Advanced SEO Techniques to dominate SERPs in 2020
When it comes to Serial Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy, 2020 will be no less than a stiff competition for the site owners and experts. The only thing that can keep them in balance is by staying up-to-date on the latest SEO trends. SEO is a perspective of planning, outlining, and implementing steps that are designed to enhance better Search Engine rankings. This is important because it will display the results of the searched query, typed by a visitor on the web page. Everything in SEO revolves around the usage of well-utilized keywords. The best will gets on top, it is as simple as that. In order to maintain effective traffic-flow on the website and maintaining the best ranking position, every eminent Software development company has begun to think outside of the box.
Syndicated Placements in High Profile
The SEO strategy that is going to dominate for the next year is high profile placements combined with high profile syndication. Yes, on-site tweaks like internal linking and site speed are important, but the off-site signals like link building are still one of the strongest factors and you need a game plan for scaling your efforts. Syndication is what the web is all about, but doing it right across multiple high profile properties from a single piece, is critical. I'm not talking about a bunch of low-level syndicated placements on lower DA sites, but real placements where real eyeballs will see the content. We have done so and seen massive improvements for ourselves and our clients with only a few syndicated placements.
When we first started emailing those that had signed up our blog's newsletter, we found that our open rates were respectable, but our click-through rates were abysmal! For a while we couldn't work out why; and instead went ahead by actually increasing the number of links per email to a variety of different blog posts. In the end, this got us nowhere until we tried the opposite approach, having just one clear CTA per post (a certain page we wanted them to visit) and then linking to it twice per email. Once at the start as an in-text link, and one at the end as a large button. This focus allowed the quality and usefulness of each email's content to go up and also to double, if not triple, our click-through rates.”
- Nate Nead, CEO of SEO.Co
"Syndication. With high authority sites crowding out most upstarts and legacy websites being entrenched such that the amount of time, effort and expenditures it would take to catch up is cost-prohibitive, there are other strategies that can boost your SEO, while simultaneously doing what creates a successful business: growing your brand!
Therefore, this year, if business leaders and owners are smart, they’re going to leverage OTHER platforms like Medium, like-minded websites, and select social channels to repurpose their content, garner branding and awareness, free traffic and also get backlinks within those articles that point to their internal articles.
We’re doing this with all our content now, and it’s opening up huge avenues for us — not just for traffic and backlinks, but also branding and we’re even monetizing older content on Medium!
It’s a win-win for everyone — the websites syndicating you get free content to grow their traffic and satisfy their existing users, you get your content seen in more places with the benefit of branding, and backlinks, while simultaneously not having to worry about competing with larger, entrenched behemoths that you’ll never catch for certain verticals."
- Chris Fernandez , CEO of Women's Health Interative
"In my opinion, HARO is going to dominate SEO in 2020, if it isn't doing so already. Using HARO as part of your SEO strategy gives you the opportunity to get a valuable backlink on some of the biggest media outlets in the world in one email. If your an expert in a particular niche and an excellent writer, you can provide valuable insight that can be quoted by reporters in their articles. These quotable bits often include a do-follow link to your website or blog, which increases your domain rating as the link-juice is passed on.
Over the course of time, you can get a healthy backlink profile on your website by responding to queries on HARO, assuming your niche fits the reporter's needs. The only issue with HARO is that it isn't scalable, however, no other form of SEO link building allows you the ability to land link placements in high authority websites based purely on your writing skills and expertise. With HARO you can build your SEO by providing legitimate content, as opposed to traditional linking building methods that tend to be more spammy in nature."
- Ron Stefanski, Owner of Onehourprofessor.com
Content is King
"2020 is the year of SERP replication. SEOs are using tools like Surfer SEO look at TF-IDF and other on-page factors that help their content mimic what’s already ranking.
Don’t get me wrong, I think there’s a lot of common sense in this approach, and it can work. However, I believe those with their eyes on the horizon will continue to pursue the strategies promoted by the likes of Neil Patel and Moz, even if there is a bit of fluff or winner’s bias involved. What I’m talking about is just knuckling down and producing super high-quality content that answers the searcher’s intent.
Google is ever-tweaking its algorithm to get the internet closer to that goal, and this year’s BERT update was a step in that direction. If you want your site to perform for the next decade, you need to put quality content before any simple SEO trick that will no longer be in vogue 12 months from now."
