16 Dec The 2020 SEO Mindset
Looking back at 2019, we’ve seen a fair share of algorithm updates, including BERT, Maverick, and several other verified and unconfirmed Google updates. With every little tweak made, it seems the SEO community is always quick to jump on the subject. Due to this, we wind up with countless sources of information, giving perspectives on what new thing needs to happen to counter these algorithm updates to keep websites in Google’s good graces. Walking into 2020, we don’t know what kind of updates await us, but if you haven’t noticed the trend behind Google’s updates, and not just the algorithm-related ones, many of them revolve around the vision of making the user experience better.
Websites that stay aligned with this vision will likely reap the benefits. How do you stay aligned? By ensuring your websites also continually strive to enhance the user experience. This isn’t rocket science, nor an article about some super-secret SEO strategies to try out for 2020, but far too often is the user experience determined by what a web developer thinks is cool, or what a business owner wants to see on their own site. This can lead to overcomplicated sites that may be cool-looking, but unintuitive and slow to load, or desperate looking sites that cram every business offering in a cluttered puzzle of a homepage.
Evolving the Customer Journey
A website should be designed for the purpose of making the customer journey as convenient as possible. This includes a clean, mobile-friendly design with an intuitive navigation system, having quality content that provides information to questions people actually want answered, and being able to present these things quickly. Your technical SEO expert should be able to execute or collaborate with a web developer on how to track and monitor user behavior and site speed to determine where the user experience is falling short. To solve that mystery, you must be able to identify not just which pages are being visited, but what people are doing on them. Many websites have become accustomed to tracking tools, such as Google Analytics, which is great for seeing when users are visiting, for how long, from where, which pages, etc., however seeing what they’re interacting with, via clicking buttons, images, or phone numbers, that often needs additional setup and upkeeping as the website changes over time.
As for the actual content users are interacting with, your SEO expert should be able to gather real queries and questions people are searching that your website is relevant enough to provide answers for. Give each topic its own opportunity to be a quality landing page versus cramming all the answers into one, unless you’re making an FAQ-type page (don’t forget to utilize the FAQ schema if that’s the case). Words on a page are great, especially when they’re relevant, well-written, and organized with headers, bullets, numbers, etc., so that people are not just staring at a huge block of copy. You can take things to the next level by having videos and images. The focus of creative should always center around aiding summarizing or supporting the message of the page.
Keeping the Foundation Running
Again, everything here isn’t rocket science nor about SEO secret ninja tactics, but staying on top of your website when it comes to mobile-friendly design, speed, an intuitive navigation, and having content people care about that’s share-worthy, these things will take you a long way through 2020 and beyond. Even if you have these things now, tracking user behavior should be an ongoing practice, and be sure your tracking is working. We can’t count how many times we come across clients with tracking goals and events that were set up long ago and no longer working, so keep an eye on these as they’ll hint toward opportunities for website enhancements. As for everything else, sure, there will be many new innovative SEO tactics and features to try out, and we definitely encourage innovation, but with so many things to consider when doing SEO, sometimes the best opportunities are a lot closer to the core than you might think.