It’s important to remember that SEO isn’t only about competing with others trying to rank for the existing terms. With so many new searches happening every day, SEO is as much about getting found for new terms as it is for what’s already popular.
How do you rank for something new?
This is where Google’s BERT algorithm comes in.
With the much longer name of Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, BERT is “neural network-based technique for natural language processing (NLP) pre-training.”
In other words, BERT looks at the context and intent of words in a series. So when you write with the intent to educate on a certain topic, BERT understands what you’re doing and rewards you for it.
There’s no secret, then, to “hacking” the BERT algorithm. The key is to write like a human.
4. On the first page alone, the first five organic results account for 67.60% of all the clicks.
Sure, your page analytics tools will show you what you’re ranking for on pages two through 10, but this stat shows that it really is good to be on top.
With more than two-thirds of all clicks going to the first five organic results, the competitive field is tougher than ever and marketers need to be savvy, creative, and a little bit lucky to gain that prime real estate.
5. Google’s search algorithm uses more than 200 factors to rank websites.
Google remains somewhat mysterious about exactly what and how they rank, but SEO experts the world over have been making lists (and checking them much more than twice) to pinpoint the magic of SERP ranking.
Backlinko has done a nice job of keeping this list up-to-date and it is comprehensive.
Even so, there is so many rather obvious and low-hanging fruit on the SEO tree.
6. High-quality content and link building are the two most important signals used by Google to rank your website for search.
How long does good content need to be? Enough to fully answer your buyers’ questions.
But if you want that good content to rank well, aim for the 2,000+ word mark.
The more you write, the better informed your readers will be, the more you can show your transparency and honesty, the higher opportunity you’ll have to link out to other reputable sites, and likely the more backlinks you’ll receive.
As it turns out, backlinks are no joke when it comes to ranking.
9. The average word count of a voice search result page is 2,312 words.
According to SEMrush’s study on ranking factors, long, quality content and internal linking are also weighted heavily when it comes to being found.
But top-notch writing will only get you so far.
If you want your visitors to stay on your site, you’ll need to consider their needs, not only in terms of the content you provide but how they navigate through that content as well. This is called technical SEO and it just as big of a factor as on-page elements.
14. In 2019, 52% of all worldwide online traffic comes from mobile, 45% from desktop.
Before you go changing everything to mobile, it’s important to look at the analytics specific to your site. These are global stats and may not represent what’s going on in your next of the cyber woods.
It’s tempting to spend the bulk of your time crafting the perfect copy for an article then to just want to move on. Because of this, we tend to treat the headline as an afterthought.
That’s a mistake, according to the majority of SEO experts surveyed recently.
Your headline will not only let the search engines know what you’re writing about, but there’s a good chance it will show up across social media feeds, in newsletters, and in all the backlinks you’ll receive.
Your audience will only click into that headline if it’s appealing enough to grab their attention.
Take the time to create multiple (at least three) versions that contain the keyword phrase you want to rank for. Then, workshop your title with coworkers and colleagues.
The time you put into crafting the perfect headline will pay off in traffic and ranking.
16. Long-tail keyword searches have a click-through rate 3% to 5% higher than generic searches.
If you’re a business that depends on local traffic or has a limited service area, this is key.
Local SEO tactics are important for smaller businesses that might not be blogging or creating a ton of content. Make sure your site is in the appropriate registries and all of your information is up to date.
If your site is not optimized for mobile or local search, it will not show up in mobile search results, and those local customers won’t be visiting your store.
21. 72% of consumers who did a local search visited a store within five miles.
Not only are mobile queries on the rise, but so are requests for best lists.
Think about how to include similar searches in your own strategy:
Best commercial flooring options right now
Best phone out right now
Best investments to make right now
Best SEO strategy right now
Key takeaways for your 2020 SEO strategy
Marketers are spending more time and money on SEO, which means the competition for the top spots will continue to heat up.
Providing value to your customer is still the best approach to ranking in search engines, so keep writing quality content and designing top-notch user experiences.
Mobile is increasingly becoming a larger factor in ranking, especially when it comes to local marketing.
There’s so much to consider when developing an SEO strategy, especially when so much is changing year to year..
Staying up-to-date on SEO statistics and working their data into your strategy can set you up for a long-term roadmap. And performing a technical SEO audit is a helpful way to hone your strategy and create some quick SEO wins. Together, you’ll be prepared to enter 2020 with a plan for both short- and long-term success.
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