Important SEO Trends You Need to Know in 2020

It is time to take our annual look at what professionals at 2020.

What SEO approaches and strategies will work and help you dominate from the SERPs and make revenue?

Here is the question we ask every year here at Search Engine Journal.

I asked 58 of the top SEO professionals of today due to their own ideas.

Here are the top 10 trends you want to understand from 2020, according to the pros.

Desire all of the search engine optimization trends now? Download our new ebook: The Largest SEO Trends of 2020, Based on 58 Experts

Trend #1: BERT & User-Focused Optimization

In 2019, the launching of the brand new BERT algorithm of Google gained a great deal of attention. Obviously, every SEO professional needs to learn how to maximize for BERT.

Well, as opposed to focusing on the best way best to optimize for that particular algorithm, take a page out of Kelly Stanze, Hunt Strategist, Hallmark, who'll be focusing on user-focused optimization and also the technical delivery of articles.

Simply speaking, that means aligning content and reassessing user access things to hunt.

"Look at the mechanics of how a thing is crawled, indexed, and functioned in a number of different search configurations," Stanze said. "With users using more options than ever in how they look for things, it's going be even more significant for SEOs to bear in mind the fundamentals of clean structure and content delivery."

Together with the incorporation of BERT this season into the ranking and showcased snippets algorithm, Google has taken a enormous leap forward into creating search really about intent fitting rather pure string matching, based on Eli Schwartz, Development Advisor and Advisor.

"Content will truly have to be written to user intent as opposed to just strings that a person might look," Schwartz explained. "Keyword analysis tools might even become less relevant with the principal dataset for content production coming from implied queries. In 2020, the very smart SEOs will get up from their desks to speak to customers so they can find out what their audience actually wants from them."

Frédéric Dubut, Senior Program Manager, Bing, given that, noting keyword study, as we know it, will become obsolete.

"Both practitioners and tooling suppliers need to shift their efforts towards'intent research' and fulfilling user needs."

Since Jenn Mathews, Senior SEO Manager, Groupon, points out, Google is constantly updating to optimize search results based on user intention rather than a focus on content/page to keyword matching.

"SEOs will need to comprehend the nuance of what this implies using their content as well as possess a firm grasp on Google's past updates resulting in this tendency."

We've all wanted to focus on purpose for the last several years, and also better comprehend what the journey of our clients looks like, stated Duane Forrester, VP, Industry Insights, Yext. It's become such an significant part the landscape, it is crucial to growth and the success for many online businesses.

"If you focus on the client's intent, you will clearly know where you fit on such a path," Forrester said. "By offering the best responses for queries on this route, you can more reliably convert and capture customers."

What exactly does this mean for you?

Concentrate on our customers speak about their problems, problems, and needs at each component of the buyer's journey considerably more, in accordance with Keith Goode, Sr.. IBM, SEO Strategist.

"Additionally, we're going to need to expand our efforts far beyond the buy in that journey to add content which addresses needs following the sale -- service, opportunities to urge, community-building and remaining relevant for future buys," Goode added.

Always focus on your customers, stated Sam Hollingsworth, Director of Search, Elevation Ten Thousand

"Too many manufacturers forget or fail to realize what is needed to attract and impress potential clients. "Just like in a brick-and-mortar establishment, clients want to know you're on their side, they can expect you, and also that you are a reliable partner in what is going to be long-term -- hopefully lifelong -- relationship."

Carolyn Lyden, Lead SEO/Owner, Hunt Hermit, hopes 2020 brings a shift where we get right back into the qualitative, human side of research.

"So many marketers market their goods and services having never spoken one off for their target audiences," Lyden said.

Without speaking to our customers and understanding the reason why they're acting the way they are, we are restricting our capacity to make a smart and holistic approach, according to Sarah Gurbach, Senior Account Manager, Search and Audience Insights, Seer Interactive.

"In 2020, I suggest that you sit down with your clients," Gurbach explained. "Speak to themand ask them to inform you about their travel to purchase, how they utilized search, what they thought of your site. Use that data in each decision you make."

User-focused optimization can only be accomplished by incorporating SEO into a holistic marketing strategy.

"Nowmore than ever, companies are going to need to quit operating SEO as a condiment that they simply add on to their digital approach, and instead treat it like a key ingredient of their business plan," Jones said. "SEOs will need to grow their skillsets to understand the full marketing and digital stack. It's likely to be much less about mending SEO issues and more about fixing marketing and business issues."

