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9 Essential SEO Upgrades to Help You Rank Higher in 2020

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PixoLabo
  • Date Published
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  • Reading Time 11-Minute Read

Do you need better search rankings and search engine traffic in 2020? Here are a few SEO upgrades that will increase your ranking and click-through-rate!

Are You Getting Found Online?

I hear this quite a bit at PixoLabo; I start a conversation about SEO with a client, and the client tells me they can handle that on their own. But while I admire this can-do attitude, I have to caution many of them that search engine optimization is a very complex field that can include many different strategies. So how can the average business owner rank higher in search? These essential SEO Upgrades will help!

Regardless of the nature of your business, service, or product, if you want to rank higher in 2020, there are some essential SEO upgrades you should consider. Think of DIY SEO as building a house. You need a strong foundation to support the structure. Once you have all the essential systems like plumbing and electrical in place, you can start adding more decorative items.

It all starts with creating a mobile-first business website. After all, you must have a mobile-first online presence for search engines to even notice you in 2020. Be sure that you use a content management system (CMS), so you can update your site yourself and find reliable and fast hosting. Once you have all of that, you can implement some or all of these essential SEO upgrades for 2020.

Start with These Essential SEO Upgrades

1. Create a Mobile-First SEO Strategy

Google first announced mobile-first indexing at the end of 2016. This fundamental change started a series of mobile-first algorithm updates. And it took until 2019 before Google switched to a mobile-first approach to ranking websites. Mobile-first ranking simply means that Google is going to look at your mobile optimization before looking at the desktop version.

I should not even have to say this, but you must have a mobile-first website in 2020! Without that, none of the following essential SEO upgrades will provide you with the results you envision and require.

And even if you have a mobile-first website or e-commerce store will you need to think about how to improve and adapt your SEO for mobile indexing to rank.

What You Should Do:

  • Test the mobile-first level of your site.
  • Install on SSL Certificate to get a ranking boost.
  • Optimize your images for mobile devices.
  • Keep paragraphs short for mobile consumption.

The above will help you create a better mobile user experience, which in turn will improve your search rankings and visibility.

2. Improve Page Load Speed

From desktop to mobile, page speed of your site matters to Google as a ranking factor now. And it is essential for increasingly impatient and demanding mobile consumers. Therefore page speed optimization is another of the essential SEO upgrades you must consider in 2020.

However, understanding and optimizing web page speed is a bit more complicated for people with no coding background. There are various factors involved, such as:

  • Hosting server response time
  • Optimization of CSS/JavaScript and HTML files
  • Compression of large files, especially images
  • Creating scaled versions of images for mobile devices
  • Minification of unnecessary data in codes
  • Eliminating unnecessary plugins on your site

What You Should Do:

Here are some of my favorite tools to help you analyze your web page speed:

Once you have a better idea of what may be slowing down your website, you can start eliminating bottlenecks or hire a professional web designer or agency to handle that for you.

3. Focus on More Than One Keyword or Phrase

I am sure you have noticed that Google is always improving keyword ranking factors with new algorithm updates. One of the most significant changes came with the introduction of RankBrain in 2015. Put simply, RankBrain utilizes machine learning to match similar queries by understanding the search intent or the context of the question.

This new approach directly impacts the way you have to approach keyword optimization on your website or e-commerce store. As RankBrain can match different types of queries, it becomes difficult to gain ranks with a simple “one keyword, one-page” approach.

Your website search rankings now depend on your ability to find relevant keywords and semantically use them on your web pages.

What You Should Do:

  • Decide one target keyword for your web page or blog content.
  • Create a list of topics you want to cover under that target keyword.
  • Find keywords, long-tail phrases, and latent semantic indexing related to those topics.
  • Keep the keyword density at or below the maximum.
  • Sprinkle the variations of keywords in the content to empower the focus keyword.

4. Focus on User Intent

In 2020 Google has improved technologies to understand the context of your keywords or phrases. But that doesn’t mean that you should stop using keywords in your page or post titles, or your internal links. Instead, my essential SEO upgrades include becoming more aligned with the search intent of your target audience. Ask yourself, what obstacle can I help my audience overcome in 2020? Then, develop a keyword strategy based on that need.

What You Should Do:

  • Go to the SERPs for which you are trying to rank
  • Analyze the types of content available on that SERP
  • Choose the dominating content type to improve search engine ranking chances

You can find some or all the following content types on a SERP, depending on the query:

  • Information
  • Products
  • Services

The dominating content type tells you what your target audience finds most relevant to their search query. Include this in your essential SEO upgrades. It will help improve both your search visibility and rankings and your click-through-rate (CTR)

5. Redefine Your Content Strategy

If you create a ton of blogs every month, you need to take a break. This tip is one of my essential SEO upgrades for 2020. Why is that, you ask? After all, aren’t search engines and human visitors looking for fresh, relevant content?

Well, yes and no. Fresh, relevant content is always beneficial. But there are several other factors you will need to consider. In 2020 top-ranking content needs to be all of the following:

  • Comprehensive
  • Relevant
  • Readable

To achieve all three of the above, you need to focus on longer posts instead of short daily posts. And creating this longer content will take more time. Therefore, as part of your essential SEO upgrades for 2020, I recommend combining relevant topics to create comprehensive long-form content.

