SEO 2020: The Best Guide for Ranking in Google
Here’s what you need to do to win the SERPs in 2020 and not fall behind your competitors.
SEO is something dynamic and constantly changing since Google itself is constantly changing. Only in the previous year, 2019, Google made 3,234 changes and upgrades to its algorithm which are the most it has ever done.
It is worth referring that in 2010 it had done 350 changes and 400 upgrades, almost one every day, but now touched 10 changes per day.
So, somehow all of you who have websites and want to be in the top of Google, flood in on visits, increase your income and gain new customers from the Internet, adapt to the new order of things in SEO for 2020.
Read more below.
Why did I write this SEO mini guide for 2020?
First I have to add that my thought was to rewrite from scratch a basic SEO guide I had written a few years ago and last updated in 2016.
However, since that SEO guide, despite the thousands of Google’s algorithm changes has remained evergreen and timeless, but also because it would become like a Hoxha oven every time it needed renewal, felt good to start from the beginning and write this SEO mini guide 2020 with the new information we have today and the new directions we get from Google.
So, this SEO mini guide 2020 is complementary to basic SEO Guide and for those who have already read the first one, you can now expand your knowledge with this new SEO Guide 2020.
I would also like to tell you that this guide is not a prediction about SEO in 2020. It has nothing to do with forecasts or opinions about what will happen in SEO this year.
It is a SEO guide for the next decade, ’20s and will help you customize your web pages for completely new things that Google will bring in 2020.
Therefore, I am sure that those who will follow my guide 2020 will see a dramatic increase in traffic next year and the years that will follow and a dramatic increase in your e-business turnover and profits.
I’m sure most of you will love him, while many others will hate him – I already know who you are, so don not hide!
What is important is that here in Paramarketing we collect all the information about SEO based on experience, mistakes of the past and the tests we have done so far and and we give them back in the form of conclusions and tips as you will see below.
SEO is the number one source of traffic in 2020
According to a survey of Brightedge Research, SEO is still the main source of traffic for a website for 2019 and 2020 with a huge drop in social media traffic, especially from Facebook, Instagram and many others that are so heavily advertised.
Nowadays, organic traffic is 53% of the total traffic of a website today.
Especially Facebook and Instagram now have zero outgoing clicks on other sites in an attempt to block their subscribers’ leaving their sites and keep them within their app to show them more ads.
Facebook and Instagram have become like the 80’s television where you couldn’t change a channel because there just wasn’t another channel.
As if that wasn’t enough, mobile Facebook has developed its own browser equivalent to Firefox and Chrome and does not allow you leave Facebook and connect somewhere else with the Facebook browser.
In the U.S, but also worldwide, there is a massive abandonment of bloggers and SEO experts by Facebook. And imagine that 5 years earlier, in 2014, Facebook was the number one traffic source for my site! Now it is questionable whether I have 3-5 visits per day.
At the same time, the increase in the average cost of clicks on Google’s paid advertising worldwide has greatly decreased clicks and paid traffic.
The only way out for increasing web page and eshop traffic for 2020 is organic traffic.
Organic traffic, the one that comes from Google’s organic results, is the best form of traffic because it is the one that converts most visitor into customers and therefore increases sales.
So my advice to those of you who didn’t do SEO until yesterday it is time to review your opinion. SEO is now not only necessary to increase your customer base but also to make your brand known both locally and internationally.
You can ask for a SEO offer today!
Optimize your site for Featured Snippets
Now that Google displays to zero position or among the search results (SERPs) called Featured Snippets (Proposed Excerpts) or Rich Snippets (Enriched Excerpts) searches with zero clicks are so widespread that the information displayed in the same SERP is more important than ever.
What are the Featured Snippets (Proposed Excerpts) or Rich Snippets (Enriched Excerpts)?
Rich Snippets (Enriched Excerpts) are those that apart from the title and the description show photos, reviews, prices and so on. – It is easier to rank in Google with these but they also have lower click-through rate (CTR) compared to Featured Snippets. Your website’s search results will have better visibility, though your organic SERP position will remain the same.
For example, you may be in the top 5 on the first page and just earn a few more clicks. Since summer 2019, Google has completely cut the stars and reviews from other sites on rich snippets because they are unreliable and are easily manipulated.
On the other hand, Featured Snippets (Proposed Excerpts) is an entire block of information that appears at the top of a SERP – and cause large increases in CTR (Click Through Rate). The point is that in order to get featured snippets one has to appear on the first page of Google and change the layout of the page into FAQ.
Featured snippets consist of small paragraphs that are up to 300 characters long, that is, 40 to 60 words. The Hubspot site has already optimized too many articles and landing pages to catch Google’s featured snippets, in vain, of course, because Google is always displaying different websites at these sites and so has added small paragraphs that are optimized and aim at capturing featured snippets.
Statistical surveys have shown that websites that appear on feared snippets show a 40% increase in organic traffic.
