With the end of 2019 and that in itself being the end of a decade, that also means end of an era for SEO. During the last year there have been a few changes like the SERP’s and Google’s rules. We are no longer just optimizing for the search engine in Text form, now we have to optimize for voice, visual and potentially Facebook Search which is a lot more extensive that what have we done by far.
Content marketing is no longer the revelation it was in the early 2010s. In 2020, my expectation is that brands will start thinking about what their content strategy looks like at scale. And they are going to do extensive research again for the new style of SEO. Consider how your content strategy works together from the press releases you push out to podcasts, videos, and Google Actions. These days, content includes multiple platforms, media, and even things like the language your chatbot uses. While Google algorithm updates like Medic and BERT have helped content creators up their game when it comes to blog posts and articles, brands will need to focus on quality where new channels are concerned.
Facebook announced a pretty big feature coming to their paid ad lineup.Facebook Search ads, released first in beta back in July, it’s now available to all brands ads are beginning to be included in the platform’s Automatic Placements. While Facebook search ads are brand new, the ability to use this new medium to drive conversions directly is a pretty big deal. Brands can now cut through the noise by targeting niche keywords that reach less saturated audiences, rather than relying on Facebook to keep their best interests in mind. Where there has traditionally been this divide between paid search and paid social, Facebook is blurring the lines going after commercial intent users much like Google PPC.
Google Actions, or apps for the Assistant, are becoming increasingly important for SEO. It’s more of an extension of a brand than viral game, an opportunity for more people to discover your podcast, article, or recipe. Google has been rolling out new (and easier) ways to build your own Action and claim it in the Google Actions Directory. And while claiming your Actions is important, I think down the road, the Directory could represent a bigger opportunity–perhaps a hybrid between the App Store and Google My Business.
The acronym that shook up the SERP’s this year isn’t an official ranking factor, but it’s super important of today’s SEO.Google’s Danny Sullivan, has pointed out multiple times this year, following the guidelines could be one of the best ways to protect against algorithmic disaster. EAT is particularly important for brands that deal in what’s known as “your money or your life content” or YMYL. The category covers financial, medical, and legal topics, or anything else that could impact someone’s health or well-being if they accept advice from someone online. The point is, for YMYL websites, you need to either have a certified expert write the content or work closely with those who have the right credentials.
For example, health-focused websites should ideally feature content written by health professionals, done right, interviewing experts and citing credible sources may be sufficient. Trust comes from a different combination of factors from social proof to including a physical address on your website, offering fast and secure checkout, and providing safety information for products.
It should have become obvious to you by now that Voice Search is coming for 2020 and it’s better to be prepared. Over half of all search queries will be voice based. As it stands, there’s a guide to basically every, single way you can use schema to create a rich result, as well as everything that needs to be marked up to generate a voice response.
Optimizing for voice means optimizing for other SEO elements like mobile page speed and reaching for those featured snippet opportunities by applying the right markup. Other things that can help you out, here:
Write content with a more “conversational” tone to help Google’s machine learning algorithms understand what’s on the page. Chances are, it’ll lead to better writing, anyway. Work on increasing all aspects of organic SEO–Google tends to pull voice results from content that ranks in the top five organic results. Include a “question and answer” component–Make it easy for Google to identify the query and interpret the answer. Use the query in your H1s, 2s, and 3s and offer up a concise answer.
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