Experts believe 2020 will be a crucial year for SEO trends. In 2019, search intent dominated the headlines. Voice search, augmented reality, and virtual reality also became hot topics of discussion. A lot of exciting things are happening in SEO, and this is only the beginning of change.
If you want to get ahead in the game, you need to keep up with the latest SEO trends. Here is a quick update on what’s been brewing.
Latest Google Algorithm Change: January 2020 Core Update
Last week, Google pre-announced their first core update for 2020. From health and finance to travel, all sectors are seeing a huge change in terms of SERP results.
Risk Index by Rank Ranger is a tool that can help you monitor the ranking fluctuations for various keywords. Since the January 2020 Core Update was rolled out on January 13, their graph shows a lot of spikes. So, what does it mean? Many keywords are fluctuating simultaneously.
Rank volatility has increased across industries. However, according to their data analysis, niches related to Your Money Your Life (YMYL) are the most significantly impacted.
“YMYL” refers to those websites that include information that can affect a reader’s safety, health, happiness, or financial stability if presented deceptively or inaccurately.
Image via Rank Ranger
Google’s latest SEO update is not limited to a specific region but will be rolled out around the world. Currently, it is still being rolled out to different data centers. Additionally, it’s affecting mobile as well as desktop searches.
Every time Google updates their algorithm, your site can fare better than before or your rankings can tank. Being proactive and following the latest updates and SEO trends is the key to developing a successful SEO strategy.
Get the Secret Sauce: 52 Experts Reveal Which SEO Trends Are Important
With so many changes taking over the SEO landscape, it can be confusing to know how to proceed with your SEO strategy in 2020.
If you are wondering what your next step should be and which SEO trends are important, I’ve got something to inspire you.
Here is an expert roundup post in which experts reveal which SEO trends you can bank upon. They’re tried-and-tested methods that have helped them earn more revenue.
Let’s take a look at the best SEO trends and strategies that have helped these experts get better ranking in the SERPs.
#1. Aaron Wall – SEOBook
Exposure in non-search channels drives awareness which boosts performance in organic search.
#2. Alex Chris – Reliablesoft
If we had to choose only one SEO trend that made a difference to our traffic and revenue, then this would be structured data markup and rich snippets optimization. We've reviewed all our pages that had a first-page ranking and optimized their content for Google's featured snippet and rich snippets.
These are the steps we followed:
- Restructured some of the pages and moved important content closer to the top.
- Made the page content more comfortable to read by adding lists and meaningful headings.
- For long-form content, we added a table of contents for better navigation.
- Added relevant structured data markup (FAQ Schema worked great for us)
- Resubmitted the pages to Google using the Google Search Console.
These simple steps increased our organic traffic without generating new content. Google started giving special attention to schemas and structured data in 2019, and this is something that will also continue (and possibly enriched by introducing more schemas), in 2020.
#3. Amanda Powell – DigitalMarketer
Our success [last] year has largely stemmed from staying in tune with our audience.
Historically, our content has focused on very specific marketing tactics. Why? Because we cater to marketers.
However, we needed to consider the fact that many people who come to our website don't know as much about marketing as the average industry professional. In other words, we needed to stop assuming that our audience knew the terminology, platforms, and specific keywords we used in our content.
So we switched it up and focused on tailoring our content to a wide range of audiences.
Our current strategy focuses on broader topics or areas of interest, which has been a trending tactic in the SEO community.
We also started answering questions we knew potential customers might have.
For example, “What is Digital Marketing?” might seem like a no-brainer to us, but we’re the ones teaching it. We had to take a step back and look at audience intent, which is always important when optimizing content to rank in organic search.
#4. Andrew Shotland – Local SEO Guide
Our strategy typically focuses on “Full-Funnel SERP Domination.”
Basically, we look at search queries at each stage of the buyer journey funnel (Awareness, Interest, Decision, & Action) and then develop content for our clients that targets each of these query-types using a “Hub & Spoke” content model.
