Woman dressed in fortune-tellers costume peering into a lighted crystal ball. Prediction is difficult, particularly when it involves the future. – Mark Twain

It’s that time of year again. It’s the season when SEO pundits predict the Google-trends that, when strategically accounted for, will define a marketers’ success or failure. Spoiler: a review of SEO predictions from the past decade will reveal many of the same trends time and time again. You may read SEO forecasts here, here and here. Now, go back and look at the trends each of the same SEO’s saw in their crystal ball’s last year and the year before and you’ll find many of the same predictions.

To be fair, these are smart pro’s but is any of it trend-worthy? Mostly not. Success requires maintaining focus on the three legs of the SEO stool: (1) technology, (2) content & on-page optimization and (3) link building.

Technical optimization is achievable. Audit your website from time to time. Fix errors and broken links religiously. Review the Google Webmaster Blog regularly and you will know everything you need to know. Sure, there are complicated implementations like multi-lingual-multi-regional optimization and for situations like these, you’ll require some expertise, but for the most part, technical best practices are published (by Google) and there is absolutely no excuse for websites that do not index well.

Content and on-page optimization are where we spend much of our time strategically. Content development is incredibly important, but the idea that Google’s achievements with regard to artificial intelligence or their algorithmic updates like Bert, should change our definition of high-quality content is a bit shocking. Implementing an SEO strategy which factors in user intent is critical, but it’s not new. Content needs to be unique and engaging and must satisfy a user’s intent. Unless you’re still practicing the art of keyword-stuffing, there’s not much that’s new here.

As for link building, there isn’t much to predict. Indeed, Google is getting better at sniffing out those websites building their authority on spammy links, but they’ve been on this crusade for more than a decade. Still, Private Blog Networks (PBNs) are working well and this is a sign that Google has plenty of room for improvement. More often than not, the quality of a website’s backlink profile is the reason it outranks competitors’. Link building is resource-intensive and/or capital-intensive. It requires creative content development in tandem with a public relations-like outreach strategy, which is challenging, but maintain discipline toward meeting realistic goals and your website will be rewarded in Google’s results. 

So, for 2020, periscopeUP’s prediction is: More of the same. Sound technical optimization, creative content development and ongoing link building will continue to be the keys to success. Happy new year. 

Is your website ready for success in 2020? Call us at (443) 475-0787 to let us help you get set up for success.  Contact us today!