This post originally appeared on Searchenginewatch.com
SEO is a super competitive and ever-changing industry. The latest technologies like AI, Google algorithmic updates, and SEO myths are making it tougher to grow your business with SEO. In this guide, I’m sharing top SEO recommendations for 2020 to get the full potential of SEO and stay contingent in the game.
1. Google BERT
Google BERT is one of the major updates from Google that impacted one in ten of all search queries. Google BERT helps Google understand search queries like humans and find the most relevant content for those queries. Google has rolled out the BERT update for all languages and that’s why it has impacted rankings of sites and Featured Snippet results.
Still, Google BERT is just in the beginning stage but over time it will be mature and become more accurate to understand queries and content like humans.
If your website saw drops during the recent Google core updates then there could be chances that Google BERT has impacted your rankings.
There is no specific solution to Google BERT. You just need to make your website content more useful for your users.
You should understand the search intent of a query before writing about it. Because if your content can’t satisfy the intent behind that keyword then you can’t rank on Google.
For this, first of all, understand the nature of a keyword – is it informational, transactional keyword or commercial intent keyword? Once you understand, explain that topic or question properly in your content but according to the intent.
For example, if someone searches for the keyword “SEO” it means the user wants to know what SEO is. This means it has informational intent because the user wants to know about “SEO”.
2. Longer content doesn’t mean quality content
If you think that publishing long-form content will rank you higher on Google, then you are wrong. Word count is not an important ranking factor and you can’t manipulate Google just by writing lengthier content.
As I said above, Google BERT is helping Google understand queries and content like humans. So, if your content is not satisfying the user-intent then even your content length won’t help you rank on Google.
I found that longer-content could be harmful to your website rankings because covering more topics in an article can reduce its quality and relevancy. And After Google BERT, it is impacting many sites. That’s why you should not focus on the content length. I’m not asking you to stop writing long-form content, you just need to be mindful about publishing longer content where it is required and justified.
3. Take advantage of SERP features
Google is regularly releasing more SERP features like knowledge graph, featured snippet, voice searches, and image search updates. If you are not taking these features seriously then you are missing the potential of Google search and your business.
Featured snippets get more clicks than any other SERP listing and voice searches are increasing day by day. If you are ranking higher and getting more impressions in comparison to clicks then there could be chances are that page has SERP features like a featured snippet that is getting most of the clicks for that query. And you are just getting more impressions.
To improve your CTR and get more clicks, you need to optimize your website for those SERP features. For example, to get a featured snippet for your site. You need to optimize your content & its structure.
Write your content in small paragraphs of two-to-three lines and use proper headings-subheadings, bullets, and quotes. So Google can understand your content much better.
Schema is not a ranking factor but it can play a very important role in your SEO success. It helps Google easily understand all about your website, page, and content. It also helps you take advantage of SERP features like the featured snippet, knowledge graph, and voice search. Google offers different types of schema codes for different types of pages and content like:
- How-to guides
- Product reviews
And many others. You can check all types of schema data on Schema.org or on Google Developers site.
You must implement the schema data on your website to boost your CTR and rankings, and take advantage of Google SERPs features.
Internal links are the backlinks from your own site. They’re one of the most important parts of a successful SEO strategy. I’m adding them to this list because these days they are more important than before.
Internal links help you in three ways
- Interlinks are useful for your visitors in terms of site navigation
- They help you improve your user-metrics like bounce rate and time-spend
- Pass the juice to all your pages and boost rankings
Internal links play an important role in the success of Wikipedia. Wikipedia interlinks lots of pages to its page content. That helps Wikipedia keep their visitors for a longer duration on their site as well as boosts their SEO.
Adding internal links can boost your rankings in a few days. Here you can see the impact of internal links in the screenshot given below.
The website saw a boost in rankings when we improved the internal linkings of the site.
To take advantage of internal links, you should add your important pages and posts to your website and blog pages. interlink relevant pages at relevant places on your website. Also, add the most important pages in your website footer.
6. Branded SEO and EAT
Branded SEO is the future of SEO. SEO is shifting from traditional factors to branding and authority. And in the upcoming years, you will see it clearly.
If you want to rank for long-term and keep yourself one step ahead than your competitors then you should focus on the branding.
Plan your SEO strategy to establish your site and business as a reputable brand. Focus on increasing your brand searches, so more people can search for you on Google. Brand searches is a hidden ranking signal.
But if you are in the YMYL niche then it’s more important for you. You must improve your EAT. For YMYL sites, Google takes EAT more seriously. Publishing industry sites, news publications, awards, recognitions, and author qualifications help you improve your EAT.
Follow these top SEO recommendations to get results from your SEO efforts. You should adopt modern SEO techniques because old SEO techniques can’t help you rank on Google for the long-term. Invest in quality SEO than quantity SEO and stay ahead from the competition.
Harpreet Munjal is the founder of the digital marketing company, LoudGrowth. He can be reached out on Twitter @munjalharpreet.
We may have no power over Google’s SERP elements but here’s how digital marketers can boost their clients’ organic visibility through “People also ask”.
Cyber criminals earn $3.25 billion per year. Isn’t this a good reason why you should consider encryption to save your business online? Key details shared.
International SEO is not a cookie-cutter approach. Must-know tips that can help you pass the tricky differences in language, culture, and search habits.