So we develop a “Hub” that is an authoritative piece on a topic, then we create pieces interlinked from the Hub piece that focus on niche queries related to the topic. It's nothing mind-blowing. It just works.
#5. Ann Smarty – Content Marketing Institute
I know the term “Semantic SEO” has been thrown around for ages, so it's not exactly new but it is most often misunderstood. It's not about using synonyms in your content. It's about making your content more in-depth by covering related concepts and entities.
Google is getting better at understanding content quality and semantic research can boost your rankings without the need to invest more time / money in getting links.
I was using Text Optimizer for every content asset research and saw a gradual growth in organic visibility within 4 weeks. I now use it on a daily basis and loving the results!
#6. Barry Adams – Polemic Digital
With Google's evolution away from a search engine towards a direct answer engine, I've found that tapping into this potential can help position my clients as leaders in their niche.
Focusing on well-written and properly targeted Q&A type content has had great results, especially when combined with structured data markup. If a site has a top 5 rank for a given query, using this approach often results in a position zero ranking which drives extra traffic and ensures top billing on SERPs.
With the rise of voice search, there's untapped potential for websites to implement Speakable markup – especially in combination with FAQPage or QAPage markup. While the monetisation of voice search has yet to be defined, I feel this is a technology it'll pay to be an early adopter of.
The future of SEO is all about making your website's content useful and machine-readable.
#7. Basilis Kanonidis – Ninja Outreach
The FAQ Schema.
While it is one of the hottest trends right now, but you also need to know how to use it properly. The problem here is that while it might help you to rank in a lot of keywords if you work on it, analysis say that it might bring traffic of a website down.
That said, be careful while using FAQ Schema. Find out how to use it as a lead generation for your web site and eventuallyÂ it will help convert the traffic you will receiveÂ to new leads.
#8. Bill Sebald – Greenlane
Studying Google's perceived query intent based on closely reviewing the search results is VERY important. If Google thinks the best result for a keyword are informational results (versus, say, transactional), they are only going to post informational pages. No matter how much you want your transactional page there, it isn't going to happen. So adjust your thinking. Try to rank pages that have a chance and make that traffic work for you. Go with the grain.
Also, search entity optimization. I see it doing a heck of a lot more than just keywords alone.
If these two items aren't part of your SEO approach, you need to get caught up because I don't believe Google is going away from these models anytime soon.
#9. Brandon Doyle – Wallaroo Media
The Evergreen Content Strategy! We create evergreen pieces of content that can consistently be updated over time (i.e. guides, statistics pages, etc.).
But constantly adding new information and updating the publish date, Google sees the content as being fresh and it helps with rankings. Every company should have at least a couple evergreen content pieces as a part of their SEO strategy!
#10. Casie Gillette – KoMarketing
There's been a lot of discussion the past couple years regarding answer boxes and featured snippets. Is Google stealing our content? Do we even want to be in them? My answer here (to both questions) is absolutely!
Getting client sites into answer boxes and PAA boxes has been a major win for us over the past few years. It's led to significant increases in traffic and leads and has allowed us to capture visibility for competitive terms in our markets.
And while featured snippets can come and go, with Moz reporting 25% of SERPs using snippets (64% with PAAs), there's always a new opportunity.
#11. Chris Dreyer – Rankings.io
The highest impact action item successfully applied at our agency was content upgrades.
We improved existing content to better answer consumer intent. We also re-arranged the order in many cases, so that intent was primarily answered at the beginning (with the rest of the content acting as a supplement).
Readability was enhanced through the use of more imagery, as well as items such as JS charts, video, sub-headers, and lists. Lastly, content was typically expanded to include more substantive information.
Most agency owners are focused on producing new articles and more subject matter. Our approach was different: we chose not to write more, but rather to concentrate on writing better.
#12. Chris Makara – Chris Makara
It's one thing to rank in the top 10 of search results. However, if you're not optimizing to increase your click-through rate, you are leaving money on the table.
Typically your listing is up against so much more than 10 other search results. Depending on the search, you could be up against map listings, paid ads, featured snippets, etc.
