The year is coming to an end, which means marketing budgets are going to be adjusted, digital marketing strategies will be adjusted, and Google's changes will be mulled over. We've experienced quite a change in digital marketing already, with a major focus on user journey.
Marketing agencies need to redefine what is SEO?
SEO is dynamic, and it's still evolving. Sure, there are some aspects that remain relatively the same, like keyword optimization and many on-page practices. However, Google now wants to be the start and end of the search journey.
What does this mean?
Google is providing a lot more information in a search query than ever before. If you look up certain medical keywords, you'll find Google provides in-depth information from the CDC and other resources.
This has led to zero-click searches; the searches where information is presented without a click.
Google is providing:
We're seeing more than 50% of searches now resulting in zero-click searches. It's a trend that may have many smaller marketing firms questioning what to do next.
Focus on Rich and Featured Snippets
Rich and featured snippets are going to be the focus for many marketers. Sites need to optimize their snippets to focus more on zero-click searches. These snippets will show an array of information, such as:
Structured data may be able to land a site on the top of Google in a featured snippet. These snippets bring in a larger percentage of clicks, so it's a competitive space.
BERT is Going to Demand Better Content Creation
Google is continually advancing, and BERT, the company's new algorithm, is going to remain an integral focus in the coming year. BERT is able to understand search structure better so that results are more refined.
Using neural matching, BERT is going to demand higher quality content that matches the search intent of the query.
Google is getting smarter, and to provide better results for a query, BERT will demand better-flowing content that really digs deep into subject matter and can answer a query.
Influencers Will Continue to Be Important
Brands are going to focus more on their image this coming year. Part of this will include influencer marketing to help drive relevant backlinks to a site. Partnering with influencers, both in social and non-social avenues, is going to drive brand awareness and search in 2020.
Optimization for Voice
Optimization is going beyond the normal keypad input. Users are now searching using their voice. "Ok Google, what does it mean when you have a rash and fever?" Voice searches are being used on Alexa, smart televisions and mobile devices.
Terms for voice are more conversational, making search queries longer in the process.
Forecasts predict that more than 50% of all searches will come through voice next year. Focusing on these voice searches is going to be essential.
Security, UX optimization on mobile, speed and dwell time will also remain an integral focus in the New Year. As Google continues to roll out updates to their algorithm and people focus on voice search more, sites will either need to adapt or use other avenues to drive traffic to their pages.