SEO trends are constantly evolving to not only help consumers find more relevant answers to their queries, but also to help businesses get in front of their ideal customers. For small business owners, local SEO trends for 2020 will play a significant role in attracting local customers and increasing revenue.
With that said, small business owners who are hyperfocused on improving their business’s visibility and achieving growth in their business, keeping up with local SEO trends is a must. Staying abreast with current trends ensures that your business keeps a competitive advantage, engages customers, and helps businesses tap into new markets. For this reason, we’re going to provide you with 7 local SEO trends for 2020.
1. Quality of Website
Improving your website’s quality is crucial for 2020. Your site’s quality isn’t just about presenting a professional appearance to customers, it actually has an impact on how well you rank in the search engine. When it comes to the algorithm, Google pays a lot of attention to the quality of your website to determine where they should rank it. If your site is low-quality, Google won’t find it relevant for any audience. But what does a quality website actually mean?
A quality website has a clear purpose. Google needs to be able to decipher what your website is and what it hopes to accomplish. This helps Google better understand your website’s audience. When Google understands your site’s function, it can help it turn up in relevant search results.
How to Improve your Website’s Quality
One thing to pay attention to is the construction of your website. Your site’s format needs to improve the users’ experience by providing easy navigation and easy-to-find information. In addition, each page should have a decent amount of information that shows how it’s adding value to the user.
Other working parts of your site’s format include things such as the header, footer, sidebar navigation, social media buttons, and related articles. This supplemental information adds to the user experience as it offers helpful content that satisfies the users’ queries. Be sure that this supplemental information is easily accessible.
Along with this, having the perfect ratio of advertisements is also important. Too many advertisements that distract from the main content will give your website a low-rating, making it more difficult to rank high in the search engine.
2. Quality Backlink Building
Backlinks have always been important in improving SEO efforts, but it will play an even greater role in the SEO trends for 2020 for small businesses who want to increase local traffic.
Backlinks are links that appear on another website that directs back to your site. Obtaining high-quality backlinks are especially effective for improving SEO because it is like telling the search engine that someone is vouching for you.
The more people you can get to link back to your content, the more valuable and relevant Google will find your content, leading to an increase in your SEO rank.
In addition, obtaining high-quality backlinks help you stay ahead of the competition as your website will pop up a lot more in relevant queries.
How to Obtain Backlinks
There are a lot of ways for businesses to start obtaining quality backlinks. For starters, businesses can do guest posts. Guest posts are where you will contribute free content to another website or blog in exchange for a link back to your own site.
Another method is by creating Skyscraper Content. Skyscraping is a process that involves finding content in your industry that’s already great and then making it even better.
Other link building strategies we explore in this article include conducting surveys, find and fix broken links with your own content or create expert roundups.
The thing to keep in mind with gaining backlinks is that your information needs to be useful to your audience. When you can create quality content consistently, you will begin to develop a backlinking system that happens organically.
3. BERT & User-Focused Optimization
BERT stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers. However, all you need to know is that BERT is a huge Google update that focuses on natural language processing. Essentially, it helps a machine understand what words in a sentence mean.
For this reason, businesses that write high-quality content on their website and are hyperfocused on their ideal customer are more likely to attract their local audience. Google will have an easier time understanding a user’s search query. This allows it to deliver relevant websites to the user with more precision.
With the incorporation of BERT, businesses can now focus more on providing a better experience for users as users will be better matched with relevant sites.
How to Better Optimize your site for BERT & User-Focused Optimization
To better optimize your site post-BERT, businesses will need to spend a lot more time on their on-page SEO by paying attention to the words that are used on their site. It’s important to be as specific as possible with word choice and speak directly to your audience. In linguistics, words have multiple meanings, and businesses need to take this into account as they move forward with their content and work with SEO trends for 2020.
4. E.A.T. Will be Rewarded by Google
E.A.T. stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. All 3 of these are crucial for a website to possess if they expect to gain a high ranking on the search engine.
Google’s goal is to continue to deliver relevant, high-quality information to its users. This means that Google has to filter out websites that don’t appear promising in delivering these 3 factors.
Businesses that master E.A.T. are more likely to provide relevant information and improve brand visibility and authority. They will be viewed as a credible source for information.
One of the best things that businesses can do is simply create quality content that is consistent. Your website should have a beneficial purpose with descriptive information and helpful titles. In addition, your content should show a clear understanding of the information provided to not only improve users’ experience on your website but to help Google sort your website better.
5. GMB Engagement
A vital SEO trend for 2020, Google My Business is an even more important factor when it comes to attracting local traffic. With that said, optimizing your Google My Business allows for a richer search experience for users.
Google My Business improves your site’s online presence, helps you gain traction to your company, and improves your brand authority. When optimized efficiently, businesses are able to show up in their local search with ease and connect with local customers.
How to Boost GMB Engagement
In order to boost your Google My Business engagement, businesses need to focus on keywords that their customers are searching for. When there is an emphasis placed on keyword optimization, businesses improve their chances of showing up in the search engine.
In addition to this, doing things such as claiming your business, verifying your locations, adding photos, and responding to reviews will greatly improve your presence and credibility on Google My Business.
6. Review Quality and Diversification
Obtaining genuine and thorough reviews of your business plays a key role in boosting your success with SEO trends for 2020. Reviews are visible to your audience and even more, they matter when it comes to better SEO ranking.
Review diversification is also important. You want your reviews to show up in places outside of Google as well because you never know where your business will be found.
Businesses need to focus on getting their site reviewed across multiple platforms. This will help you earn more reviews from customers and provide you with more platforms to respond to these customers. This creates more buzz around your business, which ultimately improves your search rank with Google in the long run.
Improving Review Quality
There are a few ways you can improve your review quality and diversify your reviews. For one, ensure that your business exists on all platforms that your customers are using.
Additionally, ensure that you respond to all reviews with thoughtful responses. To encourage customers to leave insightful reviews, offer incentives by running contests with rewards, or offering coupons. The more people you can get talking about your business, the more local traffic you can create.
7. Voice Search Optimization
Voice search was already on the rise in 2019 but in 2020 it’s becoming a game-changer for businesses who are trying to improve their local traffic. Technology is no stranger in 2020 and with voice searches’ proven reliability in delivering consumers exactly what they want, it is becoming more common practice to find new local businesses using this search method.
By not optimizing your website for voice search, you are missing out on a huge chunk of your potential market. So what does voice search optimization look like?
Improving Voice Search Optimization
To improve voice search optimization, businesses should target long-tail keyword phrases and focus on using conversational language in their content.
This is also a good time to analyze your content and restructure it to read as a “question and answer” format. In addition, businesses should include a frequently asked questions page integrated with their chosen keywords, if possible, to rank better.
SEO Trends for 2020 Require Active Effort
In 2020, small businesses are interested in increasing their local SEO traffic. It’s not enough to just be present online but businesses have to work on creating relevant content and optimizing their website to reach more local customers.
With that said, there are various ongoing SEO trends that are aimed at helping businesses better connect with their ideal customers in an online, fast-paced environment.
If you have questions about local SEO trends for 2020 or want to know more about how we can help your small business, contact us today.