Google makes over 3,200 algorithm updates per year. You can imagine, in 2020, a lot is going to change. I’m going to break down the major changes in SEO for 2020.
What’s going to happen in 2020?
1. Well, first of all, according to Jumpshot and SparkToro, 49% of all searches performed on Google result in a no-click. That means almost half of all searches on Google won’t send traffic to any website at all. People are either giving up on searches or they’re getting the answers right then and there from Google. In 2020, I expect that to increase even more.
2. The second big change is that the number of visitors that people are going to get from organic traffic is going to continue to decline. Sure, it’s being made up at the same time by more people coming online and using Google. But according to Merkle, the total visits produced by organic search fell 6% year over year in Q2 of 2019. And mobile was the one that got hit the hardest.
Where visit growth dropped by 13% in Q1 of 2019, to 5% in Q2 of 2019. So, in 2020, I would expect the traffic to also go down. because that’s the trend that’s been taking place. Probably not at the same pace, but I would expect it to also go down.
3. The third big change that I see, Google is going to be competing more heavily with Amazon. If you’ve already looked at Shopify, their company’s been on a tear, right? Shopify right now, at least according to the Wall Street, is the Amazon alternative. It’s your own way for anyone to create their own eCommerce store.
Google, this year already, or in 2019, has released a Buy on Google feature, right? This allows people to buy eCommerce products directly on Google. I look forward to 2020, which Google will end up making more changes to compete directly with Amazon.
This should also potentially help people who have their eCommerce stores, such as people on Shopify, in which they can generate more sales without people going to their actual website. Now, even with the Buy on Google button right now, it’s not perfect, but again, they rolled it out. I bet you, over time, they’re going to make iterations to make it so good, that people don’t even have to go to your website to make any purchases.
4. The fourth change, more people are going to get the information that they need through rich snippets. According to the study by Path Interactive on people aged between 13 and 18, a whopping 40% get the information they need from a snippet without clicking through. Now, this doesn’t mean that hey, we’re getting less traffic by Google and they’re evil.
Think of it this way, a lot of those people are just looking for an answer. Sure, they could be coming to your website, but it doesn’t mean they’re going to buy anything or become a lead anyways. Now, when you expand the age group from 18 to 30, 20% get what they need from a snippet without clicking through.
Some industries have already been disrupted by this trend. Other industries haven’t yet. But Google is going to continually make more and more changes like this to keep giving people a better experience. For example, with flights, if I put in a flight number, Google will show me if that flight’s delayed if it’s on time.
They even have a nice pretty map to go along with it. You’re going to see Google making more changes than in just flights. because they’ve had this for a while. Whether it’s hotel availability, or it’s the weather, they’re going to continually expand this into other areas as they have with lyrics and things like that and definitions, so that way, people can get what they’re looking for without having to go to a site. For example, I’m a big basketball fan.
So, when I’m lookin’ up the latest scores on let’s say, the Lakers, I don’t want to go to NBA.com. Why can’t I just get my answer on Google? See, I don’t see this as a bad thing. NBA.com may get less traffic, but hey, I’m already watching the TV, I’m already on that television channel looking at the Lakers game, or any other sports game, and I’m looking up scores.
So, when I’m doing this, they already have my attention, but why do I need to keep going to websites? And you’re going to see that. You may lose traffic, and sure, sometimes, people may not have your attention, like the NBA or NFL or any of these sports league, but here’s the thing, a lot of the times Google is providing the answers to people, a lot of the times they’re trying to help them out, they’re improving the user experience.
By them improving the user experience, sure, you may get less traffic, but A, by Google providing a better experience, more people are going to be using Google, which should help you get more traffic. B, more people are also coming online, which also helps you get more traffic. And C, a lot of those people that Google’s answering the questions for, when they land on your website, they’re not buying anything anyways.
So, what you’ll see a trend in 2020 as well if Google’s answering people’s questions without them going to your website, the traffic you are getting, should increase in conversion rates as well. I don’t want to end things with you thinking that, hey, Google is evil. Because they’re not. They’re actually a really good company. They even have amazing perks, like giving their employees discounts and money back if they do things like drive an Earth-friendly car, right? Which is nice.
I want to give you 5 tips to help you with all the changes that Google is about to make.
1. The first tip I have for you is to become a master at uncovering search intent. Look, most marketers are just looking for keywords that they should target. It’s not about keywords, it’s about problems. When someone searches for something, a lot of times, they have questions, they’re looking for comparisons, right? Comparing one business to another to figure out, hey, what product or service should I buy? So, you can use Uber Suggest for that.
Uber Suggest will show you all the questions, propositions, and comparisons people are typing in related to your field. This will help you better figure out intent. So, now that when you’re targeting keywords it’s not just about traffic, it’s about getting the right traffic so those visitors convert.
2. The second tip I have for you to increase your CTR. Write compelling titles. It’s all about getting people to click on your listing. Heck, even if you’re not at the top, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get more clicks than the listing above you.
You can do things like creating a compelling title, using keywords in your title that your competition isn’t using, writing amazing meta descriptions that people want to click through and read. You can also use breadcrumb mark-up, that helps. And you can also use tools like ClickFlow that’ll help you optimize your title tag and they have a free solution as well. So, that way you can get the more clicks.
3. Explore schema mark-ups as much as you can. Schema mark-ups helps your listing stands out. For example, on the NeilPatel.com site, I use the FAQ schema quite often. So, when you search for terms like digital marketing, you’ll see an indentation with frequently asked questions that I answer right then and there.
And people are like Neil, why would you do this? Fewer people are going to go to your website. That’s actually helped me improve my rankings and overall get more clicks to my website.
4. The fourth tip I have for you, work on building a loyal audience so, that way you can keep them coming back to your website. That’s why I use email opt-in. So, I use tools like Hello Bar to get people to opt into my list. And every time I have a new blog post, new feature update, I send them a blast.
I use tools like Subscribers for push notifications because every time I have a new blog post, new video, new podcast, I can send out a push, get more people back to my website. I’m leveraging social channels, even chatbots. Like MiniChat or MobileMonkey. These are all ways for me to get more people back to my site.
5. The fifth tip I have for you, adopt an omni-channel approach. You don’t want to just rely on SEO or paid advertising or social media, or content marketing. You want to look at everything. When you combine everything and use it together, you’ll notice that your CPAs go down, plus people see you more often.
The rule of seven in marketing, when someone sees you seven times, they’re much more likely to convert. And this will help you build a brand. If you need help with your marketing and preparing for the future for all the changes Google’s going to continually make.