The 5 Biggest SEO Trends You Need to Know In 2020

The 5 Biggest SEO Trends You Need to Know In 2020

Want to know the most important SEO trends? This new guide has you covered.

5 Biggest SEO Trends You Need to Know In 2019

Let’s face it:

SEO changes FAST.

And if you’re looking for SEO trends that are going to be HUGE next year, this guide has you covered.

Here are the 5 most important SEO trends to focus on right now.

01. Voice Search

There’s no doubt about it:

Voice Search is a total game changer.

I mean, just look at these stats:

That same Google survey found that 85% of consumers consider voice search “the future”.

85% of consumers consider voice search “the future”

And it does look like voice search is the future in many ways. In fact, a recent study by Comscore estimates that half of all searches will be performed by voice in 2020.

Half of all searches will be performed by voice in 2020

Now that you’ve seen the stats, here are a few ways you can optimize your site for voice search.

First, consider optimizing your content around longer, conversational keywords. Keywords that people use on their keyboard are often totally different than those done via voice.

(Even when they’re searching for the exact same thing)

Specifically, voice searches tend to be more natural-sounding and longer than keyboard searches (for example: “what are the best SEO tools for a small business?” vs. “best SEO tools”).

Second, consider adding FAQ sections to your content. Google Home loves to pull voice search answers from FAQ pages.

Google Home loves to pull voice search answers from FAQ pages

Finally, add little snippets of content (approximately 30 words or so) that are designed specifically to answer voice search queries.

Add snippets of content that are designed specifically to answer voice search queries

02. Video SEO

It’s no secret that online video is exploding.

(Especially on YouTube)

In fact, YouTube themselves report that they have a billion active users.

YouTube has a billion active users

What makes this even more interesting is that YouTube also states that those users are spending more time on YouTube than ever before.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that, as YouTube grows, the platform is getting more crowded and competitive.

So for your videos to get found on YouTube, optimizing your video content is going to be KEY this year.

With that, here are a few ways that you can optimize your videos for SEO.

Just like with “normal” search engine optimization, when it comes to video SEO, keywords are key.

The easiest way to find keywords for videos is to use YouTube’s autocomplete feature.

So if you have a video topic in mind, pop that topic into the YouTube search field.

And you’ll get a list of suggested keywords based on what people are searching for right now on YouTube.

“video seo” search

You then want to use those keywords in your YouTube video’s title, tags, description… and you even want to say your keyword out-loud in your video.

Use those keywords in your title, tags and description

That way, YouTube and Google can understand that your video is about that specific topic.

03. Search Intent

Google is making Search Intent a top priority.

Google is making search intent a top priority

Which means they’re getting better and better at bringing up results that match Search Intent.

(Search Intent = results that give a Google user what they’re looking for)

And, as it turns out, the better your page can match someone’s Search Intent, the higher that page will generally rank.

There are 4 main types of Search Intent:

Informational:

"What's the best SEO tool?"

Informational search intent

Transactional:

"SEO tool signup page"

Transcational search intent

Commercial:

"Best SEO tools"

Commercial search intent

Navigational:

"SEO tool login"

Navigational search intent

The easiest way to figure out Search Intent is to analyze the keyword itself.

For example, a keyword like “what is the keto diet” is informational. Someone searching for that keyword isn’t ready to buy anything. They don’t want to land on an ecommerce product page.

They’re still looking for information on the topic.

On the other hand, a keyword that includes terms like “free trial” or “book a call” is transactional. That person is ready to make a move.

Commercial keywords are a mixed bag. Sometimes the person is close to making a purchase (“keto diet bars Amazon”). Other times, they’re still deciding between a few different options (“best keto diet bars”).

Navigational queries are designed to take someone to a specific place on a website. For example: “Backlinko blog” or “Facebook login”.

The final step is to make sure that your page aligns with that specific Search Intent.

For example, let’s say that you run a site that sells SEO software.

And your signup page is optimized around the keyword “best SEO software”.

Align page with search intent

Your page is optimized for transactional Search Intent. But the keyword has commercial Search Intent.

And because of this mismatch, your page is going to struggle to rank for that keyword.

Instead, you’d want to create a piece of high-quality content that lists out several different popular SEO tools. And you can include yours on the list.

Resolve intent mismatches

04. Google’s AI Algorithm

A few years back Google unveiled a new artificial intelligence algorithm called “RankBrain”.

Google unveiled RankBrain

And more recently, a Google Engineer confirmed that RankBrain is one of Google’s most important ranking factors.

A Google engineer confirmed that RankBrain is one of Google’s most important ranking factors

The question is:

How do you adapt your SEO strategy for Google’s AI search algorithm?

Many people think (largely due to this presentation from a high-ranking Googler), that their new AI algorithm puts a large emphasis on “User Experience Signals”.

Google presentation slide

For example, Google’s algorithm now measures how often searchers click on your site on the first page results.

And if your page has a higher organic click-through rate than Google expects, your page can get a boost.

Organic CTR

Which means you want to make sure your title tags are optimized for on-page SEO… and CTR.

Google also wants to see that users get what they’re looking for from your page.

So if someone clicks on your site from Google and “pogosticks” back to the search results, that’s a sign that your page is not making users happy.

Optimize to avoid pogosticking

05. The Mobile-First Index

In the summer of 2019, Google fully rolled out Mobile-First Indexing.

Which means:

For the first time, Google now considers the mobile version of your website the “main” version of your site.

Google considers the mobile version of a site the main version

(Not the desktop version)

Which means:

Google’s mobile crawler needs to be able to fully index all of the content on every page of your website.

Also, your site should work SUPER well on mobile devices (smartphones and tablets).

Here are a few ways you can optimize your site for mobile.

Your first step is to see what the mobile version of your site looks like to Google.

Remember:

Just because you can see your entire page in a browser, doesn’t mean Google can.

So to make sure that Google can crawl 100% of your mobile content, I recommend checking out the “Mobile Usability” report in The Google Search Console.

Google Search Console – Mobile usability report

Next, pop a few URLs from your site into Mobile-Friendly Test.

This will tell you whether or not Google considers your page optimized for mobile with a straight “yes” or “no” answer.

Google Mobile-Friendly Test

Finally, check out your mobile page speed using PageSpeed Insights.

Google PageSpeed Insights – Backlinko homepage

Want to Tap Into These Key SEO Trends?

Reading about these emerging SEO trends is one thing. Taking advantage of them is a different story. So if you’re ready to start implementing cutting-edge digital marketing strategies, check out this collection of helpful resources.

2 Comments

  1. As AI is changing, so is the search algorithm. We will probably see more and more of new and very smart updates.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Well said, Adriana. AI (RankBrain) is changing things quite a bit.

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