It’s safe to say that 2020 has well and truly begun. So what lies ahead in the world of SEO?
With constant changes forever occurring, it’s important to keep up in order to continue to grow.
Writing title tags, looking after your links etc will always be a staple but there are changes which you need to be aware of.
Zero Click Searches
Back in 2019 zero-click searches were the norm. The information was right at your fingertips with no need click away from Google.
Optimize for keywords that bring you proper clicks and use a Rank Tracker along with your Google Search Console Account.
Here you can see which keywords of the ones you’re optimizing for actually bring you clicks.
You want to optimize for keywords with strong user intent and a decent search volume.
Getting into a SERP feature is a priority
Now that you are being keyword savvy you want to be getting into a SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
The way that users read has changed so this has brought about structural changes of the SERP.
Users tend to skim from the top to bottom and their eyes are zig-zagging across the SERP all the time. Bearing all of this in mind just getting “featured” is more important than it ever was.
The Knowledge graph is a great place to be featured. It stands out even more than a featured snippet and is positioned apart from all the other results.
The more authoritative your website seems to be the higher your traffic will be and therefore easier to rank for your niche. So the more one and the same website that appears in Knowledge graphs and featured snippets the better.
One thing you can control is your meta description so keep it short and to the point. Explain what your website is all about and perhaps throw in some of your target keywords.
Keyword research in 2020 is now more important than ever. With increased competition one has to be even more careful when deciding which keywords to target.
You need to choose keywords with high user intent, great search volume and ones which are achievable within the SERPs.
One way to do this would be to analyse the keywords your own site actually rank for and build on the strengths of your existing keyword performance.
Seeing how something works for another is often the best way to make it work for you. If you notice that your competitor is ranking for a certain keyword and got into the SERP feature then go to their website for quick look. See how the page in question is structured and how it’s written.
What you will more than likely find is that their text is arranged in a specific way which Google considers it valuable and readable enough to present in a feature.
Google My Business and entity-based search
In recent years the biggest change in local SEO has been Google’s Local Pack and how it affects users.
Years ago if you were trying to rank for home furniture, your E-commerce page stood a change at high rankings, it’s very different today.
More and more searches get processed as containing local intent therefore the user gets a Local Pack instead.
In the Local Pack users get a list of business profiles which are complete with ratings, reviews and locations. Due to being so convenient for the user, Local Packs are here to stay.
If you are not using local SEO and working with Google to get into a Local Pack then you will be losing out on customers.
In 2019 Google got a patent for entity-based search. What are those “entities”? they are described in the patent itself as:
“[..] a thing or concept that is singular, unique, well-defined and distinguishable. For example, an entity may be a person, place, item, idea, abstract concept, concrete element, other suitable thing, or any combination thereof.”
Basically Google wants to create a unique ID for everything in the world.
What now? Creating a Google My Business page for your company is an absolute must, by not having a Google My Business page for your business will result in lost business.
By doing this you are covering a vast number of searches, mainly those containing keywords such as “near me” or “phone number” and “address”.
How to start implementing entity associations
Local businesses need to always implement local entities. Your services are an entity but these are dealt with by the keywords you are hoping to rank for.
SEO experts consider that in the local search the “entities” you need to base your SEO efforts on are mostly geographical. Putting keywords like “near landmark” or adding directions from a well-known place to your own business is key here.
So for 2020 implementing local entities in a way that is natural and not over the top by subtly mentioned entities on as many pages as possible.