SEO step by step guide for 2020
You don’t have to be involved in digital marketing for very long to realize that search engine optimization — or SEO — is kind of a big deal. The practice of optimizing your content and website to increase visibility in search engine results pages is an ever-evolving cornerstone of modern marketing.
And yet, despite its continued importance, many businesses don’t know where to start with SEO. With so much to consider, it’s easy to get lost. For this reason, many people simply avoid it altogether.
But that’s a mistake that can cost you a lot of great business opportunities. Why leave so much on the table when you can improve your business with great SEO?
In this article, we’ll show you how to do search engine optimization the right way so that you can climb the rankings to reach your audience in 2020 and beyond.
How to do SEO for Website Step by Step: 10 Areas to Focus in 2020
SEO takes time and patience. It’s easy to get lost among the weeds and to lose faith when you don’t notice much impact for weeks or months at a time. Here are ten aspects to focus on to ensure your SEO campaign reaps the rewards down the line:
1. Consider Bounce Rate
The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that leave your website after viewing just one page. Here is a bounce rate scale to help you out:
- 25% or lower: Something is probably broken
- 26-40%: Excellent
- 41-55%: Average
- 56-70%: Higher than normal, but could make sense depending on the website
- 70% or higher: Bad. Something is probably broken, or else your website just needs a lot of work!
Why Does Bounce Rate Matter?
Google analyzes user behaviours online, collecting data on billions of searches every day. If people exit your website after looking at only one page, it’s a signal to Google that your website doesn’t provide the answers people want.
According to Google:
Bounce rate is single-page sessions divided by all sessions (or the percentage of all sessions) on your site in which users viewed only a single page and triggered only a single request to the Analytics server.
Reasons for a High Bounce Rate
It doesn’t matter if someone leaves after three seconds or ten minutes — it’s still a bounce, and a high bounce rate is a problem that could send your website plummeting in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Here are several possible reasons for a high bounce rate:
Google prefers fast-loading sites, as a slow site offers a poor user experience (UX). People can bounce from a site if it takes any longer than a few seconds to load.
Misleading Title Tag or Meta Description
Your meta title and description act as a hook in SERPs, catching attention to attract clicks and traffic to your site. However, if the content isn’t aligned with your metadata, it may frustrate visitors, and they may bounce soon after landing.
Blank Page or Technical Error
An exceptionally high bounce rate may be a result of an error, such as a 404 or blank page. Test your pages on all devices and browsers to ensure there are no such problems.
Bad Link from Another Website
A high bounce rate from referral traffic may be down to some misleading anchor text. Keep an eye on your backlinks and disavow any that may be from reputable sources.
Affiliate Landing Page or Single-Page Site
The concept of affiliate marketing is to direct traffic away from your site to a merchant’s site. So, a single-page website (like a sales landing page for your eBook) will naturally have a high bounce rate in this scenario.
Sometimes, a high bounce rate happens because your content lacks quality or that it isn’t optimized for online reading. Even great writers can produce poor online content.
Double-check the following:
- You’ve written in short, simple sentences.
- Your content is easy-to-scan and is well-formatted with lots of header tags, small sections, and bullet points.
- You’ve included good images to break up the text and make it easy to digest.
Ultimately, you need to create well-written, well-researched, relevant, current content that people care about, and it must be presented in an easily-digestible way that people like to read and share.
Bad UX Design
People expect websites to be smooth and simple to navigate. Include clear menu bars, a search box, and crisp design features to enhance the UX. If the site is cluttered or confusing, people won’t stick around. You must learn about the
The Page Isn’t Mobile-Friendly
Nowadays, you must have a mobile-responsive website that looks good on all devices and all screen sizes. If people encounter a wacky-looking site on their mobile, they’ll quickly exit. Mobile first indexing and approach is becoming important now.
11 Tips to Reduce Your Bounce Rate
Regardless of the reason behind your high bounce rate, there are plenty of solutions available for you to tackle the problem. Here are some SEO tips to reduce your bounce rate:
I. Improve Your Content’s Readability
Here are some ideas you can try out to make your content more reader-friendly:
- Subheadings to break up the text.
- Bullet points to make points easy to understand.
- Charts, images, and graphics to add visual aesthetics and weight to your arguments.
- Quotes from industry experts to add authority.
- Bold keywords a few times (don’t overdo this).
- Questions to involve the reader.
- End with a subheader like “Conclusion” or “Wrap Up,” as this summarizes the key points and encourages readers to take action.
II. Create a Compelling Call-to-Action
A powerful CTA evokes emotion, making people feel an impulse to act, even if it’s something as simple as reading another blog post. Great copywriting can give you the CTAs you need to minimize your bounce rate.