- Daniel Caughill, Co-Founder of The Dog Tale
"A good SEO strategy relies on high-quality content plus in-depth keyword research. If you do the leg work and use keyword research tools like SEMRush or Ahrefs, you can identify hidden opportunities and then capitalize on those opportunities by creating high-quality, keyword-informed content.
The key to great content, regardless of whether the goal is marketing or entertainment, is to understand your narrative. How should the consumption of your content marketing make your targets feel? What actions should the assets inspire? Knowing, ideally with data, how different groups of people react to your brand, learn your value proposition, and are motivated to take action is the best lesson I've learned.
In addition, there are several steps to follow to be more effective with content marketing. First, publish often, meaning every 2-3 days. Second, publish posts that are at least 1,500+ words in length. Google likes to see long-form content and consistently ranks it higher. Third, use images to break up the content and help the reader. Next, share your content on all social media channels to increase exposure. Lastly, use Clearscope.io to grade your articles and don't publish anything that is not A+. The key is to produce better content than your competitors, and if you’re able to do that, Google will reward you by ranking your site higher in search results."
- Kevin Miller, Founder and CEO of The Word Counter
"Content has always been the lifeblood SEO and I believe it would play an even bigger role this year. More so because of the COVID-19 health crisis. Marketers and independent content creators will have to really focus on delivering content that’s valuable to readers now and even after we’ve emerged from this pandemic. So, make it your goal to have the best content on the web for your niche. This allows you to compete effectively for long-tail searches (which still remains about 70% of all search queries). It will also help your build site authority and demand for your content, and can be done in a directly ROI positive way."
- Allan Borch, Founder of Dotcom Dollar
"What we are seeing work for SEO is getting searcher to their end goal with as little friction and as much information as possible. Instead of making pages longer for the sake of being long, SEOs must consider what intention the searcher has when they type in a search phrase. What do they intend to accomplish? This oftentimes means adding content and a clear call-to-action to an existing page.
For example, a contractor we were recently working with was not ranking anywhere in the top 100 for their target search terms. Some improvements we made to target pages was add supporting information about the services they provided on each landing page, like detailed descriptions of their process, types of work they do, and a contact form near the top of the page.
Having a way for prospects to contact them near the top of the page and the added content improved the rankings of their target pages, so many of them rank on page one of Google."
- John Locke, SEO Consultant at Lockedown Design & SEO4
"In 2020, Google has adapted to genuine, useful and informative content. Gone are the days of keyword spamming on pages. The search engine has been refined to prioritise giving the user the best possible experience. A clear answer to a query in as shorter time as possible is their goal. This includes well-built websites with clear and well written content."
- Andrew Witts, SEO Specialist at Studio 36 Digital
"creating content to match user intent, instead of keywords, is the key to ranking for informational type searches the rest of 2020.
Each page or post on your site should fulfill the visitor's reason for visiting, rather than just provided keyword-rich text. By providing actual information to the visitor with an in-depth, insightful, and heavily researched piece, your site will begin to rank better and your site will be relied on more heavily for these types of searches."
- Jason Boyd, Founder & Director at Evolve Digital Agency
"SEO is all about Content. For the greatest impact on SEO, structure and nurture your content in the right way. There will be a strong focus on quality content and fighting against fake news. It will be more important than ever to focus on the trust value of authors and sites. Focus on E-A-T factor – Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. To show Google you are relevant and should be ranked higher you should: get good reviews, get link from Wikipedia or have your own page, get mentions on authoritative sites, get mentions on forums. While building relevancy with content on and off site, don’t neglect your site health and trustworthiness."
- Djordje Milicevic, Digital Marketing Manager at StableWP
"Featured snippet marketing will dominate as an SEO strategy in 2020. The featured snippets already grab the top of page real estate on the SERPs, and will only continue to drive more traffic as more people use voice search to get answers to their queries, making featured snippet SEO a huge driver in 2020."
- Stacy Caprio, Founder of Accelerated Growth Marketing
Industry Specific SEO
"it is really industry-specific. The core of it is to get backlinks to your site and to have good content on your site. That is the duo required for success. One easy way we get backlinks to their site is by searching for where their images have been used in blogs and then requested backlinks. It is a much quicker and easier process than getting others to write about us.