Install SSL on your site
Google through Google Chrome, and other major browsers have begun blocking sites that do not have HTTPS or SSL, considering them unsafe.
User Safety affects SEO and ranking through its influence on the User Experience but also through the Indication “Not Safe”.
The organic results of websites without HTTPS will decrease.
Moreover, backlinks from sites without a SSL security certificate have also been downgraded by Google and consequently any sites that have relied on backlinks from sites without SSL will also fall.
According to Google, HTTPS counts a lot and will play an important role in SEO 2020 and the following years, while it will be considered abnormal for a website not to have SSL builds.
According to Google:
- HTTPS protects the integrity of a site from spam and hackers
- HTTPS protects the privacy of your site’s users and their security
- HTTPS is the future of the Internet because many applications do not run without HTTPS
Voice search brings Voice SEO
This means that in 2020 besides optimizing your website for organic searches, you should also optimize your site for voice searches.
Here in Paramarketing we have already begun to optimize our customer webpages for 3 SEO types:
- Local SEO
- Organic SEO or mobile First SEO and
- Voice search SEO or Voice SEO
Now you will tell me that there is chaos and we do not know on which to focus on since in the end everything will have its own SEO.
Needless to say, the gift I got to myself for 2020 is a Google Home Mini.
According to Skroutz’s description, the Google Home Mini provides:
- Search information and easy programming of the entire day, through simple voice commands
- Information on nearby stores, traffic, weather, and more
- Set alarms and reminders, search and listen to music, or find movies on Netflix
- Compatible with a variety of apps and smart devices for voice operation via Google Home Mini
Of course it doesn’t support Greek, but the reason I got it in the office is to become more familiar with the use of voice searches and to be able to experiment with them and then apply what we have learned on the websites we support.
I know it is a time consuming process, but voice search is the future of search and when Google Home Mini will support the Greek language it will become a favourite household companion for all the lonely people, pensioners, etc.
Only in 2020, 50% of searches are expected to be via voice search.
However, when using voice searches, the search engine needs to do more work to get the relevant information the user is currently looking for, making the small keywords increasingly insignificant because usually the average user’s questions or searches are key phrases (long tail keywords).
The answers should be in the form of answers, so your website should again be structured in the form of answers. There should be questions in header 2 or header 3 type:
How to get first in voice searches?
To be first in voice searches you need to have a proper structure on your website and respond with the most useful answers to what internet users are asking and looking for in your site.
Apart from devices like the one above, North American mobile users use 31% of voice searches. Soon this trend will come to our country as well as many other countries around the world.
Optimize your brand
Generally speaking, Google favors brands from the larger like BMW and Mercedes to the smaller brands like ours Paramarketing. On my website I have dedicated a special category of articles about branding and personal branding.
So, in 2020 you should devote more time to building your Brand Name and making your brand known on all social media sites, on all websites and building as many quality profile links as possible.
Since the beginning of my site I had opened profiles on more than 350 different social media!
Yes, there are so many… and more than 350 social media around the world.
You still need to create the so-called linkless brand mentions. These are references to your name or business without a link back to your website or you.
These reports, called mentions are taken as real backlinks from Google and help you greatly enhance the value and potential of your brand.
Do not stay in the dark… show yourselves in the blogs and ask influencers to mention you now!
Any kind of mention ranks you in Google!
Of course getting more recognition as a brand and online business gets the ball rolling and SEO is very important and does not only depend on two or three things.
All depend on your corporate identity, your logo, your brand, if you put your logo on your cars, if you have entered all the Skroutz in Greece, generally talking, if you have newsletter that you use regularly, etc.
Artificial intelligence and Bert will further influence search results
In our previous article about Google Bert, I had mentioned the last major change to Google’s algorithm for 2019 that was none other than our friend Bert.
But Bert was just the beginning, as artificial intelligence systems will continue to interfere with Google’s search algorithm to give us better quality search results and more relevant, guessing better the intent of the user.
So the answer to Bert and every Bert, is one … more quality content, better content, more useful content, more content with articles exceeding 2,000 to 2,500 words supported by proportional research, analog images, videos, charts , statistics, tables, tips etc.
Quality content should be classic and timeless. Don’t pay attention to this article here where I write about SEO 2020, because it is not classic, it has a finite life span and aims to capture only one keyword and also give you some useful tips on what to do in SEO 2020.
Your articles and pages should cover more classic topics that will bring traffic to your website for many more years, for at least a decade. This should be your perspective when creating content.
No More AMP
2020 brings an expected prediction and also reality to those who have been bombarded with information to create a second version of AMP for their website.
No, my friends, Google didn’t cut AMPs, but people did cut them off. The use of AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) technology that came to boost the speed of loading a web page on mobile devices seems to be beginning to be abandoned by many of its original supporters.
Just the idea that we need to have 2 different versions for the same site, not only is a functional error, because in the AMP version we need to have a different content format, different ads etc. – so we need double site maintenance time, but it is also wrong from SEO point of view.
