From Ecommerce to software testing company, SEO has become one of the most talked about marketing topics. 

Years ago, Google’s primary ranking factors involved keyword volume and backlink counts, but over the time, Google’s algorithm has matured and SEO best practices have changed radically. Google’s algorithm is now more complex than ever before, and takes  a variety of factors into consideration when determining search results. A few of these factors include mobile friendly website designs, a positive user experience, page load speed and of course, backlinks. 

Role of SEO in Digital Marketing

Imagine you own an outlet store but forgot to name it. You didn’t place a sign out front, do not open the windows and fail to highlight any deals. Now, imagine you own that same store with a proper name displayed along with an image of your most popular product. This would attract many people off the street, many of whom might turn into your customers. Some of which would tell other potential customers about their buying experience and your products. The first scenario is an example of a website that is not optimized, while the second one is an example of a site with SEO best practices in mind. SEO is the process of making a website easy to search for, crawl, and categorize for search engines. When optimized correctly it helps prospective customers find your business online. 

Every month, approximately 14 billion online searches take place. What if a fraction of those 14 billion searches were for your business or related to a service your business offers. In order to  achieve this, your website needs to be optimized to rank for specific keywords and phrases, and have a consistent social media presence. 

Statistics have shown that  that people generally scan and review the first two pages of the search results, so it’s important that websites are optimized for keywords they anticipate their customers searching for. 

How Does SEO Work?

A search engine is a tool that provides users with the most up to date and relevant content for a specific search query.  It completes numerous activities when determining search results, and few of which include crawling, scanning, indexing, and measuring the relevance of content.

A few components that are known to build up a website’s quality score include

  • Optimized URLs
  • On-page content
  • Meta tags
  • Usability and accessibility
  • Page design

Let’s see how this whole cycle works:

  • Crawling:  A Crawler or Spider is a piece of software that crawls the content across the internet.  Some crawlers can take a lot of time and  may not visit a webpage for a month or two, which would delay how fast your site is indexed. Crawlers are also not able to access all content. Some restricted content include images, JavaScript, Frames, Flash Movies, and directories. In the case you have these components on your website, you must run a keyword simulator test to evaluate if these are viewable by the Spider. Those non-viewable are not crawled and will not be indexed .
  • Indexing: After crawling content, the crawler places the indexed page in a giant database where it can be recovered when a related keyword is searched for. Being indexed is not a guarantee that a site or specific page will rank well. 
  • Ranking: After receiving a search request, the search engine retrieves the most relevant pages  it previously indexed. Millions of pages have the same search keywords or phrases, so search engines have to process the relevancy of pages and match it with the most relevant indexed page.
  • Algorithms: Search engine algorithms have gone  through many changes over the years to enhance the quality of search results. Search engines like Google make algorithm adjustments regularly. Some of these updates are small tweaks, whereas others are broad algorithm updates deployed to deal with a particular issue—for instance, the Penguin update was put in place to tackle spammy backlinks. 

Remember that each search engine has a unique algorithm that prioritizes different aspects of a webpage, which is why the same search query entered into different search engines will generate different results.

  • Retrieving: The final result will be visible in the search results and prioritized based on the search engine’s algorithm. 

What Trends to Expect in 2020?

Many people may not know that Google, the most popular search engine, updates its search algorithm, on average, 500 to 600 times per year, which is why SEO strategies have to be agile and constantly developing. 

Organic SEO

Organic SEO is a marketing approach that aims to enhance the online visibility of a brand. While it’s a common term it can also be misunderstood. When we talk about SEO trends to watch for in 2020, one of the critical elements for organic SEO is the importance of advanced links.

Advanced link-building strategies increase the website’s Domain Authority (the score given to your site between 0 and 100), which can  improve our overall visibility online. Advanced link-building incorporates generic directories, guest blogs, paid links, and web 2.0 blogs. Each of these strategies focuses on placing content on third-party sites with links back to your website. The more high-quality and relevant websites that point to yours, the more visible your site will become. 

Local SEO

Local SEO has become very important over the last few years. Approximately 30% to 40% of customers, on average, search for local companies. As such, a strong local SEO strategy is critical. One of the most important factors for local SEO is your Google My Business (GMB) profile. In addition to the basic info your profile requires(name, address, and contact number), It needs to be optimized with keywords, links, and geotagging.

In 2020, SEO experts and digital marketers will need to be extra focused on investing time and energy into local optimizations, especially for smaller businesses and local service providers.

Content and Blogging

In recent years, Google’s algorithm has emphasized high-quality content and natural language keywords. In 2020, quality will continue to be prioritized over quantity. Google is becoming more sensitive when examining the language used for searches, so it’s important that content is concise and informative for your target audience. As always, content also needs to be authoritative and trustworthy.

Many businesses focus on creating consistent content to add to their websites. But neglect the importance of guest blogging, and building links with authoritative and relevant websites, which is also an important step for  any SEO strategy. Building authoritative and relevant links to your content continues to be an important signal for search engines.

Pay Per Click (PPC)

Pay-per-click advertising involves Google AdWords and social media platforms. It promotes your site or  a specific page to high-value targeted prospects. It’s not always possible to rank for high value keywords organically, which is where a PPC strategy becomes extremely valuable.

Due to the Rule of Seven, marketing experts have developed a theory that states customers require seven touches with a brand before making a decision, which is why remarketing is gaining attention in the marketing community. If your business is highly competitive with a mid to long sales cycle, a remarketing campaign will effectively follow consumers around the internet until they’re ready to make the decision. 

Final Thoughts

According to digital marketing experts, 2020 holds the potential for innumerable growth opportunities for both marketing companies and their clients, but it’s important to remember that authoritative content, link-building, and user experience will continue to be a focus for search engines. The most popular search engine – Google always wants to deliver the best. Using real-time engagement metrics to determine quality and relevance makes perfect sense to businesses and searchers.

Keep Crawling – Keep Indexing – and Keep Creating Quality Content!