step to improve a ranking from a video is to have a transcript of a video. This benefits the user with standard text while ensuring the content is crawlable.
Don’t Neglect UX
SEO is about getting the right traffic to your site but, once you’ve done that, what’s next?
If you want conversions, then you need to consider user experience (UX) and the customer’s journey.
UX includes the overall experience for web page visitors, from initial interaction in the SERPs to the overall landing page. UX can even extend to after they leave a site, such as drip campaigns and personalisation for users. So, you need to think about how you can help users have the best experience while considering the value you can provide to them.
There are simple questions to ask yourself when it comes to UX and SEO. How easy is my site to navigate? Do I have quality content that makes users want to engage? Is my site fast and mobile-friendly?
Technical SEO is a vital component when it comes to UX, which includes overall site speed and page speed. Google Chrome now has warning badges for slow sites and pages, as well as offering speed reports. Importantly, mobile page speed can determine ranking, meaning mobile experience is just as, if not more, important than online.
Alignment between online and mobile sites is what your business or clients need, as the mobile experience is just as important for UX. This is where text, media, navigation and look of a page is so important.
Mobile & SEO
Mobile SEO may have been around for a while, but this tip is all about building a website that is mobile-first and then online compatible.
Prioritising your site for mobile and then desktop means a site doesn’t have to be optimized for speed once you’ve launched. And, as discussed above, speed is now an influence for SEO rankings.
If your website isn’t mobile-friendly or optimised, this is something you will need to address, as mobile interaction is only going to increase. This is particularly the case as Google is moving priority away from desktop and onto mobile as the main ranking page.
Therefore, If you don’t have a mobile website, it’s broken or incomplete, your desktop site is likely to see a drop in ranking. Conversely, if your mobile site is functional and user-friendly, your desktop website will see a boost in ranking.
Studying mobile SERPs is the first step, using real-time mobile search results to understand expected traffic and how optimisation can influence the bottom line. Simple steps include structuring content for three sentences maximum, using headings and subheadings, as well as bullet points or lists. Always ensure clear navigation and fast loading for mobile.
If your business is ready for the next level of its growth and you’d like to speak to one of our SEO experts for a no-obligation chat, then get in touch today.