Technically these blogs used these images illegally, so they are happy to just get a link request as opposed to a takedown notice and financial demands.
In terms of general strategies that can generically work across all industries, the strongest one we see these days is creating an authoritative article with expert opinions in it and then soliciting those experts to link to the article. Google loves authoritative articles/guides, and when they are good enough and include the right people in it, one can successfully solicit plenty of backlinks to it."
- Ken Lewis, Managing Partner of Client Expander
Long-tail Keywords in SEO
"Long tail keywords are playing a very important role after the new update of Google Algorithm, May 4. Many websites have lost their organic traffic but few got the benefits. If you haven't used long tail keywords and synonyms then you are in danger. It maintains websites traffic and improves generating more audience to the site."
- Noman Asghar, Digital Marketing Executive at Fan Jackets
"In 2020, long-tail keywords will be a game changer. When people are searching for something on Google, they use sentences most of the time. This is also the case when they use a voice assistant-- something that is becoming more common. So if you incorporate long-tail keywords, you put yourself ahead of competitors."
- David De Haan, Owner of Stand Up Paddle Boards Review
Editorial Link Building
"If there's one thing we've seen taken off lately, rather ironically, is editorial link building through platforms like HARO.
Editorial link building has been a huge win for many link building experts. With platforms like HARO and SourceBottle taking off, it's become incredibly easy to connect with high end websites and offer a quote in exchange for a link. It doesn't stop there either. There are countless media Facebook groups and communities as well as a thriving Twitter hashtag #journorequest. These opportunities cover just about every niche and topic and are highly lucrative link acquisition channels.
Editorial link building is definitely set to continue to surge throughout 2020 as traditional link building methods slowly reach their limit and I think the results largely speak for themselves in terms of success rate and ease of use."
- Mark Webster, Co-Founder of Authority Hacker
"Rich Results (i.e. special, highlighted snippets of content) are on the rise like never before, and 2020 has been the year when Google made the most important changes promoting the feature. That includes better standartization and testing of Schema, which is the primary way to get Rich Result for your pages. When present, these snippets now may take so much space on the search results page, that websites on the 3rd or 4th positions may experience a severe drop in the number of visitors, while previously these positions have been considered to be a "good enough" result for most cases.
What is especially crucial to understand about Rich Snippets is that they 1) heavily favour those who are ranking high already, making prominent positions even more prominent; and 2) often provide ready-made answers to users, reducing the need to visit the page. That is, Google strives to provide the searched content on behalf of the website, without the website getting a visitor. At the same time CTR for websites who got themselves a Rich Snippet have skyrocketed, offsetting this seeming "disadvantage".
"In summary: get your website a Rich Snippet and you will almost certainly see an increase in visitors. In 2020 this is one the very few tactics that can guarantee a good result."
- Artjoms Kuricins, SEO & Content Manager at Tilti Multilingual
"The strategy that's going to dominate in 2020 is optimizing the content for voice searches. Over time, more and more people prefer to use the voice search feature instead of writing queries. 13% of households in the US had smart speakers in 2017 and the percentage will increase to 55% by 2022, as per OC&CConsultants. This increase in smart speakers will increase voice searches. If your content is optimized for voice searches, it will rank better in SERPs."
- Burt Valentine, Streaming Editor at howtowatch.co.nz
"SEO has drastically changed since its inception, particularly in the last few years. This is due, in part, to increasingly intelligent search algorithms. Just a year ago only 2 out of 5 people were using voice search once per day for getting the information they needed. According to MoffettNathanson, 5% of consumers use voice shopping, but that number could reach 50% by 2022. Thus, by optimizing your website for the voice search you could get a chance to get ahead of your competition and gobble up that traffic before the market shifts into using voice completely.
We are creating voice-optimized SEO content by using question keyword phrases and FAQ rich snippets. There are many tools that come in handy when searching for the relevant question keyword phrases."
- Lisa Evans, a Spokesperson for MyJobQuote
"One strategy that will dominate is focusing on user experience. One of the main ranking factors is how much time a visitor spends on your website after landing on it from search engine results. Websites that have superior user experience, great loading speeds, well-laid out and written content and other important UX factors will perform better in terms of SEO."
