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SEO and Content Trends for 2020

The 2020 plan is dead! Long live the 2030 plan! We have looked deeply into the crystal ball for 2020 and the years to come to identify a number of emerging trends. Maybe you are already at the forefront of several of them. If not, it's time to get started.

 

Video, video, video! Visual storytelling becomes the key

 

It is no surprise that video is a constantly growing part of the Internet. It was already one of the big things in 2019, but we expect video and visual storytelling to be even greater in the coming years, with 82% of Internet content expected to be video by 2021. Already 72% of users prefer to learn more about a product or service through video.

 

When talking video, it's not just the classic videos you know from YouTube. We will see more and more brands replace the traditional video format with live streams and live videos. Eighty-two percent of today’s viewers prefer live video over social media posts from a brand.

 

But how do live streams benefit you as a brand, you might ask? The same survey shows 67% who saw a live stream bought a ticket for a similar event, and 45% of respondents would even pay for live videos of their favorite teams and influencers.

 

SEO and content trends for 2020 - maintaining user interest

Maintaining User Interest (Hubspot)

The above shows that video users get the content they want and pay more attention to the content. It's win-win. The video quality of the latest smartphones is so good that you can easily use your mobile to make your videos.

 

Video can increase organic traffic to a website by up to 157%. Visitors spend, on average, 2.6 times more time on a video page than one without video. And it's not just in the B2C market that video has a big impact. Seventy-three percent of B2B marketers say video has a positive effect on their ROI. Google has even taken a closer look at why we remember a YouTube ad.

 

The video format itself has also begun to change. Vertical videos are becoming more popular. It makes good sense because we position our mobile phones that way 94% of the time. In other words, it is the natural way to use the mobile phone.

 

YouTube still dominates when we look at the major video platforms with 1.5 billion users watching one billion hours of video every day on the platform. On Facebook 75 million users watch eight billion videos every day. On Twitter, 82% of users primarily use the app to view video content and on Snapchat, users see ten billion videos every single day. So video is already hugely popular - but its potential is even greater. Local content can go viral (globally) if you hit the right mix of content and optimization.

 

Here's how to succeed with video

Using the video format does not automatically guarantee success. If you don't focus on the quality of the content, you won't get more than a handful of views on YouTube.

 

This is where storytelling comes into play. Engage and entertain your users - and not just with video, but with all content. Share authentic stories and moments that matter. Users love behind-the-scenes content and personal narratives.

 

Make it present, personal and transparent. The first ten seconds of a video are the most important, so make sure this is where you really deliver your message. After 10-15 seconds, users will slowly begin to drop off.

 

Make videos that you can use and reuse on multiple platforms. You might have a longer video for YouTube, parts of it for Facebook and Instagram, and micro elements of it for stories.

 

Consider subtitles on Facebook (and YouTube) where 85% of viewers watch videos without audio while it’s just the opposite on Instagram where 60% watch stories with sound.

 

From superficial to in-depth content

Content will be a significant part of 2020 and the next several years when we will see a significant shift from superficial to in-depth content as brands realize superficial content produces superficial results.

 

The first ranked organic search result has, on average, a text containing 1,890 words according to Backlinko.com. The same study reveals that pages with content that goes deep into a topic outperform pages that deal with the topic superficially.

 

In short, it means that your content should be anything but short. To the contrary, you really have to go in depth with it so that you can turn every single stone. At the same time, it is important that you get into related topics. Your content should cover everything around the topic so that the user is not left with questions.

 

Credibility and authority also play a big role when it comes to content. You can read more about this in the upcoming trends.

 

Related topics you should mention in your content include those found at the bottom of the search results page. Below are, for example, searches that Google has assessed to be relevant. The search is "mortgage price."

SEO and content trends for 2020 - relevant search results

Years ago, search was all about keyword density, meaning how many times you could use the keyword in your text. Fortunately, that is no longer the case. Now, your text must add value to the reader, with keyword density playing a much smaller role, and even less so moving forward.

 

It is still important for users and search engines to find your text. For many years, search engines have used Entity Salience to understand a page's content - places, people, topics, etc. You can use Google's Natural Language API demo to see what entities and sentiments your text has according to Google. Unfortunately, though, it does not support all languages.

 

Of course, the primary keyword should be mentioned on the page - especially in headlines - but it is also important that you use naturally related words and topics in your content.

 

We've published a blog post about Google My Business (GMB) that contains just around 7,000 words. In it we cover everything about Google My Business, as well as related topics such as Local SEO, tracking and reviews.

