What are the things which together make up an SEO strategy for this year, 2020?
Firstly, it is wise to ask why an SEO strategy for 2020 differs from one for 2019 or 2018. There is a need to make a change in strategy because SEO keeps changing. Anyone familiar with the field understands the transient nature of the field and the reason to discuss the essentials of an SEO strategy for 2020.
Google, the search engine all SEO executives focus on, keeps changing. These changes come in the form of search algorithm updates. There is a long history of websites going bust thanks to radical changes in Google’s search algorithm over the past decade. Thus, SEO is not a field which ranks high in matters of permanency. It is a very transient field where things keep changing.
This is not to suggest there are no fundamentals in SEO. There are many things which have remained consistent and been a part of every good SEO strategy formulated. However, there are enough changes to warrant updating the SEO strategy every year, including 2020.
In this piece, we bring together nine essentials of an SEO strategy for 2020. These essentials will cover both off-page and on-page SEO factors. As SEO marketing becomes important, the role of an SEO strategy will continue to grow.
#1 Select SEO Marketing Objectives
What is the point of working on SEO and coming up with a strategy? Even for an SEO strategy in 2020, the simple things still matter.
Before deciding the tactical aspects of an SEO strategy, it is imperative for a company to decide what it wishes to achieve with SEO. Every company has a goal in mind, whether it’s lead generation or selling products and services online.
SEO is a suitable marketing option for such goals. However, companies must first make clear what their goal is. Starting an SEO campaign or deciding on a strategy without a clear goal in mind is a recipe for disaster.
Why is this important? An SEO strategy, in very simple words, is nothing but a plan. SEOs do their best to make this plan of action based on their experience in the field and the things they expect will happen. However, this task becomes impossible if SEOs don’t have a sense of direction to give heft to their actions. This is why there is always a pressing urge to first select a concrete objective.
Based on the overall objective, SEOs can easily set up solid SEO-based KPIs and quantifiable targets. The purpose is simple as meeting any given milestone generally moves the campaign closer to the overarching goal.
#2 Strike Practical Balance Between Off Page and On-Page SEO
Is it wise to allocate 50% resources each to off-page and on-page SEO?
An equal distribution in spending time and resources on off-page and on-page SEO sounds fair. In some cases, it can be fair. However, the 50-50 model is not a good way to think about SEO in general. In fact, this is the fastest way to create a bad SEO strategy for 2020.
In some niches, creating more content is more important than building backlinks. For instance, take the news as an example. If your website niche is political news, you cannot beat other competing websites in terms of backlinks. This is because other established websites get many hundreds of thousands of backlinks every day. Trying to match that number, even at a generous SEO budget, is not strategically sound.
On the contrary, writing more content is the best way to get ahead of competitors.
In other niches where the number of competitors are low and their content creation speed is moderate or low, spending more time on link building makes sense. Thus, striking a practical balance is more important than trying to fairly distribute resources equally.
#3 Answer the ‘Keyword’ Question for Successful SEO Strategy in 2020
What is the keyword question?
There are many ways to think about SEO keywords. Some think of keywords as the primary driving force of the field. Others think it is one way to think about search optimization. After all, a search algorithm has many moving parts, not just keywords.
For a company investing time and money in SEO, the ‘keyword’ question is this – what will customers who don’t know my business search for when they need my products or services?
The answer to this question will generally be the keyword a company must target.
SEOs make a lot of hue and cry about keyword research. They use all kinds of resources and tools to find the right keyword. In short, all keyword research boils down to the phrase potential customers search for when looking for something. SEOs who can answer this question accurately often find success. When making an SEO strategy for 2020, professionals must have this level of clarity when working on SEO keywords.
#4 Make Decision on SEO Team
Generally, people talking about an SEO strategy for 2020 won’t speak about the most important factor – human resource. The better people a company manages to hire, the higher is the probability of finding better SEO outcomes.
A large part of success in small business SEO comes down to recruitment. If a company manages to find the right people for fields like SEO content writing or analysis SEO, there is naturally a greater chance of success.
Making a decision on the people who will work in the SEO team should come before the actual work begins. In small business SEO especially, the people involved must know the scope of their work and the milestones in the way.
For example, companies have to decide how many people they need to hire for operations like SEO content writing, link building, SEO strategy, and so on. Companies also have to decide whether they want to hire some professionals on a part-time basis. These decisions play a huge role and have to be taken quickly.
When making an SEO strategy in 2020, it is easy to get caught up with a range of new trends and data. However, hard decisions on hiring often play a much larger role and predicate the success of a campaign. Thus, this is an absolute essential while framing an SEO strategy for the year 2020 and the ones to come ahead.
