SEO is always touted as the bedrock of content marketing. Optimizing content and web pages for SEO in 2020 is quite the challenge. There are so many websites and content on nearly every topic out there. So what should a content creator do?
SEO: Why Should You Care?
SEO has evolved throughout the last two decades. As the internet has morphed, so has SEO. Today, applying it to capture more traffic for your niche is more important than ever.
12 Best SEO Tips for 2020
1. Complete Your Google My Business Profile
Google My Business is the best way you can get your business’ details out to your customers. It not only lists your business’ phone number, email, website, business hours, etc. but also your location. Hence, you’re searchable on google search and google maps. That way, if a potential customer is near you, they will be recommended your business among other results.
Claiming ownership of your Google My Business Profile can allow you to list the business under several categories. You can list your business is a Law Firm, a Restaurant, a grocery store, etc. This will help the search engine categorize you. That way, when people type your business into search, it will be served up as a result.
2. Use Long-Tail Keywords
Using long tail keywords is now accepted wisdom in the SEO community. If you want people to find your content, you need to comply with what they’re searching for. Hence, you need to put in long tail queries as keywords in your content. These can comply with either questions that they ask, or niches that they correspond to. For example, you can use “How to Fix Your Garbage Disposal” as a keyword. You can also use “Garbage Disposal Repair for Beginners” as a keyword. Both will open your content up to a lot of people that are searching for repair tips or manuals for garbage disposals.
Using long tail keywords instead of short tail keywords has several advantages. For one, it allows you to match queries that are listed on the internet much more closely. For another, it helps you match very specific niches that can’t be outlined in short keywords.
“Banking tips for Housewives in Houston” isn’t exactly a short tailed keyword. However, it may attract a lot of traffic due to its niche nature. So, remember that long tail keywords are the best way to go.
3. There are 3 Types of Search Intent
Remember that finding out what a searcher’s intent is, is very important. There are three major types of search intents:
- Navigational: When someone wants to find the URL to a specific website. This could be Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc.
- Informational: When someone wants very specific information about a topic. This could be how to fix a radio set or how to program in a specific language.
- Transactional: When someone wants to buy a product like a coffee maker or a smart speaker.
You need to understand these intents since they can influence which keywords you’re targeting. When you find out what the person is searching for, you can more easily cater to their needs for SEO in 2020.
4. Use the Right Tools for Keyword Research
You need to use the right keyword research tools to make it. For example, you can use Google’s autocomplete feature to find out what people are searching in certain niches. That’s a great place to start. However, in more niche categories you need to use other tools. You can use Google’s Keyword Planner for free as well.
Try using Keywords FX, or AnswerThePublic. The latter costs anywhere from $0 to $99 a month depending on the package you’re getting. These keyword tools give you very long tail keywords as well as rank them. They allow you to find out which categories of keywords you can use to get the most traffic. The tools they use can show you which keywords are the most popular and which are less competitive.
5. Choose Relevant Keywords for Each Page
You can’t use the same keywords for every single web page. You need to know that every webpage is for a different type of customer or consumer. Sure, different customers will visit different pages. However, you’re not just targeting visitors, you’re targeting potential customers. Hence, you need to direct people to the pages that they’re looking for.
At times, you may be designing a web page for a subset of a product or service. For this, you should find similar keywords to the core keyword that you’re using on the page. The best way to come up with related keywords is to use the autocomplete feature on the Google search page. You can also use the other keyword planners that are mentioned above for this endeavor.
6. Make Title Tags Exciting
The first thing that your visitors will see is the title tag of your website. It’s on the search results page and informs them of the webpage’s content. Make it so it piques their interest. This will make their first impression a lasting one. That first impression will determine whether someone will click on your web page or a competing one.
So go for outlandish titles if you want. However, go for ones that cater to a specific niche. Make sure that you’re appealing to exactly what the visitor needs. Follow these three cardinal rules for success in 2020 SEO:
Informative: Make sure the title summarizes exactly what the page is about. If it doesn’t it may result in the user bouncing from your site. This can lower the SEO ranking of your page and website.
Well Optimized: Your title should use the core keywords and should be at most 56 characters in length
Enticing: The title should get your reader excited and curious about the page and its content.
7. Make Your Meta Descriptions Informative
On the results page, the meta description also stares the visitor in the face. Make sure that it’s optimized to pique their interest. All the meta description does is give a more detailed description of what’s on the page. Make sure it does that and pushes the reader to click the title.
Don’t let the meta description be more than 150 characters long, otherwise it’ll be hidden partially by Google.
8. Place Keywords in Headings and Paragraphs
The best place to put keywords is in headings. You can use them in paragraphs as well, but headings really take the cake. This is because they’re highlighted and the search engines focus on them to find content first. If you use the keywords in the headings, you’ll get a faster, and more optimized 2020 SEO push.
9. Optimize Your Content for Humans, Not Just Search Engines
While it’s important to follow SEO tips, you have to remember that you’re writing for humans at the end of the day. Hence, don’t write for search engines. Write for humans. You can decorate and optimize the content for SEO, but it’ll be read by humans. So make sure that it’s readable, affable, informative, and appealing.
In essence, write for the consumer that you’re targeting. That way, when they come to your well optimized web page, they’ll get what they’re coming for.
10. Write Content for Featured Snippets
Remember that featured snippets are a new tool that Google uses to give specific answers to its users. This is where Google’s algorithms single out a paragraph or a heading to serve up an exact answer to its users.
You need to optimize your content for that. And the best way to do so is to give your content more structure. Make sure that each paragraph is short and deals with a specific subject. Make sure that it has a heading, or a sub-heading that directs Google to it.
Make sure that your sentences are short (20 words or less) and easily scannable. That way, they will be more readable.
All this will allot structure to your website and ensure that your content has a high SEO ranking.
11. Link to Other Sites to Improve Authority
If can find links to other sites that are authoritative that back up your post, link to them. That will only increase your authority by association.
12. Favor Long-Form Content
Today, long form content is favored over short form content, especially in terms of marketing. A study showed that content that is 2500-3000 words long attracts much more traffic than shorter blog posts. While you may not need to go that long, you should try for 1200 words or longer as a start. With long form content, you can provide users with a complete guide to a topic. Usually, users think that longer guides and blog posts are more reliable and authentic.
If you follow these tips you can improve traffic your blog or website manifold. Just remember to keep catering to your niche, and experimenting with content using these tips.