Write content of 800-2,500+ words, add keywords in your content and meta tags, tada!
Not any more! Over the years, search engine optimization (SEO) has experienced a massive shift from what it used to be.
In the 2020s, coupled with Google’s recent MUM update, SEO is increasingly more about the user behind a search than the key phrase they used, its search volume, or difficulty.
User intent, user experience and ending the search journey are what matter most now, and this calls for a new human-centric approach to SEO.
Why Do You Need a New Approach to SEO in the 2020s?
- Rapid Unfolding of AI Technologies: At the core of search engines is Artificial Intelligence (AI). If used effectively, it can increase search traffic and ranking through the use of various tools to position your business in text and voice search, keyword research and local search results.
- Emerging Competition Like Never Before: Competition continues to double as more businesses come online. According to Siteefy, there are 1.18 billion websites online already, 17 percent of which are active and 83 percent inactive.
- There’s a Major Shift Towards Human-Centric SEO: Search engines, especially Google, are focused on the users’ interests and this trend is bound to continue.
- Surest Way to Drive Targeted Consistent Organic Traffic: No matter what your alternative traffic-driving strategies or tools are, SEO is still the surest way to get consistent traffic.
Surefire Approaches To Win at On-Page and Off-Page SEO in the 2020s
1. Extensive Use of In-Content Multimedia
Images, infographics, podcasts (audios) and videos are among the most important ingredients you cannot afford to go exclude from your content strategy. Posts that will bring more context and ultimately end the search journey of a user on your page will need to include all these different aspects – reading, auditory and visuals.
Some people prefer to watch videos; others would rather read or listen to an audio recording. All these combined (especially videos) give that richness to your content that makes humans and search engines rally around it.
Cisco predicted that by 2022 videos will account for 82 percent of all internet traffic.
And that’s no surprise, as videos are a great way to show off your products and services, explain complex concepts and humanize your brand.
Additionally, they can increase dwell time on your page, keep people engaged and help you rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
But it’s not just about slapping a video on your page and calling it a day. You must ensure your videos are high quality, engaging and helpful to users.
Here are a few tips for creating videos that will wow your audience:
- Start with a strong headline: Just like with any other content, you need to start with a strong headline that will entice users to watch your video. Make sure it’s catchy and relevant to what the video is about.
- Keep your videos short and sweet: Most people won’t want to watch a long video, so keep your videos short and to the point. If you can explain your topic in under two minutes, you’re on the right track.
- Use visuals to explain complex concepts: If you’re trying to explain a complex concept, use visuals to help break it down for users. This will help them understand and remember what you’re saying.
- Use humor – Humor is a great way to keep people engaged and entertained. Just make sure that the humor you use is appropriate for your brand and audience.
- Use CTAs to encourage users to take action: Ensure you include clear calls to action (CTAs) in your videos to encourage users to take action. This could be anything from checking out other posts on your website to subscribing to your YouTube channel.
- Brand your videos: Make sure your videos are branded with your logo and colors. This will help users associate your videos with your brand.
- Use keywords in your titles and descriptions: Ensure you include keywords in your titles and descriptions to help your videos rank higher on search engine results pages.
- Optimize your videos for SEO: To get the most out of your videos, you need to optimize them for SEO. This includes using the right keywords, titles, descriptions and Closed Captions.
2. Exhaustive Valuable Content
Ideally, readers shouldn’t have to read other posts on a given topic. Exhaustive content tends to be longer since its goal is to create content that has as much information as possible around a topic while staying under a word count.
In 2012, serpIQ analyzed the ranking position of 20,000 keywords. This study concluded that the top 10 results had at least 2,000 words, while the #1 spot results on the Google SERP were around 2,416+ words long.
Now, even though this study may not be the most recent, it is significant because it proves that, in order to rank in Google’s top 10, your content needs to be comprehensive most of the time.
But what about today? How does the average content length of the top 10 results compare to the average content length of the top 10 results from 2012?
To answer this question, I conducted a study of my own. I checked the first page of Google results for 1,000 random keywords, and the average content length of the top 10 results I saw was around 2,500+ words.
This means that the study of 2012 still holds water, and to rank in Google’s top 10, your content comprehensiveness matters.