SEO and content trends for 2020 - backlinko

Source: Backlinko

 

As the charts show, the length does not do it alone. Content should be in easy and unpretentious language and, wherever possible, spiced up with video and pictures. It provides a much better user experience - and the search engines love rich media.

 

Once you’ve written your post, don’t just sit back. Add ongoing content to the page, such as new, relevant sub-topics. It's also a good idea to keep the page content up-to-date and correct. This is especially true if you are writing about YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) topics and in such fields as the banking world or the pharmaceutical industry.

 

How to succeed with in-depth content

Good content takes time. Therefore, it may be a good idea to present it in small chunks. Make the sections a part of a sprint that you work on every week/month. Your first step is to make a skeleton outline that contains all the topics you wish to cover. Identify and describe the main theme. You can then add other relevant sections that fit the content. Start with the most important points and finish with details and background.

SEO and content trends for 2020 - skeleton outline

Make it easy to scan the page with relevant and descriptive headings. Consider also placing anchor links at the beginning, which link directly to the following sections.

 

Don't be afraid to include - and link to - external sources. It will strengthen your credibility in the eyes of users, as well as Google.

 

Think about the best possible user journey. If there is someone else who describes something absolutely perfectly, you can, for example, summarize and link to their page. Then, interested parties can go in depth with it if they want.

 

Remember to use more than text. Give the content more value with a descriptive image. It's true that a picture says 1,000 words, and many people prefer pictures and videos over text.

 

Ultra-Targeted Content - Customized content based on data

Even though we live in the GDPR age, do not drop all hope of personalization. Of course, the data needs to be mastered, but there are still many opportunities to create tailor-made content for the unique user. Your website is not the only place where you can personalize content.

SEO and content trends for 2020 - personlized experiences

Source: Evergage

 

There is nothing more boring (and CPI-wiping) than completely dry, generic content. The more personal and relevant you can make your communication, the better.

 

Google performs some personalization already when you do a search, producing results based on user search history and preferences.

SEO and content trends for 2020 - results based on user preferences diagram

Source: CXL

 

Data-inspired creativity is the future of effective marketing. We are all different - both in terms of preferences and needs. Some users need many touch points while others are ready to convert right away. Therefore, they must have different content. This also applies after the purchase.

SEO and content trends for 2020 - data based marketing diagram

Specifically, data-based marketing is about using all the data you have about the users and comparing it with predefined variables. What devices are they on, what keywords have they used, are they first time visitors, have they purchased before (and what), time of day, etc.

 

If done correctly, there are several benefits to ultra-targeted content. The user gets a better experience, revenue increases, and users engage more with content.

SEO and content trends for 2020 - benefits of personalization

SOURCE: Evergage

 

There may be large increases in relevant KPIs with personalized content. The Evergage survey shows that 34% of respondents experience an 11-20% lift, while for another 10% of respondents there is a lift of 31-50%.

 

Here's how to succeed with tailor-made content

It goes without saying that it is important for you have both the time and the necessary resources before you begin personalization. The website and other channels must also be geared to deliver personalized experiences.

 

The biggest hurdle will typically be the data - both access to it and quality.

It is important that you sit down and get an overview of what you need from data. What do you already have and what do you need? Don't invest your resources in collecting data simply because "it's nice to have." Moreover, this kind of data collection is directly contrary to the GDPR.

 

Equally as important as access to quality data is the support you need from across your organization, from your colleagues in marketing to IT and management. Personalization requires investment and maintenance.

The above is from the Search Engine Journal, where you can find a more in-depth article on how to succeed with personalized content. CXL also has a good guide for this.

 

Credibility and authenticity become essential

We cannot downplay the important roles credibility and authentic communication have in communications today. Credibility is what your business and my business are built upon. Without it, we have nothing. Ninety percent of consumers say authenticity is important.

 

Confidence in companies and institutions is generally grounded. Dansk Industri has said we must (re) build trust in companies . At the same time, a new study shows that confidence in businesses has declined over the past five years.

 

Brands holding to a significantly different view than their users can suffer disastrous declines. They may develop blind spots where they cannot see the erosion of credibility and confidence until it is too late.

 

Are you and your company authentic in your communication? The figures indicate that you will undoubtedly answer yes to that. The problem is just half of consumers will say the same.

SEO and content trends for 2020 - how authentic is your content diagram

Source: Stackla

 

There is a clear discrepancy between what we as businesses think and what consumers experience.

