Building a positive reputation online is crucial to your digital success, in 2020. More than ever, people are turning to digital for advice, education, information, purchasing decisions, community, and so much more. It has never been easier to access as much information in real-time as it is today.
With all of the negativity that surrounds digital media, it is also important to talk about the opportunities and potential it encompasses. As a business or organization, digital media (owned or paid) is an invaluable asset. As many people know, the business world is a very capital intensive market that yields a significant amount of risk. While digital media isn’t the “solution” to all of these problems, it does offer a great amount of value.
Whether it’s owned or paid digital media, brands and organizations have never been able to reach, target, and develop audiences like they can today. Digital media offers the capability to target qualified leads in real-time through content, personalization, and data. If properly executed, your digital strategy can be a pillar for driving top of the funnel leads or bottom of the funnel sales.
1. Search will only continue to get more complex as algorithms develop. The past two years has been a rollercoaster for search (Google, Yahoo, Bing, Ask.com, AOL.com, etc.). From zero-click search, focused snippets, search intent, technical updates, to local SEO, it is an ever evolving industry. As markets develop, so does search. Most notably would be AI and voice search. In the past couple years voice search has been dramatically increasing in relevancy and popularity for online search queries. As a recent study shows:
- 41% of adults perform at least one voice search every day. (source)
- 35.6 million Americans use voice search at least once a month. (source)
2. Search quality and domain authority are more important than ever. For the past couple years search engines like Google have been REALLY focused on E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness). Search engines have established a new initiative in order to create a more personalized and purposeful search experience for users. As a result, maintaining a relevant online presence as a business is difficult, given the extent of search development. Let’s keep in mind that competition can also be very stiff. Therefore, maintaining and constantly improving your search quality and domain authority is a must. Here are a couple easy ways to do that:
- Update your website often – stay relevant, active, and provide useful insight.
- Acquire links from other authoritative websites – build a solid referral network, increase domain authority, and improve overall E-A-T score.
- Focus on user intent and keyword strategy – increase your SEO efforts, identify KPIs, measure progress.
- Leverage free resources – (Moz, SEMrush, Spyfu, Google Trends, Google Keyword Planner, GTmetrix, Google Page Speed Insights, etc.)
3. Featured snippets and search intent are being prioritized. As the online world progresses, featured snippets and search intent are becoming the “KINGS” of search queries.
What are featured snippets?
Featured snippets are a formatted search query that is designed to provide users with a direct message without having to click on a specific link or search result. Featured snippets are found below search ads in a box.
What is search intent?
Search intent has to do with the reason why people engage with a certain search. Why are they searching? Are they searching because they have a question and want an answer? Are they searching for a specific landing page? Or, are they searching because they are interested in buying a specific product?
Both featured snippets and search intent in general help improve brand awareness, increase qualified traffic, and can help boost online revenue. With that said, landing a featured snippet or being the first link to show up for a specific query can be very difficult. Therefore, it is important that your MC (main content) is optimized for search engines.
4. SERPs are consolidating – how are you showing up? One of the biggest worries for businesses in 2020 in regards to SEO is the consolidation of SERPs, by Google. With the dramatic increase in ad placement, answer boxes, featured snippets, and videos, organic placement is only getting harder to monetize.
Featured snippet & answer box example:
With the competitive nature of SEO and the consolidation of SERPs, focusing on SEO has never been more important. In order to stay relevant and maintain stable traffic, diversifying SEO and implementing an up-to-date strategy is crucial.
5. Start optimizing for voice search (VSEO) now!
As a recent article shows:
- Voice-based shopping will increase to $40 billion by 2022.
- By 2024 the voice-based smart speaker market will be worth $30 billion+.
- Google Home is already answering queries with 81%+ accuracy.
- To date, “how”, “what”, and “best” are the most voice searched phrases.
As previously stated, search intent is becoming increasingly important. While this is true from a MC perspective, it is also true from a voice-search perspective. Voice-search utilizes semantic search to better understand the contextual nature of the search. In short, search engines are looking for literal and variant matches without understanding the whole meaning of the search query.
What should we be optimizing for?
- Direct Answer Questions (DAQ)
- Long Answer Questions (LAQ)
- Short Answer Questions (SAQ)
Let’s CRUSH the 2020 SEO game together!