With every new decade comes many changes. As it relates to SEO, there’s going to be a lot. In this post, we’ll cover the 6 things we think should be at the top of your SEO priority list. While it’s impossible to predict the changes Google will make to its algorithm, we’re confident that these factors will hold huge sway on how websites are ranked in the next decade.
1. Increased Focus on Mobile-Friendliness
While a website’s mobile-friendliness has been an important ranking factor for several years, it’s only going to become more important once 5G launches nation-wide. With increased data transmission speeds, mobile surfing will be faster and more accessible for more users. This will undoubtedly continue the upward trend of mobile device usage for internet browsing. So what exactly makes a website mobile-friendly? Below are the primary factors to be concerned with:
- It takes less than 3 seconds for pages to fully render
- Text is legible and proportionately sized
- Images and videos change size responsively
- Navigation menus are easy to use
- Phone numbers use “tap-to-call”
- Pages use dedicated designs for mobile and tablet
If you’re not sure how mobile-friendly your site is, Google has a fantastic tool that can help. It’s called PageSpeed Insights and it’s simple to use. Just enter the URL you’d like to have analyzed and the tool will give you a score out of 100 to grade how optimized your site is for mobile and desktop. It also gives you the metrics it uses to determine the page’s score as well as suggestions on how to improve its performance.
However, it’s important to note that a website’s mobile-friendliness doesn’t all come down to metrics. It takes a firm understanding of how people use their mobile devices to search the internet and interact with websites. SEO when it comes to mobile is as much about getting your website to show up on search engines as it is about offering a seamless user experience once people go to it. You can learn more about how user experience affects SEO by reading this blog post.
2. Schema Markup
If you’re unfamiliar with Schema markup, you can think of it as code that you put on your website that makes it easier for search engines to read your pages. It also allows them to display more information about the page in a more graphical way. These graphical additions found on the search results page are commonly known as rich snippets. The reason for using these is to make your search results more informative and visually appealing, thus making it more enticing to click.
While implementing schema markups to your website can be a bit confusing if you’re not used to working with code, there are a number of plugins that make it easy to do. Schema is most commonly used to display information about the following:
- Businesses and organizations
- Videos and other creative works
To see all of the available markups, check out the full documentation page on schema.org. Google also has a super useful tool called Structured Data Markup Helper that will show you how to add markups to your pages. These markup tags are going to be hugely important for SEO going forward. So if you’re still unfamiliar with them, study up so that you can stay ahead of the competition.
3. Google Reviews
Most business owners with a Google My Business account understand how important Google reviews are for attracting new customers. If you don’t already have a Google account for your business, 2020 is the time to get one. Not only will having a Google My Business account allow you to start earning online reviews, but it will also allow you to create an information box about your business that shows up when users search for your company by name. Users find this feature to be incredibly useful for learning more about a business, read reviews, and provides an easy way for them to get in contact with you.
Online reviews are one of the top things a new customer looks at before contacting a local business. In fact, 86% of all customers read online reviews. This makes it vitally important for businesses to continually earn positive reviews and to closely track their online reputation. Having a high number of positive reviews can also help increase your website’s organic search traffic. To learn about how to earn more online reviews for your business and better manage its online reputation, check out our blog post.
4. Maintaining Fast Load Speeds
Making sure that your website loads quickly across all devices will continue to be important as we go into the new decade. Maintaining your website’s load speed can be challenging. This is largely due to the fact that websites need constant maintenance to maintain peak performance.
But even with proper maintenance, websites can still slow down. Because the web landscape is constantly changing, sometimes the best thing to do for a stubbornly slow website is to rebuild it with newly optimized code so that it can meet current standards. It’s also a good idea to periodically check in with your web host to see if they can make updates to your server environment to keep things running smoothly.
Since the early days of SEO, backlinks have been a top-ranking factor and will continue to be as we go forward. Backlinks (links that go to your website that appear on other websites) tell search engines that other people find your website valuable. While earning backlinks isn’t always easy, it important that you take every opportunity to do so. For example, your business plans to appear at a trade show or convention, see if the organizer will but a link to your website on their information page. Small opportunities like this can make a big difference.
You can also consider blogging and other forms of content marketing as a way to earn more backlinks. Generating and strategically distributing high-quality content is a great way to get your web pages shared on social media or link to other people’s websites.
6. On-Page Optimization
On-page optimization has long been the cornerstone of SEO, and that’s not likely to change in 2020 either. This encompasses a number of things, but chief among them include:
- Page titles
- Page descriptions
- Image alt tags
- Image size
Making sure that you’re using keywords that are relevant to your business and likely to yield high volume traffic is the ideal combination. Knowing what keywords to use can require quite a bit of research, but will be well worth it in the long run. Tools like Wordtracker and Moz: Keyword Explorer can be a big help when researching keywords. You can also use Google’s Keyword Planner as a research tool if you have a Google Ads account.
However you go about deciding which keywords to use, it’s important that you track your analytics to see what kind of results you’re getting. But keep in mind that on-page optimization is a long-game. Sometimes it can take a few weeks before search engines index your pages. Then, after it’s been indexed, it needs additional time to go through the ranking algorithm to see where it lands. So be patient and keep an eye on your page traffic as you go month to month.
By keeping these 6 SEO strategies at the top of your priority list going into 2020, we’re confident you’ll find success!