Trend High-Quality Content

Anna Crowe, Assistant Editor, Search Engine Journal, said there's one thing which has been and will continue to be the lifeblood of all SEO:


"From the website structure and internal linking approach into the types of links you build."

To be successful in 2020, you'll have to write something which is applicable and invaluable, stated Tony Wright, CEO, WrightIMC.

"This usually means that SEOs will need to learn how to compose or employ people who know how to write," Wright explained. "Google's editorial discretion is not perfect yet -- there will nonetheless be content which positions that shouldn't. But the day is coming when the best content will triumph ."

Make it your aim to have the very best content on the web to your topic, or an important subset of your topic, said Eric Enge, General Manager, Perficient Digital. In so doing, you will be future-Google-proofing your business.

"This allows you to compete effectively for extended searches (which remains about 70% of search queries), will help build your website authority and need to your content, and can be completed in a straight ROI positive way," Enge said. "Additionally, this kind of approach to content is exactly what Google is looking for to meet user needs and represents the type of market investment which Google will never make, because Google is about doing things with hugely scalable algorithms."

Jesse McDonald, Global SEO Strategist, IBM, along with Jessica Levenson, SEO & Content Strategy Advisor, equally said 2020 is your time to steer away from the obsession with keywords. Stop targeting human keywords, chasing pageviews, and"spraying and praying" with content.

McDonald stated to concentrate more on subjects.

"The objective of changing the mentality to more of a topic-focus is to produce content which addresses an whole conversation holistically as opposed to simply worrying about the single keyword a page ought to be targeting," McDonald explained.

Levenson said to embrace a more methodically and deliberate cluster of articles that provides intuitive and comprehensive encounters while meeting business goals.

"Know what replies the consumer needs following," Levenson said.

"I'd recommend auditing all your articles for overlapping rankings and merging, redirecting, and archiving as necessary so every page rankings for a exceptional set of key words," Frost said. "If your website covers the exact topics again and again, even if you're covering these issues from other angles, then your pages are going to knock each other from their results."

In 2020, it is time to take a good look at the caliber of your articles and optimizing that content for users as opposed to search engines, said Michelle Robbins, VP Product & Innovation, Aimclear.

"In ways, the secret to staying successful in research marketing 2020 is the exact same as it actually was -- put out good content, with consistent brand messaging, even in all your stations," Robbins said. "Since the search engines become more adapted to natural language understanding, the best-written content -- in all types -- will win the day"

And at the world of international SEO, the timing is now to spend in good localization of content, said Motoko Hunt, President, AJPR.

"Many worldwide sites have badly translated content that has not been edited for the local tongue," Hunt said. "It is not the placement of the keywords, it is about how well your articles is composed for the local audience.

"Firms that struggle with a poor reputation, customer support difficulties or other trust problems will have a more difficult time competing," Ray said. "These trust problems not just manifest themselves reviews and opinions on your brand, but they also take the form of security or technical problems on your site."

Ray expects it will become more and more difficult to get natural visibility for YMYL (Your Money, Your Life) questions without the appropriate expertise and qualifications to write on those topics.

Trustworthiness will probably be incredibly important for publishers at 2020, stated Grace Kindred, Junior Technical SEO Analyst, News UK.

"It will be more important than ever to concentrate on the trust worth of writers (verifying writers and showing their jurisdiction for particular subjects) and websites as a whole."

Based on Loren Baker, Founder, Search Engine Journal, opening nofollow as a suggestion was an attempt by Google to understand the sources of information stories, the sources, and references in huge newspapers and academic study.

"Match that with the credentials of the author (that may be defined by structured information markup) and some other fact-checking oriented schema, also we have an easier method for Google to chew over authority and trustworthiness of a part of content, whether a publishing or news story," Baker said.

Put simply: The offline is currently coming on line, said Jason Barnard, Owner, Every business should find its benefit.

"With entity-based research, the Knowledge Graph along with the rise of E-A-T, our capability to create an accurate and convincing online representation of the offline world will turn into a major identifying factor," Barnard explained. "All of those offline events, awards, conferences, partnerships, etc. . Google cannot see suddenly take on enormous importance. Pull them online and push them to Google to feed its requirement for credibility and understanding."

