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9 SEO Trends in 2020: How to Promote a Business Online

With the launch of the BERT algorithm from Google and a large-scale update from Yandex Vega, a special stage has come in the history of search. And in order not to get lost on the Internet, the business will have to think about quality content and user experience, as well as give prompts to search engines.

1. A new stage has come in the history of search

This is due to the introduction of a new Google BERT algorithm and a large-scale update from Yandex "Vega".

Both technologies are based on neural networks to better understand and process natural language.

The Vega search update, presented on the eve of 2020, brought the search to a new level of quality. It affected four areas at once:

1. First, the company announced that it would improve the quality of search - not only for keywords but also for meaning.

2. Secondly, the search engine promised instant results for user requests.

3. Thirdly, Yandex began to place a special emphasis on the expertness of answers - Thanks to a new rank algorithm, for which expert assessors' evaluations and the Kew service are the core signals.

4. Fourth, with the launch of Vega, Yandex has become hyperlocal: it helps to solve problems at the level of a micro-district or even a separate house.

And every company now wants to learn how to optimize their content for BERT and Vega. Essentially, this means re-evaluating custom hotspots for finding content. As people have more opportunities to search smarter and get expert and accurate answers, companies have to consider a lot in both the architecture of their sites and the way content is delivered.

How content requirements for the site are changing

  • You need to write texts not just on request, but taking into account the intentions of the user who will search for them.

  • Keyword research is becoming redundant as we know it. Natural language processing and deep learning technologies continue to develop intensively, so you should prepare for the fact that search engines will be more interested not so much in keywords, but in user goals. It follows from this that you need to focus on analyzing the user's intentions and meeting his needs. If you give better answers to questions, you will attract customers faster.

  • Focus on how users communicate their concerns and needs. The user experience is broadening beyond the purchase alone. What is important now is content that satisfies the needs after the sale - support, protection of interests, creation, and development of communities, etc.

What this SEO trend means for business

Customers still want to know that you are on their side, that they can trust you. Therefore, the changes in 2020 are associated primarily with improving the quality of information search, the development of its "human" side.

Many marketers still sell services by avoiding target audiences. But if we don't talk to clients, then we don't understand why they behave in a certain way.

Talk to them, ask them to tell you about their shopping trip, how they used to search, what they think of your site. Use this data when making site decisions.

User-centered optimization can only be accomplished by integrating SEO solutions into your marketing strategy. And this is the most powerful trend in 2020.

Companies need to stop seeing SEO as a secondary concern. Instead, optimization should be approached as a key component of a business plan.

2. High-quality content created for the user plays a role

The “blood system” of SEO has been and remains content. And what is new in this, you ask? Low-quality content can negatively affect everything - the structure of the site, and the strategy of internal links, and everything else.

For a website to develop well in 2020, you will have to learn how to write relevant and valuable content. Experts predict that the time will come when only the best materials will appear at the top of the search results.

How content requirements for the site are changing

  • Make it your goal to publish the best content you can find on the Internet about your topic. Or at least reveal an important part of a relevant topic to increase interest in it.

This will allow you to compete effectively for long-tail keywords (which still make up the majority of search queries), and help increase your site's authority and demand for your content.

2020 is the year when you need to gradually get rid of the obsession with keywords. Stop paying attention to individual keywords, chasing page views, and praying for content.

  • Focus on topics. Create content that will cover a specific issue, rather than just reveal the meaning of a single keyword.

You can even plan a series of texts with comprehensive and understandable knowledge on a specific topic. This is especially useful in achieving specific business goals.

What this SEO trend means for business

Companies have many site tasks that are closely related to customer service:

  • Analyze your audience, try to understand how they search.

  • Understand the intent behind the users' questions and the problems they want to solve.

  • Give them solutions or answers in the formats they prefer using quality expert content.

  • Improve the algorithm for working with users. Already tomorrow someone can do it better than you.

  • Audit all content to ensure each page has a unique set of keywords. If your site constantly covers the same topics, albeit from different positions, then the pages will knock each other out of the search results.

In 2020, take content quality seriously and optimize for users, not search engines.

In some ways, the key to success in 2020 remains the same: Offer good content across all the channels you promote. As search engines adapt to natural language, the value of literate and comprehensible texts increases.

3. The battle for user confidence is getting tougher, the key to success is expertise

In May 2019, Google updated its quality assessment guidelines, in which the EAT (Expertise, Authority, Trust) principle became part of the Page quality strategy.

In 2020, the search engine will continue to study the reputation of companies and individuals who publish content on their behalf. Therefore, it will be very difficult for companies that have problems with reputation, have difficulties with customer service, and while unsuccessfully compete for user confidence, it will be very difficult to compete.

Yandex also relies on expertise. Search now has assessors specializing in certain topics. They rate how well web pages respond to queries in their specialty, and their ratings play a huge role in training the algorithm. This approach has improved the ranking for various queries.

How are the requirements for content on the site changing?

  • Trust issues are manifested not only in reviews and brand reviews but also in technical faults on the site, as well as in problems related to the security of the site.

  • In 2020, the principle of reliability plays a role. Special attention should be paid to the sources, as war has been declared on fake news. In this regard, it is important to check the authors themselves before demonstrating their expertise on certain topics.

One of the main trends of 2020 is offline going online. And the ability of a business to create a compelling online picture of our offline world will be its main strength.

