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In 2019, you might have thought you knew everything there is to know about search engine optimisation (SEO). You may have stuffed your content full of keywords and links, or you may have even created blog content purely for the sake of posting something. Those techniques may have worked in 2019, but not so much now.
We’re in a new decade, a new year, and there are new techniques and algorithms to wrap our heads around. If you want to start 2020 off on the right foot, make sure you’re aware of these essential SEO trends.
1. E.A.T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness)
No, eating will not improve your SEO, although that would be pretty neat. E.A.T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. In essence, your content should incorporate reliable sources and it should also be written by someone knowledgeable in their field.
E.A.T may also appear more frequent (and essential), when writing health content. A doctor, for example, could provide more relevant information than someone who sourced their medical information from social media.
You might think, oh, that’s easy, I’ll just make up a name. But you can’t. Google might be using a unique form of Google Authorship in its search quality rating guidelines to essentially validate the expertise of the person who wrote the content.
2. The BERT Algorithm
In the past, it was quite beneficial to stuff your content with keywords you thought people might be searching for, such as “SEO agency Auckland”. While there’s no denying that putting that information into your content won’t harm it, a new algorithm known as BERT is making it no longer as relevant as before.
In 2019, Google introduced BERT, or Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers if you were looking for a less endearing term. The goal of BERT was to find the helpful information you were searching for, not necessarily just the keywords you entered.
The natural language processing technique allowed the Google search engine to process words throughout a sentence, rather than one-by-one in a sequence. After all, writing “SEO help in Auckland” in a Spaghetti Bolognese recipe doesn’t make the recipe about SEO. In the past, it might have come up when you searched for SEO services.
3. Voice Search Optimisation
Did you know that 20 percent of all mobile searches are with voice, and over 40 percent of adults use at least one voice search every day? Therefore, wouldn’t it make sense to optimise your website for voice searches? Yes, it would, and doing so is easier than you might think.
Include a question and answer in your content. Rank in your featured snippet. And ensure your content ranks highly in the search results. These three points are a recipe for success when it comes to optimising your content for voice.
4. Click-Through Rate
Have you noticed a downtrend in your click-through rate? You’re not imaging things; it really is down. According to Jumpshot, a company with clickstream data spanning tens of billions of desktop and mobile searches, there has been an organic click-through plummet of over 40 percent since 2015.
Google stepped up their game in 2019 and started offering answer boxes, carousels, and “people also ask” dropdown boxes. You no longer have to visit a website to access your information. So, what do you do? Make your result stand out so much that people have to click on it.
Use a keyword in your URL, use words of power and emotion, and ensure you write a meta description for every. single. page.
5. Mobile Optimisation
Most people browse the internet on their mobile phones. Therefore, now, more than ever, mobile optimisation is paramount. If you’re not sure whether your site is, find out. Google offers a mobile-friendly test that will tell you, and you can act accordingly.
If you don’t have a website at all, then could it be time to get one? Create your site for mobile first, then make it compatible with a desktop. You then don’t have to worry about optimising it for speed once it’s built.
6. Title Tags & Meta Descriptions
Title tags and meta descriptions were an essential trend in 2017, 2018, 2019, and, you guessed it, they were in 2020 as well. A title tag is in the head section of a page on your website, also known as an HTML tag. It provides a quick insight into what people can expect to find on your website.
For example, https://www.clickthrough.co.nz/SEO-Auckland/ is about SEO in Auckland from Clickthrough.
While title tags don’t affect your organic rankings all that much, not having them can. Meta descriptions go hand in hand with title tags. They describe what people can expect on your page and go underneath your page’s title in search results. A well-written meta description can improve the quality of the result and your clickthrough result.
7. Snippets for Clicks
Snippets are little bits of information that provide information about what people can expect when they click on a link from the Google search engine. Over half of clicks from search results come from a featured snippet. Failure to use snippets can result in fewer click-throughs to your site.
8. Quality Not Quantity
You might think that the aim of the game is to get people to visit your website. So, you use some of the more popular search terms in your blog content to get them there. But is that content actually servicing their needs?
The quantity of blog content on your site is not so much as important as the quality. Are you providing the information the customer intended to see? Use links to previous content to validate it, make it easy to read with subheads, and most importantly, answer the questions that people clicked on your content to find.
Choose your keywords carefully. While they are still relevant in 2020, it’s your content and relevance to those keywords that matter the most. Don’t make your content a victim of keyword cannibalisation. Use keyword planning tools to help you place keywords where they matter the most, such as in your title, ALT tags, meta descriptions, snippets, and main body.
10. User Engagement
So, you’ve spent a lot of time on your on-page SEO elements to make them everything that Google wants, and more. But, what about your site’s engagement? Make your website something that people want to return to time and time again.
Make it fast, suitable for desktops and mobile, and optimize your content. It even helps to improve its design, make it seamless to navigate, and focus on sales tunnels that draw your customers from the product to the shopping cart. Engagement can be equally as crucial as ticking all the boxes for SEO optimisation.
With the right 2020 SEO tips and tricks, your website can be performing at the pointy end of Google rankings. What are you waiting for? Start optimising your website with your customer’s needs in mind today.
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