I've found good success with my clients by making sure the title of the page invokes the searcher to take action on it. Whether they are searching for tips or for a product, making your page title align with their search and nudge to take action works well.
It's important to also pay attention to your meta description. While Google may choose to ignore it at times, you want to be sure that it describes the benefit the searcher will get by clicking on your result.
In the end, when you generate a higher click through rate not only do you end up getting more traffic than you would have otherwise, but a higher click through rate can also help increase the position that you rank for.
#13. Cornelia Cozmiuc – cognitive SEO
Focusing more on search intent and optimizing each piece of content according to the search intent of the user.
There are about 3.5 billion searches per day. And Google has to figure out what exactly do people want, so it can offer them the search engine page results they need. And your job is to create content that is relevant to the Google users and matches their search intent.
If the keywords you want to rank for have clear and consistent intent behind them, you can tailor your content format and structure to be the best possible match for that intent.
A search for “how to make tiramisu” already has the clue in the title it's likely going to be a “how to” type of article that's going to draw attention and given the context, a blog is probably the best type of page to host this content.
On the other hand, with a search like “iPhone 10 vs Samsung Galaxy 10,” you would fully expect for the first page of results to be filled with comparative review type pages from specialized review websites.
But aside from the format and structure of the page holding the content, there might also be an angle to it, which is similar to the USP (unique selling proposition) in marketing.
You might be looking for how to make tiramisu, but wouldn't you prefer to know how to make the best one? or the most original one? Sure, you're looking for headphones, but are you interested in the best quality headphones or the cheapest headphones? And the list goes on.
When it comes to format and structure, you want to go with the flow and do what everybody else does, because that is what has been proven to get results (search results, to be more exact).
However, when it comes to the angle, that's your time to be original. Format and structure land you on the front page. Angle can influence which position in the rankings you'll show at.
#14. Dan Petrovic – DEJAN MARKETING
I've used blog content, social networks, videos, events, digital and offline advertising to build brand awareness over many years.
In the early stages, I would simply display our logo on display network with a minimalist set of ads and zero call-to-action as I didn't want anyone clicking on it anyway, just wanted to get the impressions.
From brand recognition, I gradually transitioned towards having a certain “flavor” as a brand and eventually witnessed the magic of brand advocacy.
The effect was visible in several instances during controversial events when people jumped to defend Dejan Marketing as a brand, without being asked to do so (examples include: https://dejanmarketing.com/competitor-hack/ and https://dejanmarketing.com/hijack/).
How does this help SEO?
Brand recognition is a major driver of better CTR so I end up getting more clicks from the same rank. Another great effect of being a well-known brand is that links tend to happen naturally.
Even when you make an effort to create a link, it's so much easier than working with an incognito brand.
I have to say I am far from “dominating” Google's results. The competition is strong and spammy tactics still work in many cases. This is one of the downsides of having a strong brand reputation, you tend to hesitate to experiment and try risky things.
Sometimes I miss the old days. Maybe I should have a new startup.
#15. Danny Jeffers – Limit Break Media
100% rich and high-quality content. Always.
#16. David Brown – DB Consulting
Timely relevant content, both on and off-site, has always moved the SEO needle for our clients. However as more people enter the space and new competitors pop up daily… we've found that having a fast, mobile-friendly website (technical SEO) is extremely important in the SERP landscape.
#17. Dominic Wells – Onfolio
While many people complain about snippets, I found that, on average, I was able to capture the snippet and boost my traffic significantly, even without being ranked number 1. It's better to be rank 5 and 0 (snippet) than rank 1 or 2.
#18. Gabriella Sannino – Level343 LLC
There's one huge trend – more of a permanent now – that will affect the whole search landscape, and that's mobile.
Even now, for example, Google Search Console crawls your site with mobile to check performance – not desktop, and I think that's very telling. Then you have an estimated 211 million mobile search users in the U.S. alone in 2020, according to statista.com.
We all know these statistics. We all know mobile is big, but I don't think we really get the picture of how that is changing how we search and how we interact with sites.
