A Year in Review: How 2020 Changed SEO Practices

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January 5, 2021 SEO

The landscape of user behavior on the internet has changed drastically over the years. However, one factor remains constant; search engine optimization (SEO) is still the leading practice when it comes to driving traffic to websites. A recent study revealed that SEO is attributed to boosting traffic to about half of all websites online. The proof is clear that search engine optimization services are crucial to getting websites ranked on search engines such as Google or Yahoo.

In the old days, successful SEO practices relied on using keywords in titles, headers, and throughout the body of webpage content. These tactics were effective for getting ranked on Google back in the early days, but ever-increasing competition online and constant changes in Google algorithms demand more innovative SEO strategies. As the leading search engine optimization company in North America, we've taken a hard look at how SEO practices have changed in 2020. Here are some suggestions on how your SEO game can improve and render better results for the years ahead.

Top Tips to Improve Your SEO Game

Although much has changed in the game of winning the coveted first page of a Google search, there is no reason to lose hope in your efforts to gain a high rank on search engines. Check out these tips for upping your SEO game.

Keywords Still Matter: It's a fact that effective SEO is impossible without identifying the right keywords for your website. There are a variety of ways to pinpoint the right keywords for your niche. The easiest way is to put yourself in your web visitor's shoes while conducting a Google search for your own services and studying the results. For example, if you are selling paisley shoelaces, begin Googling variables on your keyword (ie, paisley shoelaces) and see what comes up in the search results. You may notice that Google caters to searches in the form of a question. This was a big change in Google's operation you should take advantage of, especially if your business relies heavily on local sales. According to observations by search engine optimization in Mississauga, implementing keywords in the form of a question and/or according to geography can be highly effective. For instance, do a search engine query with your keywords including questioning terms such as who, why, what, and where. Your results can give you clues as to how you can leverage your keywords for maximum effect.

Keyword Placement: Once you have researched the best keywords for your niche, you will need to include these keywords in specific areas on your web pages. This is also called 'on-page SEO'. Be sure to insert keywords in your titles, subtitles, header tags, alt tags and sprinkle them throughout the body of your web page. You should also consider adding hyperlinks to other pages on your website because this helps Google understand the content on your page. It's also important to strike the right balance when including keywords in your content. Too many instances of a keyword could be harmful. Overusing keywords is sometimes called 'keyword-stuffing' and is considered bad SEO practice and may results in penalties from Google.

Pay Attention to Current Algorithms: Keeping abreast of the newest algorithms is a crucial function of a search engine optimization company. Why? Because changes in Google algorithms can mean epic shifts in how your website ranks in searches. For instance, in 2019 Google introduced Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers or BERT for short. This new algorithm focuses more on the relationships between keywords rather than giving sole focus on the keyword itself. BERT is a complex algorithm that focuses on natural dialogue which enriches the user experience and online searches. Staying informed about changes in algorithms can give you advantages when you are creating keyword-focused content for your website.