 

Credibility and trust can create an opportunity to differentiate you and your business. If you dare to take a stand (and can endure the scrutiny that will undoubtedly come from consumers), you can positively stand out from the crowd.

 

Consumers are ready to reward you. This applies both to recommendations and sales. A global study by Cohn and Wolfe shows that consumers are looking for a brand that is authentic.

 

When consumers define authenticity, they talk about "high quality" (66%) and "keeping what they promise" (70%). CSR (57%) and environmental responsibility (55%) are further down the list.

 

In 2019, Google made a blog post about one of their major updates and what it means to you and me. Here they emphasized, among other things, that you must focus on what they called E-A-T, or Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

 

It is important that your content and website reflect expertise, authority and credibility which are measured, in part, based on the knowledge and skill of the author as well as the data and statistics you use to support your text. In addition, when you link to reliable sources, like we did in this blog post, you grow your own credibility.

 

Here's how to create credibility and authenticity

It can be a difficult exercise if your brand has already suffered damage due to falling or lack of credibility. Therefore, it should have your focus in 2020 onwards.

 

We in the Dentsu Aegis Network performed an analysis, Rewriting the Trust Equation for the Digital Age, where we looked at how brands can build a trusting relationship with consumers. The work resulted in a specific trust equation that can be used to illustrate how brands can use digital marketing to create deeper relationships with consumers. The equation is quite simple:

Trust = C + R1 + R2

C = Credibility, R1 = Relevance and R2 = Reliability.

Attention to basics is important and once you have those in place, you can build on them and gain confidence in new heights. The legacy of past decisions and communication also does not disappear. Embrace the past as it will always be part of your story, and turn it into something positive.

 

The entire analysis resulted in a framework you can use in your future work:

  • Reliability: the ability of a brand to deliver consistently
  • Credibility: the extent to which a brand is recognized as legitimate and authoritative
  • Consumer first: how a brand puts consumers' interests ahead of its own
  • Transparency: how open a brand is with consumers
  • Provenance: consumer understanding of the origins behind a brand
  • Closeness: How close or intimate consumers feel to a brand
  • Mutual disclosure: the responsiveness of a brand (e.g., to feedback or reviews)
  • Established: the extent to which a brand is perceived to have a history or legacy.

 

The analysis shows that different channels drive different forms of trust. The important thing is to choose the one that suits the market and consumers you want to contact.

SEO and content trends for 2020 - effectiveness of various media on trust

The above should not be seen as a fact list for all markets and brands. It shows the effectiveness of various media in Germany to drive different forms of trust.

 

Consider user-generated content. The survey by Stackla shows that 79% say user-generated content is of great importance in the buying process. Consumers are 2.4 times more likely to see it as authentic. At the same time, it is 9.8 times more effective than influencers. Read more about authentic content marketing here.

 

Want to know what confidence is in your industry? We have done an extensive trust study where we dig into what confidence really is and how you can work with it. Use the link to request a calculation of trust in your industry as well as copy of our book, which addresses the topic in greater depth

 

The world is becoming more local

Local results and Google My Business (GMB) will become major focus areas by 2020, or they should be. Google My Business is actually the part of Google that has received the most updates/changes in recent years.

 

To think big, it is sometimes necessary to think small (locally). Google figures show that organic traffic is increasing after GMB optimization.

SEO and content trends for 2020 - increased traffic after GMB optimization

Google completed an update in December 2019, which is of great importance to local search. Now, using neural matching for local results, they can better understand the meaning of the search and match it with the best local results.

 

Featured local SEO facts:

  • 4 out of 5 use search engines to find local information
  • 46% of all Google searches have a local purpose
  • 88% of users who do a local mobile search will either call or visit a business within 24 hours
  • 18% of local searches on mobile lead to a purchase within 24 hours
  • 78% of all location-based mobile searches end up with offline sales
  • 92% of users will choose a business on the first page of local results

 

You can read more about local SEO in our blog post. At the same time, you can learn more about the possibilities in a larger context in our Google My Business blog post. People using local searches spend more time in the buying journey, which speaks even more to an increased focus on this.

 

Here's how to succeed with local SEO

If you want to succeed with local SEO, you should start by creating a Google My Business profile if you don't already have one. It is an "easy and fast" way to become visible in local results.

