SEO in 2020 – How to rank higher in local searches.

What’s new in SEO for 2020

Search engine optimization will always be front of mind for website managers. Even though there is a shift towards a greater emphasis on content creation and schema markup, 2020 will be the year that webmasters shift towards SEO for voice command, schema for rich snippets, local search queries, and featured data by Google, and less focus on link building.

Will Google provide enough traffic, or keep it for itself?

Google is moving more and more towards providing answers to people’s questions right on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page), without users even clicking through to the site. That means that all of your content is fair game. It doesn’t matter if you get the traffic, as long as Google can keep the user on the SERP pages, then it potentially increases CPC click through rates.

Featured Snippet of how to do SEO and Google lists
Example of Featured Snippet

Featured snippets, FAQ’s, Recipe’s, Sports Scores, and many other types of search queries that provide the information for the user without clicking through. This may be good for the user, but it’s problematic for the website manager. Yes, some traffic may still click through to the website and some users may still see your content, but how many?

How do you get website traffic in this scenario?

The best thing you can do is…. if you can’t beat them, join them. It is critical in 2020 to master markup and provide search engines with the data they want. You must be focused on engineering content for the user and in the format that search engines can serve it to them. So if users want a short list… then create content in a short list format. You can always expand on the short list with more descriptive text and definitions.

Feed the machine, and the machine will feed you. If Google makes its billions through advertising channels like PPC and YouTube video ads, then make content for the search engines and YouTube and you can’t go wrong.

What about link building?

Links and link building will always be a ranking factor. I believe in 2020 as Google shifts from link ranked websites to brand and EAT (Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness) ranked websites that link building and link juice will become less important than other factors. Google has known for some time that link building schemes such as PBN’s and expired domain redirects can be manipulated by advanced SEO managers, however major trusted brands that have lasted for some time, have more authority and recognition.

How do I do SEO in 2020?

In 2020 you must take a multi-faceted approach to SEO and brand building. Think of all points where trust and brand interaction happens across the internet. If you have a company and do not have a presence on major social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and GlassDoor, then you might be seen as a new brand or lacking trust and authority.

It is more important than ever to establish a presence across multiple platforms and provide interactivity on a regular basis. This means posting more frequently, posting across multiple platforms, sharing new content across social media such as links to blog posts, videos, and new products. Just as local business listing citations created corroborated information, the same must be true from a brand perspective.

How to rank higher in local searches?

Image of Featured Snippet with people also ask section on Google
Google Featured Snippet and People Also Ask Example

Although local SEO is not new, the amount of emphasis that Google is putting on GEO location and proximity searches is increasing. I believe Google recognizes that most humans live, work, shop and play within several miles of their home location. This means that more and more of the users’ relevant searches will be GEO specific or proximity based. In 2020 you will see a continued shift towards voice search as well as local modifiers like “Best Mexican Restaurant Near Me”. Including voice search queries in on page content and titles including GEO modifiers will help rank for local searches.

Local search ranking factors

  • Local citations are consistent
  • Google My Business Listing Optimized
  • Link Signals
  • Review quantity, velocity and diversity
  • On page signals (NAP, keywords, domain authority)
  • Behavioral Signals
  • Social Signals
  • Local Structured Data

To summarize, it’s critical to provide trust and authority in content. This means unique new and relevant content that users are looking for. A combination of local SEO for local business locations as well as brand awareness activities such as social media content generation and consumer interaction such as likes, shares, views and reviews will increase Google’s trust in your brand and increase ranking over time.

Read More – What’s new for SEO in 2020 by Backlinko

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