Each year brings in new tips, tricks, and trends in the world of digital marketing. Therefore, staying on top of all this new information can be overwhelming. But, it is highly integral to keeping your business on top of its game. So, when it comes to the game of being found online Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a major player. However, it is not an easy game to play. Essentially, SEO is an on-going part of marketing. It is constantly changing! That’s why we are here with your essential SEO tips for 2020. 

In fact, there are major changes every so often. These really switch up the way the algorithm works. Similarly, there are minor updates that take place daily. With this in mind, it is important to understand what changes or strategies help. These updates are mainly made to businesses. Google wants to find you. But, there is a proper and productive way to do so.

Here at 2nd Line Marketing, we want our customers to be in the loop. We want you to understand the importance of our work. So, we’ve come up with a few top SEO trends to follow.

Check it out!

 

E-A-T

E-A-T in the SEO community is Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. It is not a ranking factor nor an algorithm. However, it is purely a strategy to help bolster your Search Engine Optimization. E-A-T has been around for years but is still a highly used tool. It may not be the newest trend but if you aren’t putting it to work, you are late to the game! 

So, what does E-A-T really mean?

Before we dive into E-A-T there is one other acronym to understand. This is YMYL. YMYL is short for “Your Money or Your Life”. It is a type of quality rating that Google has come up with. In short, they have come up with this term to help identify what sites are relevant and credible. Often, when a user is using Google, it is for something that has to do with their health, finances, or safety. Therefore, it has to do with “your money” and/or “your life” which makes a rather large impact on your life. So, Google wants to ensure you are getting the most correct information. Conversely, If your business’s website is low quality or full of incorrect information, you have the potential to make a negative impact. Nobody wants that! 

In other words, if you are under the umbrella of YMYL then E-A-T is going to be your best friend. Now, let’s dive into it a bit more. We will outline what every aspect of E-A-T is and its benefit to you. 

 

E-xpertise

To begin with, you always want to show your potential customers your expertise in your industry. A customer wants to see that you are knowledgeable and current on all things in your industry. If you are not or do not show this, you have lost already. They are onto the next company. Therefore, you need to learn how to communicate your knowledge. This means doing it in a way that engages your audience. 

What is the best way to deliver your message?

This should be your first thought! Find out what your consumers are searching for. You want to know what their exact search is for and the intention behind it. Make a keyword search list of all possible keywords and phrases they might search for. Additionally, think ahead to what questions your audience will have. You want to answer every question possible. Because this shows that you are thinking or consumer needs and wants. This gives a sense of comfort which leads to a successful connection. Overall, you want to find the best possible way to deliver information. You want to be as comprehensive as possible but in the simplest terms. Creating trust takes time, but your online platforms can be the beginning of a long-term digital relationship. 

 

A-uthority

Obviously, dominating your industry is the goal of any business. However, you also need to be an authoritative figure. This means you want other people in your business or influencers to look to you as a source of information. You want to be the one they cite. Your company should become synonymous with relevant topics. Moreover, you should be an expert and authority. 

By and large, links from authoritative and relevant sources and sites are a huge factor in website ranking. Google wants sites with authority that are already in recommended spaces. For instance, someone with high authority linking their page to yours is key. This means they are putting their trust in you. A link is a digital endorsement. A big plus! 

Equally important, you want your content to be shared across digital platforms. The more you begin to see this, the more traction you are gaining. You are growing authority! 

Along with this, there are ways to see if you are gaining the authority you desire. For example, if people are searching for your company specifically, you are doing wonderfully. Furthermore, if they are searching with a relevant keyword attached, that is even better! Overall, it will take time to see your SEO efforts but it will happen. Patience is key!

 

T-rustworthiness

In general, proving you are trustworthy is hard. In the digital world, it is a bit harder but very important. Trustworthiness goes hand in hand with expertise and authority. But, a lack of trust will easily disrupt your Google rankings. Google is very clear about this in their ranking guidelines. Too many negative reviews is a sign of poor trust and low quality. You do not want this! 

