As important as being updated and being knowledgeable with all the SEO news and trends, us digital marketers should take time to slow down and reconnect with what’s in front of us and is considered to be the most important — our relationship with our customers. Have you noticed that whenever we empty our thoughts, inspiration and ideas come in? It doesn’t necessarily mean that we should stop hustling altogether but finding the balance between being efficient with our work and taking care of our relationships is a great boost to reach all our goals. It will take time, but we’ll get there.
Pay Attention to These SEO Trends in 2020 and Beyond
Artificial intelligence will continue to evolve
Over the past half-decade, artificial intelligence has become a pioneering force in the evolution of SEO.
The most recent step in this progression of artificial learning is, of course, the introduction of Bidirectional Transformers for Language Understanding (BERT), which Google announced at the end of October. For those who missed it, BERT is Google’s neural network-based technique for natural language processing, and it’s important because it deals with the very fundamentals of how people search. Google itself says that the algorithm represents “the biggest leap forward in the past five years, and one of the biggest leaps forward in the history of Search.”
But what does this mean for SEOs?
BERT is just one signal of how Google understands language, but it is one of the most important in the search engine’s arsenal. This means that now more than ever, webmasters and SEOs alike must focus their efforts on creating the most useful, natural, and highest-quality content. Quite simply, as Danny Sullivan says, “write content for users.”
SEO for 2020 – Whiteboard Friday
Cover your bases with foundational SEO
Titles, metas, headers, alt text, site speed, robots.txt, site maps, UX, CRO, Analytics, etc.
To cover your bases with foundational SEO will continue to be incredibly important in 2020, basic things like title tags, meta descriptions, alt, all of the basic SEO 101 things.
There have been some conversations in the industry lately about alt text and things of that nature. When Google is getting so good at figuring out and knowing what’s in an image, why would we necessarily need to continue providing alt text?
But you have to remember we need to continue to make the web an accessible place, and so for accessibility purposes we should absolutely continue to do those things. But I do highly suggest you check out Google’s Visual API and play around with that to see how good they’ve actually gotten. It’s pretty cool.
SEO in 2020: What Role Do Keywords Play?
Content That’s Clear & Comprehensive
When you ask a question, do you prefer getting an answer that’s convoluted, vague, and clunky? Or direct, specific, and straightforward?
It’s a no-brainer, right? Google thinks so too.
But it isn’t as shiny and exciting to talk about grammar and diction. I think most SEO professionals would rather talk about topics like natural language processing.
But even the most meticulously researched brief can be ruined by content that doesn’t read well, so this stuff matters.
Don’t underestimate the power of tools like Microsoft Word’s “Grammar & Refinements” settings that can help you:
- Replace complex words with simpler ones.
- Swap wordiness for conciseness.
- Go from passive to active voice.
…and much more.
How to Overcome Technical SEO Issues on a Budget
Identify Your List of Technical SEO Issues
First off, you are going to need to identify the site issues.
If you’ve already had a technical audit performed, excellent.
Start by transferring the list of the technical problems into a spreadsheet.
Next, add a column so you can assign who is capable of fixing each issue.
Can you or another teammate handle the fixes, or do you need a developer?
Then include a column and format with checkboxes so you can quickly check off the tasks once done.
Facebook and Google Make Retargeting Harder: How to Prepare
Facebook’s “Clear History” Tool Now Available to All Users: Facebook made the new Off-Facebook Activity tool available to all Facebook users around the world. This new version of Privacy Check-Up is split into four distinct sections, one of which is Facebook’s much-anticipated Clear History tool and it shows which third-party data providers and groups have shared user interactions with Facebook.
Position Zero Is Dead; Long Live Position Zero
In 2014, Google introduced the featured snippet, a promoted organic ranking that we affectionately (some days were more affectionate than others) referred to as “position zero” or “ranking #0.” One of the benefits to being in position zero was that you got to double-dip, with your organic listing appearing in both the featured snippet and page-1 results (usually in the top 3–4). On January 23, Google announced a significant change (which rolled out globally on January 22) …
“Declutters” sounds innocuous, but the impact to how we think about featured snippets and organic rankings is significant. So, let’s dig deep into some examples and the implications for SEO.
In a Fast-Paced Digital World, B2B Marketers Can Benefit from Slowing Down
4 Areas Where B2B Marketers Can Benefit from Pumping the Brakes
Slow Your Experience
There are plenty of metaphors I could toss out regarding the inverse relationship between speed and quality of an experience, but I’ll go with this one: Would you rather be shuffled through a fast-moving line at a fast-food joint, or carefully walked through a restaurant menu by a knowledgeable and curious server beside your table?
Yes, customers want things quickly, but there’s a balance. It’s been nearly two decades since William McEwen made a point that remains very true today: When marketers emphasize doing things faster, they often end up doing things worse.
“If the goal is to create strong bonds that ensure customer retention, companies must focus on activities that create and sustain the customer relationships, not just on those that enhance company efficiency,” McEwen wrote in his book, Married to the Brand.