Search Engine Optimization Goals for 2020
Happy 2020! A new year means new marketing goals for any business that wants to stay afloat, and just as the internet is always changing, internet marketing tactics are always changing as well. The last decade brought major changes to the way marketers used the power of the internet and SEO to rank higher in search engines, from new search software to the use of AI and speech commands.
How can digital marketers make 2020 their best SEO year yet? After reviewing the trends of the past year and the best internet marketing tactics, we’ve compiled a list of the most important SEO goals you should commit to as part of your 2020 marketing resolutions.
High Quality Content
This should go without saying, but your number one priority should be putting high-quality content into your web copy, articles, and marketing materials. What does high quality mean? Users want to read material that’s helpful, relevant, informative, and easy to understand. Far too many websites either burden their web copy with specialized jargon in the hopes of ranking higher in niche searches, or they write copy with grammatical errors and poor readability.
You can’t expect your readers to stay on your site for long or listen to your marketing material if your site pushes them away. Worse, poor-quality writing will hurt your SEO ranking, as it will reduce the amount of time people spend on your site. Finally, the vast majority of web users hate web material that “sounds like a sales pitch” – so, your first goal is to always write with quality in mind, and you’ve already won half the optimization battle.
Longer Form Content
It turns out, people actually like reading. Articles with over 2000 words tend to rank higher in searches and attract more viewers than shorter form articles. Why? Nobody wants to read through several different websites to find all the information they need; if one article answers all of their questions in a clear and concise voice, they’re much more likely to read through that article and keep revisiting that website.
Additionally, longer articles can keep readers on your website for longer which, as previously mentioned, can slightly improve your search ranking. Take the time to consider all of your readers’ questions and concerns – it will likely foster stronger readership, give you some SEO bonuses, and make your company a much more trustworthy brand.
Dwell time and Click Through Rates (CTR)
Are people clicking the links to your website? How long do they stay on your site? How about a certain page? Search engines want to know if your site is satisfying the needs of its readers. With a virtually unlimited amount of information at everyone’s fingertips, it’s likely that the websites that best satisfy their readers’ questions will rank higher in web searches. The best way to measure this is based on the amount of people who follow links to your site (CTR) and how long they stay (Dwell time) – that’s why it’s so important to provide both short form and long form quality content that your readers can visit and rely on, as this will likely factor into your overall SEO.
When you type a question into Google, sometimes the top link will include a box that briefly answers the question. For example, if you type “How does SEO work?” into Google, the first link explains SEO in brief, pulled from an article written in LYFE Marketing.
Obviously, LYFE Marketing will get a lot of new readers from this search feature, including readers who will revisit their site and buy their products. To increase the likelihood that your website will earn a featured snippet for a relevant question, write articles or FAQs that respond to questions your potential readership will ask. The more your content helps your readers, the more likely that you’ll feature at the top of specific Google searches.
Optimizing for 2020
Have you ever asked Siri, Google, or Alexa to look something up for you? If so, you’ve utilized the power of two things: voice searches and artificial intelligence. These two trends are changing the way websites rank in SEO. Chances are, people ask questions verbally in a different way than typing into a search box, so search terms are becoming more colloquial and conversational. While this doesn’t mean you should change the way you write your web copy, it does mean that the high ranking SEO terms might shift as voice commands become a larger part of search engines.
Additionally, with AI pulling content for search queries, only the most relevant and helpful articles will be pulled up by the likes of Siri and Alexa. This goes back to the idea of quality content – if you want Google Home to like you, make sure your content is relevant and well-written.
Mobile User Experience (UX)
Another huge trend of the past decade includes the rise of mobile technology. As a result, websites that aren’t optimized for mobile phone searches simply won’t make the cut, as almost 90% of consumers in the U.S. use their phones to find information. Optimizing your site with a mobile-friendly option and high readability will ensure that your site is competitive in the SEO domain.
A crucial aspect of web UX, having a secure website makes a huge difference in your site’s SEO potential. Google has cracked down on insecure websites over the past few years, so pages that don’t have enabled HTTPS protocol are often labeled as “Not Secure” when you try to access it on any Google browser. Additionally, users want to know that their information is protected and encrypted when using your site or sharing any personal information, so while these aspects of web design might not correlate directly to SEO, protected sites will likely rank higher in web searches, have lower bounce rates, and yield a much more dedicated readership.
Another aspect of UX, nobody wants to wait for your site to load, and if it’s taking more than a couple of seconds, then it’s probably faster to just go with the next link down. Take the time to ensure that your web pages load fast across all platforms, with easy navigation and accessibility, otherwise you’ll have a high bounce rate, low dwell time, and generally poor SEO ranking.
All your images have what’s called “Alt Text,” which is text that briefly describes what’s happening in the photo, especially for users with poor reception or who have accessibility requirements. Not only does this make your site more friendly to all readers, but it also enhances your SEO capabilities. You never want to overload your photos with alt text, but including a few relevant search terms that accurately explain your photos can certainly push you up a few rankings.
The term “social media influencer” became a big deal last year. Despite the controversy, studies prove that influencers work – people are more likely to trust a business if it’s recommended by a trustworthy, popular source. That being said, influencer marketing can also boost your SEO. If you come to an agreement with an influencer to include certain backlinks to your business on their website and social channels, you can drive major traffic to your site and also build relevant backlinks that will push you higher in search results.
There you have it! Those are our top SEO Resolutions for 2020. Which ones do you think you’ll implement? If you have any questions about SEO, need an expert in digital marketing, or want to revitalize your web presence, look no further – we’re experts in web media at CAST Design. Learn more about our process, or reach out today, and let’s create your best SEO year yet.