Every year it seems Google gives us a new ranking factor.
In 2018, mobile page speed looked to be the next big ranking factor to focus on.
In 2019, Google made several algorithm changes related to content, all leading up to the biggest algorithm change in Google history: BERT.
The true key to ranking and keeping Google happy is to have an awesome digital strategy, including a website that can keep up.
With 1 billion-plus websites online keeping up sounds easier said than done, right?
And with Google evaluating sites based on hundreds of ranking factors, knowing where to aim your SEO strategy in 2020 may sound like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
The key item that continues is that ranking signals are going to continue to adapt to how users search.
This means new SEO trends already surviving have roots in the current algorithm and with a little creativity and SEO savvy, it’s entirely possible for you to rank well in 2020.
Here are the ranking factors that will really matter in 2020.
- Publish High-Quality Content
Quality content still reigns as king. And with the launch of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) based system BERT, quality content and user experience continue to be key to a strong SEO strategy.
High-quality content is about creating pages that increase time on page, lower bounce rate, and provide helpful content for the user.
Stat: According to Comscore, by 2020 50% of search is expected to be driven by voice.
Before the existence of innovative smartphones, people searched by plugging words into search engine boxes on their desktop computers. And this is how keywords were born. With the growing use of mobile devices, voice searches are becoming a popular trend with internet users.
According to Google, 72 percent of people who own a voice-activated speaker say their devices are often used as part of their daily routine.
Understanding how to optimize your website for voice search can help you generate more organic traffic if you understand and implement conversational searches into your SEO strategy.
Snippets Dominate More Search Clicks
Stat: 54.7% of clicks from Google originate from Featured Snippets - proving they drive more than half of search engine clicks.
Google continues to evolve in recent years to deliver a better search experience for the user, like through Featured Snippets.
Featured Snippets usually appear above the number #1 organic result, commonly referred to as “Position 0”.
To take advantage of this feature and drive more clicks to your website, you need to provide clear answers to commonly asked questions on your website.
Featured Snippets are evaluated and boosted to the top depending on their quality, which Google has a way of determining.
- Secure Websites are a Must
A secure website is a critical component of being on Google’s good side. According to Google, HTTPS “helps prevent intruders from tampering with the communications between your websites and your users’ browsers.”
Having a secure website is also best practice for your patients’ security as well. If you have non-secure links asking for patient-identifying information, you’re at risk of breaking HIPAA as well as exposing your patient’s information to potential hackers.
56% of all internet traffic is from an automated source; hacking tools, scrapers, spammers, and impersonators. If your site is not secure, there’s about a 50/50 chance your patient’s information is compromised by visiting your website.
Google also released they removed 80% of hacked sites from search results. Being blacklisted by Google is a large hurdle to overcome. It’s better to update your website security than to risk being blacklisted.
*Find out if your website is at risk of sharing your patients’ private health information.
- Mobile User Experience Will Determine Your Rankings
A website that does not have a mobile version may lose most of its users in the coming years as mobile web pages are a growing trend that will get even more popular in 2020.
Technology and how people find information through their mobile devices is getting so advanced it’s not enough to just have a mobile website - the interface has to be easy to read, grab people’s attention and then have the ability to answer their questions or at least keep them entertained.
Studies show 4 in 5 consumers conduct local searches on search engines using their mobile devices.
Since more people are searching from their smartphones than from a computer it’s important to have a mobile version for your website to reach the most amount of people interested in your practice.
Stats: There are 2.7 billion smartphone users around the world.
Google My Business: Claim and optimize
While optimizing your website for SEO needs to be your number one priority, Google My Business (GMB) should be second in line; especially for practices who rely on local traffic. It’s free and can get you incredible exposure if you’re optimized enough to show up in Google’s three-pack:
GMB works in conjunction with your website ranking. The more you boost your practice online, the more chances you have towards dominating the first page of search results.
The key to setting up your Google My Business account is to fill out as much information as you can, accurately. The more information you list, the higher your business will show in search results.
“In fact, a complete and accurate Google My Business listings get 7x more clicks than those missing information and are 70% more likely to attract location visits.” That type of traffic is huge, especially if your goal is to bring in more new patients.
Online Reviews Matter
Medical practices are finally starting to realize the importance of online reviews from their customers. According to a recent survey, 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
Whenever a review is left about your practice, positive or negative, be sure to respond to it. This shows other people reading the reviews that your practice cares what customers think.
Two places where you should focus on getting reviews is on your website, Facebook page and Google My Business page. These are big ones. Getting reviews is crucial because these reviews show up on Google when someone searches for your practice.
Google also notes: high quality, positive reviews from your patients will improve your practice’s visibility, which implies reviews might factor into rankings.
You can simplify the review process by working with a reputation marketing software that can manage and proactively work your practice to get reviews.
Search engine optimization, when done effectively, can prove significant value to your practice.
If you’re already familiar with these trends, then you are definitely ahead of the game. It’s time to double-down so you can generate more targeted traffic from Google. But if you still have questions and need help with SEO services, contact DoctorLogic to help solve your SEO challenges.