What You Should Do:

  • Make a list of relevant topics according to your keywords and user intent.
  • Create long-form content of 1200 words or more to cover all your topics.
  • Create small paragraphs and format your content using subheadings.
  • Break up your content further by providing visual breaks for your readers, such as white space and relevant images and graphics.

6. Create Click-Worthy Metadata

The metadata on your web page has a direct effect on the Google website ranking you achieve. Even if they don’t play a direct role, you need engaging metadata to drive other factors such as high CTR, low bounce rate, and others.

The metadata SEO includes four major parts:

  • The page or post title
  • The page or post URL
  • The meta description
  • The ALT tag for any images on your page or post

Your metadata is all about helping both search engines and your website visitors understand the purpose and content of your page, post, or product. And Google is making that a bit easier for you. There have been some changes to the length of Meta descriptions and search snippets.

As part of your essential SEO Upgrades, your search optimization strategy should make metadata click-worthy.

What You Should Do:

  • Create an engaging title with target keywords in it.
  • Make short and customized URLs with relevant keywords.
  • Combine SEO and promotion in your meta description.

7. Write Content for Voice Search

Voice search is another crucial aspect of my essential SEO upgrades you must consider in 2020. Both adults and teens are increasingly using voice search features on their mobile phones. People find voice search more convenient, especially when they are busy performing other tasks.

And this changes how website owners need to approach their mobile search strategy in 2020. Why? Humans don’t use specific keywords or phrases when searching through voice search features. Instead, they will use ordinary language, just like you would ask a simple question.

And when voice search combines with RankBrain, it completely changes the traditional keyword usage in the content. Now, you need a more natural style of writing and phrases in your content to rank.

How can you adapt your search strategy for voice search? Simply put, change your writing style. Instead of writing for search engines, write the same way you would have a conversation.

What You Should Do:

  • Analyze social media to determine the tone and phrases people use to ask queries in your niche.
  • Start using more long-tail keywords in your content.
  • Write titles and subheadings in the form of questions.
  • Include your business website in local business listings.

8. Implement Video SEO

If you have been neglecting the importance of video content, change that this year. You need video SEO to boost your rankings in 2020. With Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter offering high-quality video content promotion opportunities, you don’t want to get left behind.

An example of compelling video content is the Whiteboard Friday series on the Moz blog. On it, Rand Fishkin creates videos and includes a word-to-word content copy along with the video. And that allows Google to understand the content and rank it quickly.

What You Should Do:

  • Find keyword phrases in the video content category of Google for your topic.
  • Write a word-to-word content copy of the video you create.
  • Optimize the copy with keywords.
  • Also, add keywords to the metadata SEO of that video.
  • Promote your videos on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

9. Build High-Quality Backlinks

You most likely already know that backlinks are one of Google’s top SEO ranking factors. But what you also need to know is that only genuine links will help you get a quality SEO rank in 2020. In other words, don’t go out and buy links. It is just a waste of your money! And you should also avoid any risky links that may get you penalized by Google.

Plus, there is a whole set of factors you need to care about, to ensure the quality of links you obtain. Therefore, one of your essential SEO upgrades for 2020 should be to connect with industry influencers. Attracting influencers might sound like a time-consuming process, but you can do it faster if you have high-quality content.

What You Should Do:

  • Promote your content through social media, email, and blog comments to interact with influencers.
  • Utilize top link building tools for link analysis, tracking, and outreach.
  • Divide your link building SEO into multiple goals such as traffic, rank, and authority.
  • Gain links from relevant and authoritative platforms to obtain your link goals.

Additional SEO Resources

If you are new to SEO, or simply want a better understanding of how search engine optimization works and how you can apply it to your digital marketing strategy, you can check out these SEO posts on our blog.

DIY SEO Tools

If you are interested in DIY SEO, you can save a lot of time by using professional SEO tools. While there is an almost endless variety of free and premium tools available many of them are of questionable use. Part of your essential SEO upgrades for 2020 should be to use industry-standard tools like these:

Here at PixoLabo, we use many of these tools regularly. We know and trust them, and so should you. If you have any questions or need some additional info, please feel free to reach out to us!

Need Help with Essential SEO Upgrades in 2020?

Here at PixoLabo, we offer a full range of search engine optimization services, including mobile-first website design and keyword research and search engine optimization to help you increase your search rankings and visibility.

Contact us to learn more about our mobile-first search engine optimization services, and how our team can help you implement these essential SEO upgrades in your search strategy in 2020.

Are You Planning to Upgrade Your SEO Strategy in 2020?

Are you planning to upgrade your SEO strategy for 2020? Do you have anything to add to our essential SEO upgrades? Do you have any other recommendations or tips that worked well for you? Please leave your comments below so our audience can benefit as well, and grab our feed, so you don’t miss our next post! And feel free to share our SEO tips with your audience!

Thank you! We appreciate your help to end bad business websites, one pixel at a time!

By Gregor Schmidt
Co-Founder / CXO
@gregorspeaks