Alexis Sanders, SEO Senior Manager, Merkle, shared a few methods to really have a digitally-based competitive advantage:

  • Customer support (e.g., capability to answer the user's question with minimal friction).
  • Digital allure / branding (e.g., Having consumers search you out, since they need to do business with you? Do the majority of your testimonials seem much more like love letters?) .
  • User encounter (e.g., is the experience more convenient / easy / simple?) .
  • Cost.
  • Niche products.

    The biggest trend that smart search engine optimization professionals should focus on in 2020 for increased achievement is UX -- consumer experience, based on Brock Murray, Co-founder, seoplus+.

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    "This includes the overall experience in the first interaction in the SERPs, into the total landing page encounter, and even the experience when they leave your site (believe remarketing, trickle campaigns, personalization for returning consumers )," Murray explained. "Think about how you can help your customers get the best possible experience while truly pondering exactly what value you can supply to them throughout their visit."

    Technical SEO is a key part of this UX debate, according to Goode.

    "While I think Google will perform a whole lot to compensate for our site's own bad technical foundations (e.g., canonical adjustments, hreflang corrections, etc.), it is going to become increasingly more important for SEOs to Concentrate on shoring up their technical bases," Goode said." I don't think that it's unintentional that Martin Splitt spends as long as he does encouraging technical best practices that are good from Google's view. We should consider that a signal in and of itself"

    As soon as we speak about specialized SEO and UX, you have to talk about site speed and page speed.

    Dan Taylor, SEO Account Director,, noted that Google has reinvigorated talks and focus around website speed, together with the newest Chrome"slow cautioning badges", and the speed reports in Google Search Console.

    "This for most will reignite discussions with developers and sometimes result in systems requiring almost complete redesigns of webpage templates and reengineering of assets are wealthy," Taylor said.

    Going farther in the technical world, Aleyda Solis, International SEO Consultant & Founder, Orainti, hopes to see a further shift into a more technical SEO ecosystem, fueled by greater JavaScript frameworks usage, PWAs, along with a demand to get SEO automation for bigger sites.

    "This started since a couple of years ago but has become a lot more evident this year," Solis said. "In 2020, it is only going to get bigger with all the popularization of both all JS frameworks, app initial businesses that will also more ardently shift to the web due to the benefits of PWAs, and also the demand for SEO task automation for larger websites where machine learning with Python can provide an answer."

    Trend Mobile SEO

    Surprised to see SEO? Don't be. Put it:

    "Virtually every prospect coming to our store has a cell site that's a mess," Wright stated. "To survive in 2020, you want to implement 2017 strategies and mend your mobile."

    What is that mean?

    "Construct sites for mobile-first, then make them compatible for desktop," Kindred said. "That way those websites don't need to be optimized for rate after launching.

    Kris Jones, Founder / CEO,, stated if you don't possess a mobile-friendly and mobile-optimized site, you have to take actions instantly. You can't wait any more.

    "Your entire online reporting must reflect insights to your cellular functionality as a priority," Jones explained. "Rather than visualizing a individual sitting in a desktop computer you need to realize that most of the time individuals will find your website with a mobile device"

    But cellular SEO does not stop there. Study the mobile SERPs.

    Trend Structured Data

    We know content will be important in 2020. However, context isn't still fully understood by algorithms.

    So we must give search engines"tips" to understand and deliver outcomes, dependent on a searcher's purpose, stated Jeremy Knauff, CEO, Spartan Media.

    "This implies structuring the information in a manner which helps search engines to better understand not just what is on a page, but also how each component relates to other components on the webpage, and how that page relates to additional pages within the site," Knauff stated.

    In the end, you are interested in being recognized, discovered by your customers through any channel and also be well-positioned to make the most of potential features from Google along with other organized data consumers such as Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, and AI Chatbots, stated Martha van Berkel, CEO, Schema App.

    "Done correctly, structured data becomes your marketing data coating," van Berkel explained. "It will let you publish your articles for any machine/search engine/voice assistant/chatbot with context to offer service to your customers across any surface and at any time of interaction.

    "Smart SEOs can begin leveraging their structured data to enhance their analytics so they can gauge the portion of the articles is driving results and utilize this data to affect content strategy, marketing strategy, product features and more, throughout their businesses," she added.

    Also, don't presume that because you marked up each of the most common data in early 2019, you're good, stated Shelly Fagin, SEO, Highly Searched / Brand Ambassador, SEMrush.

