It’s that time of year, B2B marketers. We’re tying up loose ends. We’re reflecting on a year’s worth of wins, opportunities, and change. And we’re working hard to finalize next year’s marketing plans and budgets so we can hit the ground running after the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Day.
2019 was a wild year for search, keeping SEOs and marketers on their toes. Multiple mobile-first indexing updates were implemented by Google. New best practices were released for structured data. Automated podcast transcription and playability within Google SERPs became a reality. And the list goes on.
As we say goodbye to another year and decade of massive changes, we asked our SEO-savvy friends to join us in sharing trends to watch and predictions for what 2020 will bring to the world of search. What topped the list?
From voice search and IoT to intent research and structured data—it’s clear that the future of search is more user-focused than ever before: Providing the best answer, in the bestformat, wherever and whenever a query is made.
TopRank’s Take: SEO in 2020
Competition for organic search visibility will continue to grow and be a focus for marketers in 2020. But while smart and balanced on-page SEO tactics will remain a must, as content continues to proliferate and search engine algorithms advance, expansion, integration, and creating better experiences will be critical ingredients for success.
#1 – A Focus on Credible Content to Create Best-Answer Experiences
Content optimization for improved search visibility is no longer enough. Not for Google, not for brands and certainly not for buyers looking for the best answer to their questions. Content in 2020 must be more than relevant and helpful. It needs to be credible and serve as part of an experience that differentiates those brands that deserve top visibility and those that lag.
To do that, marketers will need to elevate their skills at optimizing content for findability, credibility, and experience. When marketers see more strategically how SEO can integrate with content marketing and influencer marketing to create a better customer experience, everybody wins.Content in 2020 must be more than relevant and helpful. It needs to be credible and serve as part of an experience that differentiates those brands that deserve top visibility and those that lag. @leeodden CLICK TO TWEET
#2 – Brands Go Off-Page to Build Awareness and Authority
We see competition for organic visibility growing fiercer. While smart and balanced on-page SEO tactics will remain a must, as content continues to proliferate and search engine algorithms advance, expansion and integration will be critical.
What does this mean? Creating high-quality content that’s optimized for the modern searcher (and algorithms) is the minimum. But with brand building and demand generation— especially for the growing portfolio of B2B tech brands, being paramount—I predict SEO will become more ingrained in B2B brand building initiatives. More specifically, I predict we’ll see a rise in brands leveraging off-page factors to increase brand awareness and build authority, with link building—especially around unlinked brand mentions—becoming a pivotal focus area.I predict SEO will become more ingrained in brand building initiatives. More specifically, I predict we’ll see a rise in brands leveraging off-page factors to increase brand awareness and build authority. @Tiffani_Allen CLICK TO TWEET
Experts’ Top SEO Predictions and Trends to Watch in 2020
#3 – Delivering Anytime, Anywhere Thanks to Voice Search and IoT Devices
I’m still gung-ho about voice search. It is super exciting to see the advancements there—alsothe smart displays for voice assistants, that is going to be a lot of fun. Looking back at how much easier it is to do voice queries now, and how my kids even do it, it’s becoming so natural for people. We are on the verge of this really exploding and it’s grown so much, so fast already.
I’m also watching the growth of search with embedded devices, not just from voice appliances and smart displays, but even more: in your cars, refrigerators, ovens, your clock or speakers, etc. Heck, integrating all of that with your light switches and internet of things (IoT) devices, it’s super exciting to watch.
We also have video features in YouTube and beyond, audio features with podcasts, and even image features with 3D and augmented reality (AR) images. There’s also Bing’s move to get publishers to push content and to see if Google will expand their indexing API.
In summary, search has come so far in understanding natural queries via voice. In 2020, we’ll be able to show search results anywhere and anytime—and I’m looking forward to that.