We search on mobile, and we search via voice. Now with the update of BERT (surprise – a higher focus on natural language processing), how we communicate is going to be more and more important. Not only in words, but all the many touch points we can use. All the variations of marketing.
Videos, for example. How many ways have businesses used videos in the last year? And as we make changes to our marketing – always going for the next big thing to reach out to our audiences – our audiences become more sophisticated and demand more “next big things.”
Does it change the final outcome? Not really – we still have to focus on the user. It's still marketing in all it's frustrating, fun, fascinating detail.
But I think we're going to have to really think outside the box as time goes on to answer the question of what our target markets are really searching for and why.
#19. Gael Breton- Authority Hacker
What we found… is that updating old content generates more results than creating new content in terms of SEO for already established sites. You really get the best of both worlds when you do this.
On one hand, your page is older and has had time to accumulate links which are still extremely relevant this year. And on the other hand, the freshness boost really tends to pump your pages up.
So both of these combined is what seems to be making most of the competitive SERP's these days and new content is taking the back seat when it comes to SEO strategies.
#20. Gerry White – DrinksPal
Structured data is absolutely critical… we are in an unfortunate position that Google is using it increasingly to keep people within their own results pages, but sadly we – as businesses aren't competing with Google (unless you are a vertical they have consumed such as flights or jobs).
It isn't as much about keyword research, but understanding how google interprets searchers’ intent and if you are the most relevant page, Google is using more and more signals to deliver this.
#21. Greg Shuey – Stryde
Q&A based content will be a huge factor for companies trying to compete in search. At Stryde, we are seeing the intent of so many search queries change from showing products and services to top and middle of the funnel content pieces.
If businesses aren't already producing high-quality content for top and mid-funnel researchers, and the intent of their target keywords change, they will be left scrambling to catch back up.
#22. Glen Allsopp – DETAILED
Focusing more on SERP SEO and looking at what Google is specifically rewarding for the terms I compete on. Are they rewarding freshness? Double featured snippets? Is there a People Also Ask box?
Intent matters here as well, but nothing beats actually looking at search results.
#23. James Reynolds – SEOSherpa
With zero-click searches on the rise, featured snippets have grown (and will continue to grow) increasingly crucial in 2020. Google is keeping more and more search traffic for themselves.
Which means, to win the SEO game going forward, we must take advantage of featured snippets and optimize for the coveted position zero.
While the job of featured snippets is to answer queries without users needing to click away from Google, I've found featured snippets to be an excellent source of traffic. Firstly, when you optimize for them, you can jump from lower page one to the top position.
Secondly, they encourage you to explore ranking opportunities earlier in the buying journey. When coupled with retargeting and an email list, this can help you capture a customer before they enter the buying phase.
Here's how to optimize for featured snippets:
- Use Ahrefs Organic Keywords feature to find keywords that display featured snippets and where you already rank in the top ten.
- Create a 40-60 word paragraph that concisely answers the query displaying the featured snippet.
- Add your paragraph (AKA “snippet bait”) at the top of your page where Google can easily find it.
- Identify closely related queries using “People also ask” and “Searches related to” on Google and expand your content to answer those queries.
- Use <H2> and <H3> header tags for list items to increase your chances of being shown for “List Snippets.”
- Look for opportunities to format content into structured tables so you can show up in Table Snippets.
#24. Joe Robison – Green Flag Digital
This may sound a lot like something that's been repeated over the years, but in my experience, I've seen Google's processing and understanding of quality vs low-quality links accelerate from 2018 to 2019, and predict they'll get even better at it in 2020.
Therefore, I think the trend of strong link signals being turned up, and low-quality link signals being turned down will have a substantial impact. What this means is that more and more link building practices will have to focus on real editorial acceptance and engagement.
I definitely don't think guest posting is dying (again), but you should think twice when deciding between a handful of low-quality links, or one really solid link that sends traffic in 2020.
As a bonus idea, I think image SEO will take a quantum leap. To me, it seems that Google's image search results and extraction of text from images has always been very basic. But new evidence points to Google now having even better technology for recognizing text in images.
