Search engine optimization (SEO) has experienced many stages of evolution since its early days of keyword stuffing and link spamming. As Google and other search engines become more refined, elegant, and convenient for the user, businesses need to know how to keep their websites up to speed. Eight experts share their predictions and advice for SEO in 2020 and beyond.
1. Google will continue to shift focus towards user experience.
“The trend that I see is that Google is becoming more and more a user experience company; it’s not anymore about finding the most relevant websites for a given search query, but also about providing direct answers for simple queries whenever possible, and developing new technologies that aim to bring a better user experience across the internet, especially on mobile devices.” — Konstantinos Ntoukakis, Studio For Digital Growth
2. Local search will be more important than ever.
“Google My Business, for example, has made a lot of adjustments; they changed it so that you can only target 20 local areas right now, they really want you to only target the most local areas to you. They really want you to get reviews or respond to reviews, use posts, offerings, they want you to be active on Google My Business.” — Marc Brookland, SEOLocale
3. Zero click search will disrupt the market.
“I believe that zero click search will profoundly disrupt the market. For those that have not prepared themselves for it, it will profoundly disrupt traditional SEO because more than half of all searches are a zero click result, which means that a featured snippet has been triggered. If the user is actually getting the answer that they’re looking for, immediately presented to them in the search engine results, there’s no need for them to go down further and the results and click on a web page. Most businesses aren’t optimized for featured snippets.” — Noah Battle, Sproutbox Media
4. You should focus on building authority.
“I think that SEO is leaning more towards authority sites winning out. Google is really rewarding and trusting those websites. Instead of creating a niche site about best hair clippers or something like that, people are going towards authority sites by making sites about your entire home or raising a family and having that as a two year project to really build up that domain authority and then get into that mode where you’re able to just publish content and have it rank alone without without necessarily beating to build backlinks directly to the content.” — Steve Toth, SEO Notebook
5. Nouns will have greater importance.
“We’ve forecasted the growth of something called Entity Fee Based Search. What that means is search engines are trying to understand nouns, not strings anymore, where you typically, historically you would have a keyword and then you would try to rank that keyword and take the traffic position that way. Search engines have become much smarter, their AI are trying to understand entities meaning they know who Steve Wetmore is, they know who Bill Gates is. And subsequently they know the relevance of that search term. There’s a massive early adopter advantage as this technology matures.” — Franco Valentino, Narrative SEO
6. We are going to have more new snippets and less organic visibility.
“…. at least for the long tail searches. BERT, the last Google update published, goes directly on this way, improving the way the algorithm understands natural language. A step forward to better understand the long tail searches, and at the end of the day, almost every vocal search is long tail. My advice would be to check if you have to use other ways to keep your traffic at the top of the conversion funnel.” — Alberto Blanco Perez, AB+ Marketing Digital
7. We need to be doing more on the marketing front.
“As we gear up for 2020, that’s a big initiative. The goal is to build a big funnel, drive traffic through marketing activity and then let people discover and engage with the product on their own, then convert to a paid customer if the tool is valuable and useful for them.” — James Creech, Paladin Software
8. Voice search isn’t going away.
“Everyone’s trying to figure out how to tune into it, how to make things work. And there’s there’s not a lot of documentation work on what drives Amazon Alexa or Google Home, or results in Google specifically. But what one thing that is actually working that I tested, and I’m actually seeing some good results with, is using structured data for voice search. And this is just making sure that you’re you’re marking up your content in ways that are easy for Google to understand. You need to go that next step to really show Google what your page and content are about.” Jeff Romero, Octiv Digital
About the author: Steve Wetmore
Leading Instagram coach and Amazon published author Steve Wetmore helps businesses and brands through organic growth. His kindle book, Instagram Dominator 5.0: Learn How to Dominate Instagram Today is now on sale. Steve founded https://www.buysellshoutouts.com/ back in 2014 as one of the first Influencer Marketing platforms on the internet. If you want organic Instagram growth of 10K - 30K Instagram followers every 90 days, check out his newest venture, InstaVIP. https://www.instavip.io/ Steve Wetmore