With the arrival the next decade there’s a lot that needs to be analyzed to develop your SEO strategy for 2020. One of the most important factors to keep in mind is the latest SEO trends. You need to figure out which new trends will come up and which old ones will die.

The SEO landscape changes dynamically with time, and this makes it difficult to keep up with all of the changes. You need to keep up with these SEO trends to stay at the top of your game. Fail to do so, and you may end up losing some valuable traffic. To help you with the process, we’ve come up with a list of the biggest SEO trends for 2020.

Let's jump right in:

  1. Voice search
  2. Mobile-first
  3. Relevant content
  4. Blockchain technology
  5. Machine learning
  6. Going beyond Google
  7. Increasing expertise, authority, and trustworthiness
  8. On-page optimization
  9. Optimize for other SERP features

Voice search has quickly started gaining ground in the past few years. About 35.6 million Americans used voice search devices at least once a month in 2017. This was an increase of 128.9% year-over-year. The adoption has, of course, been led by millennials.

Infographic of Voice Enabled Users

Image via eMarketer

With the advent of AI assistants, voice searches are becoming increasingly accurate and personalized. This has allowed users to find immediate answers to all of their search queries through voice. It is especially true for question-based or exact term searches as the assistants can give instant answers to those.

So voice search optimization will be one of the biggest SEO trends this year. AI assistants such as Google Assistant and Siri are leading this voice search wave through their presence in every new smartphone. With the launch of smart speakers such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home, this trend is spreading even further.

Naturally, 2020 may see an increase in the number of voice searches conducted. Due to this reason, it is necessary to optimize for long-tail keywords and exact search terms to keep up with one of these major SEO trends.

Put yourself in the shoes of your customers and think of the questions they might ask on Google. These questions will be a bit different from the traditional search terms. Your content needs to be optimized for these queries.

One important fact to keep in mind is that Google prefers shorter answers for voice searches. The average voice search result is only about 29 words long. If you can optimize well for voice searches, you may be rewarded with higher traffic.

2. Mobile-First

Mobile searches accounted for about 57% of all organic search visits in the US in 2018’s 4th quarter. Due to this, Google has started rolling out its mobile-first indexing method. So mobile-first optimization will be one of the biggest SEO trends for 2020.

This makes it necessary for you to have a mobile-friendly website. Your website should be responsive and fully-functional on mobile.

Chart showing growth of mobile first indexing

Image via Statista

Additionally, your page loading speed should be optimized for mobiles. In fact, a website which loads slow on mobiles will be pushed down in the search results. This is because a slow-loading website causes a bad user experience. To rank higher and keep up with the latest SEO trends, you need to improve your page loading speed.

To check your current page loading speed, you can use Google PageSpeed Insights. Not only does the tool analyze your page loading speed, it even shows suggestions to improve it.

Google Pagespeed insights

Image via Google PageSpeed Insights

With the improvement in mobile network speeds and the ease of browsing on mobile, people are increasingly relying on their mobiles to surf. This trend will continue in 2020 as well.

3. Relevant Content

With the introduction of RankBrain, it’s about time that you start posting high-quality, relevant content. Google is not only able to read the content well but is even able to interpret its meaning now. This means that relevant, high-quality content will be one of the most important SEO trends this year.

The AI can to figure out how relevant the content is to its heading. Posting content that doesn’t add value and is different from the heading can lead to penalties.

Additionally, your content should be relevant to your target keywords and shouldn’t be overstuffed with them. Make sure that you write for the readers and not for the search engines. If the readers find it relevant, they are more likely to recommend it to others as well.

To find relevant keywords, you can use keyword research tools such as the Google Keyword Planner. You can even spy on your competitors’ keywords by using tools such as SpyFu. This way, you can see which keywords your competitors are ranking for and target those to beat them.

SEO trends Google India

Image via Google Keyword Planner

SpyFu even has a rank tracking tool that allows you to keep track of the ranks of your pages on the SERPs.