Google has released its Vision AI for customers, so you can expect their internal technology is even better. In addition, they've rolled out text recognition in Google photos. Two powerful signals Google is taking image search even more seriously.
#25. Jonathan Aufray – Growth Hackers
The SEO trend that helps us dominate search results, increase our organic traffic, and generate more revenue is what we call: content optimization. What we do is finding which pages and for which keywords we're ranking on the 2nd or 3rd page of Google.
There's a saying: “The best place to hide a corpse is on the 2nd page of Google search.”
Once we find these pages and keywords, we optimize the piece of content by adding relevant keywords, adding internal links on other pages directing to that piece of content and build a few backlinks.
By doing so, your piece of content will go from page #2 or #3 to page #1 within just a few weeks and you will substantially increase your organic traffic, leads, and sales with little work.
#26. Joseph Yaacoub – Joseph Yaacoub
Working in the digital marketing space I've observed some major SEO trends; from making sure to have an up-to-date listing with Google My Business. Second, optimizing the content for local search, by thinking of the most common keywords customers use for any client type of business. Last, working more on getting online reviews, mainly on Google & other platforms.
Nowadays, I believe voice search will be the most common type of search. It's easier and more convenient to speak a command than to have to use a keyboard. Brands and local companies will be exploring this new SEO Trend soon more.
#27. Jason Acidre – Grit PH
We've seen the most impact in terms of online branding, organic traffic, and revenue generation from continuously updating our sites' key evergreen content assets, wherein we mostly focus on:
- Using Search Console query data to effectively target more keywords that our landing pages are already ranking for (or being found by users through).
- Analyzing SERPs (for the keywords we highly prioritize), and making sure our content (and its metadata) matches the intent for those queries.
- Integrating linkable elements/content sections within our key pages (such as stats, quotes, lists, etc…) to attract and earn more links from other publishers or via strategic partnerships.
- Continuously adding more relevant sections that can answer questions that are highly relevant to the topic of our content.
#28. Kevin Cotch – Ovative Group
I wouldn't say that there is one trend in SEO that is leading to a large organic increase in visits and revenue. Instead, to do well in the SEO industry the same methodology applies to previous years, which is to make your website easy for search engine bots to crawl, render, and index your content.
#29. Kevin Gibbons – Re:signal
I'm not so sure it's a trend, but more the ability to be able to map out the market and where you want to take organic share away from has been incredibly powerful.
I don't think SEO should just be about the activity of improving lots of things, you need a clear strategy first on why it's important before you get into the how and what – having that mentality/approach has often served me well with many of our clients.
#30. Kevin Indig – G2
The big SEO trend that helped me to dominate search results and drive revenue more than ever is… building great product features! It's a completely underrated part of SEO.
The caveat is that this only works for sites that scale with Google-facing inventory. So, if you write most of the content yourself, it's going to be tough to do. But, if you’re a large site, there might be an angle!
The point is that SEO is not the quick-win factory anymore it used to be. Having a great product has become super important next to technical factors, content, and backlinks. So, the question is how you can add product features that serve a user intent and search volume?
It's actually something you can find in search volume through keyword research but also customer feedback, surveys, and research. The time of silos is over.
#31. Kris Gunnars – Search Facts
When doing keyword research for a new article, I look at all the traffic-generating keywords that have featured snippets. Then I try to include a similarly formatted answer somewhere inside the article, except I aim to make it even better.
With this strategy, I have managed to grab quite a few featured snippets that get me into position #0 for these terms.
#32. Kristen Vaughn – kristen vaughn
Reflecting on the new and increased search features that we've seen over the past couple of years (Featured Snippets, Knowledge Panels, People Also Ask, Related Searches, etc.), it's no secret that Google is on a mission to provide people with answers.
In my experience, taking a question-based approach to content has proven successful when it comes to generating immediate results for clients.
Creating high-value content that truly provides the information that people are searching for and is aligned with top search results has helped drive significant keyword ranking improvements, traffic increases and, of course, increased conversions.