    "New kinds of markup are always being added or improved ," Fagin said. "I also hope to see a great deal more manual penalties related to poor implementations of structured data. Don't automatically expect some plugin you have installed to structure your data correctly."

    Trend #7: Entity & Knowledge Graph Optimization

    "Google is discovering ways to add thing related information in search results through things like enhancement questions," Slawski stated. "You are able to optimize entities your site is about by doing things like optimizing people Google's Knowledge Graph and making sure they look in Knowledge Panels."

    As pointed out by Greg Gifford, VP of Research, SearchLab Chicago, local research would be the forefront of entity-based hunt, so everybody should pay attention to what is happening in this space.

    "Neighborhood SEO continues to be entity-based for years -- you have always been able to rank local businesses if they don't own a web site," Gifford said. "Google is monitoring real-world visits lately and recently got a patent for making use of'quality appointments' as a standing sign."

    Dixon Jones, Creator, DHJ Ventures, said you want to tie large quantities of your base content to certain entities, which Google either admits or doesn't. Writing around semantically close things will help to response consumer travels not only through better content, but content which Google can see will be a outcome that is fantastic.

    "I think in 2020, inner linking will come to the fore, but based around things, not strings," Jones said. "Recognizing the special knowledge graph our internet presence makes will empower us to have the ability to connect those concepts together better within the articles under our control, to the benefit of users and crawlers alike."

    Wish your brand or business be regarded as a thing?

    "Should you print original business reports, compile new expert advice, and are among one of the dominant voices on the market, Google will begin seeing you as an entity," Benny said. "It is these entity-related signals that will help you keep ranking."

    Trend Brand Building & Link Building

    Want to acquire top-tier links ? Shannon McGuirk, Head of PR and Content, Aira Digital, said it is time to move link building from the dark ages into a consumer-first approach for 2020.

    That means focusing on three types of journalistic writing:

    • Planned editorial: Topics which are covered by journalists every single year at a specific stage (e.g., Black Friday, Valentine's Day).
    • Planned reactive editorial: Characteristics written by journalists on a subject that attaches into a seasonal occasion or theme that we know has been covered as a result of time period, but we do not know the exact story until journalists or editors write it on the dawn of their editorial meeting.
    • Reactive editorial: Characteristics written in the here and that are unplanned and can't be predicted and are ordered due to a news story breakingup.

    "The responsibility will fall upon SEOs to build connections and media placements which drive visitors and push brand, not just links that assist with search rankings," Rose said. "Our link construction activity has to be on-brand, or there is a realistic chance that there will not be some brand-building activity whatsoever."

    "The more they trust you, the more they are eager to talk about your articles (hyperlinks ), talk to you (value), and also buy your products (earnings )."

    Trend #9: Focus on Visibility, Not Blue Links

    Zero-click searches are a reality in 2019. On-SERP SEO is only going to continue growing in significance in 2020.

    Therefore, adapting to zero-click searches will be key, according to Cyrus Shepard, Creator, Zyppy.

    "Increasingly more new marketing is occurring on Google itself, and not on your site," Shepard said. "Smart marketers need to understand how to accommodate and make the most of this by getting more strategic regarding the info shown in search snippets.

    Shepard said this includes fundamental strategies to boost actual clicks on impressions, such as showcased snippet optimization, using newer schemas (e.g., FAQ and HowTo), picture targeting, along with favicon optimization.

    But it's more than just hunts we need to plan for in 2020. We will need to optimize for more than links, Krum said.

    "Ranking number 1 below an Knowledge Graph, Located on the Web or a Featured Snippet is different than standing number 1 with no things," Krum said. "Similarly, even if you aren't in Position 1, ranking just below a folks Also Ask result or Interesting Finds will not get as much trafficbecause these items seem better and consequently, drive more clicks in the search outcome.

    "Further, I believe we'll continue to view more localization in search results, with more Map Packs, News and Events rank and taking clicks from conventional organic rankings," she added.

    Trend #10: Programming

    SEO automation will free you up to exploit the power of marketing principles:

  • Creating good customer experiences.
  • Storytelling.
  • Speaking your customer's language.
  • Supplying easy to consume content (from the way by which your customers want it).
  • Being human.
  • And we are starting to see greater adoption.

    "There are real advantages of moving beyond Excel for analysis. It enables the ability, in Addition to a more sophisticated analysis of your own data to: