As the new year begins, it’s time to reflect and get some perspective on your SEO efforts. While search intent grows more influential and SEO evolves and changes, the rules remain the same for most sites. Improve the usual suspects and keep raising the bar as search engines get more skilled at spotting quality.
Quality, Quality, Quality
In an increasingly competitive online marketplace, quality is the key to standing out. Determine exactly what it is you do and how you describe your service or product to potential clients. Ensure you have a quality product, a quality website to showcase that product, and a quality strategy to get that website noticed.
Mobile-first indexing is here, so making sure your mobile site is as efficient as your desktop site has never been more important. Your ranking is determined by how well your site performs on mobile, even if the majority of your traffic is desktop based. Is your mobile site easy to navigate? Is your content formatted correctly and easy to read? Make sure your site is mobile friendly, quick to load, and simple to use.
Raise the Bar — Improve the Quality of Your Site
Although there are plenty of so-called gurus and search engine prophets that claim otherwise, nobody knows exactly what goes on behind the closed doors of a search engine. What we can do is look back and find consistent trends.
The trend that consistently shows up?
Your site needs to be technically faultless, provide a great user experience, and feature high-grade content that is targeted to reach the right people.
What to Focus on in 2020?
The Need for Speed
Speed has been a significant factor in the past, but in 2020 and beyond it’s going to be crucial. If you’re struggling to match the loading times of your competitors, it’s time to put in the work and bring your website up to speed. Nor is it a time to rest on your laurels, if your competition is improving their speeds, you’re getting slower by comparison.
Is your site easy to navigate? Can you quickly find your way around and get to the information you need? Enhancing the user experience of your site is a bankable way to boost your ranking and keep your customers satisfied.
Most websites started off with a few pages and grew. All those pages, posts, and tags you added resulted in the sprawling website you have now. Is your site structure struggling to cope and becoming like Bangkok during rush hour? Everything on your site should be in its right place. Delete old and outdated content or rejuvenate it into something relevant and useful to visitors to your site.
Assess the structure of your site and make any necessary improvements. Are your internal links performing well? Make your site a well-planned metropolis where everything is easy to get to and flows correctly, not a hulking urban sprawl where outdated links grind everything to a halt.
Average content is dead. With so much content published daily, why should your content rank in the top spots for your targeted keywords?
Flex Your Writing Muscles
Quality content is well researched and well written. Quality content is easy to read and original. Search engines are better equipped than ever to determine quality and judge where content should rank in search results. Readers are also increasingly adept at judging the quality of a text, influencing how much credibility and trust they place in your site and your business. If you can’t spell then you cant sell!
Beyond the search term, what does the person conducting the search want? Are they looking to make a purchase? Are they seeking some specific information? Search engines are continually working on understanding user’s search intent, you should be too. Work out the intent behind a user’s search and map out your keyword strategy and content campaign to match it.
2019 saw the rise of virtual assistants, with Alexa and Cortana leading the way into the mainstream. We love things to be easy, and voice search is the easiest way for users to conduct a search.
Conducting a search by asking a question out loud is different from how we conduct a search in text form. We use full sentences and often add a location or a validator to our search. While it won’t affect every business, you should know whether it will affect yours and act now to stay ahead of the curve if it does.
The Key to Driving Traffic in 2020
With all these factors affecting SEO in 2020, what does it mean for your site? This is what should be at the forefront of your SEO strategy for the coming year:
- Your website should be lightning fast, technically faultless, and feature top quality content that really offers something of value to visitors.
- Your high-performance website should be supported by the quality products and services that your business provides.
The Future of SEO
Although it might seem like a no-brainer, you should always be improving your site. To compete for those top search ranking spots, you need to improve your website performance in the right areas.
- Organic search will still provide the majority of traffic
- Voice search is an increasing factor
- Social media traffic has seen a dip
The world of SEO is always developing and adapting to keep up with an ever-evolving Google. 2020 could be the year users start to think of search engines more like a problem-solving person in their mobile device. That’s what Google has been aiming for. It’s been on the cards for a while, now we are starting to see it come to fruition.