Choosing the right SEO for website content is a tricky business. Not only is it difficult, but it changes every year.
The internet marketplace is dynamic and constantly fluctuating. This is an expected result of being influenced by rapidly evolving technology, marketing, and consumer habits.
The downside of this is that content creators need to fine-tune their strategies on a regular basis. Sticking with “what works today” is no guarantee of generating any sort of success tomorrow.
But here’s the good news: there are substantial benefits for those who keep up with trends, make the necessary adjustments, and stay ahead of the competition in the year ahead.
To know what to expect in 2020, we can look at the most important new features that came out in 2019.
What Happened in 2019? Recent Top SEO Trends
We saw some significant developments in 2019. Frequently talked about were the rise of mobile SEO, the recent Google BERT update, and a heightened emphasis on user intent (among others).
Another common theme was one we’ll see more of in 2020: the increase in search questions and featured snippets.
The Google BERT update will have an enormous impact as well, allowing content creators to move away from artificial blogs and focus on writing more natural, organic posts instead.
Today’s Tech, Tomorrow’s Trends
The marketing trends of tomorrow are rooted in the technological changes of today. By seeing how things have changed recently, we stand a better chance to anticipate what’s coming next.
User intent, Google BERT, local SEO, and mobile SEO will all be significant elements in 2020.
What should we expect in the year ahead? More importantly, how can we best be ready for the changes that are on the horizon?
#1 – Google BERT Update: More Intuitive Searches in 2020
In October of 2019, Google released its much-anticipated BERT update.
Even though its effects might not have been immediately noticed by the average user, BERT represents a major shift for the Google search engine.
The name “BERT” is an acronym, and stands for “Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers.” If you’re interested in the more technical side of things, Google has released an explanation of how it works on their site. But the underlying concept is that the BERT update will take into account far more of the subtleties of language and small words (such as “to” or “for”) that often get misconstrued in searches.
The net result is that user searches will be better and more representative of what users are really looking for. As the algorithms are refined, the accuracy will only continue to improve.
What This Means for 2020
The BERT update is bad news for content creators who are writing primarily for the algorithm, and not for human visitors.
Although “keyword stuffing” has been a failing strategy for a while, it will continue to become more obsolete (“stuffing” is a technique wherein bloggers will write blogs that have effective keywords but are actually nonsensical to read if you aren’t a machine.)
On the other hand, the update is great for anyone who is actually writing with the expectation that the blog will be seen by human eyes, because it increases the chances that the right visitors will find the site.
Your SEO for Website in 2020 and Beyond
Blogs are most effective when they are built over time. Although many businesses can see an immediate uptick in their web traffic, it often takes months or even years to create something that leads to lasting change and revenue.
Web content has a high compounding effect. One post may not do much, but one leads to another. Like a snowball becoming an avalanche, the large volume of information can become a force of its own.
Because of this, it’s helpful to think about how the blog will be doing in two, three, or even five years. Does your blog have posts that will retain a lasting quality, or will they become obsolete?
Blog posts that are published today can still be attracting visitors five years from now––if they have been written with human readers in mind.
#2 – User Intent Gets Big in 2020
The Google BERT update has put a higher premium on ascertaining “user intent.” That is to say: what is the customer really after? Whey are they typing this specific search and not a different one?
As a result, the pressure has never been greater to understand what the customer truly wants. The most successful SEO for website rankings will incorporate content that is directly connected to the customer’s “user intent.”
The more you can tailor your content to the customer’s needs, the better.
Focus on Keywords that Reflect the Customer’s Needs
If you own an auto parts and repair shop, there can be any number of reasons why a new customer would seek you out.
Perhaps your new customer needs new tires quickly. Perhaps they have to get a complete rebuild of their transmission. Maybe they simply want an oil change.
But whatever the case, the odds are likely that people with an immediate need will be primarily concerned about their own problems, and not the complexities of your business model.
The Dangers of Forgetting the Consumer
Sometimes, marketers put a little too much priority on business model identity and not enough on the customer. This can have a negative impact on rankings.
If you want to brand your auto shop as local and family-owned, that’s great! But just remember: there is a time and place for everything. The place for this information is going to be in the content, not in the keyword selections themselves.
People will be less likely to search “family-owned car shop” when they need something fixed. Instead, they will be looking for things like “fix a flat tire fast” or “cost to repair transmission.” Those are the keywords that will connect you to customers who need your service.
After they click through to your site, then you can sell them on the importance of family-owned small business (or whatever else makes you unique).
#3 – Improved SEO for Website Rankings: Long-Tail Keywords
We can look at the recent changes and quickly realize that user intent is more vital than ever for successful conversion rates.
Now, what do we do with that information?
One of the answers lies in refining the nature of the content that we’re producing.
The Power of Specificity
Instead of vague or commonly-used words, the focus is now more and more on hyper-specific, consumer-targeted keywords.
These long-tail keywords are not only much more likely to rank high in the Google search lists, but they have a hidden benefit as well. The more specific a search is, the more likely you are to attract your ideal customer––the exact sort of person you want visiting your site.
Targeting the Right Customers
Would you rather have a dozen visitors who each make large purchases? Or two dozen visitors who don’t buy anything at all?
Most business owners would not have difficulty answering this question. It’s much better to be forming relationships with visitors who will actually become customers, rather than simply encouraging a lot of “empty traffic.”
When done properly, long-tail keywords will bring you more quality visitors to your site.
Getting a Variety
If you have “hyper-focused” keywords, it’s possible to attract visitors where a higher percentage are already interested in your exact service.
The downside is that you are probably pulling from a smaller sample size. Generally speaking, the more complicated a keyword is, the more unlikely it is that a lot of people are typing it in.
So what’s the best way to get ahead of the curve? The answer is to add variety in your keywords. Discuss a few different specific services that your business provides, or use a few different long-tail keywords if you want to highlight one specific product.
When you incorporate a variety of SEO for website posts, you give your niche audience more than one path to your home page.
Synergy: Putting It All Together
So how do you make the most of the growing trends in 2020 and the next few years?
- Focus on writing posts for people, not just for search engines
- Create targeted posts with long-tail keywords
- Interlink your posts
- Don’t compromise quality by “keyword stuffing”
- Keep up with developments like Google’s BERT update
Finally, find writers who will post frequently, use targeted SEO keywords, and write content for your unique audience: your ideal customer base.
The Constant Race Against Time
In a data-driven world, where the rules seem to shift constantly, it can be a full-time job to keep up. If you’re a small business owner, then you already have a lot on your plate.
Simply writing a weekly blog post can take the focus away from more urgent business. Trying to learn the ins and outs of Search Engine Optimization only complicates matters, especially when that entire world changes so quickly.
That’s where we come in. Our team of SEO researchers finds the right keywords to drive traffic to your business. Our writers work with your unique needs, and create weekly blog posts that are perfectly matched to your industry and your ideal customer.
Our bloggers produce millions of words of blog posts every month, in industries ranging from real estate to medical, from food services to landscaping. Whatever your customer base is, our content can bridge the gap and bring them to you.
At SteadyContent, we know that it’s not easy to find the right SEO for website success and better traffic. But that’s just what we do every day. So get in touch with us today, and see what a difference our content can make for you!