SEO Trends 2020

It’s time to take our annual look at what’s ahead for SEO professionals in 2020. What SEO strategies and tactics will work and help you dominate in the SERPs and earn more revenue in 2020? This is the question we ask every year here at Search Engine Journal. This year, I asked 58 of today’s top SEO professionals for their thoughts. Here are the top SEO trends you need to know in 2020, according to the experts.

SEO Trends 2020

Optimizing for Maximum SERP Visibility

Search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t dead, but it has evolved. The focus isn’t just SEO anymore: It’s SERP (search engine results page) marketing, specifically within Google.

More than 90% of Web search volume occurs within Google (including Google Images), and less than half of those searches now result in a click, according to Jumpshot’s 2019 Google Uncensored report.  Why? Featured snippets, “people also ask” results, images, and videos all dominate Page 1 for an increasing number of search queries, and that trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

Take the phrase burial insurance as an example. At the time of this writing (November 2019), on a mobile device, searching for this phrase in Google turns up 18 things a user can click on
before reaching the organic result. These include:
  • Four images
  • Four “interesting finds”
  • One link to “10+ more stories”
  • Four “people also ask” results
  • Four additional snippet drop-downs
  • One featured snippet

A more transactional query, garden sheds, produces a very similar result and also includes three local
results on top of the 15+ other clickable options before reaching the #1 organic result.

If you’re not optimizing for all of that real estate, you’re missing out on one of the biggest SEO opportunities heading into 2020.

The quickly changing SEO landscape calls for new tactics and more integrated approaches. Here are some of the things you should be doing to dominate Google search results pages.

Diversify Your Content

Marketing Tactics This will help you on two fronts:
  • You’ll be able to rank in more of Google’s search elements than just the blue organic links and generate brand visibility through video and image carousels.
  • You’ll be able to discover and use more channels to build traffic.
Any time you work on a new content asset, come up with ideas to repackage it into more content formats.

Optimize for Featured Snippets

Due to their prominent placement, featured snippets are key to organic search presence. On top of that, getting featured brings voice search visibility, as a featured snippet is what a smart device will generally read in response to a voice search query.

According to multiple studies, 99% of featured snippets already rank in the top 10 of Google, with most of them ranking #1 organically. So if you are already ranking high for related search queries, you have
very good chances to get featured. This means that the first step to getting featured is to rank higher,
which means that organic positions are still important.

Research Your Keywords

When performing keyword research with featured snippets in mind:
  • Start with question-type search queries (those containing question words, like “what,” “why,” “how,” etc.) because these are the easiest to identify.
  • Target informational intent, not just questions. While featured snippets aim to answer the user’s question immediately, question type queries are not the only ones that trigger featured results. According to an Ahrefs study, the vast majority of keywords that trigger featured snippets are long-tail queries with no question words in them.

Uncover Your Current Opportunities

Your lowest-hanging fruit is the phrases you already rank highly for. These will be the easiest to get featured for after you optimize your content for SERP features (more on this below).
    The Featured Snippets+ Tool helps you identify you're own featured snippet opportunities by going through your top rankings and showing you where you have the highest odds to get featured:

    (Low-hanging-fruit featured snippet opportunities are those Google queries where you rank higher than your featured competitor. These are usually easy to snatch: You just need to address that exact query in your copy!).

    On top of that, the Featured Snippets+ Tool helps you: Find “people also ask” and “searches related to”
    opportunities. See images and videos that show up in Google searches for
    your important queries.

    The tool also includes a page optimizer that helps you optimize your content for all kinds of existing organic opportunities (including featured snippets, “people also ask,” images, videos, etc.).

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