 

First, update your profile with all relevant information. There is a lot of information about your business you can share with users (and Google), such as business hours, whether or not you accept NFC payment, have an elevator, and much more. If you are a restaurant or hotel, you can make a direct booking link through your GMB profile.

 

It is especially important that you select relevant categories for your profile. This is where Google learns the most about your company and uses this information to display local results. The key is to share information that is truly relevant. Category stuffing can earn you a "penalty" from Google.

 

Not only do you get local results with Google My Business, you also need to have some local content on your site - and link to it from your GMB profile. On-site SEO is often hyper-local as it involves cities or areas. We recommend that you use Schema for your local pages.

 

You must (1) use local keywords for your local pages. (2) You will use them to create unique quality content. (3) Feel free to add great photos and videos to the content. (4) Ask yourself does it make sense to make an international edition. (5) Optimize against Rich Snippets with structured data. (6) Get positive reviews.

 

When it comes to local content, it's also worth anticipating Micro Moments by adding information you can naturally include, such as knowledge of an area, exciting places to experience, and where to find cheap food or good museums, to name a few.

 

The Search Engine Journal has published a great article on Local SEO Strategy.

 

The Amazon Bubble - Will Amazon arrive in Denmark in 2020?

The jungle drums have long been sounding with rumors that Amazon is right at the door. First it was supposed to arrive in 2019, but that didn't happen. While nothing is official yet, there are many indications that 2020 will be the year Amazon Denmark sees the light of day, and Danish e-commerce will (yet) become a major competitor.

 

Of course, the platform is already big in Denmark, where we typically buy from the German or English divisions of the company. With Danish warehouses and a local presence, Amazon will probably gain a large market share quickly because they are already known for low prices and extremely fast delivery.

 

New figures show that 49% of all product searches in the US begin on Amazon, not Google (which accounts for only 22%). Many users both start and end their journeys on Amazon, which means that it is worth considering whether you as a company should be present on the platform.

SEO and content trends for 2020 - where US shoppers start when digitally shopping

Eve though these are American (only) numbers, it can be daunting for any company to think that users never leave Amazon. eMarketer has also looked at how often users use Amazon Prime.

SEO and content trends for 2020 - starting point for US shoppers when shopping online by frequency of using Amazon Prime

If you decide to become part of the platform, you will need to know more about SEO on Amazon, which is different from traditional Google SEO.

 

 

The Pinterest Bubble: The overlooked social media

We’ve already talked about video and visual storytelling, but we need to talk a little more about something related to this, namely Pinterest.

 

Pinterest is the often-overlooked little sister of the very big media brands. This may be because it is not, in fact, a social media in its true nature. However, this should in no way deter you because Pinterest users are looking for inspiration, not specific brands.

 

The platform has hidden potential for you to reach many users without having to pay a lot of money if you go about it properly. Twenty-three percent of Danes have a Pinterest profile - which is a 9% increase over 2018 - but only 4% use it daily.

 

According to Pinterest's own report, 82% of users have made a purchase based on brand content they have seen on the platform.

 

In 2019, Pinterest actually overtook Snapchat in the US in terms of monthly active users. Furthermore, it doesn't look like Snapchat is catching up with Pinterest right away. On the contrary.

SEO and content trends for 2020 - Pinterest v Snapchat Users, US

The big difference between Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter is that the primary features on Pinterest are pictures, not words. Here, the medium differs markedly from most others.

 

Many marketers follow interest and traffic on Pinterest, but traditional SEO metrics such as keyword search volume do not exist. For those who can create successful brand experiences, however, there may be a big pot of gold at the end of the Pinterest rainbow.

SEO and content trends for 2020 - pinterest SEO diagram

It's easy to get started. Simply create a company account, verify your domain, and link an ad account to get ready. Ads on Pinterest are still very new, but this means there is great opportunity if you dare throw yourself into it and invest time and money in the medium. Much of the content is typically already found on your website in the form of first-class images.

 

BET BETTER is a brand that has successfully established itself on Pinterest where it reaches a lot of users. They share, among other things. quality content from their other channels. Quality is an important parameter on Pinterest, both in the eyes of the platform and users.

 

Can we help you?

Do you already have control over the various trends? Cool, then you are well on your way to succeeding in the years to come.

 

If you would like to hear more about how to make the most of the various trends, please feel free to contact us to hear more.

 

Download Future Focus 2020, where we go in depth with what's going to happen in the next ten years. In more than 100 pages we address how to avoid the pitfalls of digital transformation as well as how to get ready for the future of machine learning and automation today.