It should be obvious you need to tend to your negative reviews. This means replying to them promptly and with professionalism. Even though you may have a bad review, you can still show you care. Conversely, getting reviews on big names and trusted sites is super helpful. This includes sites such as TripAdvisor, Facebook, and Google My Business. The more positive reviews, the better!

We understand that you can not necessarily ask for people to trust you. You must show why they can. Do not fret! 

There are easy ways to promote your trustworthiness! 

For starters, make a clear way to get in contact with you. Whether a customer wants to discuss a question or concern or just say hello, it is important to give them a clear way to do so. 

On the other hand, there are some small technical efforts that help:

  • Connect your website to a physical location. This can be your office or your store location
  • Make sure your site’s domain is secure. It is super important to Google for your site to correctly implement your HTTPS. This helps to make sure any of your users’ data is protected.
  • Have a terms and conditions page that is clear and easily accessible.
  • State your privacy policy clearly and make it easily accessible
  • If you are an eCommerce store, make sure your refunds and return policies are clear.
  • Also, if you are selling products make sure you explain in detail and include relevant safety advice. 
  • Any time you are sharing knowledge, cite your sources! This goes back to link authority and can be that much more helpful!

Above all, ensure that your company is trustworthy on and off the internet. Your customers will see for themselves and their reviews will speak for themselves. 

 

Voice Search

If you’ve ever said “Hey Siri”, “Alexa, play me a song”, or “Google turn on the lights” then you’ve used voice technology. Over the years, voice technology has changed the way we use our devices and even how we search for things. To emphasize, 20% of mobile queries are voice searches. This means that people are searching the way they speak. This goes hand in hand with BERT, a concept we will review later. 

 

Voice Search Is On The Rise

Voice search is a way to give commands as if one were talking to someone. Often, it is easier for you to ask a question the way you best understand. It is predicted that half of all online searches will be made through voice by this year. What a crazy statistic to say. It truly shows how far we’ve come. With this, the average length of a voice search query is about 29 words long. Generally, they are long-tail and very detail-oriented. This is because as a user, you want the most accurate information you can find. It is found that users who search for long-tail keywords are considering their options more heavily. The chances of them buying your product or service are higher. We like that. 

 

How To Use Voice Search For SEO

Everyone’s goal when it comes to SEO is to hit that sweet spot, the featured snippet. This shows that voice search favors you. So, how do you accomplish that? Optimization! Simply put, you want to answer the question your consumers are asking. Keep it short and to the point. Only include the essential details. When writing your blogs or site content, try using bullet lists. This can increase your chances for ranking within voice searches. In most cases, voice queries are local. Thus, you should be optimizing your site for local SEO. Another thing we do, just in case you forgot. 

Optimizing for Voice Search

Frequently, voice searches include question words. This can be who, which, when, where, and how. For marketing purposes, make sure your content is giving correct and relevant answers to voice queries. You want to distinguish your answers between simple questions and searches that require more detailed answers. 

20% of voice searches are triggered by 25 keywords. These include question words and other verbs such as make, can, do. Additionally, key nouns and adjectives play a role. This ranges from words such as home, recipe, new, easy, and types. Certainly, these are keywords you can work into your SEO!

On the opposite side of this, there are ways to be passed over. Google, often provides the required info via its featured snippets spot. For a marketer, this means that any searches that can be answered in short won’t generate web traffic. Therefore, you must adjust your content accordingly.

 

BERT

There is one more very important and new acronym that we will discuss. Just one! Google’s latest algorithm update is BERT, also known as Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers. It sounds intense but it is relatively easy to understand. It is the first major change Google has made to its search algorithm since 2014. 

What is it?

Basically, it is a revolutionary new way to search for anything and everything on the internet. Specifically, BERT is a way to understand text in a way it couldn’t before. It is a tool that helps Google understand more than just word order in a sentence. Notably, it can understand the relation of words. This is so that Google understands the topic and concept behind the search query. Overall, it is a huge improvement in the way natural language is understood digitally.  