All the offline events, conferences, awards, partnerships that are hidden from Google suddenly take on huge value. Pull them up online to meet Google's need for validation.

What this SEO trend means for business

Experts share several ways of how a business can demonstrate a competitive advantage online:

  • delivery speed (for example, delivery within 2 days (or less) with corresponding status updates);

  • customer service (for example, the ability to answer a user's question as soon as possible);

  • digital charisma/branding (for example, most of your reviews are more like declarations of love);

  • user experience (can you call the experience more convenient/useful/simple);

  • price;

  • niche products.

4. The user experience depends more than ever on technical SEO optimization

Another headache that will have to be treated is user experience. It includes the overall impression of the business, starting with the first interaction with your resource in the search results, and then with the landing page, and even with the way the user leaves your site (remember at least tools such as remarketing and personalization for regular users).

Think about how you shape the user experience of your company. How do they benefit from visiting the site?

Technical SEO is related to user experience. And first of all, you need to pay attention to the speed of the site and its pages.

What this SEO trend means for business

You will have to communicate with developers more often. In some cases, prepare for a nearly complete overhaul of your page templates.

5. User care is mobile SEO too

Mobile versions of sites are usually in a depressing state. And in 2020, many companies will have to remember the practice of 2017 and, finally, put the mobile version of the site in order.

If you still do not have a version of the site adapted for mobile devices, you need to make this task a priority.

What this SEO trend means for business

You need to understand how effective your mobile site is for the user. You may be still trying to visualize a person sitting at a desktop computer. While most of the time this person is on the move, accessing your site through a mobile device.

Another business challenge is analyzing real-world mobile search results. This is necessary to predict traffic and understand which optimization will actually be effective.

6. Learn to give search engines smart "hints"

So we decided that content quality will matter in 2020. However, search engine algorithms still do not fully understand the context of user queries. Therefore, the business will have to give them “tips”.

This means that the data needs to be structured in such a way that search engines can better understand not only what is on the page of your site, but also how each element relates to other elements on the page and how that page relates to other pages on the site. ...

Done right, structured data becomes part of your marketing data. And this, in turn, will allow you to publish content for any search engine, voice assistant, a chatbot with the desired context.

What this SEO trend means for business

You can use structured data to improve your analytics. They help you assess how much of your content affects your results and use that data in your content strategy, marketing strategy, product descriptions, and more.

7. Optimize content for Knowledge Graph and Yandex neural networks

Semantic technology and knowledge base Google uses a knowledge base to improve the search engine with semantic search information collected from various sources.

This tool provides structured detailed information about a topic in addition to a list of links to other sites. This saves users from the need to go to other sites and collect information on their own.

Yandex using neural networks in advance identifies in the database web documents that are close in meaning and combines them into semantic clusters. The user sets a request, and the search engine looks for an answer not in the entire huge database, but only in clusters with documents that match the request in meaning.

Since the search understands which clusters of documents are relevant to the query, it chooses the best web pages from the obviously suitable ones for the answer.

What this SEO trend means for business

First of all, it is important for businesses to understand the unique network of knowledge that it creates. After that, it is necessary to select certain objects and entities to which it will be possible to bind the information posted on the site.

Creating semantically similar descriptions helps to better respond to user queries.

Publishing exclusive industry research, sharing topical recommendations from experts, will keep you one of the dominant sources of information in the market, and the search engine will begin to treat all of these content objects as a whole.

8. Technology of working with links and brand is changing

In 2020, even links will have to be user-centric. The business has to work with links that not only help in ranking the site but drive traffic.

This means that you need to focus on three aspects of working with content:

  • Scheduled Article: Topics that are covered every year at a specific point (e.g. Black Friday).

  • Planned Response Article: Submissions about topics related to a seasonal event or topics that increase interest at a specific time.

  • Article-reaction: what is written here and now on an emergency basis as a result of a reaction to the news feed. It is impossible to plan ahead.

What this SEO trend means for business

Link building activities should now be carried out under the brand umbrella. People are getting smarter and expect more from marketing.

The more customers trust you, the more they are ready to:

  • Share your content via links (drive you traffic);

  • talk about you (demonstrate your value);

  • buy your products (generate income for you).

9. Real visibility is important, not just active links

SERPs with zero clicks became a reality a year ago. Because of this, businesses will have to adapt to a click-free search.

Marketing activities are increasingly confined within the search engines, while earlier this was mainly done on websites.

For example, Yandex has implemented a pre-rendering technology — preloading search results. She is so smart that she guesses what the full text of the search query will be at the moment when a person is just typing the first words.

Pre-rendering generates search results in advance and demonstrates them to the user when clicking the "Find" button. Answers to some queries are displayed right in the tips under the search bar.

It is also important to note the technology of Turbo pages. When mobile users navigate to a site from search, special versions of web pages are instantly opened.

What this SEO trend means for business

Marketers need to adapt to new conditions now and get more information about what is displayed inside search engines. This includes optimization of text fragments, emphasis on images, etc.

Again, don't forget about mobile users. In 2019, Yandex improved the technology of Turbo pages: now they load 15 times faster than the regular mobile version of the site. This means that in 75% of cases, the user receives the necessary information in less than a second.

In preparing the material, materials from Search Engine Journal were used

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