SEO Trends And Digital Marketing In 2020
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Forecasting The 2021 Digital Marketing Landscape

The landscape of SEO and online advertising has shifted based on the unforeseen challenges proposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw businesses and governments alike responding with a range of strategies to keep the public healthy and businesses afloat. Clients have dramatically adjusted their goals based on the new 2020 landscape. Particularly as consumers are avoiding physical stores, SEO has never been a more critical business tool to invest in.

But Firstly, What Is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the art of ranking high on a search engine without using paid advertising. Also known as an organic listing.

Professional digital marketers have throughout the year continued to maximize the sales for clients with SEO, even in such unprecedented times. We’ve compiled a list of what professionals have learned from the unpredictable 2020 trends, and how we can use these to forecast 2021 trends.

Update Your Online Presence

Regardless of your business goals, to maintain customers and attract new ones, you must enhance your online presence. Although SEO is a complicated topic to understand for the first time, there are some straightforward online strategies businesses can use to increase their ranks on search pages immediately, such as;

  • Make sure your website is mobile-friendly, as 51% of searches come for mobile. Mobile searches are expected to continue to increase every year.
  • Invest in producing video marketing content. As 62% of Gen Z and millennial consumers want visual search more than any other new technology.
  • Focus on local SEO strategies. For most small businesses, advertising should target clients that are geographically close to your business; this will immediately generate more conversions and promote higher organic traffic to your website. A simple way to achieve this is to market the suburb of your business, for example, “RGC is a Digital Marketing Agency in the Hills District.” However, it should be noted for large or online companies; it is more effective to implement a Metro or National SEO strategy to broaden the audience.

Organic Ranking Is Still The Most Effective Marketing Method

If you haven’t already realized, Google controls the internet, accounting for 75% of all global search traffic. As digital marketers, we aim to make client websites the most attractive option for Google so that potential customers will see their website at the top of the search results.

But how do websites get to the top of search results?

When a user searches, there are two forms of results: paid and organic. A paid result is practically an advertisement, where an owner has paid Google to relate their business to specific keywords. When the paid keywords are searched, their business is guaranteed to be at the top of the search page, should their advertising budget be effective.

On the other hand, organic results are not influenced by paid marketing. The organic order of websites is not random; instead, websites are ranked by Google according to how relatable the content is to the searched keywords. A website must prove to Google that its content is naturally the most relevant to particular search terms.

With the first five organic search results accounting for 68% of clicks, the competitive field is more challenging than ever. Owners need to be consistent and creative to fight for the top spots.

There are 2 common strategies businesses use to rank organically.

  1. Black Hat, which focuses on optimizing content for the search engine and does not consider how entertaining or informative content is for the reader. Ultimately, while this approach is a fast way to rank, your website will not last. Often this type of spammy content gets banned fast.
  2. White Hat focuses on targeting the human audience. As a more sustainable approach for optimizing, content must be unique, high quality, and consistent. It is helpful to include relevant links and references, well-labeled images, and complete sentences with correct spelling and grammar.

What Is Metadata Marketing?

Metadata should be a top priority service for all clients looking to rank high on search engines. Metadata is a frequently overlooked marketing tool, even though it is favored by Google’s ranking system and attracts potential customers.

Simply put, metadata is a small snippet of information that summarizes the content of a web page. This data is displayed below each link on a search page.

The meta snippet is designed to inform the searcher how that particular page is relevant to their needs. The metadata should persuade searchers to click through to the website and read more. Well written metadata that includes high searched keywords will rank higher on Google.

Google Will Reward High-Quality And Constant Content

The best way for a website to rank higher in search results is to post frequent and relevant content relating to the business. While this is difficult to predict, there are many professional SEO software tools which analyze current search trends. For example, SEM Rush and Moz generate specific lists of key terms which people are currently searching.

On-Page SEO

On-page SEO refers to the content that is directly on a website site, such as headlines, content, and images.

Professional blog writers aim to analyze industry trends for clients to produce quality articles which target popularly searched keywords. White Hat SEO is essential, as Google tends to push down websites which have poorly written text and websites that don’t create a pleasing User Experience.

Articles are a great way to facilitate a higher ranking on Google. Such blog posts not only engage consumers on industry and company news but also improves SEO rankings for organic searches, creating broader brand awareness and brand engagement.

Not only is new content favored by Google, updating your old blog posts with fresh content and images can increase organic traffic by as much as 106%.

Off-Page SEO 

Off-page SEO refers to the activity that drives traffic to your website from other websites. This includes social media accounts, guest blogging, link building, and any other content sharing of images, videos, and articles to third-party websites.

Quality backlinks from authoritative sites are the main focus here, as Google’s algorithm favors websites with many backlinks. Have a thriving Instagram page and Google will reward your website by pushing your website higher up the ranks. Websites without backlinks are 91% more likely never to get any organic traffic from Google.

What Will Google Rank In 2021?

Although the Google search algorithms use over 200 factors to rank websites, there is no way to know precisely how content ranks. However, there are a few key strategies that rank high on Google search pages in 2020, which the industry expects will remain the same for the near future.

  • Target long-tail search phrases. Long-tail keyword searches have a click rate of 3% to 5% higher than generic searches.
  • Target "where to buy" and "near me" keywords. As mobile queries have grown by over 200% in the past two years, consumers are conducting local searches more often.
  • Optimize for voice search. Start targeting language used in questions such as what, how, when, and so on.
  • Include video content on your website. As mentioned, people are most likely to consume content when it is in a short-form video.
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