- Yulia, PR Manager at Chanty
"Ever since Google was founded, link building is going to be key to your SEO success. Even with all of the advances that Google has made over the past two decades, link building is still at the heart of Google’s ranking algorithm. Google knows that it is hard to acquire links and that most links are a legitimate vote of confidence in a website and for that reason alone, they are a critical factor in determining whether your content thrives on page 1 or languishes on page 5."
- Zack Gallinger from Talent Hero Media
Answers Customers' Questions
"The strategy that will dominate the web in 2020 will be the one that answers customers' questions. In a fun way, I've seen this strategy applied to National Today's website. The content is focused on providing information about unique holidays. In doing this, it leads people to product promotions and other cross-sell opportunities. As you can imagine, the keywords the site targets are high volume. Other organizations can take similar steps by ensuring they deeply understand their customers."
- Jordan Stevens, Owner of Jordan Stevens Digital Marketing Consulting
Follow E-A-T Rule
"EAT - Expertise, Authority, and Trust will rule in the SEO world. EAT is not an algorithm, and surprisingly not a direct ranking factor, but it affects the ranking indirectly. Google wants marketers to generate content for human beings, not robots! Now, marketers must write by keeping the end-user in mind. Google judges the quality by analyzing the overall EAT process. Expertise ingredients examine whether the content is written by experts, Authority checks for backlinking from authoritative websites, and Google determines the trust factor by analyzing views, addresses, email addresses, etc. When these three ingredients combine, users are more likely to get qualitative content. The websites following the EAT strategy would rank higher in 2020."
- Gintaras Steponkus, Blogger & Marketing Manager at Solid Guides
"Expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness (E-A-T) have become increasingly important to Google over the last couple of years. If you don't have it, you have little chance of ranking. So, more than anything, I think SEOs and marketers will seek to build authority on the web in 2020.There are a few things you can do to reach this goal. Firstly, instead of creating new content, re-optimize and improve the quality of outdated content. Earn quality backlinks that point to your content as a credible source. Finally, raise your author profile on the web through guest posting and collaboration."
- Kelly O'Hara, Founder of Copy Goals
Use of Entities
"Google is heavily invested in using entities. By entities, Google means that a thing or a concept should be singular, unique, well-defined, and distinguishable. The entity doesn't need to be physical, but it can also be an idea or a color. If the company is an entity, it will show up in Google's knowledge panel. When a Google knowledge graph API is searched against the company name, one can better see how Google understands the entity and how the marketers should use them.
The strategy has caused a stir in the world of technical SEO as it has taken machine learning to the next level. Also, it allows Google to calculate the probability of user intent accurately. That way, Google and marketers better understand the user language and tone. We are the shoe sellers, and we do think deep into the product so we can better differentiate our product from others. By going deep into the product, we look for the type, color, size, brand, and concept that exist for our shoes. Thus, each shoe will represent a separate entity and then frame it to meet users' expectations and machine learning capabilities for Google. Besides just showing our products as a separate entity to help searchers find the exact product on the list, we also frame our website. That way, we make it appear in the knowledge panel that gives access to editing and controlling the information presented to users in the search results."
- Werner Jorgensen, Sales & Marketing Manager at Heatxperts
"The best SEO strategy in 2020 remains to create comprehensive blog posts that are optimized and targeted for relevant keywords. Find the most relevant keywords, with the highest search volumes, related to your subject. Then think of ways to make substantive additions to your blog post which address those related keywords. To be clear, it is important to not simply include the related keywords in the blog post (i.e. "keyword stuffing"). Rather, an effort must be made to include substantive discussions in the post which address the questions underlying each of the related keywords. By doing this, the blog post has the greatest chance of ranking well for multiple high volume keywords and getting as much exposure as possible."
- Jessica Rose, Chief Executive Officer of Copper H2O
"I think 2020 will be the year of technical SEO, with a focus on improving mobile site speed. Wordpress sites, particularly when used with theme builders and plug-ins can be extremely slow to load on mobile. Google has clearly indicated that it is focused on mobile users experience and heavily ways site speed in site ranking. With this in mind, I believe resources have already started flowing to building AMP speeds and optimizing responsive sites for quicker load times. For example, lazy image loading is now a must!"
