Search Engine Optimization for 2020
What’s New in Search Engine Optimization
Backlinks Are Less Important
Google is getting away from ranking sites because they have backlinks. If you have 1 million backlinks, your best bet is to get rid of 500,000 of those with the lowest authority. Stop even trying to get backlinks and focus on producing high-quality content instead.
Blogs Need to be 5,000 Words or Longer
Blog articles no longer only need to be 500 words; we recommend 5,000-word blogs instead. Fewer blogs are better if the ones you do produce are engaging and of high value to your readers. If you don’t have a lot of competition online, you may get away with a 1,800-word blog, but you really do want to aim for as much content as you can.
User Specific Search Results
One person who searches for “Search Engine Optimization Longmont” will not get the same results as another person searching for that same keyword at the exact same time. Sometimes you will see in the Google Search Console that your website ranks for a keyword only once in the last week. That’s because Google is using users’ profiles to give the best content they see fit in search results. For example, if a user who matches the profile of the person searching leaves a review or comment on your website, Google will say this person is looking for this info, and this person is similar to the person seeking, so let’s show this in the search results.
User-Generated Content is More Important
It’s now more important to get comments on your blog post and get reviews on your site. More comments and reviews not only extends the length of your blog without your efforts; it also gives Google a profile of information based on the data they have collected on that user. The more information Google has about who finds your content valuable, the more people who will see it.
Google My Business Optimization
Google My Business optimization is as important as optimizing your website. Google is making it hard to find a link to your company website. Google is giving all the information someone might need right there in the results. A website will only be visited if someone has to or needs the info. Some things you can do right now to get your business listing up to par is to get as many reviews as you can, add photos, complete your profile, and post regularly.
Mobile-first optimization is something Google switched to in late 2019. Mobile-first optimization is how Google is now analyzing your site. Google first checks to see if your website is working on mobile devices and then on desktop and weights your mobile site view more heavily.
Meta Tags Are Longer
Meta description tags used to be only 150 characters long, but I predict Google will make these longer.
What’s Old in Search Engine Optimization
Business Directory Listings
Business Directories are still slightly relevant but not as important as they used to be. A business directory is a human-reviewed business listing service. You submit your website, and actual people review it to see if it is a legitimate website. Google weights this information pretty heavily when determining which sites to rank.
High authority backlinks are still relevant, but don’t go looking for them; they will come naturally, if you provide valuable content.
Keyword research strategies still work, but not like they used to. You cannot use a keyword too much, and as mentioned before, one week, you will show up and then may never show up again for that same keyword. You still need to pick a couple of words to put on a web page and scatter throughout the content.
Website Content Strategies
You still will want to search on Google, find out what people are looking for, and then write about it. If you search on Google, you will see the “What other people are asking” section. Take every question that is relevant to your brand and answer it in as much detail as you possibly can. This is the best content strategy I’ve been using this last year, and it’s still working now more than ever.
Page Load Speed
Making sure you site loads fast is still important because you don’t want your visitors waiting to long to get the information they came for. They will assume it will never load and go to another site. One way you can help speed up your page speed right now is decrease your image sizes to 100k or below.
Image Title and Alt Tags
When you save images, name these with a keyword. Google reads every part of your website and any opportunity that you get to put a keyword into the code, do it. Also use a keyword in the alt tag if it makes sense to. The alt tag is meant for accessibility and needs to describe what is in the image. For example if it’s a picture of a boy kicking a soccer ball, you need to say that in the alt tag.
Sitemaps and Robots.txt
You must setup a Sitemap.xml and Robots.txt file for Google to scan. The Sitemap tells Google which pages to crawl and the Robots.txt can tell Google which pages not to crawl.
OG Data (Open Graph)
OG data is for Twitter and Facebook and other sites to scan your link and find the images to show when the links are shared. WordPress has a plugin called OG that you simply install and everything is taken care of for you from there.
Internal and External Links
Links have and always will be a determining factor for Google’s rating of importance. Every page you have much link to other pages of your website and to other wesbites with more authority.
A Free Lead Magnet
Give something of high value away for free in exchange for an email. Do not use a PDF or something dated like that, instead giveaway a free massage, a free chiropractic intake, a free 1 hour consultation. Anything of high value that people would normally pay a lot of money for. Once they use your service or product once they will keep coming back for more.
Thank you for reading. Leave your questions and feedback below! I read and respond to all of them.