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As we move into a new decade, many things are changing. Among them are Google’s search algorithms, the very same ones we depend on to help us grow our business. As technology races forward, we must move with it, adapting our strategies and gaining insight to create the best SEO strategies for 2020.

Google’s BERT algorithm

BERT, which stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, uses natural language processing (NLP) to understand queries. What this means is that BERT looks at the content before and after a word to understand the meaning, relevance and context of that word. This allows it to understand nuances, which allows Google to produce better results. There is no real way to optimise for BERT, other than creating good content without using awkward phrasing for the SEO benefits.

High-quality Optimized Content

Note that RankBrain and BERT are now working together to give users precisely the content that they are looking for. SEO’s need to now move away from traditional signals and start investing in high quality optimised content. This means that any content that is put online must use the language of your audience, while still containing the appropriate keywords and answering the queries of the user. This will ensure that intent-based searches will capture your page and put it in front of the user.

Since the combination of RankBrain and BERT allows Google to understand the context, organising subsections using primary related keywords will rank higher since it shows that the information on your page is relevant and important.

E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness)

Google has slowly been rolling out expertise, authority, trust (E-A-T) since 2013. Broadly speaking, a website’s E-A-T score is based on several interconnected concepts which, when taken into consideration, change how sites rank.

To make sure that a website has a high E-A-T rank, expertise, authority and trustworthiness of the website’s writers must be taken into account.

Expertise refers to creating content that is in-depth, that answers common queries and demonstrates the knowledge of the writer. Claims made without citing them could hurt the expertise score.

Authority refers to the reputation of the writer who develops the main content, as well as the comprehensiveness of the content on a given website. Authority is increased by associating with trusted publications as well as having authorial opinions cited in places other than the website.

Trust, on the other hand, is one of the simpler concepts. Anything that creates a sense of safety and security while using the website improves the Trust rank. From putting up a location on Google Maps to introductions of the staff, from HTTPS connections to ratings, reviews and awards, anything that proves the existence and quality of a business, boosts the Trust rating.

A combination of these three ratings allows websites to move up the ranks and get on the front page.

RankBrain

In early 2015, an algorithm known as RankBrain was launched by Google. RankBrain was made to interpret searches submitted by people and find the pages that lacked the search terms but contained enough similarities or synonyms that they would be relevant to the searcher’s interests. To simplify this further, the RankBrain algorithm was designed to understand intent.

When it comes to SEO, experts now need to understand the type of content that the users need. Traditional signals like link diversity, content depth or keyword matching are no longer enough. RankBrain matches signals to query intent, and so SEO experts must do the same.

User Experience

The easier it is to navigate your website, the longer a user is likely to stay. A few simple steps can be taken to improve user experience and reduce the bounce rate.

A one-second delay in page load causes an 11% reduction in page views. By improving website speed, retention rates are increased. Simplifying website architecture and making sure that all pages can be reached within four clicks improves Google’s indexing ability.

Since most people check out websites on the go, improving mobile responsiveness can improve your rankings as well. If all these small steps are followed, Google is sure to mark your website as good for users.

Voice Optimization

The first organic search result on Google’s front page gets almost 35% of all clicks for that topic. However, there is still a chance for each is ranked lower to gain traffic. But in voice search, only the top three results are shown on mobile phones and only one for smart speakers.

As voice-activated technology increases further, it is predicted that over the next year, up to 50% of all search activity will be performed by voice. Optimising for such a situation is a must.

Optimize for Featured Snippets

When a user asks Google a question, it may be answered in the form of a special block of information known as a featured snippet. Featured snippets get significantly more attention than ordinary search results as they are accurately answering the search query.

If your website gets a featured snippet of the keyword or topic of your choice, you are far more likely to increase traffic. This can be accomplished by putting together a short block of information that adequately answers the question you are targeting and should contain the relevant keywords.

Google is changing its algorithms, and so SEO strategies must also change. Using the tips, tricks and elements given in this article, SEO experts can improve their page rank, improve the quality of their website and make it much easier to use. All of this will, in turn, make the website more user-friendly and SEO friendly.

Are you wondering how SEO strategies and insights help your organization to reach its marketing goals? get in touch with us today for a free consultation.

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