The reality is that in 2020 consumers have more options than ever before. The way products and services are found online is continually changing. SEO is the process that will determine what options consumers see first and businesses must adapt to be able to account for the new ways people are searching. If there is one word to keep in mind for SEO strategy in 2020, it’s proactivity. SEO is often thought of as a “one and done” solution to technical problems rather than an underlying and continuing strategy. In 2020, many businesses are still using SEO as a way to simply fix problems with websites. This is problematic, because SEO is always evolving, and if businesses don’t adapt their SEO strategy to new trends, it will not be as effective.

Google recently released a series of blog posts that highlighted businesses that benefitted greatly from proactive SEO strategy. Moon Tae Sung, an SEO manager for a job site in South Korea, is highlighted in one of these studies. Through the Google Search Console alone, the site saw an increase of 15% in organic search traffic alone since 2015. The writer of the case study, Google’s Gary Ilyes, noted “SEO is a process that may take time to bear fruit”. These strategies included editing meta descriptions, improving content, and applying applicable structured data. There are many tools you can rely on as an SEO Agency or if you’re doing it alone like the Structured Data Testing Tool, Mobile Friendly Test, AMP Test, and Page Speed Insights. Eventually, the errors in the Google Search Console Index Coverage report turned from red to green.

In 2020, there is more to SEO than many business owners might think. There’s a common misconception that it’s all just about links and putting keywords on the landing page. These fundamentals are very important, but they are just a couple of the tools in a massive seo toolbox. In fact, there are more than 200 different individual factors that Google’s algorithm considers when ranking websites. You can search any keyword on Google and the first result is not just going to be a page with as many links as can fit on the screen (in fact that would significantly lower its rankings). It’s going to be a company is providing great content. It’s important to use SEO proactively and effectively so you can get the word out to customers as soon as you can.  Additionally, different businesses in different industries can both rank number one for a certain keyword, but the sites will not function the same at all. So, the question becomes how does YOUR business rank number one.

Here are some specific ways that SEO is evolving in 2020 and how your site can take advantage:

In 2020, visual search is being used more than ever. The Google Lens tool has been used over 1 billion times to search for items. Additionally, 36% of online consumers have used visual search to find items online. Optimizing your site for the increased number of visual searches will help customers be able to find your products among many others. The key is to be able to effectively describe products on your site by using meta descriptions and alt tags that make it clear what is being shown in the photo.

Additionally, video content is growing rapidly. It is estimated that in the next year, video content will account for over 80% of online traffic. Using video is a great way to concisely convey messages to customers in an engaging way. Video snippets can be displayed in search results to get customers curious about what your business has to offer. Just like with pictures, videos should be properly described through meta descriptions, and a clear, effective video title is also a good way to do this, and for Google to recommend your videos to searchers through snippets. A video transcript is also important so search engines can clearly decipher what your video is about. Using the right keywords is a great way to do this and make your video stand out among many others. A YouTube channel is highly effective way of providing video content. YouTube is the second largest search engine and is owned by Google.

Voice search is another form of search that is on the rise. Products like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home are both increasing in popularity, and as a result, people are going to Google with their voices instead of their keyboards. Over 40% of people perform a voice search through Google daily and Google voice searches have increased 35x since 2008. Most voice searches are questions. For example, “What is the closest Italian restaurant?”, or better yet “What kind of hardwood floor is best?” Your content should be optimized to be able to answers the questions people ask through voice search.

In order to get the attention of the people asking these questions, you should be answering them. FAQ pages are a great way to do this, as a are blogs, and the other forms of content mentioned here. Voice search or not, answering the questions that customers have through research and fact based content is a great way to boost rankings and attract new visitors to your site. FAQ’s, visual content, and blogs are all effective ways to do this. Encouraging people to interact with the content, for example comments on a blog post, is something that will take these results even further, and build an engaged and loyal following. This will increase your rankings even more as Google will recognize that people are interested in what your site has to offer and recommend it to more people.

Overall, SEO is not a one-time solution; it’s an ongoing process and strategy that must adapt with the times. People are searching in new ways in 2020, and with proper SEO, your site will be able to adapt to these new trends. Your company will be the one answering the questions that customers have, and with the right content and strategy, the online presence of your business can grow in 2020.