Google is constantly rolling out new ways to make its search engine better. They want people to find what they’re looking for in less time than ever, which is why the technology and algorithms continue to evolve. As they do, your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy has to evolve with them. If you want your website to rank high on the search results page – and maintain that rank – it’s important to keep an eye on these changes so you can adjust accordingly.

To give you a look at some of the biggest things to come this year, Advance Media New York has compiled a list of the top five SEO trends to watch for in 2020.

  1. Natural Language Is Best

At the end of 2019, Google introduced the latest addition to its algorithm: Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT). It decodes the words people search for and the context behind them. Without getting too technical, BERT is a more effective way to track down pages that will thoroughly answer a search query.

To accommodate BERT in your SEO strategy, you’ll want to populate your website with high-quality content. More importantly, that content should be written with natural language. Google will prioritize natural language because it most closely matches how people speak – and type their search queries. This means you have to incorporate keywords more thoughtfully, make sure everything you publish addresses searchers’ needs, and provide content crafted by and for human beings.

  1. Visual Search Becomes Increasingly Important

Images have always been important, but they’re even more so now as Google continues to improve visual search technologies in the coming year. Google Lens is just one example of this. Google has stated that images should be central to a web page and placed closer to the top. Additionally, visual assets should be clearly marked with alt tags. Alt tags allow search engines to better identify what the image depicts and more effectively crawl and rank your website. If you don’t have images or alt tags on all your pages, now is a great time to do so.

  1. Long-Form Content Still Succeeds

In 2020, Google will still favor longer blog posts and landing pages. The more content you have, the more the algorithm will view you as an authority on the subject. However, the length has to be meaningful. The keywords you use must reflect the topic and focus of your content. That way, Google sees you offer value to searchers and comprehensively answer their questions.

  1. Local Ranking Takes Precedence

People are performing more local searches, especially through voice search. As such, Google has optimized technologies like Local Pack. Local Pack maps appear in almost 30 percent of all first-page search results, featuring local businesses and services. If your company has a local presence, use that to your advantage with geographical keywords and content. For businesses that serve more than one city or region, creating unique pages targeted for each proves effective.

  1. Topic Modeling Is Key

As Google crawlers get smarter, they’re looking out for topic modeling. They want to provide searchers with a trove of high-quality information, which means prioritizing websites that feature article clusters on specific topics. SEO strategists will want to dedicate multiple blog posts and web pages per topic to reinforce overall ranking.

Stay On Top of Trends

Keeping up with SEO trends can be difficult, especially if you don’t have a background in digital marketing. That’s why it’s best to leave SEO to the pros. The experts at Advance Media New York can develop an SEO strategy tailored to your brand that fits the most up-to-date best practices. To learn more about our SEO services, contact us today.