Because search engine optimization (SEO) is rapidly changing as artificial intelligence and machine learning advance, it is important for businesses to keep up with the latest trends to ensure their websites rank well.
As we get closer to 2020, businesses should review their websites to make sure they are fully optimized. Below are some useful pointers to being optimized for 2020.
Build a Quality User Experience
Google and other search engines are increasingly factoring in page speed loading times to determine the quality of a website. Make sure you use a quality host with at least 99 percent uptime. A host that slows you down can negatively affect your rank and your brand image.
If your page takes more than three seconds to load, or is filled with ads that slow down the page load, a large percentage of users will simply click back to the search engine to find another website with the information they seek. A fast page loading time will also make your website mobile-friendly, which is increasingly being factored in by search engines to determine website rank.
This clicking away from the website and back into the search engine before reading the content is known as bounce rate. A high bounce rate is an indicator of a poor quality website, and the search engines will lower your rank if they find that visitors are not engaged when visiting your website.
According to Naples marketing company Brig Agency, you can speed up your page loading time by using caching software, compressing images, and ensuring you have a good host with proper capacity. If you are using WordPress, there are a number of plugins that help with caching pages and compressing images for a better user experience.
Create Engaging Content
Because the search engines are valuing engagement, it is important to provide high-quality content to users. Your writing, grammar, and spelling should be as close to perfect as possible to attract readers and be more engaging.
You should aim to be as informative as possible so that your content is visited frequently and shared on social media or other websites. One way of creating engaging content is by posting informative videos related to the information on your website. Also, depending on the niche, fresh content may be necessary to keep visitors engaged.
To be recognized as having quality content, you should avoid spun or plagiarized content at all costs. The search engines can easily determine if website copy is spun or plagiarized and will penalize you once this is detected. Because spun and plagiarized content lower the user experience, the search engines will lower your rank or deindex your website if you use these black hat tactics.
Build Quality Backlinks
As search engine algorithms become more sophisticated, business owners must shift to quality backlinking strategies to rank better. Backlinks should come from trusted and authoritative sources with a high domain authority (DA). Additionally, backlinks should be as relevant as possible.
For example, if you run a wealth advisory firm, you will want to prioritize backlinks from finance websites. By building backlinks from relevant websites, the visitors who visit your website by clicking these links will be more likely to find your content engaging. Higher engagement from visitors could lead to more conversions. The search engines will place a greater value on backlinks from relevant websites.
Websites that build backlinks on low quality or irrelevant websites are at risk of being penalized by the search engines. Penalties can result in significantly lower rankings and even deindexing, which will prevent the website from being visible and getting traffic.
Though backlinks from private blog networks (PBNs) are still widely offered for sale, search engines are increasingly devaluing these backlinks as they come from websites that lack organic traffic. PBNs are networks of websites of expired domains with previously established authority that are used to manipulate search engine rankings. PBN backlinks should be avoided.
Build Local Citations
Related to your backlink strategy, it is important to build local citations. Local citations will allow the search engines to see that there is a name, physical address, and phone number attached to a website. By their nature, spammers do not like to be identified. Thus, building local citations is a simple way to build trust. Additionally, local citations will improve your visibility among those searching for you locally, potentially leading to a spike in traffic and conversions. While local citations take some time to register for them, write proper descriptions, and upload business photos, they are generally a free way to build backlinks.
Participate in Social Media
There is a misconception in the industry that because social media activity is hard to quantify in terms of return on investment (ROI), that it is therefore unnecessary or overrated. This assumption is false. Social media activity is essential for branding and will allow a business to reach a much larger audience, given that more time is spent by ordinary people on social media to interact with friends, family, and the public.
While it may be difficult to track conversions from social media activity, social media is nonetheless central to a solid branding strategy. Furthermore, search engines are increasingly factoring in social media signals to determine the trust, authority, engagement, and relevance of websites. Social media activity is also a free way to build quality backlinks.
Summarizing SEO Trends for 2020
Business owners must be focused on producing quality content to engage visitors. The shift taking place among the search engines involves their use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to more easily detect cheating.
Because of the fluid nature of the internet and the increased ability of search engines to detect spam, businesses should avoid using shortcuts to obtain a higher rank. They need to put themselves in the minds of users to determine if their content is engaging and relevant, and to adjust their methods according to the feedback they receive from software that measures these factors and from the users themselves. While producing relevant and engaging content is more challenging than using the shortcuts that will eventually get you penalized, they will easily put you above the competition simply because most businesses refuse to expend the energy needed to market themselves properly.