How do you feel about your spot on the search engine results page (SERP) this year? If you’re like many businesses, you wish you could rank more highly for specific keywords. However, you probably aren’t sure exactly where to start.
The good news is that this guide will tell you what’s working and what’s not, so you know exactly what to do if you want to improve your SERP results. Maybe you could benefit from focusing on local SEO trends, or by adding video to your website.
There are a lot of options because Google’s algorithm isn’t just a single program. Google has described it as “a lot of baby algorithms working together to create a single result.” That’s why so many aspects of your website affect your results!
Here are the things to focus on if you want to improve your SEO in 2020.
You Are What You EAT: Domain Authority
In the past, Google determined your domain authority based on incoming and outgoing links. Your link profile told them if you were reputable or spammy.
In 2020, that’s not enough. Instead, there are three aspects that impact your authority ranking. They are Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. This is often shortened to EAT in the SEO world. How can you work on each of these three elements?
Google wants to focus on delivering content written by experts in the field. For instance, they favor medical content written by medical professionals, or legal advice from lawyers. Google uses author reputation to determine who wrote a piece and how qualified they are.
The machine-learning they continually develop and refine will get better and better at determining who the author is and whether they’re qualified, and sites giving expert content without experts will continue to suffer – especially in niches like health. It’s vital to give information about the author of each article and to make it as authoritative as possible.
What does that mean for you? It means you need to be an expert – or hire one – if you want to succeed in 2020.
Google realizes that people are more than happy to talk about how amazing they are on their website. However, they also look for external mentions of the author and give more weight to an external mention than an About page.
As a result, it’s helpful if you can get mentioned – even if it’s not linked – on authoritative websites. Make yourself available as an expert to those who want to interview you. You can use Help a Reporter Out (HARO) to connect to journalists, or find ways to get profiled on industry-related websites.
You also want to have an authorship byline for each article and an author bio that gives information about their credentials. This will allow Google to understand who wrote each piece and you won’t get downgraded for not having information available.
Focus on Winning Snippets
Featured snippets are designed to help searchers get information directly and immediately – even without clicking through to your website.
The reason a snippet is a win for your company is that it’s listed above the #1 search result. That immediately catches the eye and helps draw attention to your company as an authority on the topic.
How do you get a snippet? You provide clear, often listed-out answers to commonly asked questions. Your website can have an FAQ page or you can include these kinds of answers in your blog content.
Don’t assume that a snippet means no one will click on your website – quite the opposite! Companies with a featured snippet find that over 50% of their Google traffic comes from clicks on that search result. Plus, they really boost your visibility when you aren’t on Page 1 of search.
Tie Influencer Marketing Into Your SEO
Working with an influencer boosts your online profile and can give you incoming links to your website. Because backlinks are a vital part of your search ranking, leveraging your influencers is one of the key SEO improvement techniques for 2020.
Rather than letting the influencer decide how to promote your business, consider what content would most benefit your company and how it can link back to your website. Of course, the influencers you work with should be relevant to your industry and audience, or you won’t be driving traffic worth having.
Done well, influencer marketing not only builds your brand and brings in traffic, it also boosts your SEO.
Boost Website Security
Website security is a hot issue online in general, and you don’t want your company on the wrong side of the headlines. A business that has a serious breach or hack can lose a lot of customers and brand power overnight.
Not only do you want to protect your business’ reputation, you also want to protect your customers. You know that people who browse and purchase on your website deserve peace of mind and the knowledge that their data is not at risk.
Google feels the same way, which is why websites that don’t have current security are downgraded in search results. You should have HTTPS protocol on your website, which provides users with a secure, encrypted connection.
The better your security measures, the more customers and Google will trust your website, which will help your business do well in 2020.
Optimize for Voice Search
In 2020 more searches will come from internet-enabled devices than ever before. Whether someone is saying “OK Google” into their phone or are asking Amazon Alexa a question, you want to be one of the results accessed for information.
The way you do this is to focus on conversational phrases in your content. Don’t use rigid keywords that sound unnatural. Instead, think about how people would naturally ask about the topic you’re creating content for. Ask and answer those questions clearly in your blog post or onsite content. Your focus terms should be targeted and phrased naturally.
This type of SEO improvement may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. You can work with SEO experts to help you improve and optimize your content so you’re ready for voice search before your competitors are.
Use Videos to Share Information
More and more people prefer to get information from online videos. In fact, younger generations would rather watch online videos than TV.
The key to making video work for you is to make your videos interesting and dynamic. You can use video on your website, social media, and YouTube. When you post your video, be sure that you use keywords in the description and headline that make it clear what the content is about.
Google owns YouTube, so it’s not unusual for YouTube videos to rank highly in SERPs. On top of that, videos can improve the user experience on your website and encourage visitors to stay longer, both of which are ranking factors.
Have a Plan for SEO Improvement in 2020
In looking over these tips, you may have discovered that your SEO needs improvement if you want to have great results next year. In fact, you may feel like the number of changes you need to make is overwhelming.
Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be the case. You can work with our expert team to create and implement a high-quality plan for SEO improvement. We have worked with over 10,000 small businesses across multiple industries, and we’d love to help you as well.
Contact us today to get a free 30-minute consultation with our owner and SEO expert, John Vuong. We can’t wait to show you the growth that waits for you in 2020!