Janet Jackson famously asked, “What have you done for me lately?” In the fast-paced world of paid search and digital advertising, consultants offering small business SEO services probably hear this question every year. In truth, the question does have merit. Bing Ads and Google Ads are great, but what about the other parts of a small business digital marketing plan?
What worked in online marketing for the last few years, may not work for the foreseeable future. Algorithms and popular platforms seemingly change with the wind. Even when things don’t appear to be in flux, some innovator is quietly changing everything with a novel approach. That is why you always have to stay current with the latest news and techniques to advertise your business.
Here are a few things to look for in 2020 and beyond.
Small Business SEO Trends To Follow In 2020
Voice Search Optimization
For a few years now, a small but growing number of visionaries have been preparing the world for the growth in voice-only searches. A Forbes magazine contributor predicted that voice searches would dominate 2019. Both Siri and Google have offered voice search options through smartphones for years. Amazon’s Alexa assistant only expanded the market for voice-only interfaces with the internet.
Following Amazon’s reputed $100+ million in 2018 Echo Dot sales, a variety of other companies jumped into the “smart speaker” market. In the US, Google and Apple are poised to best compete with Amazon. However, several companies in China and other countries are attempting to compete worldwide.
Since the market is relatively new at this point, there are a number of ways this could impact SEO strategies. We don’t yet know if consumers use similar language to conduct voice searches versus typed searches. We also don’t have research into the decision-making process for voice results versus screen results. While there are some guesses and estimates, things may change wildly in the coming years.
As with any other drastic change in the way we search, we also don’t know how these voice searches may realign markets. If you operate a small business in a competition heavy market, now may be the time to seek affordable SEO services for small businesses. If you design a better voice SEO than the competitors in your market, you may find more new business coming your way.
Smarter Search Engine Algorithms
This particular item is not so much something to watch in 2020, as it is to watch every single year. The healthy competition between search engines essentially generates a never-ending drive to create a smarter search engine. Each company wants to create a tool that always gives the user exactly the results they want, every single time. In response, small business SEO company leaders find a way to deliver those results for their clients.
While search terms are still important, companies today incorporate a lot of other data into their website ranking systems. They also study consumer behavior while on the site and the human readability of the content. The goal of the search engine company is to clarify whether each website is genuine content that a human would want to read, or artificial content designed to fool the software.
Walking this line gets increasingly difficult for SEO experts each year. Staying current on the latest search engine algorithms demands a high level of commitment to getting the best possible search results. You do not want to suddenly realize that your entire SEO strategy was created to fit a set of rules that no longer exists.
Who Uses The Internet And How They Access Content
The Pew Research Center has been a powerful tool for understanding consumer trends since its founding in 2004. They were among the pioneers who first tracked the drastic changes in the way Americans conducted business and connected with family and friends. During the last decade, they repeatedly launched studies that confirmed the data behind the anecdotes of the time.
Noteworthy SEO impacting studies included:
- The meteoric rise in adults in the US using the internet, and having access to broadband.
- The growth of smartphone dependency, defined as the 1/5 of Americans who only use a smartphone for internet access.
- The various social media reports charting the currently 70% of Americans who participate in social media.
Small business owners would be wise to watch Pew and other research institutions to follow social and demographic changes. However, small business SEO company consultants have the unenviable task of figuring out how these changes impact search engines.
For example, an increasing number of consumers access content through a medium focused on pictures or videos. The popularity of both YouTube and Instagram both demonstrate a powerful growth in using visual images to sell products. As a result, many companies are beginning to incorporate more pictures or videos on websites or blogs to tell the stories behind the products. Only the future knows how this growth may eventually impact search engines or the resulting SEO strategies.
Analyzing The Metrics Of Your SEO Strategy
Data analysis was once little more than a buzz word. Consumers regularly received feedback data as part of any SEO or paid search strategy. But what did these numbers really mean? Today, however, platforms like Facebook ads, Google ads, and Bing ads build increasingly user-friendly interfaces that make analysis easier.
That ease of use means more buyers looking carefully at the impressions to click-through rate. Furthermore, the easy to calculate pay as you go method also makes it simple to track the overall conversion to sales dollars. Expect the next few years to increase the trend of a greater focus on metrics.
Call Today For Answers
Don’t be intimidated by the constantly changing environment for small business SEO services. Your company deserves professional, top quality, data-driven guidance so you can connect with consumers and businesses alike. Contact L7 Advertising today for your free consultation!