It's extremely important for SEOs to stay on top of Google's advanced search features. Ultimately, this will help understand the key elements and commonalities of results around your keyword targets, and determine what content is required to rank.
#33. Lucas Bikowski – SEO Shark
On-page optimization with a focus on featured snippets – it [was] one of [the most] powerful SEO tactics in 2019. In particular, tailoring your website's content so that it is more likely to be used in one of Google's featured snippets is a really great way for smaller sites to get a high ranking.
By providing a well-structured answer to a common search query, there is a chance Google will grab part of your site and display it at the top of search results in the form of a featured snippet.
Google loves it when someone finds the answer they want instantly after a search (why people use Google), so they will reward your site with a high ranking when you provide said answer.
#34. Maddy Osman – The Blogsmith
As cliche as it sounds, creating useful, in-depth content has always been my ace in the hole. I started learning this lesson years ago with an in-depth guide about volunteering at the popular music festival, Lollapalooza, that STILL ranks in the top 5 for the keyword “free Lollapalooza tickets” (even though I no longer maintain the website where it's hosted).
Experimenting with my own blog content has helped me learn a lot of valuable lessons that translate into SERP dominance.
Great content will get you far, just make sure that it starts with keyword research (focus on relevance) and onsite SEO.
#35. Marcus Miller – Bowler Hat
Content has always been the key to our SEO success. I guess the best way to illustrate this is to provide some background and contrast the two types of leads we get.
We are an SEO agency based in Birmingham, UK. We rank relatively well for terms like “SEO Birmingham” that brings us people looking for a local SEO company.
We also rank well for terms like “small business SEO” where we have small business owners looking for SEO advice.
The key difference with this kind of leads is that the local (Birmingham) leads tend to bring us local customers who will be looking at us and several other local providers. They will know less about us and many can't distinguish Bowler Hat where we fly a pretty straight SEO arrow from any other SEO local company that may use any number of dodgy SEO tactics.
Then we have folks who have arrived via a content article. These leads have a much better idea of who we are and how we work. They tend to be earlier on in the process of identifying an SEO partner and as such, they tend to be warmer leads with less competition.
The outcome here is that we land a lot more of the leads that come from content than we do from the leads just looking for a local partner as these tend to be driven by price (and whilst we strongly believe we are the best SEO agency in Birmingham we are certainly not the cheapest).
So ultimately, content is the evergreen SEO tactic that has worked best for us over the years and that I foresee working best for us in the long term. This is not to say this is the right approach for all, and for many local businesses that only target local customers content-based SEO is likely not the right approach – but for us, this is the winner by a country mile.
#36. Maros Kortis – Mangools
The magic of internal links when the best of our blog posts gained enough authority so they could help the others is something that significantly boosted our blog this year.
We launched an ultimate glossary of SEO terms called Mangools SEOpedia. The articles didn't have a single external backlink. We linked them from our most popular blog posts.
The SEOpedia posts had like two or three internal links and shortly after they managed to rank on 1st or 2nd SERP for high competition keywords.
The articles are quite short with up to 1,000 words on average so their potential to gain external backlinks is lower compared to ultimate guides targeting similar search terms. It's vocabulary so the posts can't be that long unless you don't want to stuff them on purpose.
So what's my current SEO trend? Create internal links from the very beginning. I know it's tempting not to do so since everyone is obsessed with getting quality and highly relevant external backlinks, but it pays in the long run.
We didn't do that so we had to spend a lot of time on it this year. I believe we've lost some rankings because of that.
#37. Michael King – iPullRank
We are of course doing a lot of work to meet the expectations of human users and encourage them to complete actions that align with business goals.
As of late, we've been leveraging natural language processing techniques to better understand any misalignment between search engine expectations and features of content.
We call this “Technical Content Optimization.” and it's allowed us to see improvements in rankings without additional explicit link building activities. When we combine it with link building, we see rapid increases in visibility.
#38. Michael Pozdnev – I Wanna Be a Blogger
That's what helped me the most … First: friendships with colleagues. Second: writing detailed blog posts.
