It’s 2020! And search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing have been around for over two decades now. To date, more than 1.5 billion websites have been created. Sorry, that’s One Point Five Billion! Of course, this is not to say that they are all active or even indexable by search engines; however, we, as an SEO agency, believe it is a number worth mentioning — it has to be far more than what was imagined when the internet was first created all those years ago, right?
Since everyone and their aunty has a website of sorts, to obtain a greater understanding of SEO in this climate is to have more than just your foot-in-the-door. You see, the reality is that without optimising your content, your site has almost no way of ranking — what this means is that, other than by means of a direct link, your website will not be found organically or by a general “Google” search. At this point in the expanse of the internet, high-quality SEO content is an absolute must.
“Okay, but what is SEO exactly? Like, how does it work? And what will having an optimised site mean for my business in 2020?”
First thing’s first — in short, SEO is the acronym for “Search Engine Optimisation”. First coined in 1997, SEO is the practice of ordering and crafting a website’s content to ensure it performs well and receives the desired level of traffic through a high ranking on the search engine results page (SERP). SEO specialists and agencies have developed countless tips, tricks, and strategies to help their clients cut their way through the clutter, but we will discuss these at a later stage.
How it works; well, for search engines like Google and Bing, etc., there are three primary parts in the process. Bear in mind that the process is only complete when all three parts are complete.
Using simple bots, search engines scour the full extent of the world-wide-web, search through content, keywords, hyperlinks, headlines, images and any other data that can be found on a website. Crawling takes place often to keep data up-to-date. Indexing is the objective here.
A website’s data is indexed once crawling is complete. The process of indexing takes the data and files it away. Each search engine has its own neatly filed library of data. Every time a website is updated, it has to be re-crawled and indexed before these changes go live.
C. Generating Results
Also known as ranking, the generation of results is important to both developers and internet users, but for different reasons. The Search Engine Results Page (SERP) can become the obsession of the developer as the higher a client’s ranking on these pages is, the better the performance of their site. This is also the ultimate test to prove the effectiveness of a developer. To the consumer, the ranking of specific, individual websites is not as important as having access to sites with the right information that fulfils the request.
There are a couple of known factors that impact the ranking of a site; these include things like keywords and quality content, links and backlinks, and the speed of the website.
“So what does SEO mean for my business in 2020, then?”
According to those ‘in-the-know’, there are a variety of trends we should be concerned with this year. And these are our top three.
1. Content. Content. And we repeat, Content!
In today’s saturated and already overwhelming world of media, consumers do not want the headache of wasting their time reading through sites that are not well structured or ones that are heavy with meaningless content. High-quality, efficiently optimised content will get you further quicker — not only in the regard of consumer engagement but also in terms of your ranking in the relevant search engines.
2. Build Your Links to Build Your Brand.
While SEO strategists now have the responsibility of building links that drive traffic and creating media placements that will push the brand forward, content writers are the small-scale modern-day journalists and as such absolutely have to consider the climate of their client’s industry. Seasons and calendar dates can act as sufficient guides for content planning.
Consumers want to be able to trust a brand before they interact with it. Trust is essential as it builds loyalty. And who better to prove that you should trust a brand than Google. If your website is well-built and well-linked, it will be better received by Google’s algorithm. Consumer trust also means a higher chance of your content being shared.
3. And Finally, Being Mobile-Friendly is a Must.
Like it or not, that digital spigot that is the smartphone is here to stay. With an app for everything, smartphones are the one item that the majority of the western world’s population cannot leave their house without, so why not make use of what is already at your consumers’ fingertips?
Countless SEO strategies have been crafted and fine-tuned in this age of the internet, and every SEO specialist will tell you to do what has worked for them. For us at The Agency, it will never be a one-size-fits-all affair. When working with a client, old or new, we take care to research and develop a strategy best-suited to the brand —one that will allow it to stand head and shoulders above its competitors.