SEO in 2020: The Year of Voice Search & Beyond
2020 is finally upon us, and that means new frontiers will be blazed in the digital world, especially within the realm of SEO. As new platforms, devices, and technologies grace our current digital infrastructure, it will be up to marketers and business owners to stay ahead of the curve, so as not to fall behind.
SEO in 2020 will focus on both the end-user as well as the people behind the scenes of successful and profitable online marketing campaigns. SEO in 2020 continues to be one of the most powerful ways to promote your business, build brand awareness, and deliver your company’s message to potential customers. Let’s take a look at what we can expect to see for SEO in 2020.
The Year of Voice
2020 is going to be the year of voice and mobile search, as people continue to change the way they use the internet. Whether it be through mobile voice search or with the use of a smart assistant device, the year of voice is already upon us.
2020 is going to be the year of Voice Search. Now you may be wondering, “what exactly is voice search?”
Voice search is the use of smart assistant devices such as Google Home, Amazon Alexa/Echo, Apple Siri, and HomePod. According to voicebot.ai as of the 1st Quarter of 2018 to the 3rd Quarter of 2018, the US was the global leader with a staggering total of 45.6% of all sales in Q1 and 42.1% of all sales in Q3 in Smart Speakers sales followed by China, Korea in Q1 and the UK in Q3.
As sales of these smart assistant devices continue to rise, the likelihood of coming into contact with these devices increases. The more people who get their hands on these products, the more their lives will begin to change by being able just to ask Alexa or Siri, or Google any question that they may have. We’ve already begun to see the effects of voice search and the ease in which we can find a particular song or even just dim the lights in the living room by simply voicing our commands.
People are always seeking easier ways to live their lives; this is just a fact of life; it is in our nature as intelligent beings to want life to be more comfortable. And what better way to achieve this than through the use of our very own voice. While Google’s search voice function isn’t perfect yet, adjustments are being made every day to improve the efficiency of voice search.
Here are just a few of the smart technologies you can expect to see a rise in use in 2020.
- Smart Assistants (Google Home, Amazon Alexa/Echo, Apple HomePod)
- Smart Table, this device is a small table that has a surface used for charging phones and other devices. It also doubles just like a standard coffee table or end table and features speakers so that you can play music or listen to your favorite podcast.
- This year it is projected that practical robot solutions will be implemented into smart home technology. These robots will have the capability of natural interaction with humans
The devices listed above are helping to revolutionize how we access information and how we interact within our homes. Something as simple as knowing what the weather will be like that day, traffic conditions, your schedule, your kids’ programs, etc., is no longer merely a “click-away” but rather a “question away” that doesn’t require you even to open up your laptop or scroll through your phone.
As of this year, the Amazon Alexa has over 50,000 different skills, and works with over 20,000 different devices and is also used by 3,500 different brands (Voicebot.ai 2018). And these numbers are only continuing to rise.
Voice search will no doubt change the face of SEO as it is today, with this in mind let’s take a look at what we can expect from SEO in 2020 in terms of what ranking factors for SEO will remain relevant and what it will mean for digital marketers’ campaign strategies.
Ranking Factors & Your SEO Strategy for 2020
At this time, Google has not yet publicly announced what specific ranking factors drive search (and will most likely never share this type of in-depth information with us plebs). However, thorough research in the field of SEO and beyond has given us a good idea of what factors we should be focusing on this year. Here are some of the most important SEO factors you will want to focus on for SEO in 2020:
- The Architecture of your website. Since your site is one of your top salespeople, you want to make sure that it is “dressed” to sell. This means that your website should be constructed in a way that showcases your brand and is easy to navigate for both potential customers and Google’s crawlers. Google doesn’t operate the same way a person does; it only sees code, links, relevant (or irrelevant text), and inbound and outbound links. How your website is designed on the backend is just as important as the frontend experience.
- Your website MUST be secure. The HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) in the URL of a website is how Google identifies whether or not your website is safe or not. Your website must be secure in 2020, or your rankings will drop. HTTPS is a secure server that Google recognizes. So if you haven’t yet, secure your website.
- Inbound Links. Inbound links are hyperlinks that come from other websites and link directly back to your homepage, landing pages, or bog. Inbound links are a crucial component of Google ranking factors. Links that come from a website that has a high domain authority will help your website to rank higher, allowing your overall rankings to rise. The more high quality, relevant, and trustworthy websites that link to your site, the more traffic that you will get, which in turn will improve your rankings over time. Remember, links need to be natural and editorial. Paid linking schemes can eventually negatively affect your rankings.
This is just a snippet of what you can expect as far as ranking factors go. There is much more to learn. For more information, go and check out Blog Hubspot. The previous factors will most likely continue to have effect ranking scores for SEO in 2020 and for years to come. Here are some of the trending factors you can expect to weigh in on ranking factors in 2020:
- Mobile-First Indexing. Mobile-First Indexing is changing the way that many SEO marketers create their strategies. Google is ranking web pages based on which pages are visited most from mobile devices. As more people use their phones and tablets to search the internet, website owners must migrate their web pages for mobile, now!
- Page Speed. Page speed is a crucial ranking factor as more businesses across the globe have websites. People want to be able to get the fastest results possible when searching for what they need. With quicker page speeds, the conversion rate increases as the seconds decrease on both mobile and desktop. Want to check your web speed? https://www.webpagetest.org/ allows you to plug in the URL of your website to see how fast your site is loading, as well as a scorecard that gives you areas that you need to improve upon.
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). GDPR is protection for both the user’s personal information and data when interacting with other online users or websites. As of 2020, it is possible for a person to have data deleted upon request.
- Amazon Search. Amazon’s search is one the rise in 2020. Currently, Amazon is considered a search engine, but only within the parameters of Amazon pages. The majority of people don’t think twice about using Amazon for all of their shopping. In fact, a recent study found that 56% of consumers visit Amazon first if they have shopping in mind, and 51% visit Amazon after seeing something elsewhere. These figures show us that Amazon is becoming Google of E-Commerce (SearchEngineLand 2018).
If you are a local business, it is much more challenging to get noticed than it was ten years ago. The need for local businesses to have websites is on the rise and will reach an all-time high in 2020. Google is currently considered the “homepage” for all local businesses, according to 64% of digital marketers. Created by Mike Blumenthal, this idea shows that users are looking at Google’s Knowledge Panel for necessary information like address, phone numbers, hours, and reviews.
As a local business, if you want to get found first, you need to employ the ranking factors listed above in your marketing strategy. From your website’s architecture, to links, voice search, and beyond, SEO in 2020 will be more critical than ever before.