When the competition is very strong and sites with high authority in the search results, the only thing that can help is friends. This is my SEO trend.
Friends help you get links.
#1. More and more articles are being published on influencer/blogger outreach. The bottom line is to earn the trust of your colleagues first. They add links themselves, and you don't even ask. Because these people know you, you helped them with something.
When you think that you have no competitors, but only colleagues, SEO becomes easier. You recommend these people wherever you can. Help, encourage, support, ask questions, leave reviews, and buy their stuff like in real life with friends.
#2. The professional is visible in the details. The problem is that many authors are in a hurry to publish new articles according to their schedule. But the level of expertise does not allow them to write an in-depth blog post quickly.
They only run the keyword research tool. There is no time for research, surveys, experiments. Those who understand this are many steps ahead.
In 2020, I believe that the primary SEO trend will be building relationships with colleagues. And it does not matter whether it is an influencer or a novice professional. The main thing is that this person knows how to give what others want to get.
#39. Morissa Schwartz – Dr Rissy’s Writing & Marketing
When most people think of SEO, they think of backlinks and meta tags. What they often don't realize is just how powerful social media is for SEO.
Try this experiment: type in your favorite business' name. I guarantee you that one of the first results you will see is Twitter or Linkedin. That is because of how frequently they are updated and thus how important they are for SEO.
By working on social media engagement, you can actively improve your SEO. And when someone finds your social media account through search and they see that you are actively posting great content, it is a win-win.
#40. Nicholas Loggie – Adlibweb
The single tactic that has, and still does, drive traffic and revenue that we strive to achieve for our clients is the successful implementation of Google Answer Boxes. This single element helps build a brand, traffic, reputation, and revenue.
Answering the key questions relevant to your industry, in an easy to read and succinct way will help you achieve this. Look at the current answers and improve on them – build links to the page and watch the traffic increase.
#41. Nick Eubanks – From The Future
Keyword expansion by mining term impressions from Google Search Console and then using them to expand keyword research into new topic areas.
#42. Patrick Coombe – Elite Strategies
Developing ad-free ultra-fast loading websites.
There is not one single metric that will allow you to dominate the SERPs, but developing fast websites will help get you there.
Website speed is one of the few metrics that Google actually came out and said “this will make you rank better,” so it is definitely one that we pay attention to. Not only that, but users LOVE a fast loading website. Website visitors are much more likely to browse and stay on the website for a longer period of time.
#43. Phil Rozek – Local Visibility System
More and more, Google seems inclined to show specialists in the search results – at least in the local results – whenever it can.
This may sound old-hat (and maybe it is), but I've had great success in creating an in-depth page on each specific service a client offers, no matter how niche that service is.
Sometimes all you need to get a Google Maps “one-box” (i.e. be the only search result on the local map) is to have a page on a certain service or product, and to have some internal links pointing to that page.
You might object by saying those “niche” terms are low-volume, but I'd say that (1) the quality of traffic is excellent – because people are far into the buying process – and (2) often they end up needing more than whatever niche service they Googled.
The niche approach is also the only realistic way into good rankings before you've got much money or time to put into SEO or PPC.
#44. Randy McCabe – Exo Agency
For local SEO, there are 3 key factors to dominate the marketplace; Google reviews, domain authority and on-page optimization.
For Google reviews, it's fairly straight forward in generating high-quality reviews from local guides. For domain authority, making sure you have a strong backlink profile with relevant and similar vertical articles. Lastly for on-page SEO, making sure your metadata and header tags are within best practices along with including the geo-location you're looking to target.
#45. Robbie Richards – Robbie Richards
SERP types and search intent will continue to have a big impact in 2020.
Today, SERPs are filled with featured things like Ads, carousels, knowledge graphs, People Also Ask boxes, map packs, video carousels, and featured snippets. The #1 ranking in Google can now mean scrolling below the fold, and as a result, is generating fewer clicks and traffic than it did a year or two ago.
What does mean for SEO?
We need to factor the evolution of the SERP into how we develop our SEO and content strategies.
Is there a featured snippet? These take close to 10% of the traffic from the #1 organic position.
