5 Foundational SEO Strategies to Crush 2020

If you could focus on just a handful of SEO strategies in the coming year to improve your website, where would you start? I’m here to help. I’m going to break down five foundational SEO strategies to help you get more visibility, more traffic and more conversions in 2020.

1. E-A-T More

Expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness: these form the basic job description of your website and what it’s supposed to prove, according to Google.

Google's Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines table of contents.
Screenshot of the table of contents from Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines

 
E-A-T is the foundation of any strategic SEO program. It communicates to your audience and the search engines that you are a quality resource. Thus, everything in your SEO content strategy, your SEO tactics and your offline efforts (such as speaking, teaching, etc.) should support this.

2. Full Speed Ahead

Got a slow website? If too slow then your chances of ranking in today’s search engine environment are slim to none. And if you do happen to rank, it’s likely that more than half of your audience will bounce.

The PageSpeed Insights tool is a good place to start. There, you can assess performance and see how improvements will fare. But which pages should you start with?

Screenshot of Google's PageSpeed Insights tool in action.

Take the top search queries bringing traffic to your site and check your top-ranked pages. Then find out who your competitors are for those queries, and make sure to beat their page load times. The SEOToolSet® has helpful tools for this exercise.

A screenshot of the Research Summary Report of the tool featuring top-ranked pages.
Research Summary Report shows top-ranked pages for a query. (SEOToolSet)

 

3. When Silos Are a Good Thing

While the business world talks about breaking down silos, the SEO world rejoices in them. Siloing organizes disjointed website topics into clear themes that boost not only E-A-T, but also keyword rankings.

Graphic illustrating how to silo for search engine optimization.

Of course, siloing is not all there is to ranking, but without it, you lose relevance. And being relevant is the key to a successful website now and in the future.

4. Tag, You’re It

In the race to quality content, meta tags are a secret weapon. Not only do they tell the search engines what the page is about, but they also serve as the enticing snippet in the search results.

Screenshot of the search results for www.bruceclay.com.

Here are the basics of creating a great meta tag:

  • Ensure each title tag is unique across your website.
  • Try to keep title tags below 78 characters, which is the cutoff for mobile users.
  • Use the top keyword in the title tag before the character cutoff.
  • The meta description tag should also include the most important info and keywords near the beginning.
  • If the search engine chooses to display your description text, it will include about 24 words or 160 characters with spaces.

The Bruce Clay SEO WP™ plugin is handy for content creators and SEOs to cross the finish line by writing compelling and original meta tags as part of the content process.

5. Excuse Me, Your Schema Is Showing

Google uses structured data to better understand what the content is on a page. Not only that, but structured data can enhance your presence on the search engine results page. Google may include “rich snippets” (as shown below) or “featured snippets” from your content that can further entice users to click through to your site.

Screenshot of a search results page that displays websites that have structured data markup.

The SEO industry continues to talk about the importance of schema to the ever-evolving search engine results page. If you’re new to the concept, Google has a great beginner’s guide for developers and website publishers here.

Focusing on the basics while using the right tools is a sure-fire way to get ahead in 2020. Make sure you’re using the industry’s leading SEO and content tools as you dial in on your strategy for the New Year. Learn more about our SEOToolSet® today.

Comments (12)
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12 Replies to “5 Foundational SEO Strategies to Crush 2020”

Really useful tips to improve and modify your site. I will use them for my blog on software development and I think I will get very good results.

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Great marching orders for 2020, Bruce. Though these have been on the plate in 2019 and, in some cases long before, I believe the prioritization is spot on and that which we will focus upon this year.

Hearing more of the future of voice search optimization. Do you think it will be a significant factor in 2020 or will it more likely appear in the 2021+ list of foundational strategies?

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Alessio says:

Thanks for sharing Bruce, definitely all key factors in particular site speed and using silo’s.

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Hey Bruce, wondering what your thoughts are on GMB’s and their importance for overall SEO health as a foundational tactic at the very least? Thanks for the post!

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John Wood says:

I really think most peopel overlook how effective a good meta description tag is and how much it can improve your CTR from the search results.

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Darren says:

Helpful guidelines.

Thank you for the post!

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Hi Bruce, If I had to pick 5, these would have have been them. I’m curious were they in any particular order?

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Hi Bill – This is the order I would go with. In general the nature of each site might sway a few one way or the other but IMO do them all and do not worry about the order.

click says:

I’ll take note of it to E-A-T more.

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Useful insights you shared here about SEO and techniques that really matters to boost search ranking this year. Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (EAT) and site loading speed are the key elements to achieve top position in SERPs.

Thanks for sharing valuable information with us…!!!

Reply

All good things to implement :-)

Reply
Paula Allen says:

Andy: Thanks for being a frequent visitor & adding your insights to the blog!

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