Search engines want to show users exactly what they are looking for. This is why the relevancy of the content has become one of the most important SEO trends for 2020.

4. Blockchain Technology

This may seem like an unlikely entrant on a list about SEO trends, but blockchain does have far-reaching effects on SEO. The reason for this is simple; blockchain aims to create secure and trustworthy transaction records, and security is one of the major ranking factors on Google.

It can also be used to secure all the transactions that happen through the search engines. These include the transactions between advertisers and website owners too. Additionally, it can identify every single user who views an ad. This way, it can detect the difference between a bot and a human.

This, in turn, can be used to ensure that website owners only pay for the most genuine clicks. It can even help reduce online spam in this manner. While this will impact the revenue for Google Ads, it’ll even influence the SEO of a website due to the difference in click-through rates. This makes it one of the most important SEO trends for 2020.

5. Machine Learning

Machine learning is particularly useful for SEO, and you’ll probably see it among the biggest SEO trends this year and in the following years. Using machine learning concepts and web analytics tools, you can figure out your user behavior. Google too uses this to showcase search results.

It can help you discover keyword ranking opportunities, ranking predictions, site crawling, and more. All of these factors can affect your SEO. This way, using machine learning, you can build your entire content strategy with your targeted keywords.

6. Going Beyond Google

Google may be the largest driver of traffic today. However, with the increasing dominance of Amazon and Apple, there are good chances that SEO may matter for those too. After all, SEO is all about showing up wherever people are searching for you; not just on Google.

For instance, if you have an app, you need to ensure that you not only rank on Google but even in the app stores. Videos need to rank on their own websites too apart from Google itself. A multi-faceted approach is needed in SEO to rank in every single place possible.

Thinking beyond Google is one of the key SEO trends for 2020. You should focus on how you can increase your visibility apart from reaching the coveted #1 spot on the SERPs. Your goal shouldn’t be to just drive traffic. It should be to optimize the entire search experience of the users. Make sure that your website’s offerings meet your user’s needs.

7. Increasing Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness

You may have come across the acronym, “EAT.” This stands for Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness, and is one of the key SEO trends for 2020. The EAT guidelines are mentioned in Google’s search quality guidelines and give us an idea of what Google is looking for in the short term.

This, again, brings us back to the quality aspect of content. You cannot become an authority in a particular subject unless you have written quality content on it. Similarly, content is the only thing that will show your expertise and trustworthiness to the search engines.

8. On-Page Optimization

On-page optimization is an important aspect of SEO and is one of the key SEO trends for 2020. Just by doing simple on-page SEO, you can rank higher in search results. While off-page optimization in the form of links is necessary, you need to pay attention to the on-page SEO too. The main reason for this is that it’s a continuous process and not just a set-it-and-forget-it tactic.

Some factors you should take care of are:

  • High-quality relevant content that answers the queries of the users
  • Short conversion process
  • Efficient internal site search
  • Effective customer support in the form of live chat or chatbots
  • Ease of navigation

9. Optimize For Other SERP Features

In 2020, SEO is more than just clicks; it’s about visibility as well. With SERP features such as featured snippets, knowledge graphs, carousels, and answer boxes, your organic traffic may take a hit.

You need to optimize for not just position #1 but for position zero, a.k.a. featured snippets. These are visible over the first rank and can give you better visibility and traffic. This makes it one of the most important SEO trends for 2020.

For instance, if you search for “best hollywood movies,” you’ll get a carousel of movies before the first search result.

Best hollywood SERP example

Final Thoughts

Search engine optimization is going to change drastically in 2020 and the coming years. SEO trends such as voice searches and mobile-friendliness are catching steam and may soon surpass traditional searches. Additionally, it is more important than ever to create relevant high-quality content which offers value to the readers.

You must also embrace new technologies like machine learning. These can help you up your SEO game. Make sure that you don’t just rely on Google but go beyond it to rank higher in as many places as possible.