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Natural referencingSEO
24 January 2020 - Reading time: 9 minutes

SEO trends of 2020

Habefast Blog Trends Seo 2020

Getting top positions on Google has become an important issue within companies to be seen (rather than your competitors) by Internet users searching for your service or product. In continuity with 2019, Internet users are increasingly attracted by quality and engaging content. The multiplication of data obliges companies to develop a real SEO strategy in order to be ahead of the competition’s websites. At the same time, Google is improving its algorithms day by day so that it no longer becomes a search engine but an answer engine while implementing new proactive search analyses. The Internet user therefore no longer has to ask questions, the answer has directly indicated to him thanks to studies on his search history and his areas of interest. Internet users and algorithms advocate transparency, expertise and, above all, content reliability.
Time savings, convenience and technological developments are benefiting multimedia content, especially videos and podcasts, which are increasingly popular with Internet users.

Continuity of trends 2019

Content marketing

Content marketing will continue to be a mainstay for 2020, particularly in terms of video content creation, which is one of the factors for successful natural referencing.

As in 2019, the insertion of keywords and the proposal of relevant content will be essential for natural referencing. Nevertheless, some keywords are very competitive, so it is necessary to implement a long tail strategy in order to place you on longer queries and significantly increase the visibility of your pages on search engines. The long tail strategy consists in using the same semantic field as the main keyword but with a higher number of words, generally more than 4 words. For example, instead of using competitive queries such as “natural referencing”, you can use queries such as “how to make your site known”. Even if each query is rare, you can get significant traffic from several specific searches. In addition, the creation of content such as studies, surveys, polls, etc., can bring a very high visibility provided that they are reliable, complete and easily understandable.

Google’s algorithms also take into account content classified by theme and which concern specialized subjects.
Beyond keywords, categorizing your articles, gathering your content around a theme or sub-theme will allow a better understanding of your site, which is highly rewarded by Google, in addition to having a very neat HTML markup.

The mobile first

According to Google, 4 billion smartphones in the world generate 50% of global traffic and this trend will intensify in 2020. This is why Google has decided to implement the “Mobile First Index”. This means that Google will analyze your website, no longer based on the desktop version but mainly on the mobile version. It is then essential to develop your website so that it is optimized for the mobile, in terms of responsiveness and especially in terms of loading speed. Unsuitable content, missing text or pages that are slow to load will be penalized by Google. Some people also advise to develop a website first in mobile version and then to develop a desktop version.

Images and videos

Internet users conduct more visual searches than before, particularly by searching on Google Image. Google claims that images searches via a mobile device increased by 60% between 2016 and 2018. As for Pinterest, the social network has 600 million image searches per month. To gain visibility, rely on the SEO of your images, including descriptive naming and alternative text. Google has also added to its criteria the positioning of the image in your pages, the date of publication and whether your site is relevant to the request and the theme. Google will reward sites whose images will be positioned in the center or even at the top of the pages. The more recent these pages will be, the more natural referencing will be efficient. A study of the content and relevance will also be conducted. For example, if an Internet user makes a request in Google Image for DIY shelves, the first images that will appear will come from a site related to DIY projects.

According to a study conducted by Cisco, video will represent 82% of global online traffic by 2021, so integrating it into an organic traffic acquisition strategy is essential for the years to come. YouTube ranks as the 2nd most popular search engine and its success is growing every day, so it is essential to publish content on this platform and optimize it. At the same time, 55% of Google search results contain at least one video, called “Video Features Snippets”, these same videos are mainly from YouTube. Several other criteria should be taken into account, including the organization of your video content into discrete sections, to make it easier for Google to read it, which will encourage it to appear in the results. In addition, optimizing the SEO of your video is essential and will be done by inserting relevant keywords in the title, description and tags of the video. A HubSpot study conducted on 165 Video Features Snippets showed that 80% of them contained a keyword in the title. In order to make it easier for Google to read your content, it is important to include subtitles in your videos.

Backlinks

Backlinks were already important in 2019 and will also be the case in 2020. The backlink corresponds to a link on a website that redirects to yours, it can create both traffic but also popularity to your site, especially when the site on which your link appears, offers relevant and quality content. Because of its relevance and the popularity that your site will have gained, your natural referencing will be highly optimized. Several methods can be implemented to generate effective backlinks, starting with the integration of a link to your site on all your social networks (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube …). On the other hand, your content must encourage sharing in order to take advantage of virality and develop your notoriety. Another method exists, that of guest blogging, which consists in sharing articles written by experts on your blog. This Win Win net linking strategy allows you to offer quality content to your visitors while integrating a link to the expert’s site, which will do the same in return. Another strategy, more often used, is to register your website in directories, however you must ensure that these directories are of quality. Some studies show that this strategy only works if your site is listed on at least 10 quality directories.

