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Is Search Engine Optimisation Still Relevant in 2020?

Jun 3, 2020
Web Development

Social Media continues to capture our attention, but SEO is still highly relevant and far more conducive to increase sales growth.

In a nutshell, yes. Yes it is.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) refers to the use of certain tools and techniques to maximise your online search result position. The internet is constantly using technologies to scan (referred to as 'crawling and indexing') your website, to see how relevant your content is to the terms being searched.

SEO practices (when used well), improve the odds of your webpage being found by online searchers. Without the moving parts of SEO working well together, the chances of your brand new site appearing on Google’s first page organically are slim to none.

The Importance of Getting in Front of Your Target Market

Imagine this scenario: You’ve set aside the weekend for a DIY project. The day has arrived, and you were so excited about getting your hands dirty that you didn’t remember to check if you actually had the tools you need. To your shock and horror, you can’t find your hammer!

You need a hardware store urgently. But you don’t know which ones are around. You grab your phone, head to Google, and type in ‘hardware store near me’.

Google calls these common scenarios ‘micro-moments’ - the moment when someone needs something then and there, and if you don’t show up in the search results, you miss out.

Making proper use of the SEO tools available to you ensures you can be discovered in these moments.

  • 76% of people who search for on their smartphone for something nearby visit a business within a day
  • Almost half of all searches online are for local businesses or services
  • 28% of local searches result in a purchase
  • The top 5 search results account for 68% of all clicks
*stats from WebFX

Many people will argue that SEO is dead. It’s not dead, it has simply evolved.

There are definitely ways you can optimise your site to improve your Google Page Rank (where your page sits organically in Google Search results).

In 2020, best SEO practices include:

  • Claiming (or creating) your Google Knowledge Graph/Panel
  • Remembering that Google likes to E-A-T!
  • Creating relevant content that answers the questions of your audience
  • Researching your keywords
  • Auditing your site for correct tag, description and headline usage

If you don't have access to your site's backend and content, contact us at Moshi and we will help you as much as possible!

1. Creating or claiming your Google Knowledge Graph

Example of Google Knowledge Graph

A Google Knowledge Graph is a collection of data and information about your service or business either manually entered by yourself, or pulled from your website.

They look like the image to the right -> and appear in your Google search results.

Having a Google Knowledge Graph not only improves your authority in both Google rank and domain rank, but also means you're the first thing people see when they're looking for something you offer. That is, if it's set up correctly.

Begin by Googling your business. If you already have a Knowledge Graph appear, but can't remember setting it up, you will need to verify the business. Do this by clicking the 'Claim This Knowledge Panel'. If you can't see this option, click on the 'Own This Business?' button, and follow the steps to verification.

Whether you are verifying an existing Knowledge Graph or creating a new one, you will need a Gmail address. These are free. To create a new Graph from scratch, head to Google My Business and follow the steps to setting up your Knowledge Graph. Once done, you can log in to Google My Business any time and update business hours, posts, and more.

If you would like more information on how to set up your Knowledge Graph, contact us.

2. Showcase your Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness (E-A-T)

According to a recent article from Backlinko, Google stated the importance of content being written by trustorthy experts in the field. This is to stop any 'black hat' SEO techniques that used to be popular (techniques intended to 'trick' search engines with fake or spammy content), and to rank more credible sources of information higher than others.

To improve your site's trustworthiness, make sure you show transparency by having: an about page, a contact page, references and external links to any sources you've referenced in your content, a Privacy Policy, and author by-lines on every article to establish expertise.

Get ex-cited! Being cited on external sites as an expert in your domain is a fast way to establish youself as an authorative figure in your industry. Never feel scared to reach out to other businesses for some citations!

3. Create relevant content that answers the questions of your audience

The most notable change in SEO practices from the good ol' days (we're talking 5+ years ago), is the shift from writing purely for search engines to writing for humans.

It makes sense - after all, humans are the ones searching for things!