#5 Plan on Creating Rich Content
In 2020, the emphasis is no longer on writing longer content than anyone else. Google is smart enough to not automatically prefer a website which has longer content. With the addition of BERT and other search engine updates, Google has become much more capable at judging the context of any given piece of content.
This means stuffing SEO content and keywords is no longer a solution, In fact, these tactics are seen in many circles as black hat SEO. For those who don’t know, black hat SEO refers to a set of tactics which can land a website in search engine jail.
Thus, no SEO strategy in 2020 can afford to come anywhere close to black hat SEO.
What does rich content mean? Firstly, providing value with SEO content should be the top priority for SEO professionals. There are too many SEO campaigns which fall apart because the content doesn’t provide anything new or unique.
Secondly, giving time to creating additional content such as images, infographics, and videos is also a part of investing in rich content.
#6 Keep Questioning Keyword and Content Strategy Based on Feedback
Feedback is a great equalizer. One of the best things about SEO is that professionals get to see the results of their actions in an expedited timeframe.
After creating content, it is important for SEOs to check whether it’s performing and managing to bring in visitors organically. This also brings into question the role of keywords. Based on feedback, SEOs can change their content and keyword tactics to get better results.
This is generally the part of the SEO plan people are more likely to get wrong, even in 2020. Whether its ecommerce SEO or real estate SEO, professionals should account for real audience feedback before making any decision.
Every good SEO strategy in 2020 must make changes to content and keyword strategy based on feedback. Feedback is generally available through basic SEO tools like Google Analytics and Search Console. These tools above all help SEOs see how people are interacting with their website and the general success of their SEO strategy.
#7 Opt for Stable Link Building Strategy
SEOs are always in danger of taking shortcuts when it comes to building SEO backlinks. There are many dubious methods which allow SEOs to create backlinks. However, these link building techniques don’t offer any real value and often hurt the backlink profile of a website.
Thus, the best option for a professional in the field is to opt for a stable SEO backlinks strategy. The word ‘stable’ is crucial because it conveys the nature of the strategy SEOs should opt for.
Methods like guest posting or broken link building are typically categorized as stable. Unstable methods include social media bookmarking and search engine submissions. These methods don’t actually help improve the backlink portfolio and generally have no impact on search positions.
Link building is a difficult task because it requires SEOs to work with other websites. It is not wise to escape this difficulty with shortcuts. Instead, SEOs must bank on reliable techniques and build truly valuable backlinks which help them grow and rise high in search rankings.
#8 Make SEO Competitor Analysis a Priority
If you do everything right, starting from keywords to content and backlinks, there is still something that can go against you – the actions of your competitor.
Whether we speak of ecommerce SEO or real estate SEO, competition is a real thing. Even those with basic SEO knowledge understand how competing websites can erode all the work done by a website.
In the world of SEO, companies in a particular niche compete for a handful of keywords. Thus, even the creation of quality content is not a guarantee of success. Instead, SEOs have to look at the larger plan of their competitors and find a way to beat it.
This is where the need for SEO competitor analysis becomes apparent. A deeper dive into analysis SEO can help professionals find ways to counter the strategy of competitors.
In conclusion, the job of SEOs in competitor analysis is to understand that they’re not alone. There are other websites who are trying to beat them. Thus, having a plan to deal with them is a core fundamental of an SEO strategy in 2020.
#9 Take a Practical Outlook on Paid Marketing in SEO Strategy for 2020
In many SEO campaigns, companies decide to invest in paid campaigns on the sidelines. This generally happens for either of two reasons. Firstly, this can happen if a campaign is doing well and a company decides to take it to the next level with targeted paid marketing. Secondly, this can happen if a campaign is not doing well and companies decide to use paid marketing for some kind of engagement.
Thus, there is a sound logic to using paid marketing in case an SEO campaign is either succeeding or failing.
The SEM SEO debate is not as divisive as many people believe. Both are means to an end.
Any SEO strategy in 2020 should be practical about paid marketing. If a company is indeed willing to strike a balance between SEM SEO and even social media, the decision needs to be made at the strategy phase. SEOs must decide when a paid marketing push will help their efforts to meet certain milestones.
When used together, paid marketing and SEO must together resonate to help a company meet its objective. Using it without a plan in mind doesn’t make sense and is above all the best way to lose money.
In Conclusion – SEO Strategy 2020
In this piece, we discussed nine essentials of an SEO strategy for the year 2020. Every essential we covered marks an important aspect of SEO.
The role of strategy in any aspect of modern business is tremendous. Even a small company doesn’t work well when it doesn’t have a plan or strategy. The market today is too competitive to allow companies to work without a strategy.
The points we discuss in this piece bring together the different provisions an SEO strategy in 2020 must have. Some companies may find there is a need to consider more factors in an SEO strategy. If this is the case, they must do so. SEO is often more subjective than many professionals believe.