What We Learned About SEO in 2020

seo 2020 recapJust about everyone can agree that 2020 was quite the year. But along with everything that we have endured as the year unfolded, SEO has kept us on our toes as well.

Here are some of the things that we learned about SEO in the past year, plus some findings other experts discovered.

Low Search Volume Doesn’t Equal No Leads

If you are using a keyword tracking tool, or have done keyword research before using something like Google’s keyword planner, you’ve probably seen that some of your terms have a low number of monthly searches.

And while this can seem like a bad thing, you can’t always trust these estimations, and even the CMO at Ahrefs agrees!

SEO Is Creeping into Other Walks of Life

In a recent article by George Nguyen at Search Engine Land, he pointed out that we even saw some SEO tactics being applied in non-internet-marketing-related instances:

“In February, Warner Bros. renamed its recently released Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) to simply Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey so that moviegoers (remember going to the movies?) would have an easier time finding tickets online.

And, while Netflix’s Tiger King gave many of us something to binge during that initial shift to being home all the time, the Tiger King himself used illicit SEO tactics to mislead users searching for his main competitor. He didn’t get away with it, and we certainly don’t recommend it.”

Building Links Is Still Hard, But There are Still Ways to Do It

Link building has been a big part of our strategy for not only our own marketing, but also our clients, for quite some time. After performing link building for a while, though, it can be hard to find new ways to continue to get new backlinks.

Thankfully, there are platforms such as HARO (Help a Reporter Out) that can make it easier, as they send you inquiries from writers in various subjects and allow you to send your response, which takes some of the heavy lifting out of getting mentions in articles. For example, we recently got this great feature from WordStream thanks to HARO!

Even angles like leveraging personal interests can help, such as how our intern Emma was able to write about a topic she loved for active.com.

Your Website Really Does Matter

Our Director Steve DiMatteo thought that in 2020 we really learned how much your website plays a key role in what we do with SEO:

“We learned that having a modern, updated website that loads fast (especially on mobile devices) and provides an ideal user experience is a huge aspect of ranking well, in addition to the tried-and-true method of producing great content built around keywords relevant to your business.”

Getting Specific Can Be Key

We spent a lot of time in 2020 digging deeper into our audience, and examining what types of people were inquiring about our services. This led to getting really specific with some of our landing pages where we would target niche industries and terms relevant to them.

With this, we were able to write dozens of new landing pages that have helped us increase our rankings, both locally and nationally.

Local Matters More Than Ever

Maureen Darrah, one of our SEO Strategists, thinks that local SEO stole the show in 2020:

“I feel like one thing that has grown and changed a lot in 2020 is local SEO. Google My Business has added a ton of new features within the last year that better accommodate local business. In particular, I’m impressed by how they have adapted to COVID-19. Throughout the year, they have added a new post type, the option to add a telehealth link, safety attributes, takeout and delivery options, and so much more. I feel like the changes they have made have really helped local businesses during this time.”

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