Emerging trends in 2020

Zero clicks

Among Google’s most important updates is the implementation of the BERT algorithm, which stands for “Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers” and is designed to better respond to conversational queries. To do this, the “People Also Ask” section appears in search results and allows Internet users to get answers directly, without even clicking on the link on your website. This “zero-click” trend illustrates Google’s desire to move towards an answer engine rather than a search engine and can significantly increase your visibility. In order to appear in these categories, your content must answer as many “what, how, where” questions as possible in order to respond or even anticipate the requests of Internet users. To increase your chances of appearing in this category, your content must also be easy to read and must answer the questions most likely to be asked. To do this, it is advisable to analyze the zero positions directly linked to your themes and to create content adapted to position yourself and anticipate competing pages.

Voice search

According to SEMrush and by the end of 2020, voice search will account for nearly 50% of the world’s searches. Because of its practicality and speed of use, this search method is increasingly used and will be intimately linked to the zero position. The zero position consists of extracting the content of a page and displaying it directly as the first result of a query, without the user having to click on the link on your site. The objective is then to make Google extract a page from your website to make you appear in the zero position. This same extract will then be defined as a response to the voice search, giving you more visibility. Certain criteria must be respected to have the opportunity to be selected by Google, in particular thanks to the optimization of your site for Features Snippets. Feature Snippets are the snippets that Google will display in a zero position, often in the form of a list, paragraph, or even a table. However, 81% of features snippets are paragraphs. The main thing: that the question AND a concise answer (between 40 and 60 words) appear in your content. These generate up to 30% more natural traffic.

Local SEO

Local natural SEO is becoming more and more important. In February 2019, Google conducted a study in the United States that showed that 83% of Americans who made a local query made a physical visit a week later. Thanks to the geolocalization of results in relation to the position of the Internet user, Google will display the most relevant results to maximize the personalization of the response sought by the Internet user. To ensure this visibility, it is advisable to create separate pages on Google My Business for each of your physical structures and specially to optimize your site to facilitate your search and your appearance in the local Google pack.

The WebP format

The WebP format is an image format launched by Google and is available to the general public. This compression algorithm results in images that are 27% lighter than other image formats that are already compressed, so your website pages’ load faster. Google rewards sites that contain images with this type of format in addition to rewarding them when they load quickly. This is a double advantage for your website.

Google Discover

Google Discover is an application available on mobile phones that aims to offer content based on browsing history, the interests of Internet users in addition to the learning machine. This proactive search is based on an algorithm that calculates an affinity rate between the preferences of Internet users and the content you publish. The more the content is likely to correspond to the interests of Internet users, the better it will be referenced. High quality, large-format, high-quality images that are at least 1,200 pixels wide are also rewarded by the Google algorithm.

Google E-A-T

The Quality Raters are people employed by Google to evaluate, in 2 minutes, the results of the search engine following a particular search. A score is then attributed to each website based on the E-A-T model: “expertise“, “authority“, “trust“. This score is transmitted to Google engineers, in charge of continuously improving the algorithm, which is why it is essential to take care of your content and above all to bring transparency, reliability and justified data to your Internet users. The 2020 trends will intensify this phenomenon, consumers will be more and more vigilant and will pay particular attention to the commitments of companies.

Podcasts

Google Podcasts now includes podcasts in its US search results and has launched Google Podcasts, an application to discover podcasts from around the world, for Android users. Between 2018 and 2019, the number of podcasts listened to per month has increased by 20% and this trend will intensify. For the moment Google has not specified a date for the appearance of podcasts in the results at European level. Several tips are listed to optimize the natural referencing of a website using podcasts, in particular thanks to the transcription of the latter. Google’s algorithms will be able to read the content more easily and can reward your website according to certain criteria. The most important, after meeting Google’s feed requirements, is to place the most relevant keywords in the title, description and content of your podcast. The more keywords that appear at the top of your pages, the better your page will be referenced. It’s a good idea to write a script before recording to include as many keywords or potential queries as possible. This method is in line with the long tail strategy, which aims to respond to very specific and long requests, you will then have more chance to position yourself on expressions of more than 4 words. Note that the podcasters who publish most often and for a long time will be more likely to be better referenced because they will be considered as experts and will have some authority. The better your website is referenced, the more chance you have that your podcasts will come up in search results, especially if you create a link between your podcasts and your website.

You will have understood, the logic of natural referencing will still be as multi-criteria in 2020. You will therefore have to make trade-offs and allocate your time and resources to the most relevant levers for your strategy. Do not hesitate to contact us if you need assistance on this SEO theme to increase the organic traffic on your website, our SEO agency will be glad to give you advice.

You want to optimize your website according to new trends? Contact our SEO agency now!