Insights

SEO In 2020 | A Roundup

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Search trends come and go, but the ways that you get found for those trending search terms aren’t quite as fleeting.

SEO may seem like a dark art to some, but producing quality content that engages your audience continues to be at the heart of any successful SEO strategy.

Let’s take a look at the SEO practices that formed the foundation of our SEO strategies here at Visualsoft in 2020.

E-A-T

Expertise. Authoritativeness. Trustworthiness. While a website’s domain authority was all but reliant on backlinks just a few years ago, the new measure of domain authority is the E-A-T ranking factor. E-A-T has been a part of Google’s guidelines for years, but in 2019 Google made them a key focus in their quality rater guidelines.

Expertise

In 2020, this means that websites hoping to improve their domain have to create content that proves they are experts in their field – more than that, they have to feature content written by actual experts! eCommerce websites can benefit from providing expert comment on topics from their industry for external publications, and even bringing in quotes from other qualified experts to level-up their own on-site content.

Authoritativeness

One clear signal of authority is being cited by reputable online sources. Each of these citations is a vote of confidence in your website. Let’s say for example that you claim to sell the best ever chocolate cake – you writing a blog about how your chocolate cake is the best isn’t credible, but if your website is cited in a few ‘best ever chocolate cakes’ articles, Google’s more likely to believe you.

Trustworthiness

To be trustworthy, a website must be transparent. This means that any website hoping to be seen as trustworthy in 2020 should have a detailed about us page, accessible contact page, include references and links to any external sources, have a thorough privacy policy and terms of service, and ensure that each article includes an author byline.

E-A-T for eCommerce

To put it simply – be clear on your website about who you are, prove you’re an expert on the subject you’re writing about, and get external sources to bring credibility to your claims and you’ll be well on your way to boosting your domain authority.

Featured Snippets

If you want to bring in large volumes of traffic to your blog, achieving a featured snippet is essential. Featured snippets appear at the top of the SERP (even above paid ads!) making them a coveted position – but be wary. Answer the question too succinctly and there’ll be no need for the user to click through to your article!

11.52% of all search results hold a featured snippet – that may not sound like a lot, but featured snippets are generated when lots of people are searching for an answer to a search query. Your blog strategy should be focused on finding featured snippet opportunities, structuring your content to maximise your chances of appearing in a featured snippet, and writing the best possible answer to the question as you can.

Click-Through-Rates

With Google releasing new SERP features all the time (those coveted featured snippets included!), click-through-rates are rapidly dwindling. Google’s objective is to provide the user with the best answer to their search query – and providing that answer without the user needing to go anywhere else is a huge part of their mission as a search engine.

This means that your search result needs to stand out more than ever! Our top tips are:

  • Include your primary keyword first in your meta title
    This is best practice for eCommerce, but it’s also common sense! If a user searches for a particular word or phrase and your SERP result matches it, Google will reward you with a high ranking and the user is much more likely to click on it.
  • Craft original meta descriptions
    Google will scrape content and serve its own meta description if you don’t, but your meta description is a great opportunity to hit the user with your most engaging brand voice and even offer them a USP
  • Make your metadata emotionally compelling
    That engaging brand voice should connect with your user, and users are most engaged when they’re emotionally connected.

Visual Search

Despite being in its infancy, people are making more and more visual searches as time goes on. Tools like Google Lens and even Pinterest are booming. Why? Visual shopping simply makes sense. If you’re looking for a specific product and spot it on the SERP, you’re far more likely to to click on the image than keep trawling through text based results.

So how do you make sure your images appear on the SERP?

  • Add image alt text
  • Make sure the image appears front and center of the page
  • Update your images
  • Improve your domain authority (with E-A-T)

Search Intent

Understanding how your customers are searching is essential. They could be looking for information, advice or even a specific product. If you understand the intention behind their searches, you can tailor your content to appeal to what your users really want to know.

For example, let’s say that you sell strawberry milkshakes – your customers might make one of the following searches:

  • Buy strawberry milkshake online
  • Strawberry vs Vanilla milkshake

‘Buy strawberry milkshake online’ is a transactional search which suggests the user is at the bottom of the buying funnel and ready to make a purchase. If you’ve optimised your category and product pages well, they’ll find your website through these kinds of search results.

‘Strawberry vs Vanilla milkshake’ is a commercial investigation search which means the customer is at the top to middle of the buying funnel and has a decision to make. If you’ve written an article on this topic, they’ll arrive on your websites via this post and you can persuade them to buy your product.

For eCommerce, it’s important to make sure that you’re optimising category, product and blog content to appeal to both transactional and commercial investigation search intent from potential customers.

Video Content

Hand in hand with visual shopping, video is still booming. While at first video may sound like a distraction from content on your site, there are ways that you can capitalise on successful video content. Making sure that you provide a detailed transcript is an easy way to attract users that may not want to watch the video with sound or rely on YouTube subtitles (which aren’t always accurate!).

Hosting a transcript of the video on your website makes sure that keywords and search phrases are indexed to be served as written content as well as video – so you could end up on the SERP twice!

Key 2020 SEO Takeaways

  • Create content with E-A-T in mind to improve domain authority
  • Target featured snippets in your content strategy
  • Create unique metadata to improve CTR
  • Optimise images to attract visual shoppers
  • Write video transcripts to benefit from video content

Want to make sure that your business stays ahead of the curve in 2021? Get in touch with our SEO team at Visualsoft!