The list of SEO trends for 2020 is long and potentially confusing: semantic and voice search, influencers, BERT and EAT, snippets, and more. Some of these are CRUCIAL if you want your content to be seen and your site to be chosen before any of the others. But some of them may not be as important as others for you and your business.
If you’re looking for a list of sizzling, hot SEO trends for 2020, this isn’t exactly the article for you. However, if you’re trying to develop an SEO strategy for the most effective way to spend your marketing budget and you’re looking for where and how to focus your attention, you’ve come to the right place.
Determining which trends deserve your attention revolves around understanding three things: your content, your business, and your target market.
1. Understand your content.
Let’s start with your content. One of the trends for 2020 (and 2019, and 2018, and 2017 … I think I’m detecting a trend of trends) is Rich Snippets. I wrote an article about rich snippets and structured data a ways back, but if you want the quick and dirty definition, here it is:
A rich snippet is a way to tag certain parts of your page content in a way that is easier for Google and other search engines to read, understand, and display.
If you understand your site content, you will be much more successful in implementing these rich snippets. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular rich snippet types:
- local businesses
- top stories
It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure out that most of these don’t apply to every business and every website. If you know your content then you’ll know whether these are relevant or not.
However, this can also inform your future content development. Studies show that using rich snippets can increase sessions by over 500%, increase click through rate by about 400%, and increase revenue by nearly 700%. These numbers are HUGE. If your existing content doesn’t really fit with the rich snippet types, it may be worth some time and effort to try to find a way that it could. And if the content doesn’t exist yet, develop a strategy to create it in the future.
2. Understand your business.
What is your business good at? Where can it improve? If you can honestly evaluate where your business is, who your business is, and identify strengths and weaknesses, you’ll be much better positioned to take meaningful steps to connect with your target market.
In 2020, people want digital experiences. Many people want primarily or exclusively digital experiences. They want text messages, not phone calls. They want free, two-day shipping, not a trip to the store. They want one Google search to find their digital cake and one click to eat it, too. And this is not coming as a surprise to anyone. By 2021, 85% of enterprise decision-makers are making their digital presence a priority to address this continuing shift in how consumers interact with their suppliers.
If your business excels at meeting a particular need, your SEO strategy should be working to translate that positive real-world customer experience into a positive user-experience for your digital audience. This may represent your single largest and most important opportunity for growth. This is not a change to your company’s identity, this is a transition to expand that identity to the digital space. The SEO tactics you employ for 2020 and beyond should support the broader goal of duplicating your real-world successes in the digital space.
3. Understand your target market.
At Waypost, we’ve talked a lot about developing your buyer personas. An important part of developing that persona is to identify how they interact with the internet as a whole. Does Business Bob like using his phone? Does Work-at-Home Will have an Apple Watch (he totally does)?
A major trend for 2020 is going to be voice and semantic search. In fact, it is expected that more than 50% of all web searches will be conducted via voice. That’s crazy, especially when you consider the fact that the average voice search term length is 29 words long. That’s certainly going to affect your content generation. Or is it?
What do your buyer personas think about voice search? Is it a novelty or is it an essential part of their day-to-day life? If you understand your target market, and you’ve really fleshed out their buyer personas, you’ll know if optimizing for voice search is worth your time and effort.
One last thing on that note: you should also take time to reevaluate those personas periodically. Times they are a-changin’, and as it turns out, people change with them. I’m not sure whose buyer persona I fit into (I’m sure there’s a Grumpy Greg persona out there somewhere), but I can say that, in the last six months, my household has changed in this respect. Having younglings about the house, we needed Disney+ to continue surviving for some reason. Which means we needed a Chromecast. Thanks to Black Friday, our Chromecast came with a Google Mini home speaker thingy. And then, an upgrade promotion to Spotify Premium for Christmas brought another one into our fold.
So we now have two of these smart, talking circles in our house. I even use them sometimes. Time to update that Grumpy Greg persona.