What content types (posts, pages, videos, etc.) rank in the SERP? Let this dictate which content type you use to rank for a specific topic/keyword.
Is there local intent?
Do larger brands or third-party review sites/ forums rank in the top positions? Sometimes it makes sense to piggyback off the rankings of other sites with guest posts, profiles, or even paid listings in relevant categories.
These are all factors you need to be constantly asking yourself when qualifying keyword opportunities and assign content types in your strategy.
SERP analysis will continue to be critical as algorithms put more and more weight on user intent.
#46. Ryan Stewart – The Blueprint Training
For lack of a better term, the redirect strategy. It's not a new concept, but it works. In a nutshell, it's using 301 redirects to push to pages I want to rank. I do this in 3 ways.
- Buy a relevant, powerful domain and redirect the entire thing into one of my domains. Brian Dean has been doing this very effectively (he purchased Jon Cooper's blog) for years.
- Redirect pages across my portfolio of websites. I redirected a bunch of key pages from WEBRIS (https://webris.org) into The Blueprint Training (https://theblueprint.training) which was a brand new domain…Pages ranked within a matter of days.
- Instead of doing link outreach, offer to buy the page from that website and 301 it into my site. This is much harder to do and much more expensive, but damn it works like nothing else.
#47. Sam McRoberts – VUDU Marketing
Kind of a broad bucket, but I'd say mobile-friendliness is probably one of the biggest levers you can pull on the SEO front, especially going forward.
Within this broad bucket, you have page load speed (faster is better), easy to use mobile UI (large enough buttons, large enough font size, easy to navigate), and content that is easy to read on mobile (1-2 sentence paragraphs, bullets, etc.).
While lots of other things matter, if you don't have all of the above in place, you should see some very nice improvements by sorting this out.
#48. Sam Oh – Ahrefs
We've put a lot of effort into upping our YouTube / video SEO game. Our YouTube organic search traffic has grown ~3.4x in 2019 and views from Google SERPs (video carousels, suggested clips, etc.) have grown 4.2x.
Since our revenue model is based on an ARR/MRR model, educating users on effective and efficient ways to do SEO with our tools helps to both retain and acquire new customers.
#49. Scott Gombar – Rooftop Marketing Group
Focusing more on structured data (schema) and snippets rather than meta descriptions has proven successful in 2019. Writing for your audience (what Google really wants) has worked well too.
The focus in 2020 will be on rich snippets and voice search. That means providing answers to questions and continuing to pay attention to what Google wants (structured data and relevant content) will be the biggest trend in 2020 and the foreseeable future. It's no longer a fight to page one. It's now a fight to number one.
#50. Sean Si – SEO Hacker
Search Intent was the strategy that helped us get a lot of wins and I highly believe that search intent is one of the top things SEOs should focus on in 2020.
Google is focused on improving the search results further and making sure that users are 100% satisfied with the results they are served.
In my opinion, Search Intent should be a priority when producing content. If a keyword is informational or transactional, the content should match that. SEO is not just about keywords anymore. It's about serving the right content and fulfilling users' needs.
#51. Serena Pearson – Kaizen
Utilizing schema markup has been an effective method I usually incorporate into SEO strategies, as it's another way to increase visibility within the SERPs, to improve click-through-rate, but also help with general brand visibility as well.
There are always updates relating to schema markup, such as the FAQ schema markup earlier [last] year, so there's always an aspect of schema markup to consider.
While there is the argument that it can deter traffic away from your website, if done right, it can improve targeted traffic, improving the quality of traffic overall leading to increased conversions.
#52. Steve Wiideman – Wiideman Consulting Group
The SEO trend that helped our clients dominate search results and increase revenue was a focus on mobile user experience and maximizing structured markup.
Rich Snippets have helped increase CTR and dominance in Universal Search Results by over 70% in some categories.
Challenging technology teams to be constantly reducing the amount of clicks required to convert, increasing tap target sizes, and reducing PageSpeed month-over-month has not only increased rankings but has impacted conversion rates as well.