SEO in 2020…some thoughts.


Justine Bourne, digital marketing account manager.

So looking ahead to the new year and the question is raised as to what we can expect in 2020 for the ever changing and growing world of SEO.

I am not a big one for making predictions, but I have been giving some thought to what we might expect to see.

I start off with something that is in no way bold in its nature – but Google will remain the dominant search engine in 2020, its scale and reach dwarfing other providers. But that does not mean other search engines should be simply ignored and indeed if you are working in certain geographical markets then local knowledge of the search engines that are dominant in those territories is a valuable commodity.

We approach SEO with the understanding that Google is optimising for the majority, so it is important to retain some core dynamics to your website. Ensure that you have a logical site structure and that you have fast loading pages. Google is looking towards placing increased importance in ranking sites on the speed of their page loading so this is something that more than ever should not be overlooked in site design and development.

It is also important to make sure that your high value content remains the main content on your page – do not hide it. A simple philosophy that we advocate to clients is that it remains vitally important not to bury your good content.

And whilst we acknowledge that we are living in a world of algorithms, it is important when compiling your content that you do not lose sight of your intended audience and their influencers. As communicators we still need to write for the audience and not purely to satisfy a series of algorithms. Really ensure that you invest time and build the quality of your quantity. People want to be engaged, they want to understand what you are doing and how you can help them or add value to them, so make sure you tell your story well. Business is about engagement and partnerships so make sure your copy reflects that.

Looking specifically as we do at SEO strategies for next year, our belief would be that it is about evolution rather than revolution. We know and understand the platforms that are going to be popular, so it should be a case of retuning and refining your approach to continue to promote your brand in the most engaging and effective way. 

One development that should not be overlooked is the continued rise of voice search. With time and the continued development of devices, this will only become a more and more important source of search. There are a number of statistics available around this area. ComScore the American media measurement company believe that during the next year there is the potential that voice search will account for nearly half of all online searches. Whether this becomes the case or not, there is further evidence that the growth of voice search is linked to generational change. PwC have noted that 65% of people aged 25-49 speak to voice-enabled devices at least once a day. And with more device availability, this is only likely to grow over coming years. So any credible SEO strategy needs to account for both online and voice search – don’t separate, combine your approach to serve both.

It remains important that you keep on top of technical tasks and that you continue to test, test, test your devices. Also continue to invest energy in driving people to your website through social media platforms and other channels of influence. Do not put all of your eggs into one basket. Like all methods of communication, the tactics you employ should not work in isolation, they need to integrate to ensure you are telling your story competently and successfully.

Finally, continue to use reviews. Use the voice of your customers to become the voice of your credibility. The power of independent voices cannot be underestimated.

Whilst we cannot pinpoint all the activities that will happen next year, we continue to advocate a strong SEO strategy as a key component of your communications activity but ensure that it links to the narrative you build for your brand. It is important to have that compelling and engaging story. You want to be in control of telling your own story, do not let others do it for you.