The Best SEO Developments of 2019: What to Know Going into 2020

As we welcome the fresh start that comes along with 2020, we are left to reflect on all of the amazing progress we made this year. Search engine optimization has greatly evolved in 2019, with several new approaches and updates to consider when curating our brands and content. Here are some noteworthy developments in the industry and how we expect them to affect business in the new year.

The Importance of Content Writing

We all know that content is a huge contributor to your brand’s SEO, but to what extent? So far it’s been the essence of SEO itself and this importance only continues to increase. The importance of content was vamped up this year, since long-tail searches make up about 70% of all search queries (copy is an essential part of effectively competing for these queries). 

Experts are saying that industry competition in 2019 has sufficiently raised the bar for content writing, and creating effective content requires an increasingly skilled hand. WrightIMC’s CEO Tony Wright remarks that “The day is coming when the best content will win.” This comment exemplifies the direction of content creation for 2020. 

So much of SEO had switched from hacking algorithms with keywords and SEO tricks to creating more detailed and expertly curated long form content. Short form content is easier to tailor to your SEO, and can more effectively be created through logical formulas and analytics. Long form content, on the other hand, is hard to effectively create without a skilled writer. Many companies whose content previously came from other members of the SEO team hired content specific writers in 2019 to bring a more detailed perspective. 

Shifting Away from Keyword Focused Strategies

Industry experts are saying that the year 2020 will mark a shift in the type of strategies we’re using to optimize search rankings. Rather than gearing a page towards a single keyword search, many companies are choosing to broaden the scope. The new strategy that experts such as Jesse McDonald and Jessica Levenson recommend is focus on topic relevance rather than keywords. This system has the ability to address the concerns of inquiries more holistically, and is overall more effective at boosting rankings and the amount of time that people spend on your site. 

A topic oriented approach creates more meaningful interaction with potential business, as it removes excess traffic that keyword oriented content can generate. Gone are the days of artificially inflated statistics with irrelevant site hits and views. In the year 2020, we are focusing on quality over quantity when it comes to leads. 

Visual Search Technology

2019 was a huge year for the growth and development of digital search technology. While still new to the SEO scene, this technology is changing the game, especially for retailers. The new program called Google Lens has already been used over a billion times. This staggering number exemplifies the relevancy of this new component of our SEO strategies. Google Lens can identify approximately one billion objects, and it is only improving by the day. Even Bing has a similar product that is receiving moderate acclaim. 

According to recent polls, over 62% of younger consumers expressed a desire for more visual search technology integration into their online experiences. We’ve talked about using content and textual SEO, but what about visual SEO? With this new era of visual searching, optimizing your picture content is key. Use a descriptive file labeling system and always use effective accompanying text. The authority of your page is an important factor when it comes to your image search leads. Additionally, fresher content does much better as far as image searching, so update all of your visual content somewhat frequently to achieve the most effective results. 

The Rise of Video

Online video continues to be one of the biggest traffic drivers to date. It continued to blossom this year with the exponential success of video platforms such as YouTube and TikTok, making 2019 the biggest year for online video viewing yet. According to Cisco, this content vehicle is expected to only broaden in 2020. They predict that online video will make up 80% of all online traffic in the upcoming year, and that still may be a moderate estimate. Despite the existing prevalence, HubSpot sent out a poll concerning the subject and the public demanded even more online video content (43% percent of the participants said that they wanted more video content). If you’re looking for some fresh ideas in the upcoming year, branch out into video production. 

Overall, the new year is a chance to refresh your SEO strategy and try something new! Whether it is optimized textual content, images, or videos, there is a perfect balance for every company. Make 2020 all about finding the right SEO strategy and agency to boost your business!