Search engine optimization is a digital marketing tactic that can be both confusing and rewarding, so we’re here to help you out. We’ve come up with a list of SEO strategies to keep, as well as methods to discontinue in the new year if you’re looking to market your business better than ever before.
Five SEO Methods to Abandon in 2020
These five SEO approaches will not be accepted in 2020 and might even lead to penalization by search engines like Google. Toss these strategies aside next year and focus on the methods that will make your business rank higher than ever.
1. Not Researching User Intent
If you’re not researching user intent, you’re missing potential leads! People don’t type in keywords – they type in questions and phrases. Those inquires and sayings may or may not be typed correctly, so that’s an important aspect of user intent to consider for SEO.
Businesses with advanced SEO knowledge always look at user intent and follow up with longtail keywords. These words are more specific to the user’s search as opposed to general keywords that don’t correspond to any clear search intent.
2. Link Spamming
Building links is an important part of SEO, but problems arise when you use too many. If you get a lot of links or domains that direct traffic to your website, but then the traffic bounces, you’re hurting your site.
To keep your site from looking like spam to users and search engines, refrain from buying links, making link farms or making phony websites that link back to your webpages.
3. Not Optimizing for Mobile
You can’t leave a website unoptimized in 2020. More than five billion people own a mobile device, so it’s safe to say that people will likely access your business’ site from their smartphone or other portable tech device.
Keep a frustrating interaction from happening by making your webpages responsive. No one wants to zoom and scroll if they can keep from it, so companies that neglect optimizing their website for mobile could be setting themselves up for penalization from search engines.
To ensure your site is optimized for mobile, you must test on multiple devices. As tech is innovated over time, there are more and more gadgets in which to ensure your content is accessible and optimized on. Don’t forget both iOS and Android devices!
4. Keyword Stuffing
When you add a lot of keywords to a page just it will rank on search engines, you could end up penalized. It's considered a black hat SEO tactic that could have a negative effect on your SEO, which is exactly what you're trying to avoid.
Keep your page content simple and well-structured. Decide on a topic or goal for a webpage, then figure out the keywords that are related to the topic. Use that keyword in the title and metadata, as well as in an H1.
5. Neglecting Duplicate URLs
Duplicate content is frowned upon in the digital marketing world. Google won’t know what the source of the content is and might decide not to index either page because of it. So, your page could begin to compete with the other webpage the content is found on.
Make your website easy to crawl by using permanent (301) redirects. Never use temporary (302) redirects in place of them because 302 redirects are temporary and do not pass on the benefits of an old URL to a new page.
Five SEO Strategies to Keep in 2020
Whether you’re looking for ways to improve your current SEO strategy or are looking to begin optimizing your content for search engines, keep these five SEO tactics in mind in 2020.
1. Content and SEO
People go on search engines with a purpose. Whether they’re looking for an answer or trying to solve a problem for others, content provides an opportunity for you to create valuable search engine results that users will click on. There’s always a question that needs answered and Google pulls up a million answers at a time, so make yours the content internet users want.
Additionally, you should always stick to quality over quantity. When you write with a purpose, you create value for readers who are looking for solutions to their problems. If you create subpar content, it will likely turn people’s attention away from you and onto your competition.
Content marketing is key along with consistent strategy, too. People are expectant, so when content isn’t delivered, it can reflect poorly on your business. Sticking to a content calendar is one way to organize the material you’ve come up with. We recommend planning your content out a month or two in advance, so you’re always ahead of the game.
2. Link Building and Website Architecture
Building up your domain’s reputation is important, especially when your website is young. While you’re in the process of building links, you can improve your site’s architecture by linking your own pages together. Doing this makes your website flow more naturally for users, as well as offers visitors related content they might find useful. Techniques such as SEO siloing are very helpful for ranking on search engines.
Some ways to strengthen your domain by link building include:
- Guest posting
- Integrating yourself into a blogger network for outreach within your niche or specialization
- Exchanging backlinks
- Contacting people within your industry with articles and web content that could link back to your site as a reference
- Researching your competitors’ backlinks
- Figuring out which links your competitors use and implement them on your own site
3. Keyword Research
Keyword research is still the cornerstone of many effective SEO strategies, but the landscape and methods for doing so change year after year. Researching keywords isn’t just about finding a good list of words that relate to your content – it’s also about understanding search intent, related phrases, and topics you can cover.
Let keywords guide you and use them to optimize your metadata, page titles, and headers. By doing this, you drive targeted web traffic to your site where people can learn more about your business and, ultimately, complete the marketing funnel.
4. Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing gives you complete control over your brand’s exposure to search engines.
Unfortunately, some marketing platforms can be pricy – we're looking at you, Google and LinkedIn – but, that doesn’t mean they’re not assets you should consider marketing on.
A promising way to see if your pages will rank, or if your search terms are well-implemented, is to use them in your digital advertisements. You’ll begin to realize whether the terms you’re using are helpful or harmful to your SEO strategy because you have far more control over where and when these ads will show. Plus, you can test the relevance of your phrase or keywords for your users.
5. Social Media
This type of digital marketing is used by businesses throughout the world, but not everyone who runs an organization’s business page understands how to run it.
There’s no known formula for social media success, whether you’re looking to increase followers, clicks, or engagement. That said, referral traffic can help boost a site’s presence on search engines like Google. The traffic can help it rank in its early days, and hopefully encouraging sales.
Profiles can and do show up on search engine rankings, so making sure to keep up with your business profile is important for your SEO strategy. Keep pertinent business information up to date, such as your contact info and location, so those who come across your social media profile can immediately get in touch with you to discuss business.
Strengthen Your SEO Strategy in 2020
Our SEO analysts and digital marketing team members can optimize your content. As experienced professionals, we’re dedicated to getting your business noticed on the web and across various social channels. To chat with us about your digital marketing needs for the new year, visit us online to request your free digital marketing consultation with our pros.