Image of wooden blocks with letters on them spelling out SEO 2020.

7 Crucial SEO Trends in 2020 for Small Businesses to Follow

Dominate Search Results by Optimizing for These SEO Trends in 2020!

How is your company’s website performing on Google? Are you satisfied with the analytics results you’re getting lately?

We hope your site is getting you the results you desire. But here’s the thing: Even if you’re performing well, you shouldn’t get too comfortable.

We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but SEO trends are changing so quickly these days that search engine success can come and go in the blink of an eye.

The good news is we at Frontier are here to help you keep your eyes open!

We have our fingers on the pulse of the latest SEO trends. And we want to share them with you so that your business can stay competitive.

So, without further ado, here are seven SEO trends in 2020 you should know about.

1. Voice Search SEO is All the Rage

Do you use voice search? If you’re like many web searchers out there, then surfing the net with your voice has become your primary modus operandi.

In fact, experts estimate that nearly half of all online searches will be voice-based by the end of next year!

It’s no wonder why this type of searching is popular since it’s much more convenient than having to type out your query.

However, while voice search is super convenient for web surfers, it also makes things a lot more difficult when it comes to SEO. This is because voice search severely limits the search results that get web surfers’ attention. Let us explain.

How Voice Search Works

If you’ve done a voice search on Google, then you’ve probably noticed that Google typically only highlights one answer. This answer will display prominently in a white box on the search results page. This is also the answer the disembodied voice of your Google Assistant will read to you.

We call this answer the featured snippet. It’s a bit of information that Google pulls from a site to answer a search query.

And here’s the thing about a featured snippet: the info it features isn’t always from the top search engine result for that query. Google instead looks for a site featuring content that would be best suited for the featured snippet box.

And the featured snippet is where you want to be because most voice searchers don’t bother checking any other search results. And why would they? After all, the fact that they’re voice searching indicates they’re in a hurry. And when an answer shows up front and center on Google, you better believe they’re going to take that answer and run!

Bottom line: If you want your content to get people’s attention, you need to optimize it for the featured snippet.

But how do you do that? Let’s take a look!

How to Optimize for the Featured Snippet

To optimize for the featured snippet, you need to follow a few key voice search SEO best practices:

  • Use long-tail keywords (after all, people search using long phrases, not short terms).
  • Concisely answer the questions your searchers are asking in your content. (Make sure your headings ask the questions and your body text answers them).
  • Optimize old content for the best practices listed above.
Image of a Google search engine results page with a featured snippet.
The featured snippet is the white box that shows up at the top of search results pages like this one.

2. Mobile Optimization is So Hot Right Now

This second SEO trend in 2020 is nothing new. We have recommended mobile optimization in the past. However, now as mobile browsing has totally eclipsed desktop browsing, we would go so far as to call it a requirement.

Of course, we realize that mobile optimizing your website may sound like a foreign concept. That’s why we’ve taken the time to break it down into three key steps:

Use a Responsive Template

One of the most important aspects of website design these days is responsiveness. Because people are now searching the web on a variety of different screens, a website needs to be able to adapt to all of them.

Therefore, when you design your website, you need to make sure that the template you’re using will make your site show up well on mobile devices and tablets as well as the standard desktop view. A professional web designer can help you pick the right responsive template for your site.

Keep Content Skimmable

People don’t want to wade through long paragraphs on a small screen. So, don’t make them do that on your site. Instead, be sure that you break up any large paragraphs of content and add in plenty of headings, bolding, and bulleted lists to help ease their reading experience!

Make Sure Your Images, Buttons, and Videos Look Good

Keep in mind that your site will appear smaller on mobile devices. So, if you have a lot of small photos, buttons, and videos on your site, they may not translate well to mobile.

To keep this from happening, make sure to check the appearance of your media on different devices. And if something doesn’t look right, bring it to the attention of your web designer so that they can help you find a better format.

3. Your Brand Needs to Shine Everywhere

When it comes to maintaining your brand online, you shouldn’t settle for anything less than excellence everywhere. This principle holds true now more than ever as people are finding businesses on many different online platforms.

People will search for your business on a variety of different sites, such as Facebook, Yelp, and YouTube. And if they do not like what they see or they see conflicting information in different spots, you could lose them.

Don’t let this happen to you! Instead, follow these best practices to keep your brand shining all over the web:

  • Create profiles on as many platforms as you have time to optimize.
  • Make sure the fonts, logos, and graphics you use are consistent across platforms.
  • Double check your business information, such as hours and contact info, to make sure it’s the same on all platforms.
  • Monitor user behavior on all platforms to get out in front of any negative comments or reviews that may show up.

