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SEO Changes to Expect for 2020

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Expanding your company’s digital presence requires a firm understanding of search engine optimization (SEO), but this area of digital marketing is a game where the rules constantly change. Navigating the Google Search algorithm can be incredibly difficult; the only constant aspect of Google’s algorithms is that they are always changing. 

To keep your SEO strategy competitive, stay updated on the latest Search algorithm changes. 

Unfortunately, there is no real way to prepare in advance for Google algorithm changes. Business leaders must coordinate their marketing and SEO teams to rapidly respond to these changes as they occur; no one really knows what a Google algorithm change entails until Google implements the change – and even then, it’s a lot of guesswork based on response. However, industry leaders have made educated predictions of what to expect in the SEO world in 2020. Keep a close eye on announcements from Google as you take your company into the new year and remember the following predictions to stay ahead of the curve. 

Strive for User-Focused Optimization

Last year saw the release of Google’s BERT search algorithm, and SEO professionals have been trying to determine the best way to optimize for BERT since its release. Leading SEO experts suggest focusing on a user-focused approach to optimization – whatever else they understand about Google, they know it prefers positive UX above all. Modern search users have more avenues than ever before to search for and find content on the web, so it’s vital for business leaders to direct their marketing, SEO, and programming teams to ensure clean site architecture while reassessing user access points and aligning content with them.

The goal of the BERT implementation was to move Google Search toward intent matching instead of just purely string matching. Over the past several years, marketing teams have shifted away from stuffing content full of keywords and keyword strings and toward more relevant, valuable content; now this shift is even more important. Creating content to match intent is one of the best ways to optimize with a user-centric focus. 

Start Thinking Beyond the Buyer’s Journey

The buyer’s journey – how we describe a customer’s relationship with a brand from initial exposure all the way through a successful sale – has been a cornerstone of modern marketing philosophy for several years now. However, as consumers move toward companies that offer more personalized experiences, it is becoming increasingly important for brands to start thinking beyond the standard buyer’s journey and begin considering their relationships with consumers after successful sales. 

As you move your company into 2020, you can build your digital presence and attract more business by thinking about how to continue providing your customers with value following their sales. 

Post-sale product and service support, sharing advocacy opportunities, building online communities, and staying relevant for future purchasing are just a few of the ways your brand can take the buyer’s journey to the next level in the new year. 

Gather Customer Data Directly from the Source

Too many marketing teams try to effectively market their products and services without really knowing their target consumer bases on a deep level. They rely on analytics to develop customer profiles and ultimately sell to those profiles instead of trying to sell to their customers. As you take your brand into 2020, start thinking of ways to reach out to your customers more directly. Speak with customers one-on-one if possible, and ask them about their experiences with your company, why they decided to buy from you, how they found your content online, and glean as many insights as you can from this exchange. Use the gathered data in every marketing decision you make going forward. 

Content Quality Is Even More Important

For years, “content is king” has been the leading mantra of the digital marketing world. Your customer base wants relevant content tailored to their needs and interests. By delivering it on a consistent basis you ultimately build your brand credibility. As you take your company into the new year, make sure your content development team is on track to produce high-quality content with a user-focused approach. Make it a goal for 2020 to have the most valuable and most relevant content available to your niche. 

Accomplishing this can be easier said than done, of course. While you take a more user-focused approach to your site architecture and reassess the user access points consumers use to connect with your brand online, you must also be working hard to develop content that doesn’t just rank well in search results. It must also resonate with your consumer base on a deep level. In 2020, it will be increasingly important to understand who your audience is and the best ways to reach them, and then connect with them through high-quality content that reflects their intentions and goals. Position your brand as the leading choice within your niche to solve your customers’ problems and consistently remind them of your authority as an industry leader with high-quality content. 

Content Auditing Is Even More Crucial

As Google Search moves toward more intent-focused algorithms, it is now more important than ever before to audit your content on a consistent schedule to ensure older content isn’t effectively cannibalizing your newer content’s rankings. Have your content marketing team perform a thorough audit of all the past content published to your site so they can identify overlapping rankings. Ideally, your team should adjust archive settings, linking, and redirect structures so that each page ranks for different sets of keywords. Depending on the scope of the content your brand has published, some of your content may be inadvertently knocking your other published content down in search result rankings. 

Your EAT Ranking Will Be Even More Important in 2020

Every website has an EAT ranking that measures expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Your brand’s EAT score will heavily influence your search result rankings. While negative reviews, bad publicity, and poor reputation will certainly harm your search result rankings in the new year, you must also consider the nuts and bolts of your company’s website. Poorly constructed websites, bad redirect paths, security issues on your site, and other technical issues will certainly bog down your SEO efforts in the new year. Make it a point in 2020 to address any shortcomings with your brand’s EAT score. 

When anyone in your company publishes content to your website, make sure the author has a solid set of credentials to back up his or her position as a thought leader on the covered subject to increase your authoritativeness rating. Take time to address negative reviews from past customers and work toward repairing those relationships. Connect more closely with your audience through social media and other channels to boost your trustworthiness score. Keep investing in the highest quality content you possibly can to ensure your brand has the expertise rating it deserves. 

Keep Track of Your SEO Strategy in the New Year

The upcoming year of 2020 is sure to bring many changes to the SEO realm, and those changes aren’t going to stop any time soon. Start reviewing your current SEO and content marketing strategies and think of ways to connect with your audience that you may have overlooked in the past. The new year could be the perfect opportunity to reshape your branded content delivery strategy and boost your SEO results.

About the author


Stephen Moyers

Stephen Moyers is an out of the heart writer voicing out his take on various topics of social media, web design, mobile apps, digital marketing, entrepreneurship, startups and much more in the cutting edge digital world. He is associated with SPINX Digital a Los Angeles web design company & digital marketing agency. When he is not writing, he can be found traveling outdoors with his camera. You can follow Stephen on Twitter @StephenMoyers