III. Improve Your Brand Storytelling
Most people scan online content rather than reading every line. With storytelling, you can stand out from the pack, captivating readers in a way that fosters a connection. When you do that, you can get people to read more content, more often.
IV. Keep Your Blog Fresh With the Right Content
Great content alone is not enough — you must be consistent. If people really like your content, they’ll come back for more, so you must keep things flowing, or people will lose interest in your site.
V. Target Keywords With High-Value Traffic
When you want to attract high-value traffic, target keywords that show purchasing intent. You can build content around long-tail terms that denote the searcher’s desire to learn more about specific topics, products, or services.
VI. Write Attractive Meta Descriptions for Search Users
Get clever with your meta descriptions to attract more clicks. Make sure to include the keyword, and weave some curiosity into the description to persuade people to visit your site.
VII. Create Multiple Landing Pages for High-Volume Keywords
For every unique keyword (product or service) you must have its own landing page. If you have 10 products then have 10 different pages for its detail and explanation. In this way you make your site navigation much easier for users. Aim to create as many landing pages as possible, and link to all of them from your homepage to offer a rich, smooth experience for every visitor.
VIII. Set External Links to Open in New Windows
If your site opens external links in the same tab, it creates an easy exit for your visitors. Instead, you should set external links to open a new window, so that you keep people on your site for longer.
IX. Help People Get Where They Want to Be Faster
If you want to encourage people to browse more of your site, you need to make it easy. You can improve your navigation, your menus, and search filters so people can quickly find what they want. Also, within each post, try including a table of contents with internal anchor links.
X. Unsatisfied Search Intent
While SEO is mostly about search engines, don’t forget that you are writing for humans. Keep user intent in mind as you create content.
2. Returning Visitors
If somebody visits your website and then returns on the same device within two years, Google considers them to be a Returning Visitor. Here are a few ways to increase your returning visitor rate:
Create new content
As mentioned earlier, a flow of fresh content will keep people interested. If you continue to offer actionable, helpful content, you will build loyalty with your readers.
Keep in touch over social media
Content creation is only part of the game. After you hit publish, you must get to work on marketing your content. Through social media, you can reach a wide audience and find people to amplify your brand message.
Start an email newsletter
Whereas social media isn’t for everyone, email is almost universal. You can build relationships through email to encourage more return visits to your website.
Offer a customer loyalty program
Building customer loyalty is the key to sustainable business. If you reward visitors, they will come back again, which strengthens the reputation of your site in Google.
Use strategic retargeting
With remarketing strategies, you can target the people you know and trust your brand. They may already visit your site, so they are low-hanging fruit for future sales.
3. Voice Search Optimization
Voice search optimization will continue to grow in years to come, changing the face of SEO. People who use voice search tend to:
- Use full sentences and questions.
- Include verbs like make, do, and can.
- Have higher purchasing intent.
Therefore, marketers should optimize content with voice search in mind. Here are some strategies to think about:
- Reduce page loading times. Google Voice prioritizes quick-loading websites, so you should optimize images, compress large files, and make sure your site is mobile-responsive.
- Focus on natural language. Create content built around long-tail keywords and question-form phrases that reflect popular queries used in voice search.
- Aim for featured snippets. These summary answers get a lot of traffic. Try using Heading Tags (H-tags) and bullet points to optimize content to get the coveted “position zero” at the top of SERPs. Use structured data and schema markup to provide more information about your brand to bump your rankings and drive traffic.
- Provide local information. You can increase traffic from voice searches by setting up your profile on Google My Business.
- Increase your domain authority. This will have a significant impact on the search ranking, and you can achieve it by including high-quality links in your content (and by building backlinks from reputable websites with high authority).
- Add a FAQ page. These pages can be formatted to target lots of question-style keywords, and they offer great information for users.
4. Content that Focuses on E.A.T ( Expertise – Authority – Trustworthiness)
You can make content that Google likes by focusing on E.A.T.
You must communicate your message in a way that shows your knowledge and experience of the topic. Here’s how to do it:
- Find out what your audience wants to know, then meet — and exceed — their needs. This approach starts with keyword research.
- During keyword research, you must try to understand the searchers’ intent behind the terms.
- Find a balance between being comprehensive content and readability. To do this, format your content in an easy-to-digest way, with plenty of sub headers, short paragraphs, and visuals or rich media to break up the text.
When other brands or experts use your site as a source, it helps build your reputation in the industry. Consider the following when you want to improve your authority:
- Links from relevant and authoritative websites are of course a huge factor when it comes to ranking websites like backlink from a major news outlet.
- Shared content. If your content is widely and consistently shared across social media, this is a sign of growing authority.
- Branded search volume. If more people search for your brand name, you know you are making waves in the industry.