4. Get Influencers to Praise Your Style

There’s a lot of information on the Internet, and unfortunately a lot of it is false. And fake news has been an especially popular topic lately. So, people have a natural skepticism when it comes to researching companies.

For this reason, your company’s word will only go so far when promoting your business.

To really win people over you need trusted authorities to vouch for your products and services as well. This is what we in the business call influencer marketing.

So, how do you get influencers to promote your business? Here are a few steps to get you started:

  • Research popular influencers in your field (e.g. bloggers, YouTubers, or Instagramers).
  • Reach out and ask them to partner with your company to promote your product.
  • If an influencer promotes your product, make sure they link back to your website.

Getting backlinks from popular online influencers is a great way to improve your SEO. After all, the Google algorithm loves authoritative backlinks. So, go for it!

A young woman sits in front of a video camera.
Popular online personalities can help you improve your SEO by promoting your business.

5. Videos Make Your Business Pop

One thing is for sure: 2020 will be a big year for online video consumption. The average person spent over an hour a day watching online video in 2018. And that number will only continue to rise.

It stands to reason that if potential customers are already watching a ton of video, then that’s a medium your business will want to take advantage of!

The nice thing about videos is they don’t have to be complicated. Making a video for your business could be as simple as recording a 3-4-minute tip on a popular topic in your industry. And once you have that quality piece of content, you’ll want to share it on YouTube and social media.

Just make sure you optimize your videos with the following best practices:

  • Include keywords in title and video description.
  • Create a thumbnail for the video with images and text.
  • Try to hook your viewers’ attention within the first five seconds of the video.
  • Include a clear call to action (e.g. ask them to subscribe to your channel).

6. A Secure and Speedy Site is an Attractive Site

Can you believe the Internet has been around for over 30 years? We have certainly come a long way from the simplistic days of the early web.

And as the Internet has become more sophisticated, so have the tastes of its users. Therefore, when it comes to SEO trends in 2020, companies need to hold their websites to a high standard.

Two important aspects of that standard are security and page speed. We will discuss why each of these are important below.

The Importance of Security

Have you secured your website yet? If not, then you are not leaving a favorable impression on visitors.

Up until last year, websites could get away with being unsecure without much of a stigma. But in July 2018 Google started marking non-HTTPS websites as unsecure in the URL bar on Google Chrome. This scarlet letter of sorts does not cast businesses with unsecure websites in a favorable light.

So, if you still have an unsecure website, you are definitely going to want to migrate to HTTPS right away. While the HTTPS migration process is lengthy, an expert web designer should be able to help you do it no problem.

Image of a URL bar on a computer screen with a secure HTTPS URL
By migrating to HTTPS, you will give website visitors a much more favorable impression of your site.

The Importance of Speed

Another factor that could be driving away visitors to your website is slow page speeds. Your pages need to load in under five seconds. Any length of time above that will test your visitors’ patience.

If you are having issues with slow page speeds, there are many things you can do to rectify the problem. For example, you could reduce the file sizes of your images and eliminate page redirects. To learn more about this, we would recommend Moz’s guide on the topic.

7. Organize Your Content with Pillar Pages and Topic Clusters

As search algorithms become more complex in 2020, getting people to visit your website won’t cut it. It’s not enough to get a lot of people through the door of your site. You also want them to stick around a while and take their shoes off.

If you’re not showing your visitors a good time, then chances are they’re heading right back out the door too quickly for Google’s liking. There are two key reasons why this might be happening: 1) the content is too shallow and 2) the site is confusingly organized.

You can fix these problems by investing in a more organized content strategy with pillar pages and topic clusters.

Pillar pages and topic clusters allow you to organize your content in a simple and user-friendly manner. Pillar pages are long, robust pieces of content about a central topic. The pillars should link to all the blogs you’ve written about different aspects of the topic. This forms a topic cluster around the central pillar.

By forming this orderly link structure between robust pillars and valuable blogs, you will help your user have a more enjoyable experience on your site. As a result, they will stick around longer and signal to Google that your site is worth ranking highly. We call that a win-win!

Ready to Dominate the SEO Trends in 2020?

We hope this post has helped you understand the future of SEO. Voice search, mobile optimization, and influencers are all hugely important trends to be aware of. But don’t put off optimizing your website for them! The Internet is a fast and highly competitive place, after all!

If you need help upping your SEO style, please give us a call or message us on Facebook. We’d be happy to help! Or if you want to stay up to date on more of the latest marketing news, subscribe to our email newsletter. We’ll keep you in the loop on all the latest trends!

Good luck with your SEO game, and here’s to a great 2020!