Backlinks, Content Buckets and Approach: What will Matter the Most in 2020 for SEO?

Jen Saunders
Reading Time:5minutes

Google has confirmed more than 300 updates to its algorithm in 2019, with 21 core algorithm updates, so far with the last one being a broad core algorithm update unleashed on September 24.  If we are to study the last few years of Google’s updates, we will see these commonalities when it comes to content that ranks well, and more importantly, content that converts t sales:

  • Content speaks to specific buyers addressing their needs, and offers the best solution to their problem. 
  • Content uses the right keywords, within the right context
  • An active, well-maintained blog lives on the site
  • Content buckets are utilized in a pillar page and cluster strategy
  • Backlinks are acquired from reputable domains with relevant content
  • On site SEO is buttoned up
  • The client’s business model and sales cycle is analyzed, and if applicable, SEO is introduced within a multi-channel approach to driving and converting traffic

The best SEO agencies offering a modern organic strategy within a growth marketing approach are ideal companies to partner with because they offer solutions for all business types. But as previously mentioned, the strategy should consider the above mentioned points, the the last one being optional based on the organization’s inner workings. 

This article is intended to help CMOs, marketing managers, and other decision makers learn what is crucial for SEO to work and actually generate revenue in 2020.

SEO companies

SEO Demands You Write for Target Buyers & Invest in Content Buckets

You can write about your products in great detail going over the engineering process, reviews, and your company’s history. But the buyers in 2020 won’t care. This means you will get few clicks, with a high bounce rate, and no sales. As technology has advanced, buyers are using their mobile devices to research before they make a purchasing decision. This means they do research to learn more about their actual needs and pain points, how many options there are to pursue, and once they settle on an option they want to research the carious brands, types and prices to make the best decision.

This means content that will rank for the right buyers must be educational and inform readers through their buyer’s journey.

keywords for SEO

Using SEO Keywords in 2020, the Right Way

We already talked about content needs to speak to specific buyer needs. This means your keywords need to be the anchors to that content. Long gone are the days when keywords with a high search volume simply needed to peppers on a page. Now, these keywords with significant search volume need to be utilized in multiple ways (longtail keywords, broad keywords, etc) within a context that has to do with the buyer’s needs, or a solution to their needs. For example, if an ecommerce scuba diving equipment business is trying to sell more regulators, rather than focusing on the keyword “scuba regulators” which may have the highest search volume, the marketer should tank for keywords that speak more specifically to a divers need, such as “cold water regulators”, “ice diving regulators”, “titanium regulators”, “tropical regulators” and “warm water regulators”. You can certainly mix broad keywords into the content, so long as they are introducing a topic that is specific to a buyer’s need. So if an ice diver wants a titanium regulator that won’t free flow in frigid conditions, choose longtail keywords that represent solutions to this need, with broad keywords mixed in. It’s all about context to buyer resolutions, and so long as your content is educational and helps customers learn more about their needs, the SEO strategy will be highly successful.

SEO agency

Blogs, Content Clusters and Pillar Pages

Your 2020 SEO strategy is going to need an advanced content approach. This means the blogs need to be hyper-focused on buyers, be designated into buckets that make up clusters, and these need to link to pillar pages, which in turn link to the homepage.

A pillar page focuses on a primary product or service. It typically has 1000+ words to appease Google best Practices, and it goes into great detail about the product, its many uses, who the product is suited for, what problems it addresses, and it should contain information that educated people into making smart purchasing decisions.

Content buckets can be spread across multiple topics related to the main subject, and these are best used in blog clusters. A cluster is a group of blogs (no specific number) that each address specific subject, using a new perspective, addressing a specific type of buyer, and has a unique title. Each of these blogs will link to the pillar page, and from there each pillar page will link to the homepage.

This creates a positive user experience as it allows readers to navigate to the specific content they are looking for, and the internal linking strategy allows “SEO juice” to circulate through tha various pages while showing Google how they are related–something that improves rankings, domain authority and higher quality traffic (and more of it).

SEO for Backlinks

SEO Backlinks

Many people wonder if backlinks are still good for SEO, and just as they were critical in 2018 when the core algorithm evolved via several updates, they will still be paramount to any SEO strategy in 2020. Just make sure you get high-quality content published on a referring domain that has content relevant to your site, a high domain authority, and make sure their own backlink portfolio isn’t spammy. It is also important that you have control of the anchor text (it should contain your main keyword and promise a solution to a buyer), and the link should have the “follow” attribute, otherwise it offers no SEO value.

SEO audit

On Site SEO

Yup, on site SEO still matters. Your page URLs need to be rewritten in a way to express what’s on the page (and even who the content is for) without being too long. Your H1 and H2 tags need to reflect the page’s content using top keywords, image ALTs need appropriate keywords, Schema markup needs to accurately describe the page, and the page title and meta description need to compliment the content. The best SEO agencies like WEBITMD will do an audit and make any changes needed.

SEO company

SEO as part of a Growth Marketing Stack

If your products are more high-end, have larger price points, and longer sales cycle, then there is a good chance SEO will best help you if it’s a part of a growth marketing stack. This is where SEO works with other strategies, like paid media, to drive traffic to an inbound funnel. SEO can also drive specific traffic to each stage of the conversion funnel and play a huge role in generating more leads and closing more sales. However, not all clients are a good fit for this strategy.

Call WEBITMD today; learn about our modern approach to SEO for 2020, and give us a cal to see if you might be a good fit for SEO within a custom growth marketing stack.

Download the FREE Guide on Our Modern Approach to SEO
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About
Jen Saunders is the Director of SEO for WEBITMD bringing more than 15 years of search marketing experience. She spent 13 years in Europe earning her PhD while looking at lots of old neat stuff. Jen enjoys simple things, like trees, sunrises, and the delicate lull of a 16th century harpsichord. Jen enjoys meditating and studies Buddhism. She is a certified master scuba diver, dolls make her nervous, and she enjoys craft beer. Jen has two cats, Chairman Thaddeus Whiskers and Lord Joffrey Gaius Pitty-Paws. They are her heirs.