Many news websites in their quest to adopt the new technology that seemed attractive, encountered huge problems in crawling and indexing their websites and many saw their ranking in Google and advertising revenue, disappear overnight.
If you are in the process of putting in an AMP version, you should definitely give up and try other ways to improve the loading speed.
Those of you who have WordPress sites can use the WebP Express plugin to accelerate the speed of loading images in your website.
What does WebP technology do;
WebP is a technology developed by Google itself and can be used in all sites, even the ones that are not WordPress.
WebP is a modern image format that provides extremely low loss of compression for images on the web. Using WebP, webmasters and developers can create smaller, richer images that make the internet faster.
WebP as an image is 50% faster to load and three times richer in color depth even on animated graphics, banners or gifs.
Optimize your website for mobile first
Mobile First SEO is the new standard in Google searches. This means that your website should be Mobile First Designed.
It should be first designed for mobile devices and then for laptops and desktop computers. We should say that responsive design does not mean that it is mobile first design and that it is compatible with mobile devices.
The last years mobile and smartphone searches have far surpassed PC searches and in the future the mobile will be an extension of ourselves while the laptop will only be used for heavy and boring office work.
To get started with the mobile optimization process, you first need to take Google’s test for mobile devices.
After making all the modofications and changes you need with the help of your web designer and have reduced the download speed to less than 2 seconds or more better less than 1 second, you should better configure the content:
- Keep the paragraphs short: ideally two or three sentences each
- Put headings in the text: after 2-3 paragraphs, insert the next topic with a header for easier reading
- Use dots and numbered lists: break large blocks of text, displaying many related list ideas (like this one!)
Google loves dots and numbering as well as lists because correct formatting, which improves reading and assimilation is a ranking factor.
Optimize more GMB (Google My Business)
In a previous article about local SEO I had mentioned NAP (Name Address Phone) and what it takes to increase our ranking in Google My Business or GMB.
A huge number of the above-mentioned zero-click searches in the so-called featured snippets are local searches for which the results appear in the SERP itself, in so-called local packs, which is not other than Google maps. For mobile devices, a single local pack can take up as much space as an entire SERP displayed to a user.
In a few words, maps showing local businesses appear in many pages and above organic searches.
If you’re a local business the absolute dominance in the SERPs and in Google has to do with your dominance in local search results.
Here are some tips to master your local searches:
- List all the physical presences -your business may have more than one branch
- Provide uniformity in NAP
- Subscribe to all local directories with the right NAP always
- Keep referring your NAP in every article published on third sites cause every NAP has a backlink
- Publish a post on GMB at least every month
- Ask your customers to give you some reviews
- Put your NAP in the footer of your website
Build your E-A-T
Those who are from Larisa, Greece ( Larisa, Greece is my hometown) will think that you have to build one to eat which is a local fast food chain! But it does not have to do with this 🙂 !
EAT is the acronym for the words Expertise Authority Trustworthiness and in accordance with Google’s quality rules, your website needs to have these three features in order to rank well in Google rankings:
- Expertise: That is to say, be expert in your field, have the technical training and knowledge needed to be a professional in this field.
- Authority: Be someone in the area where you work, for example an institute, a service that has a degree of prestige. Of course, Google is not referring here in the Domain Authority.
- Trustworthiness: Enable someone to trust your website to make a purchase or even as a source for an article or information.
What can you do to build your EAT?
First you need to create a page for your website about you, who you are, what you do, how many years you are involved with it, etc.
In particular your website will need to have the following:
- About page with a detailed description
- Easy found contact page with contact information and telephone
- Recommendations to third parties and outgoing backlinks to third sites that have some value
- Each article should show the author’s photo and resume
Then you should have referrals and backlinks from other websites that refer to you. One can refer to you through twitter or through his blog or even a tag from his YouTube video.
Generally speaking again Google wants you to be someone on the internet and not the first that happened to be selling goats from a village and built a blog and started writing about this and that.
If you are not someone, then you have to be someone to have a future in Google and in 2020 and all the following decade.
Saying goodbye to 2019
Instead of conclusions I would like to tell you two things now that we are saying goodbye to 2019… and SEO 2019 is leaving and the new SEO of 2020 is coming.
Now your goals for SEO 2020 should not be short-lived and temporary but long-term. SEO is an investment that takes months to pay off, but SEO can bring you passive traffic for years, as we say passive income.
So aim for passive organic traffic for the next decade. Secure your future and your children’s future, and don’t rely on temporary crutches to get traffic to your website.
As you saw this year, the social dividend was cut for good, because we cannot live on state benefits, we can live when we are productive, when we have our own job to offer to the community.
…And I am saying this to you as a man who built this site in 2013 when I was a soldier in the Army of Larissa, when everyone else was just drinking coffee and wasting their time.
At that time, I also wrote the first SEO guide doing my duty to the army that has been read by more than 7,000 people and has helped dozens built their own site and rank first in Google!
Me and my Paramarketing team wish you,
Happy new year and happy 2020!
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