2020 isn’t just a new year. It’s also a new decade. And that means it’s time to look at what the year ahead of us will bring. Google has recently released a new update to its algorithm that will affect SEO in 2020, but there are other trends that you should keep an eye on this coming year.
UX-Friendly SEO and Google’s BERT
Google’s BERT update was released in 2019 and is the latest of Google’s refinements to its search algorithm. This update will help Google understand better exactly what people are searching for. Prior to the update, some Google searches produced results that weren’t necessarily exactly what the user was looking for, even if they were related to the question asked or keywords used. BERT will help Google better understand words like “to” that change the meaning of a search.
For companies, what this means is that your content will need to be even more user-friendly than ever before. With BERT, Google aims to understand not just what users type but their intent in It’s not enough anymore to have your titles and headers in question format to match what users might be searching. It’s essential now more than ever before that the content is focused fully on the customer and what they are looking for as well as their intent in making their search.
The best way to make your content UX-friendly for BERT is to make sure that it’s very high-quality content. Google’s goal since its first updates has been to make Internet searching about the users and the quality of their experience the best possible. In the beginning, SEO was all about gaming the search engines, which made for poor user experience. Google pays attention to users’ actions and if you have a high bounce rate because your content isn’t what users are looking for, then Google will decrease your rankings for a specific search.
Users want quality content. That’s what will bring them to your site and what will keep them there. It’s also what will get users to share your content with others.
The need to optimize for mobile isn’t new. However, it’s even more important in 2020 than it has been in previous years. Mobile usage has only increased. Google now indexes the mobile version of websites first, so optimizing for mobile is even more important now than it has been in previous years. If your website is optimized for mobile, that will benefit your rankings on both mobile devices and computers. However, if your site isn’t optimized for use on mobile devices, then that could harm your rankings across the board.
A lot of searches result in zero clicks at all. These are searches for things that Google provides the answer for in the SERP (search engine results page), such as a company’s address, contact information, and hours. Because the information is already right there on the results page, users don’t actually click on your website. They already have what they need.
Because Google’s RankBrain is smart enough to provide this kind of information on its own, it’s a waste of your time to focus on keywords that rank for these searches. In your keyword research, it’s important to determine which keywords will actually bring in clicks. It’s not worth your time to earn the top ranking for your business’ address when users won’t click on your site anyway. Find the keywords that will bring in the visitors and focus on those.