It’s a new year and a new decade! How do we adjust and improve our SEO strategy to stay ahead of the competition for 2020 and beyond? A recent report found that only 49% of Google searches result in a click. Ranking on the first page of Google’s search results must be a top priority for every business. Our experts have been keeping tabs on new trends in SEO, web design, and PPC advertising to help you stay ahead of the curve. Here’s what we predict will be the top six trends in these areas of digital marketing for 2020.
Voice search is on the rise
Three years ago, Google reported that 20% of queries on its platform were sent through voice. The shift to mobile-first and the rise of smart home devices has meant that voice search has skyrocketed since then. “65% of 25-49-year-olds speak to their voice-enabled devices at least once per day. The 25-49 year old demographic is the most likely to perform daily voice searches,” reports one industry analyst.
Voice search varies slightly from traditional typed queries in that the language is different. A voice search will be more conversational, using natural language. Likewise, Google’s algorithm will weigh mobile-optimized sites that load quickly more favorably than in a traditional search result.
Brands seeking to optimize for voice search should:
- Use copy and content that sounds conversational, natural, and mimics the way real people speak.
- Have long-tail keywords and question keywords in their content
- Optimize their website for mobile, with a fast page load speed
- Anticipate and answer a user’s questions related to their product or service
- Use structured data in their content
Local SEO is growing
Local SEO is a type of optimization that lets businesses promote their products and services to customers in the area. In 2020, we forsee that location-based SEO ranking will become a powerful way for companies to recruit more customers – as long as brands optimize their websites properly.
Local searches make up 46% of all Google searches. Local search is directly tied to improved sales. In 2018, only 14.3% of total retail sales occurred online. Though e-commerce sales have been growing, they remain only a relatively small portion of all sales, reports the US Chamber of Commerce. Every marketer and business owner can take advantage of local search to improve their bottom line.
How can you optimize your site for local SEO?
Make these adjustments for the new year:
- Claim your business profile on Google My Business, Bing Places, and Apple Maps.
- Ask your customers to leave reviews on your Google Maps listing and elsewhere.
- Make sure your site is mobile-friendly: most local searches are performed on a mobile device.
- Add local keywords related to your services, products, and location.
- Update your business address, phone number, and store hours on your website.
- List in local online directories to help people in your community discover you.
- Remove any duplicate business profile
- Make sure all online profiles have the same information
Add micro animation to your site
Switching from SEO to web design, our experts predict that micro animations – small animations – will be trending in 2020. Micro animations look nice and serve a purpose. They can guide users through interactions on your website, steering viewers toward a specific call to action while adding a dash of whimsy and playfulness. Many e-commerce sites are starting to use micro animations to enhance the user experience.
To take advantage of a micro animation make sure you integrate it thoughtfully on your website. How can you add a micro animation organically? Micro animations should add to the user experience, rather than distract a user from converting the way you hope. Make sure any micro animations you deploy don’t slow down page speed and that they’re optimized for mobile users.
Minimalism to the max
The web design trend toward minimalism involves simplifying your site’s interface. This can include:
- Hiding the navigation bar
- Using few colors
- Keeping graphic design elements muted
- Minimum use of buttons
- Use of white space
Minimalism is sometimes referred to as flat design, meaning the site uses clean text and few design elements. The effect is soothing, organic, and easy to read. If you’re seeking inspiration, look to Apple’s aesthetic, which is very minimalist. Minimalist doesn’t have to mean boring: pops of color interspersed throughout align with the minimalist style. This trend is more focused on decluttering your website and toning down the detail to keep users on your page for longer.
The integration of PPC across channels
In the realm of pay-per-click marketing, the lines between platforms are becoming more blurred; appealing to your target audience now happens simultaneously on multiple channels. Customers are utilizing search, social, and e-commerce with little differentiation, which means your campaigns need to mimic this trend.
The marketing environment is becoming more integrated, meaning no one channel is a separate standalone entity. “We’ve always seen feature adoption across platforms within search engines (Google Ads, Microsoft Ads) and within social ad channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.), but now we’re starting to see search engines adopting social targeting, and social channels adding keywords,” said one expert. “Blurred lines between search and social causes one to wonder: who will end up the winner? Only time will tell.”
For 2020, make sure to differentiate your PPC budget between different channels, but keep your messaging consistent and integrated. Tighten up your campaigns with the awareness that users are likely going to see your ad simultaneously on different platforms.
The dominance of Google
Google has always been the king of search, but they’re moving into a larger role as a “destination, not a discovery project.” What that means is that your brand may be competing with Google to show in a search result. That’s an uphill battle that savvy marketers need to get ahead of.
Focus your SERP marketing not only on organic listings. Google has added a number of new search elements for which your brand can optimize: from video to images to “quick answer” sections and featured snippets. Diversify your content to show up in different parts of the search result page. Quality, unique content will be the key to outranking Google at its own game.
For more insight and to get a head start on these 2020 SEO trends, get in touch with the experts at UnReal Web Marketing.