As the amount of content available online continues to grow, the most effective ways to be discovered from a simple search are changing. The basics of SEO in 2020 are still simple. Your content should be fully indexed, easy to link to and from and include relevant keywords in titles, descriptions and even URLs.
If you’re publishing your content digitally on Calaméo, you’re in luck—all of that is a snap to accomplish. So we decided to go a step further and look at some of the biggest new trends in search engine optimization strategy. Keep reading for the five things you need to know about SEO in 2020, as well as our best tips for your business.
SEO in 2020: Emerging Trends
Our first pick for SEO in 2020 goes beyond just being mobile-friendly. Last year, 55% of all internet traffic came from smartphones and tablets. As a result, all of your content from blog posts to product catalogs should always be responsive. But to take advantage of the 58% of searches happening on mobile, every related element needs to be optimized for phones. Titles, descriptions and embeds should sized to display correctly on smaller screens so readers can more easily find and explore your content.
Next on our list is a trend that’s been buzzy for quite a while now: searching the internet by using your voice. For several years, the popularity of devices like the Apple Watch and Google Home has been increasing. Since these devices allow users to ask questions out loud and receive answers from Google, Amazon and other services, search engines have started taking voice into account as they index content. Although it seems unlikely that voice will take over search any time soon, you may want to try out getting some of your content voice-ready in 2020.
In the same vein as voice search, natural language search is set to be an important trend for SEO in 2020. Originally announced in a Google search algorithm update at the end of 2019, BERT means that the search engine will focus less on individual keywords and more on user intent. In other words, Google will get better and better at understanding complicated and conversational searches. The good news? Natural language search should make high-quality content even easier to find.
After introducing its natural language search update, Google shook things up again when it changed the design of search results. This redesign included site favicons displayed next to the URL snippet of organic results. But the small “Ad” label in the same place for paid results caused controversy about ads looking more like regular content than ever before. While Google ultimately removed the favicons from desktop search, the lesson for SEO in 2020 is clear: paid results are here to stay.
The last major SEO trend on our list is the growth of so-called “zero click” searches. That is to say, searches where the user does not click on any of the results at all. Instead, she finds the desired information directly on the results page and ends her search there. Almost half of all searches were zero-click on desktop in 2019. And that number topped 60% for searches on mobile devices. In short, the zero-click search adds another challenge to the SEO puzzle.
SEO in 2020: Quick conclusions
So what does all of this mean for your business’s online content? Here are a few simple recommendations.
- Focus SEO efforts on essential content. With more competition for fewer clicks, don’t spend too much time trying to be the number-one result for every possible search out there. Choose keywords wisely and optimize your content so searchers can find you when it counts. And remember to consider potential natural language searches!
- Boost your brand name in natural results. Despite the trends towards more ads in search results, you should still aim to be the top results for your own company name. Try customizing your account URL on Calaméo to increase your brand name’s visibility and optimize your publications.
- Maximize direct user contact. Above all, SEO is one part of a larger digital strategy. If your business is using content marketing, for example, you’ll also want to encourage readers who find your content through search to become subscribers. Add sign-up forms to gather email addresses and stay in touch with your audience through their inboxes.
And there you have it—five big trends and three quick takeaways to help you get a handle on SEO in 2020. Not sure where to begin with your online content? Take a look at our Guided Tour to see all of the advantages that digital publishing has to offer on Calaméo.