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As 2019 comes to an end, it’s the perfect time to take the learnings from the year and apply them to a strategy for 2020. The SEO landscape has shifted over the past year, confirming predictions and highlighting new trends that have seemingly come out of the left field.

For a small business, having an SEO strategy can help improve audience reach and engagement. Here are some of the top SEO trends from 2019 your small business can use.

Video Marketing

Video marketing has made waves over the past year. For small businesses, this presents an opportunity to have quick, manageable tidbits of information available. Consumers, on the other hand, appreciate the lack of time investment, increasing engagement, and reducing bounce rates.

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As a small business, use video embeds on your website to convey essential information to your audience. As the best SEO strategy is one that ties into your overall digital marketing efforts, consider leveraging social media via live videos to drive more traffic to your site as well.

Voice Search Optimization

Voice search optimization is perhaps one of the most critical SEO strategy considerations for 2020 and beyond. More people are using home assistants in their daily lives. Google predicts that in the future, your home assistant will be able to call and book appointments for you. The AI technology is getting so sophisticated that during these calls, the home assistant is indistinguishable from a human.

The key difference between traditional keyword searches and voice search is the sentence structure. With a typed search, users tend to drop a few keywords relevant to their query. With a voice search, users are more likely to use a complete sentence in the form of a question. The content on your website should be optimized for both approaches.

Snippets

The only thing better than being ranked first on a SERP is to take position zero. Position zero is a snippet that shows above position one on a results page and often gives a more detailed answer to your query than you see in the results below. 

To optimize for snippets, you’ll want your content to be well-formatted using headers or lists that make it easy for web crawlers to summarize your information. Additionally, you’ll want to frame your content around a question. 

For example, perhaps someone searches for the best food to help with hair growth. If you have a long, academic article that incorporates the food options into long-winded paragraphs, you’re unlikely to have a successful snippet. If, however, you list them with separate headers and incorporate the long-tail keyword “best foods for hair growth” into the piece, you could nab that top spot.

Cybersecurity

The fact that cybersecurity plays a role in SEO is surprising for many small business owners. As consumer awareness about privacy protection grows, and more countries implement regulations like GDPR, the role of cybersecurity in SEO grows.

Ensuring that you have an HTTPS connection protocol will prevent a “site not secure” message from appearing. These messages often deter people from your site, drastically increasing your bounce rate. As your bounce rate is one of the key components of your overall SEO effectiveness, being lazy when it comes to cybersecurity can drive your traffic into the ground.

Mobile Optimization

The world is mobile. In 2018, over half of all searches were conducted via mobile platforms. Additionally, 63% of paid Google ad clicks took place over mobile rather than desktop. Search engines are getting ahead of the trend and prioritizing a strong mobile user experience when ranking websites.

In 2019, there’s no excuse for not having a mobile-optimized site. Most basic website builder services, such as Wix or Squarespace, assist with mobile optimization for small businesses. Not only will Google crawlers flag you for not having mobile optimization, but people who click through to your site will be more likely to bounce, further damaging your SEO.

Final Thoughts

The trends listed here are simple changes that small businesses can make to drastically improve their reach. Try to implement these changes before the dawn of the new decade.

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