Top Thee SEO Predictions For 2020
1. Authority is king.
Domain authority has always been a huge ranking factor, and it’s no different in 2020. What has changed, however, is how you earn it.
Links used to be the building blocks of a site’s authority. Collecting backlinks was the name of the game. The more backlinks you had, the higher your domain authority.
Does this still apply in 2020? Well, yes and no.
Links are still very important, but it’s more about trust signals and representing yourself as a brand.
If you want to compete with the big sites that dominate the search engine results page rankings, you’ll need to play like the big sites do — by creating amazing content and building up your brand.
So how do you demonstrate your expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness?
First things first: Focus on creating accurate, relevant and interesting content within your field of expertise. Then, clean up your site by getting rid of thin content, broken links and other technical errors. Be transparent about who you are; set up “About Us” and “Contact Us” pages. Finally, build your credibility by getting off-site citations and backlinks from high-ranking or high-authority sites.
Focus on trust, and you will build up your domain authority naturally, organically and sustainably.
2. Organic search real estate will become smaller.
Remember when Google’s search engine results were populated by actual pages, and you had to climb your way up to #1 just to be seen? Today’s search engine results page couldn’t be more different, thanks to Google AdWords, quick answer boxes, knowledge panels and, of course, the coveted featured snippet.
This means that there’s less room for you to rank organically … but it also means that you have more ways to get noticed by searchers.
Featured snippets are a great way for you to outrank your competitors without actually having to reach the #1 rank. Snippets are placed at the top of the results page above the #1 result, which is also called rank 0.
According to SEMRush, as of this writing, almost 14% of searches have featured snippets. This means that there’s plenty of opportunities for you to snatch the top spot with a well-written, well-formatted snippet.
Check out keywords that you already rank for. You have a pretty slim chance of getting a featured snippet if you aren’t in the top 10 results for that keyword — ideally, you should be in the top five or three. You can use tools like SurferSEO or Ahrefs to find your best-performing keywords.
Then, incorporate “snappable” content into your site. The most common featured snippet type is paragraph snippet. The best way to have Google pull it as a snippet is to write it in an easy question-and-answer format. Keep it short; 40-60 words is the sweet spot.
Featured snippets can also come in the form of lists or tables, so don’t forget to use those formats when appropriate.
3. The answer is on page one.
Google is notoriously opaque about what works and what doesn’t. But despite the numerous challenges and increasing complexity of doing SEO in 2020, it’s surprisingly easier than ever to reverse-engineer the best industry practices.
How? By looking at the top results, learning from them and implementing similar strategies in your own site.
Let’s break down the process into a few steps:
1. Plug your desired keywords into Google.
2. Take a look at the first page, and notice these elements:
• The title tag, URL, meta description: How are these written? What other keywords should you include?
• Content: What kind of content is it (blog, video, etc.)? How long is it? What is the structure? What keywords does it use?
• Website: Is it mobile-friendly? What’s the domain authority? How fast is the page?
• Off-page SEO: How many backlinks does it have? From which websites? What about social media?
3. Using these insights (plus SEO tools), you can see what your competitors are doing right and what they need to improve on. Then, create content and build backlinks in a better way.
Change your SEO strategy in 2020.
In 2020, Google is putting a much bigger emphasis on sites that provide high-quality, authoritative and reliable content. Focus on building your trust signals, creating rich feature snippets and reverse-engineering your competitors’ strategies, and you’ll be all set for SEO success in 2020.