How is search engine optimization developing this year? Some innovations from last year have led to factors such as mobile optimization becoming increasingly important. However, not all important ranking factors are new in 2020, because evergreens such as content and backlinks will remain under the most important criteria. This article explains which ranking factors should be prioritized in your own SEO strategy in order to achieve top rankings in the coming year.
Content is and remains one of the most important levers for the success of a website. Only those who offer high-quality and relevant content can lure users to their site. However, such content alone is no longer sufficient to achieve a high search engine ranking. Today content has to be well structured and easy to consume, because Google now also evaluates the readability of texts. For this reason, content should be structured by headings and enumerations and appropriately prepared with pictures and videos. The easier the content is to grasp, the longer users stay on a website. Since the length of stay is an important ranking factor, this in turn has a positive effect on the placement in the search results.
Anyone who wants to create relevant content must also understand the search intentions of the users and provide them with exactly what they are looking for. It can also be helpful to look at the current SERPs. What types of content are there (texts, videos, tables?) And are there any gaps in the content that can be filled with your own content?
In 2019, holistic content is still in demand. This means that a website should ideally cover a complete topic field in a structured manner in order to build authority with the domain for this topic area.
Basically, however, the following applies: less is more! It makes more sense to invest in high-quality and unique premium content instead of only publishing moderately good content at regular intervals.
The behavior of users is becoming increasingly important for Google's assessment of the relevance of a website. Especially with the introduction of the Rank Brain algorithm in 2015, user signals have become significantly more important as a ranking factor. Google's Rank Brain is based on artificial intelligence and analyzes user signals to understand the extent to which a page is relevant to users. For example, it considers how long users are on a website (length of stay) and how often a search result is clicked in the SERPs compared to other websites (CTR).
It is therefore becoming increasingly important to offer visitors to a website an optimal user experience in order to improve these signals and thus also their own ranking. The behavior of users can be influenced, for example, by the following factors:
optimized page title and meta description that makes you click
Introduction that makes users curious and motivates them to continue reading
Relevant, comprehensive and in-depth content that is clearly structured and meaningfully structured and thus increases the length of stay
appealing layout and design of the website
meaningful interaction possibilities
Focus on the needs of the users (what do visitors really want and with what expectations do they get to a website?)
Most of the search queries from users are now made via mobile devices instead of desktop PCs - in Germany the proportion is around 60%. In order to meet the associated changing user requirements, Google started mobile-first indexing in 2018. This means that Google first crawls the mobile version of a website and also uses it as the basis for indexing. This has various consequences for website operators:
Mobile optimization becomes an indispensable basic requirement for a high search engine ranking. There are various options available for this, but Google recommends optimizing using responsive design.
The mobile version of a website must always be accessible.
Important content should also be largely available on the mobile version and easy to consume.
It should be checked whether the internal linking has also been correctly implemented on the mobile version. For example, internal links should not point to the desktop version.
Structured data must also be correctly implemented on the mobile version.
The page loading speed is even more important for the mobile area than for the desktop, because the speed of the Internet connection of mobile users is often limited. Mobile speed optimization is part of