With this in mind, consider how you go about searching for something. You type in your query the same way you would ask someone a question. Before this update, Google’s search was more focused on matching results versus understanding how a word is being used. As a result, you may not get the intended answer you are looking for. However, with this update, you are able to train your own question answering system. 

 

Putting BERT To Work

For now, BERT only impacts 10% of search queries. As time goes on and technology is able to fully support it, this may change. So, for now, BERT will be used on 1 in 10 searches in the US in English. The most impacted search will be on conversational queries. For example, where prepositions like “to” and “for” matter to the meaning of your search. 

 

BERT & SEO

You are probably wondering how you can use BERT to your advantage. Firstly, BERT isn’t something you can optimize for. But, you can most definitely optimize for the intent behind perspective search queries. Keep in mind that BERT only analyzes search queries and not web pages. With this in mind, creating content that answers and speaks in a certain way to the search engine is helpful. You want to be able to match popular keywords, keyphrases, and questions as closely as possible. Therefore, before you write your copy, think about what best answers a user’s intent. Is it informational, navigational, or transactional? You can even go so far as to search keywords and see what the first page of SERP looks like. It can help give you a sense of how and what to write. 

 

BERT Is Here To Stay

In essence, you want to speak Google’s love language! It has been found that those who apply the BERT model effectively increase their chances of ranking on the first page for featured snippets. For this reason, sloppy, low-quality content will not do! Now get to work and start leveling up your ranking. 

 

Video Content

Video is becoming the next king of content. It is forecasted that 80% of all consumer traffic will be videos by 2021. This should come as no surprise. Videos are an extremely easy way to talk to an audience. You can watch them anywhere, anytime, on the go. The flexibility of video content allows you to market to your audience in a fast but detailed way. Think about how much you can say in even just a few seconds. Imagine what you can do in 2 minutes!

 

Video For Marketing

Marketing strategies have been adjusting their formulas to incorporate videos. The focus of videos is the user experience. You want to communicate all your business’s information in a blended way. Give your user simple yet bold visuals, sounds, and easy information. Since video content can be easily accessed on phones, 60% of global video views are made from them. For this reason, you will want to embed videos onto your site. This will help drive traffic! Don’t forget to optimize your content to your blog’s width. Also, add a few sentences of copy that can better help Google understand what your video is about. Now, get to work on your next video ad!

 

Mobile Search

Most of us use our phones to look up anything we have questions about. Products and services especially. It’s fast, easy, and convenient. That’s why 87% of internet users are on mobile phones and 40% of transactions as well. Google saw this spike in usage and decided to move to mobile-first indexing in 2019. This is to enhance the mobile search experience for all. 

 

Optimization for Mobile Search

Hopefully, your site is optimized for mobile-friendly searches. If not, it’s beyond time to be! 

There are ways you can make sure to do so:

  • Adjust your page speed. It is important to desktop users, too, but more so for mobile. Nobody likes to wait!
  • Don’t block CSS, Javascript, or images! The smartphone GoogleBot wants and needs to be able to see all the same content users do. Because it needs to categorize it correctly. 
  • Along with that, don’t use Flash. This plugin may not be available on your consumer’s phone. If so, they’ll miss out on it all! 
  • Additionally, don’t use pop-ups. They are not only distracting but can be difficult to navigate past. For a lot of people, that’s an automatic pass for them.

In short, don’t give your phone users a reason to click off your page. Make sure every inch of your site looks sleek on any device. Perhaps even throw in some special effects or interactive parts. People love to see their vendors get creative!

 

Summary

To conclude our discussion, SEO is important and evolving. There is no one way to do SEO right. It is a complex formula. With that said, it is not impossible to get started on the right path. We provide essential SEO tips like these so that you can help yourself too. If you are already using these methods, keep it up! If you’re not, reach out and learn more about how 2nd Line Marketing can help you.

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