So, what’s the takeaway?
In the 20s and the foreseeable future, you need to ignore word counts and pay closer attention to the completeness of the information you provide.
Whether you review top-performing content on your site or elsewhere else, you’ll discover that top posts that adhere to this principle perform best.
You also need to ensure you’re publishing genuinely helpful content to your audience. That means giving them what they need, not just what you think they need.
The days of keyword stuffing and churning out low-quality content are behind us. We now live in a world where Google’s RankBrain and MUM algorithms are more important than ever before. If you want your content to rank well, you need to focus on providing value and solving your audience’s problems.
So how can you make sure your content is comprehensive and valuable?
Here are a few tips:
- Research your topic inside and out: Before you start writing, make sure you do your research. Study your topic from every possible angle, and make sure you understand it inside and out. The more comprehensive your content is, the more useful it will be to your audience.
- Use data and examples to back up your points: Don’t just rely on your opinions; use data and examples to support your points. This will help your content stand out from the crowd and make it more credible.
- Write in a clear, concise and easy-to-read style: Don’t try to cram too much information into your posts. Instead, try to convey your message in the most simple and direct way, to make your content more user-friendly and help it rank better in search engines.
- Ensure your posts are well-organized and well-written: Before you publish your content, make sure you proofread it and fix any errors. Also, make sure your posts are well-organized and well-written. This will help make them more readable and engaging.
- Go the extra mile: If you want your content to be genuinely comprehensive, go the extra mile. Write longer posts, include more data and examples and add videos, infographics and other multimedia elements. This will help your content stand out from the competition and add more value to your audience.
3. Page Performance
Once you are sure you have valuable and comprehensive content, your page performance can either mean retained users or a high bounce rate. To complete the full circle of SEO, your on-site and off-site needs to be in place, and page performance is one of the core aspects you can’t ignore.
Neil Patel analyzed 143,827 URLs of ranking content on Google and discovered that speed impacts Google rankings.
There are three types of page performance you need to look into:
- Page Speed
- Webpage Content
- Page Layout
Page speed is how quickly a page loads. You can use the PageSpeed Insights tool to check the page speed of your website. Of course, you want your website to have a page speed that’s as high as possible as this improve the user experience.
Make sure your website has valuable and comprehensive content.
Ensure your website has a clean, mobile-responsive and user-friendly layout.
4. Keyword Value Vs. Search Volume
Another fundamental new approach to SEO in the 2020s is identifying the value of the keyword you wish to rank for versus the search volume of that keyword.
If a keyword is valuable to your business but has less search volume, it’s just as valuable as one with massive search volume, possibly even more so.
You can identify the value of a keyword by its commercial intent. A keyword with high commercial intent is a keyword that someone is likelier to type into a search engine. These are the types of keywords you want to target because they have the potential to bring in more revenue for your business.
Some keywords have high commercial intent but low search volume, while others have low commercial intent but high search volume. Therefore, it’s essential to identify which keywords are valuable to your business and target them.
5. Content Volume At Scale
Quality content is key, but a lot of it has to do with quantity too. More content means you will quickly build topical relevance and cover more grounds.
When you’re looking to scale your content, it’s also important to consider your audience. What type of information would they find valuable? What are their interests? What are their needs? Once you have a good understanding of your audience, you can start producing content that is relevant and interesting to them at scale.
Once again, you don’t want a half-baked SEO or content strategy. Quality content is definitely worth a lot, but also:
- More content means more topical relevance: As you continue to produce content, you will naturally start to cover more ground. This will give you more topical relevance, which is vital for building authority in your industry.
- More content means more coverage: In addition to gaining topical relevance, you will start covering more ground with your content. This will result in more brand exposure and opportunities to reach your target audience.
- More content means more leads: Quality content is one of the best ways to generate leads. By providing valuable information to your audience, you can attract people interested in what you have to offer. And once they are interested, you can start to build a relationship with them and convert them into customers.
The highest evolution of SEO will be to provide the best results to satisfy people’s search intent. By implementing in-content multimedia into your content strategy, scaling exhaustive valuable content, improving website performance and walking the fine line between keyword volume and value, your ranking will skyrocket produce successful results for your business.