- Marc Prosser, CEO & Co-Founder, Choosing Therapy
SEO and SEM together will Dominate
"I think that using SEO and SEM together will dominate as main search engines are constantly changing their algorithms for rankings so stop thinking of SEO and SEM as rival forces. When used together they are complementary services that help boost your marketing strategy and increase brand exposure. The key is to build brand awareness and trust in your brand or business which begins by getting your business name to appear in prospect’s searches. Seeing your brand name appear twice, both on organic and on paid results, creates more brand awareness and intensifies your businesses’ trustworthiness.
Research shows that if there are two brands that have apparently the same products, people will be more likely to choose the one they are familiar with. When a brand is shown in organic results alone it only gets 60% of clicks, whereas a brand that appeared in both organic and paid search results, attracts 92% of total clicks. When paid listings are shown beside organic, the click-through rate of paid ads increases. This means that clicks increase for both organic and paid listings when they are both featured and do not detract from each other."
- Paige Arnof-Fenn, Founder & CEO of Mavens & Moguls
"The SEO strategy that will dominate 2020 is UX design. Now, this statement may not be intuitive at first glance, but Google is making great strides to capture user experience and have recently added the following metrics to their "Lighthouse auditing tool". Those metrics are LCP (large contentful paint) and CLS (cumulative layout shift). In a nutshell, both have a bearing on the way a website renders in browser and on a user's device, with the former being focused on assets, and the latter being focused on specific asset movement above and below the fold. I believe these are a series of first metrics that Google will be targeting and we shall see a lot more as 2020 unfolds, with even more being released in 2021. At the end of the day, Google needs to be able to rank and prioritize sites so that they can provide users with the "best experience", and both of these metrics can provide a lack luster experience to a user.
With all of this in mind, you might see SEO shift away from just general backlinking and content optimization and pagespeed - to having a solid grasp on user experience engagement as well."
- William Chin, Web Consultant at PickFu
Reworking on Existing Content
"I think one of the leading strategies for SEO this year, especially after taking into account that because of Covid new marketing hires and budgets are being reduced across many industries, is the reworking of existing content to improve rankings and keyword diversity.
Many marketers will have noticed recent changes to their traffic in early May as a result of Google's latest core update. Prior to that update, our team had been working on updating existing content in order to rank higher for key terms & improve user experience on resource pages.
After our revised content was made live shortly before the Core update we noticed that the pages that we worked on started ranking for many of the keywords we were targeting.
I believe the reworking & revisiting existing content is going to be one of the most accessible SEO trends for 2020. When this is incorporated with a tool such as Hotjar for tracking user experience on your pages, this is powerful technique to make the most of your evergreen content and avoid penalties from the forecasted Google Page Experience Update ahead of 2021."
- Eleanor Bennett, Digital Marketing Specialist at Logit.io
"2020 is a year where Page Experience is dominating SEO. This was evident even in the recent May Core Algorithmic Updates. Although there were fluctuations based on Industry wise, the websites that had a good Core Web Vitals had their rankings stable.
One of my websites was completely affected, as it had a poor page experience. I improved my page experience with the following ideas to get my rankings back,
- Use Webp Images: Google insists the importance of using such next-gen images. As they can be compressed better and loaded faster. I converted all my existing images on my website to webp format.
- CDN: My website had a high initial server response time. This couldn't be avoided. So I implement CDN for my website and this has done a good job in bringing down the initial server response time for my static pages.
- Remove Unwanted Code: Since I coded my own WordPress theme with Genesis Framework, I had a better control. I managed to remove all unnecessary CSS, HTML, PHP and JS code.
- Reduce the number of HTTP Requests: I reduced the number of HTTP requests to external websites by loading the resources from my own website. eg: By hosting Fontawesome elements on my own server."
- Nirmal Kumar, an SEO Expert at PayUOC
Schema Markup and Structured Data
"One must focus on schema markup and structured data in 2020. Google bots will understand your pages better if they have structured data. It might give an extra boost to the ranking. We have used tools like Google schema markup helper to do so."