- Having a Wikipedia page for your brand or the people in your company is a surefire signal that you’re an authority.
While expertise and authority are factors that influence SERP placement, trustworthiness — or rather a lack thereof — can tank your rankings on Google.
Think about the following:
- On your website, provide a clear way for users to get in contact with you.
- Include details of the physical location of your business, such as your office or store address.
- Publish comprehensive specifications of product features and include any safety advice where appropriate.
- Add author biographies to your articles, and cite external sources where relevant, especially for stats, quotes, and studies. Linking out to authority sites is a good thing that improves your SEO. Conversely, if you include stats or mention studies without a link, readers will find it harder to believe your claims.
- Add a Terms & Conditions page.
- For eCommerce transactions, provide clear refunds & returns policies.
5. Video Content Optimization in 2020
Video SEO is the practice of optimizing video content to rank in SERPs for relevant keyword searches. Here are some tips to improve your video SEO results:
- Choose the right platform – Think about your goals for video marketing. Do you want more brand awareness or more leads? Are you targeting a specific audience segment? Get clear about your goals and pick the platform that complements them.
- Add value – People love watching videos. However, you can’t just publish anything. Create quality videos that offer valuable information, helping users with problems.
- Host video on your domain – If you want to leverage video content to improve your website SEO, you should host the video directly on your domain. If you embed a YouTube video, search traffic will be directed to YouTube first.
- Create interactive content – If video is hosted on your site, add interactive content like polls and ask question and take answer in the text input section or comment sections, it will make your videos more engaging, which can lead to more views, shares, and clicks.
- Optimize with keywords – Good keyword research will make your videos more visible online, attracting more traffic.
- Focus on the thumbnail – The thumbnail can influence users, encouraging them to click or ignore the video. Pick one that persuades people to click.
- Make “shareable” content – its not just about creating video, its about content which your audience will like, quality, creative content that offers something unique will stand out from the crowd. People will engage it and share it with their network.
- Add a video transcript – Again, you can leverage good keyword research here in your transcript, helping search engines learn more about the video content. It also improves the user experience when they watch the video.
- Create a video sitemap – With a sitemap, search engines have a clear picture of the context of a video. You can include specific details like the video’s title, description, subject, duration, as well as any country restrictions, expiration dates, or live streams.
- Allow embedding – Make it easy for people to embed the video on their blog or website. This helps amplify your content.
6. Prefer people over search engines:
Great SEO is not just about writing for search engines. You should always write for people first and search engines second. Rather than trying to game the system or stuff high-volume keywords into unrelated posts, it’s much better to devise a solid content strategy that aims to deliver quality, relevant, actionable information to your audience.
Eventually, Google will realize that your content is excellent because readers keep returning to your site, sharing posts, and spending time on your pages.
7. Structured data and search features
Structured data helps you reach the first page of the search results and even the featured snippet position.
People like easy-to-use websites with smooth navigation and a clear user interface that makes everything easy to see and find. Here are some ideas for structured data that you incorporate into your site design:
- Product Reviews (for product review)
- How to (for “how-to” content)
- FAQ (for FAQ content)
- Address (for company address)
- Books (for books)
- Events (for events)
Also, it’s a good idea to include a search bar feature so people can find things easily, even on a large website.
8. Branding and brand searches
When people search for your business on Google, you want to claim the top spot. Ranking for branded terms is important, as it helps you build your reputation.
SEO may change over time, but branding is an evergreen strategy that no company should ignore. Even if you struggle to rank for other terms, you should have little trouble getting visibility for your branded keywords.
9. Conversion Optimization
Conversion is the end goal for most campaigns, and hopefully, it’s the beginning of a new relationship with a valuable new customer. So, instead of focusing too much on the top-of-the-funnel, make sure your leads have what they need to convert.
Load them up with sterling reviews, consumer case studies, and persuasive content that convinces them you have the solution they need. By investing more in conversion optimization, you are sure to generate a higher return on investment (ROI).
10. Not ready for mobile
As mentioned earlier, you need to have a mobile-responsive website that looks good on all devices. A poor mobile experience will lead to high bounce rates and low conversions.
Furthermore, mobile-friendliness is a ranking factor, so you need to make your site mobile-ready to get in Google’s good books. Otherwise, your website will slide into obscurity.
So, there you have a comprehensive guide on how to do SEO for website step by step in 2020. There is a lot to think about and a lot to be gained. Take it one step at a time, making small changes to your site and social channels.
SEO is a long-term game that can deliver incredible results for months and years, making it a vehicle for sustainable business growth in the digital age. It takes time, patience, and a lot of trial and error. But, with the right strategy, it has all you need to establish your brand and business as one that customers will always remember.