2020 SEO trends

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a digital marketing technique that is dynamic and continuously evolving. To make the most of your SEO efforts, you need to be aware of the latest SEO trends, so you’ll know what to incorporate into your campaign to make it even more potent.

2020 SEO Trends You Shouldn’t Ignore

Below are some of the relevant SEO trends you need to keep an eye on this 2020:

The search engine results pages (SERPs) will get more consolidated.

As expected, the search engine results pages are no longer the same as they used to be many years ago. The featured snippets and the answer boxes are now getting the lion’s share of the clicks. Google has also added a new carousel for videos. These new features have decreased organic clicks by as much as 10 percent.

The number of rank zero snippets (also known as position zero or zero-click searches) is also increasing. Users can get an answer on the search results page without needing to click a link and visiting a web page. The consolidation of the SERPs can make SEO even more challenging.

If you want to maintain the flow of traffic to your site, you need to diversify. Start by implementing omnichannel marketing and focusing on long-tail keywords. Nowadays, there are tools you can use to assess the effectiveness of your pages without going through all the trouble of writing new content or building links.

Keyword research will become even more crucial.

Google has transitioned from a search engine to an answer engine. While the manner of using keywords in web pages to boost relevance has changed, the foundation of the SEO strategy still banks on keyword research. The following are practical ways you can use to improve your keyword research strategy:

  • Think in terms of topics as opposed to direct keywords. This can help you quickly map out the secondary keywords from the primary keyword seed. Begin by identifying a set of topics and entering them one by one into YouTube (to see YouTube’s autosuggest) and into Google (to view Google’s autosuggest).
  • To create your master keyword list, you can use one or a combination of the following tools: SEMrush, Google Keyword Planner, UberSuggest, Ahrefs, and Answer The Public.

The key to local SEO will be ‘entity engagement’ and ‘entity popularity.’

Since 46 percent of Google searches already have local intent, local businesses’ authority will remain a primary factor this 2020. For instance, if you search for pizza in New York, Joe’s Pizza will likely rank high in the searches as it is popular among the locals. 

In other words, if many people patronize your local business, Google will rank it higher on the local search results. On the other hand, the entity or authority of your business will be based on ‘entity popularity’ and ‘entity engagement.’ A study conducted by Tidings revealed engagement would be the essential factor this 2020 for local SEO.

Entity popularity will be based on the number of brand mentions your business receives on videos, articles, forums, and social media. Brand citations and mentions are different from a link. With brand mentions, you may or may not get a link.

Of course, a brand mention that comes with a link is always better. However, if you can generate many brand mentions even without a link, it can still be very beneficial for local SEO.

Entity engagement is determined through ‘signals’ on the web, including:

  • The number of positive reviews your business has gotten on Google My Business (GMB)
  • The number of people who patronize and love your business
  • The number of positive recommendations for your business on review sites
  • The number of people that searched for the location of your business using Google Maps
  • The number of people that saved your business as a contact on their phones

All those signals impact the popularity of your local business. In line with this, ensure your GMB listing is optimized, and your NAP (name, address, phone) is accurate. It is also recommended that you generate as many local brand mentions as possible alongside favorable business recommendations about your local business.

Video will be integral to your SEO strategy.

This 2020, video marketing will remain as one of the key digital marketing trends. Some studies predict the average online consumption per individual will steadily rise. In 2018, people spent at least 67 minutes watching online videos daily. The figure is expected to reach 100 minutes by the year 2021. 

The popularity of videos is not surprising if we take into account the peerless benefits they offer. Case in point: a staggering 96 percent of people revealed watching videos has helped them learn about a service or product more than other channels. It is also considered a great way to boost brand engagement.

Below are other effective ways you can use videos to boost your SEO efforts:

  • Use interesting thumbnail images to entice people to click on the link and watch your video.
  • Upload your video in as many platforms as possible.
  • Incorporate apt captions and include a transcript to every video you upload.
  • Add correct schema tags to help search engines better understand your video’s content and rank it properly in the search results.
  • Optimize the description and title of your video and ensure your videos are mobile-friendly.

Google will continue to reward content that’s focused on E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness)

With the recent BERT update, it has become quite evident Google is getting better at understanding the context (or relationship) between words. BERT, which stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, is an update to Google’s core search algorithm.

BERT is designed to understand the intent of the searcher behind the search query. This means that good content focusing on the E-A-T principle will rank higher while out-of-content search results are removed by Google.


While keeping up with the current SEO trends can be overwhelming, it is necessary. Ensure you incorporate trends that are beneficial to your SEO campaign so you are always a step ahead of the pack.

Shawn Byrne is the founder and CEO of SEOPhoenix.net. Shawn started his career in I.T. troubleshooting workstations, servers and networks, then went on to doing SEO as a side project and quickly found success in ranking websites. It was easy for him to grasp not only the algorithms but also the technical side which most SEO strategists miss and neglect because of its complexities. SEO Phoenix then grew based on its own rankings and referrals.

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