If it often feels like search engine optimization success is a lot like trying to hit a constantly moving target… that’s because it largely is. Google is the biggest search engine on Earth and they’re constantly making adjustments to their site’s algorithm that throw rankings into a constant state of flux.
But rather than looking for that one “silver bullet” technique you can use to get to the top of the SERPS, it’s best to just forget all that entirely. Instead, focus on those small-yet-essential SEO moves that, when taken together, add up to something more powerful than anyone could ever be on its own.
Case in point: what follows is a list of some of the most important SEO tips for you to utilize in 2020 and beyond. All of them bring something unique to the table and all are certainly worth a closer look.
Understand What Matters… and What Doesn’t
One of the most important things to understand about the current state of SEO is that things are essentially in a constant state of flux. This is largely happening by design, as Google is always trying to close loopholes and stop people from taking advantage of the system they’ve worked so hard to build in the first place.
Therefore, it’s almost more important to know what doesn’t matter in terms of modern-day search engine optimization best practices than it is to learn what does. Running afoul of Google won’t just get you penalized – it could potentially get you delisted altogether if your violations are egregious enough.
Case in point: keywords. Gone are the days when all you really had to do to rank highly was cram your page with as many “relevant” keywords as possible. Google in particular has been very clear over the years that to rank highly, your content needs to provide something of genuine value to those who will be consuming it. Not just Google’s search engine “spiders” – but real, living human beings.
Now, that’s not to say that keywords aren’t important – because they are. In addition to including relevant keywords in the title tag and meta description of your content (so that people can quickly confirm they’ve landed on the type of page that they were searching for), you should still include them in the body as naturally and as organically as possible.
But don’t start with the keywords and try to work your way backwards to the content. Instead, head to a site like Respona to see what real people are searching for and what topics they’re interested in. Then, craft content around those ideas and add something tangible to the discussion that they may not otherwise have had access to. If you build your content around these hot-button topics, you won’t have to worry about finding ways to jam in as many keywords as possible after the fact. Your high quality, relevant and valuable content will have already essentially taken care of that by design.
Infographics: More Powerful Than Ever
Everyone knows that it’s a good idea to create social media graphics because this type of content is naturally more popular (read: shareable) on sites like Facebook and Twitter than something that lacks relevant visuals. Infographics, on the other hand, are your opportunity to take these effects one step further by helping to build brand awareness and increase your SEO prowess at the exact same time.
Infographics are essentially your opportunity to have your cake and eat it, too, as they still allow you to tell a full “story” with your content but you get to express as much of that narrative in a visual way as you can. However, there are still a few rules that you should keep in mind the next time you sit down with a tool like Visme (which I founded) to create that next compelling Infographic.
- The most shared Infographics tend to have an average word count of about 396 words. So don’t assume you can get away with only visuals, but also don’t assume that there’s no such thing as “too long” for the accompanying text.
- The average size of the most popular Infographics are around 3683 pixels by 804 pixels. In other words, don’t make people scroll too much and make sure that your content can be adequately consumed on devices with smaller screens like smartphones and tablets.
- Roughly 73% of all Infographics use some type of identifiable color scheme – meaning that you need to use every tool in your arsenal to really create the impression you’re after. An Infographic is more than just a black screen with pictures and white text on it. You need to think about the color choices you’re making for each element and how they all tie back into the main theme that you’re going for, narratively speaking.
Even More SEO Best Practices
Finally, there are a number of major elements you’ll want to account for to help your site rank as highly as possible – all of which have less to do with the content itself and are more about the way that content operates on the web.
These types of tips are especially true if you’re focused on WordPress SEO in particular, as that particular service essentially gives you complete control over the architecture of your site from top to bottom.
For the absolute best results, remember to:
- Use SEO-friendly URLs. As a rule of thumb, try to make your URL something that is easy for an actual human to remember. Sure, a Google spider may be able to make sense of “www.mywebsite.com/998eeuroiiua7”, but an actual person is never going to be able to remember that and it certainly won’t help your organic traffic.
- Use the most mobile-friendly website design that you can. If your site doesn’t look perfect on a smartphone or tablet, you need to make some significant changes. Google has been incredibly clear that mobile-friendliness is a major part of their current algorithm, which means that you need to care about it, too.
- Improve page load speeds as much as possible. The vast majority of all people who come to your site will slam that “Back” button and never return if your page takes longer than three seconds to load. With a bounce rate that high (and a time on page rate that low), Google will immediately take notice – and your rankings will suffer as a result.
- Use the right tools. WordPress, in particular, has all sorts of social media plugins that you can use for social media promotion, and tools like Yoast SEO are great for adding keywords, titles, meta descriptions and more.
Provided that you follow all of these top SEO tips for 2020, your ranking won’t be something you have to worry about for much longer. Your visibility will go sky-high and at that point, your website will be able to speak for itself – exactly the way it should be.