Is optimizing SEO for Google still relevant in 2020? According to NetMarketShare, Google has around 75.23% of the search engine market share worldwide. So it’s safe to say that Google is still the number one place for everyone to get information and an excellent platform for marketers to create brand awareness.
That’s why having a page that ranks high on the Google SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) is like night and day.
As Backlinko analysis states, only 0.78% of people clicked on pages from the second page. It means people tend to pick their answer only from the first page. It’s become your competitive advantage when you own content or pages that rank high on Google’s SERP.
However, it’s not easy for Google to rank your page on its first page. Let's take a closer look at how you can write content that your customers love while optimizing SEO for Google so your pages rank high.
Google can’t detect your content if you ignore SEO, so if you aren't optimizing for SEO, chances are, your page won't rank on the first page of search results. But what does SEO actually mean?
Google has its own set of algorithms when it comes to detecting, evaluating, and ranking its pages. Those set of algorithms are famously known as SEO (Search Engine Optimization). However, Google is very secretive and never opens up about these algorithms.
Not only is it closed to the public, but these algorithms are also always changing and evolving. That’s why it’s tricky to identify the right components and structure for content to match these algorithms.
Next, I have laid out a few required algorithm-friendly components to write content while still optimizing SEO in 2020:
BERT or Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers is the latest Google feature to help searchers with their queries. Google now can better understand long-tail phrases and still give searchers accurate results. It allows searchers to type long sentences for their queries. It makes long-tail keyword phrases key to SEO.
Let’s say you want to rank content on digital marketing. Rather than creating a lot of content that only targets digital marketing, try to create content that targets variations of relevant long-tail keywords. For example, use keywords such as Facebook digital marketing agency, digital marketing specialist, and digital marketing rates for your subtopics.
As you can see, your subtopics can be more specific, but the parent topic (digital marketing) is still broad. But does this mean you need to create a lot more content? Yes, because long-tail keywords force topics to become very specific, and your target customer would also become very specific. This type of important content is called cornerstone content.
However, this focus on these types of keywords is a good thing as ready-to-buy customers are more likely to use long-tail keywords for their queries.
When it comes to optimizing SEO for Google, you want both algorithms and customers to notice your content. Crafting a compelling headline is the first building block to achieve this.
A compelling headline should answer one simple question: What’s in it for my target customer to read this content?
Start by utilizing the power of long-tail keywords. Remember, long-tail keywords help you to become more specific. Pick keywords and topics that already have an existing demand in the market. And you’ll have a headline that speaks directly to the specific target customer.
Keywords tools such as Ubersuggest and Ahrefs can help you with this. But there is more. Depending on the topic and keyword, begin to identify the benefit you want to give.
The headline needs to be benefit-driven. It will make readers worry that they will miss out on something if they don’t click it. Then last but not least, turn the headline from a statement into a question.
In a nutshell, a compelling headline is a question that speaks directly to the specific audience’s mind. And also, don’t forget to insert the long-tail keyword into the headline so Google can find it.
However, you have to be careful as the line between a compelling headline and clickbait headline is very thin. Make sure to have body content that delivers the benefits you promise in the headline.
In 2020, having content that is not plagiarized or a false claim is standard for getting into the game of content marketing. But it helps if you have more than that when you want to optimize for SEO.
When optimizing SEO for Google, the algorithms need to detect how well its users respond to your content. This is a follow-up process after crafting a compelling headline.
The fastest way to accumulate good responses is by creating content based on the solution for those existing problems. This means the content must deliver an in-depth explanation of the solutions.
The solution should be useful and practical, so readers are more than happy to link to it and share it. The more backlinks and shares the content gets, the more Google loves the content. However, the length of content should be long enough to give an in-depth answer. Short content can’t deliver enough depth for a quality answer.
Do readers hate to read long-form content? If the content is boring, then it’s true. The content becomes more like a lecture from a history class. So what are some of the ways to counter this problem?
A simple solution to make content less boring is by boosting the user experience. Insert subheads, videos, images, and infographics to break up the long paragraphs. It's less tiring for the reader.
Google is a big proponent of user experience. That’s why user experience has become more and more critical when it comes to optimizing SEO for Google.
Another way to make content exciting is by having better content than your competitors. As ancient Chinese war strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu said: “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.” While we put most of our focus on our customers’ needs, we shouldn’t forget about our competitors either.
Identify which part of their content that you can improve on. In which section can you give a more in-depth explanation and deliver content with the newest facts or trends?
Last but not least, with the BERT update, Google will look into content and pages with a more conversational tone. So to take advantage of this update, use natural, day-to-day words that readers understand and enjoy.
To write content that customers love while still optimizing SEO for Google can be tricky. But you can use these few algorithm-friendly components as the backbone of your content:
A collection of relevant long-tail keywords your target customers are searching for.
A benefit-driven headline that instantly pulls your target customer’s attention.
Body content filled with in-depth solutions that answer your target customer’s existing problems.
Write long-form content that prioritizes user experience, provides better quality, and has a conversational tone that includes all the components.
You may find the process of optimizing SEO for Google takes more effort than you first expected, as you need consistency over a long period of time. One option is to outsource the process to professional SEO copywriters who understand the latest SEO practices and know how to write persuasive content. Click here to schedule a consultation call with one of our SEO experts.
Kendrick is a trained copywriter at Copywriters.com. He dedicates his life to producing high-quality copy for his clients to help them grow and scale their businesses. He also has an education background in International Business Management.Hire Kendrick