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No SEO or digital marketing strategy is complete without ranking your website at the top in the world’s most popular search engine – Google. This is easier said than done. Google keeps updating its search and discovery algorithm to stay relevant to its users by giving the best-fit results for their searches.

Let’s look at what lies ahead for us in 2020 for SEO and digital marketing.

Voice Search Will Rule SEO

Did you know? According to a recent study, more than 58% of consumers used voice search to discover local businesses. Additionally, 27% of visited business websites were discovered through voice search. More than 76% of smart speakers use the voice search feature to search for local businesses.

Last year, the voice recognition market hit the $601 million mark – this year, it is all set to grow to new heights. It is expected that the voice search feature will see a shift, focusing more on problem-solving and user intent. This means that it’ll be more powerful than local searches, for example.

Accelerated Mobile Optimization

Every website today needs to be mobile optimized. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) indicate to Google that website pages load faster. Besides, the mobile-first indexing of Google suggests that the mobile versions are being prioritized for indexing and ranking.

As AMP’s are an important part of Google SERPs, it’ll gain momentum in 2020. AMP’s do not have a fixed image or structure, resulting in quick-loading pages. The pure text formula works for new websites too. (We’ve tried using it on new websites, and it really works!) The AMP functions get articles into Google’s news carousel at the top in most mobile devices.

Schema Markup

Schema markup provides relevant context to WebPages and will become an important element of website optimization for Google in 2020. Schema markup is generally used for events, products, people, organizations, reviews, and online videos. You can add schema markup to your WebPages by using microdata and resource description framework in attributes.

Schema markup plays an important part in SEO as it creates an enhanced description, known as a rich snippet. These snippets generally appear in the search results, depending on how a particular search engine interprets the context of a query. It then determines the quality of the search ranking or result.

Link Building Solutions

Building robust, high-quality backlinks is a no-brainer for SEO and online visibility and this trend will continue to dominate in 2020 as well. Google page rank is an integral ranking signal for Google. Power and authority to the site are achieved through careful curation and distribution of backlinks in popular platforms.

Another important feature is the link-less backlink, which works on Google mentions. Here, there is no direct link to the target page of the website. Along with link building, it’s also important to focus on content. Creating content that would engage users should be a top priority along with link building. Link the page in such a way so that it offers value to the reader.

Master RankBrain

Google’s core algorithm uses RankBrain that generates the most appropriate search results based on the user’s query. RankBrain also helps in understanding long-tail search queries by Google’s search algorithm. It helps to focus on future complex searches and identify inter-relationships among search queries.

RankBrain understands the intent behind the search query and hence, boosts the SEO process. It optimizes meta texts and headlines and lets you pay attention to page usability. RankBrain’s self-learning algorithm constitutes about 15% of the daily search query, and this number will surely grow in 2020.

Video Optimization

Gone are the days when organizations used to solely focus optimizing text and image content. Videos are the next big thing in content and they are here to stay! Video optimization is a process of fine-tuning your video and associated meta content so that it is ranked higher in search engine results. Videos are optimized with relevant keywords, tags, and so on.

A great way to improve your customer’s viewing experience is to reduce the normal buffering time. Apart from using tags on your video, you can make your thumbnail more engaging to improve click rates or insert a video transcript for better readability, for example. In the future, videos will drive 75% of internet traffic.

Focus on Canonicalization

Canonicalization helps to manage which URLs are being indexed and credited by search engines. In the context of SEO, canonicalization comes handy for websites that have more than one URL.

From the many URLs, a single one is recognized as a canonical form of website URL. The process also helps to enhance search by factoring in the master copy of the web page, which helps to prevent duplication. In short, it guides the search engine to show the best version of the page in the search results.

Internal Linking

Internal linking allows users to navigate the website and establish relevant information for a given website. Internal linking is important for establishing the site architecture. In SEO, site architecture works with internal links to build an SEO-friendly website. You can use descriptive keywords in anchor text that lets Google know about the keywords or topics covered across your webpages.

On-page Optimization and Technical SEO

On-page optimization focuses on individual web pages. On the other hand, technical SEO refers to the overall website and server-side optimization, helping search engine spiders crawl and index your site most effectively.

Small technical aspects like speed and performance of your website must be optimized. You must use Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) that load like a regular webpage but also offers additional features like push notifications, working offline and device hardware access. Besides, search engines pay special heed to Javascript websites which will trend in 2020.

Meta Description as Ad Copy

Meta descriptions normally compete with ad copies in the search engine. Craft an ad copy covering the important keywords to improve the click-through rate for a given webpage. Incorporate meta keywords and descriptions seamlessly to maximize your chances of being picked up by the SERPs of popular search engines.

Constantly sharpening your SEO strategies and digital marketing efforts is no longer an option – it’s a must. To rule Google, roll yourself along as it evolves and changes – there is no substitute for this to if you wish to grow and improve your presence online!

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