SEO experts received a huge shock in the final quarter of this year. Google launched its new update, ‘Bert,’ and it affects one in every ten websites. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but there are more than a billion websites on the internet right now. So, you do the math.
Bert changes the way you get your search results. And evidently, Google has made its search super-specific for the users.
Best SEO practice to use in 2020
To survive this change, you will have to get more sophisticated with how you perform your SEO. But that’s not the only challenge facing SEO consultants in 2020.
With the shrinking attention span and increasing curiosity, users are demanding quick answers from content creators.
You might have already noticed that Google displays most of the answers at the top without making the user click on the link. That’s mighty convenient for the audience, but not so much for the creators. No clicks mean no revenue.
According to Jumpshot’s report, more than 49% of the websites are experiencing zero clicks. This is because nearly all searches are happening on Google’s property (Youtube, Google Images, Google Maps, and more).
Google is promoting its products before anyone else is. So, there is much less room for other creators to operate in the space.
In fact, organic searches are experiencing a major decline. And it is expected to go lower in the coming year.
So, does that mean you should start packing your bags?
Well, not yet. With the right SEO practices, you can actually bounce back. So, here are some SEO tips to improve your online presence in 2020.
Hire SEO expert storytellers to speak to humans
WordPress encourages Yoast users touse storytelling with SEO. The reason is simple – good content always has an audience.
We have already seen how even the most well-made websites are fighting for the top spot in Google’s search results. So, isn’t it wiser to take another route to connect with the audience?
Brian Dean from Backlinko suggests being an expert or hiring one to get the job done. Ditch people who are the jack of all trades. In 2020, add professionals who can make great stories because they possess the knowledge to do so.
Expect Google to favour content that’s created by expert storytellers, regardless of the format. Your website’s E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness) is up for evaluation. So, you will need to be more reliable than ever.
Improve your meta descriptions to get more clicks
As mentioned before, Google’s updates have eliminated the users’ need to visit a website to get answers to their questions. But you still have an incredibly effective tool that you can use to draw visitors to your website.
Meta descriptions are snippets of your page. Think of them as textual trailers for your website. You can either write them yourself or let Google automate one for you.
Either way, these snippets decide if your website will get a click. So, you must use this window of opportunity to leverage your site.
Use your focus keyword and mind the length of your meta descriptions. Remember, meta descriptions that are too long or too short lower your site score.
Optimise the length of your posts
Technically, anything above 300 words is acceptable. However, nearly all top-ranking pages upload 3000-word content at an average.
Why? Because people who come to read these blogs are readers. They are people who don’t mind spending 15 minutes reading content that creates value.
Moreover, long-form content shows reliability because they portray you as an authority. It also increases your time-on-site as people tend to spend more time reading your posts.
This way, you can also use long-form content to retain visitors on your website in 2020.
Prepare for visual and voice searches
If you hadn’t considered using visual searches until now, do it this second. Seriously, grab your phone and try it out right now.
Visual searches have become so advanced that you can detect one billion objects just by pointing your camera lens at them.
Similarly, voice searches are replacing text searches. Thanks to the smart home assistants, people are moving from typing keywords to speaking them.
Ask yourself – is my website prepared and optimised for the voice search trend? If not, get ready because you are already late to the party.
Upload video content with transcripts
Owing to another one of Google’s user experience updates, video content is now detected using transcripts.
Google’s algorithms check for texts that answer the user’s queries and shows them in the search results. And that also brings us to the next SEO tip to improve your online presence in 2020.
Organise your content to allow Google to find you easily
You know how YouTubers have begun to use timestamps to enrich the viewing experience. These timestamps can actually be used to organise content for Google’s crawlers.
For instance, if you have used a keyword next to your timestamp to describe that particular segment of the video, your video will show up every time someone looks up for that keyword.
Basically, you can streamline traffic to your videos from another source without engaging in any complex SEO practices.
Use keywords to prepare questions and answers
If you are considering writing long-form content, try making them in a question-answer format.
From where, who and what to how and why, it is evident that people still type full-length questions to get answers.
So, wouldn’t it be more beneficial if you created questions and answered them in your blog?
All you have to do is use keywords to form the questions. You can either make them yourself or use free tools like Answer the Public to get a list of most searched questions for your keywords.