- Neeraj Arya, from PMExperto
Video Marketing with Youtube
"YouTube is moving into the fray now that a lot of top influencers are abandoning it or being demonetized. Content producers dominated with cringe content and now up-start influencers are creating polished content. YouTube is turning less TikTok and more Google Search. The answer you want is found on YouTube and if it's not; it's an opportunity to optimize content to rank for certain keywords. Updating your Title Tag and Headings is no longer enough. What's required is a total text, voice, and video strategy to win on SERPs."
- Mike Zima, the Co-Founder of Zima Media
Multiple Techniques at the Same Time
"Here are three strategies that will dominate 2020:
- Create interactive content: Use surveys, assessments, quizzes to get interactions with your customers. You can also look into interactive versions of ebooks as well.
- Enhance content for voice search: With Siri and Google, it’s now more convenient to use the voice search instead of typing it out. Make sure that your keywords are compatible with voice searches.
- Create more personal and original content: While improving your content is necessary, it is also better to always maintain personal and original content."
- John Howard, Founder and CEO at Coupon Lawn
“One SEO strategy that will dominate in 2020, it will definitely be - ‘The Relevant & Quality Content Aligned with the Search Intent.’"
Why? Everything changes, from technologies to Google Algorithms, from working in the office to attending meetings on your home couch. What does not change is - ‘people’ having problems, ‘people’ asking questions, ‘people’ looking for solutions. And whom do they go to nowadays? Naturally, ‘Google.’ So if you want Google to know that you have the solutions to the people’s problems, first, find out what your target audience is looking for. Then generate the content that genuinely helps to resolve their issues. You do not want to churn out content that might be very well-written but lacks in appealing to the users. If you manage to produce something that people will find worth engaging to, Google will indeed consider your website competent enough to deserve a high ranking on SERPs.
Another strategy that one cannot neglect in 2020 is - Optimize for Voice Search
Undoubtedly, speech recognition is a much remarkable achievement offering tons of potential and possibilities. The increasing use of ‘voice search’ does not come as a surprise when one hears a 10-years old boy asking ‘Siri’ or ‘Alexa’ about ‘what is the nearest restaurant to my location.’ What you need to keep in mind here is:
- Incorporate natural language and conversational tone
- Do not neglect the growing popularity of question words(who, when, what, where, how, why)
- Write for longer search queries(Relevant Long-Tail Keywords)
- Make your site mobile friendly
- Nathan Sebastian, Content Marketing Expert at GoodFirms
"Technology has advanced far, nowadays most people use their phones for everything be it shopping, socializing, news or learning new things. According to statistics, around 57% of all traffic comes from mobile devices. Back in 2016 Google announced that they will be moving towards a mobile-first indexing, however, when exactly the changes will take place was not mentioned. At the time, it was explained that Google’s algorithm will be ranking website content by primarily using a mobile version of the pages.
Features snippets also sometimes referred to as answer boxes are search results in a box featured on top of Google’s search result pages below the ads. Featured snippets provide a quick short answer to the user's query. The featured website gets additional exposure and can expect at least a 30% increase in organic traffic
Google has stressed the importance of user experience (UX) on more than one occasion, the ranking algorithm gives preference to websites that are fast, readable, and easy to navigate.
The research shows that websites loading more than 3 seconds lose 40% of their visitors. However, it’s not just speed, say your website loads very fast, yet the user can’t seem to figure out how to navigate it, where the menus are and how to find the content they need. The visitor will simply bounce not wasting their time. Readability also plays a huge role, a content that is difficult to understand and just packed with keywords but not much essence, it’s unlikely someone would come back to your website in that case. Better user experience prolongs the time a user spends engaging the website.
Search engines measure the authority of a website by the number of inbound links to it (also known as backlinks). Link building has been a large part of any SEO strategy, companies spend years getting inbound links and some even tried "3black hat" SEO techniques in an attempt to manipulate this part of the algorithm.
In a nutshell, as we can see the world of SEO is changing rapidly, in ways we sometimes could not have predicted. Proven SEO techniques such as quality content, focused keywords and link building are still as effective, yet there are many more trends emerging that will force us to change our approach to search engine optimization. Getting on top of SEO trends like mobile optimization, voice search optimized content, brand mentions as well as content intended to answer more than one user intent, will get you ahead of your competition."
- Tariehk Geter, Co-Founder of OSI Affiliate Software