SEO is definitely a fast-paced industry, but there are only a few trends you NEED to focus on in 2020 – and they’re more common-sense than you might think.
Get those basics right, and the rest should follow. But how, exactly, do you do that? Most smart brands will engage an SEO Content Agency, like us, to do it for them.
In short, an SEO Content Agency is (or should be) a trusted partner that helps to improve your visibility in search engines. To do this, they should create an SEO Strategy for your business that covers three key areas:
- Technical website health – how fast is your site? Is it easy to navigate on mobile?
- Content – is your content optimised for the best keywords for your brand and audience?
- Backlinks – do you have other quality sites linking to yours?
Ideally, your SEO Content Agency will also regularly provide a strategic review of:
- how your content is performing
- how your site is tracking
- any changes to your content strategy that will improve results.
A full-service SEO Content Agency should be able to manage all aspects of your SEO needs. From coordinating any technical updates your site needs, to sourcing backlinks, to planning and creating the fantastic SEO content your brand deserves.
Most of all, the SEO Content Agency you choose should be a team that you get along with. It should be one that challenges your brand to do better and helps to demystify how the little things you do impact your online presence.
To help with that last point, we’ve written an article to make SEO seem like less of a mysterious, dark art. In it, we’ve pulled together a list of the top 5 SEO trends you need to know about in your business for 2020. And we think that, by the time you finish reading it, you’ll agree that SEO is far less arcane and far more common-sense than most people realise.
(Plus, as a bonus, you’ll have a handy reference list of the trends we’re focussing on for our own clients. Use it as a resource to come back to any time you want to improve your SEO efforts.)
Understanding your audience is important in any type of marketing, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it tops our list. It’s particularly important in SEO though, because when someone searches for one of your keywords, you need to know what they’re expecting. Then you need to actually give them that information.
Even if your website content is otherwise optimised perfectly, it won’t get SEO results if it isn’t written with your target audience in mind. That’s because the more time a reader spends on your site and the more they engage with your content, the more Google sees it as relevant and trustworthy.
That means Google will reward you by ranking your site higher – no dark magic required.
‘Mobile first indexing’ just means Google indexes and ranks each page on your site based on the mobile version. And that only makes sense, given that over half of all website traffic worldwide now comes from mobile phones.
The Google gods have been rolling this out for every site throughout 2019, which means there’s a good chance that yours is already being indexed mobile first.
So what’s the net result of this for your website? It MUST be mobile-friendly. If your site isn’t readable or usable on mobile, it will suffer in Google’s search rankings.
And that’s not about forcing you to conform to some obscure, inexplicable requirements. It’s simply Google giving you an incentive to make life better for its users.
Page loading time on both mobile and desktop sites has been a ranking factor for a while. Again: that’s fairly common sense. Users want information quickly, so Google isn’t inclined to direct them to sites it knows will keep them waiting.
However, now that mobile first indexing is coming into play, ensuring your site is ‘up to speed’ (literally) is even more important.
This means you need to understand which metrics matter to Google. PageSpeed Insights gives you separate scores for optimisation and speed. It takes the data for the speed score from a performance database of your real site users. That means it looks at how your site actually loaded for each visitor.
This isn’t something that’s easy to track, so we understand if it seems a bit cryptic. However, if you fix your PageSpeed optimisation score by following Google’s own recommendations, you’ll be well on your way to a faster site.
Google Home, Alexa and Siri are fast becoming the new ‘norm’ for online searching, which – granted – can seem like its own kind of magic. From an SEO perspective, however, this just means you need to optimise your keywords for this new type of search.
In particular, you need to know that people now speak phrases and ask questions rather than typing in keywords. In the not-nearly-as-arcane-as-it-sounds language of SEO, they use ‘long-tail queries’ – which simply means they use phrases with several words in them, not just one or two.
Optimising your web pages for several long-tail queries therefore gives you a better chance of being seen as ‘relevant’ when someone uses their voice to search.
Here are a few useful tools to find long-tail keywords:
Finally, Google is well known for cracking down on content that’s either low-quality, or that doesn’t serve a purpose for its users. At the same time, it boosts the rankings of sites that do provide exceptional quality content.
Like all of the trends we’ve discussed so far, this is a common-sense tactic for Google. Its users want quality long-form content. If it doesn’t give them that content in its search results page, they’re going to go somewhere else for their search.
So, as a result, if you don’t have a content strategy in place, and you post content JUST for Google instead of your audience, you’ll be penalised.
“What you need to do is create content that solves a problem – content that moves, motivates, and connects with people,” said Matt Siltala, president of Avalaunch Media.
We know that the ‘how’ of creating that high-quality content can seem like some kind of esoteric secret. But the good news is that the right SEO Content Agency can simplify creating high-quality content for you – just like they simplify the concepts behind SEO itself.
We hope you agree with us that, while SEO can look like some kind of incomprehensible dark art from the outside, it’s actually a lot simpler than it seems.
Incorporating just these 5 common-sense trends into your SEO strategy will go a long way towards helping your site rank in Google. A fast site that delivers quality content for your audience, and that’s optimised for voice search and mobile is a site that Google will like – and so will your users.
In short, the simple, common-sense key to SEO is to always think of your audience before you think of Google.
You’ve found your perfect SEO Content Agency in us
We love SEO and we’re really good at it too. Get in touch to get a FREE SEO Website Audit and see what we can do for your brand today.