Start The New Year Right With These Smart SEO Strategies

new smart seo strategies

The new year is the perfect time for self-reflection and change. That holds true for your search engine optimization (SEO) strategies, too. Google and top search engines are continually optimizing algorithms to keep up with technology and consumer needs. What changes should you expect to see in 2020? 

Here is a brief run-down of the adjustments Google is likely to make and the strategies you can use to be ready for them. 

Banish Old Pages And Zombie Pages 

Out with the old and in with the new -- web pages, that is! Google flags old web content. Google will continue giving high rankings to relevant pages. That means content needs to be new, fresh, and, whenever possible, directly related to the events and trends of 2020. Generally, it is best to update web pages every six months. Sources cited in content should be no more than two years old. 

When auditing your site for old pages, keep an eye out for zombie pages, too. Zombie pages provide very little value, if any, to both Google and the user. Pages that are extremely link-heavy, packed with keywords, or exist only to take up space are hurting your ranking. Update these pages with useful, long-form content or consider getting rid of them altogether. 

Know These Blogging Specifics 

In 2020, long-form content will trump short copy. Ideally, customers want to get all of their information from a single web page. Content that ranges from 1,000 to 2,000 words typically contains more substance, more information, and more answers. As such, these long pages will rank higher on Google and other top search engines. Google also rewards high dwell time, or pages that drive organic traffic and encourage users to stay on these pages for a significant amount of time. Long-form blogs, copy, and articles lend themselves to videos, podcast episodes, and additional exploratory content as well. 

Other factors that will rank well are consistency (i.e. frequent posts), engaging, relevant, and straight-to-the-point snippets on front search engine pages, video content, interactive content, writing that is fact-checked and well-researched, and high-quality, professional copy. 

Embrace Voice Search 

You will be hearing "OK, Google" even more often in the coming year. Fewer people are searching from laptop and desktop computers. Users are much more likely to conduct searches on their phones and, increasingly, smart devices like the Amazon Echo and smartwatches. Search algorithms are changing to account for that. That means your strategy needs to change, too. The highest-ranked terms and phrases will be more natural and conversational in 2020. Users will now query search engines with full, spoken questions instead of plugging in a few keywords. 

Polish Mobile Pages 

Over two-thirds of all users want to look at web pages that are pleasing to the eye. This means web pages should look simple, sleek, and professionally designed. That applies to mobile, too. While algorithms have consistently favored attractive and easy-to-navigate mobile sites for years, many companies are still falling behind and failing to optimize their sites for mobile viewing. That will hurt rankings more and more as time goes on. Now is the time to make your mobile site shine. 

Use These Best Video Practices 

Traditional television is on its way out, paving the way for streaming services and YouTube. A compelling video on YouTube can do wonders for your company and its rankings. Make sure videos are engaging, informative, and user-friendly. Name videos using key terms and use keywords in the description to point users in the right direction. 

Google is always evolving to meet customers' needs and that means your SEO strategy needs to be evolving consistently, too. Weed out old web pages and web pages with very little substance, blog your way to high rankings, learn the intricacies of voice search, and polish mobile sites for the best SEO results in the new year.

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