This means that instead of placing value on keyword-stuffed nonsense, there has been a shift in valuing content that educates the user and answers their questions. Google and other search engines now value well structured, rich content that quickly and thoroughly answers the needs of the searcher.

So what does this mean for you?

Spend more time crafting your content to your audience. A great way to find out who your audience actually is is by utilising Google Analytics, which provides data on the age, gender, location, entry points and time spent on each page of your site.

Once you have the statistics on your audience, take the time to create a single personification of this data (we have written about that here if you need!), and imagine you're delivering your content to that person only. Every. Single. Time.

When it comes to your actual content, double check your grammar and spelling, and...

4. ... Research your keywords!

Your keywords are a collection of common-subject based words that help Google (and your audience!) identifiy what your content is about. However, keywords aren't just limited to single words and confusing jargon anymore - which comes back to the shift of 'writing for humans' instead of writing for machines.

Instead of simply throwing keywords into your copy like a crazed maniac, you should take the time to create fully formed sentences that make sense to your user, and are supported by LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) Keywords.

Not entirely new to the SEO game, LSI keywords are terms and words that are related to your subject matter. For example, if your content is about leather shoes, you would want to include LSI keywords such as 'cowhide', 'boots', 'handmade', and 'footwear'.

When Google's crawling your site, it can see clearly that you're talking about leather shoes, judging by your semantic keyword usage. The most important thing to remember is that you have to use these keywords in sentences that make sense to the end user.

Related Search Queries are also extremely useful when it comes to knowing what your audience is actively searching for in regard to your topic.

Finding out what people are searching for is easy! Head to, and in the search bar, start typing in your topic. The suggested dropdown options are the most frequently searched queries about that topic.

Finding Related Search Queries

For our example above, it's obvious a lot of searches around leather shoes are for 'women'. Therefore I want to include the word 'women' in my content (in this example I exclusively sell women's leather shoes). LSI keywords I would also want to add would be 'woman', 'female' and 'footwear', to strengthen my authority on the subject.

5. Audit your site's image tags, metadata, descriptions and header tags.

Image Tags

Using image alt tags properly throughout your site will improve your page rank over time. Each image used on your site should have alt text filled in to enable more searchability across the web. Alt text not only helps your images appear in Google Images for related terms, but also appears in the place of your image if your site goes down.

Best practices for image alt tags include being specific, concise and detailed without being too 'promotional'.

For example, say you have a photo of a baseball game. A bad example of an alt tag would be: alt="Baseball player hitting a ball at a baseball field". This is too vague, and competition for search terms like 'baseball' are quite high. Chances are your image won't appear anywhere else but your site. This is a much better example: alt="David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox batting from home plate at Fenway Park".

Doritos example of good alt text for images
Example of Doritos using their image alt tags correctly.

What Is Metadata?

When it comes to web design and marketing, a lot of what draws your users to your site is hidden to the eye within code and style sheets.

Metadata is not. It is the overarching term for the page titles and meta descriptions used on your website. Page titles and descriptions are pulled directly from your website data to Google, so making sure these are optimised for maximum clicks is important.

Confused? We'll run you through what they are.

Example of Metadata used in Page Tabs

Page Titles

Your page titles are indexed by Google and pulled through to Search Results and your page tabs. If you have access to edit the backend of your website, try to include a few contextual keywords into your page titles.

This means that when Google is crawling and indexing your site, it can pull the relevant contextual words from the initial Google search and match them with your page title content. Voila! Your content is relevant to the searcher, and will appear higher up in the results than someone who simply has 'Home', 'About', and 'Services'.

Page Descriptions

If you have access to the editing section of your site, you will notice that on every single page of your website there is an area to include a 'meta-description'. This field can also be labelled as 'page description', or 'SEO description'.

What people see below your page title in your Google results is pulled directly from here. in our example below, we have included the terms 'Bunbury', 'Moshi Moshi' and 'Marketing' into our home page title, and have used location and service specific text in our meta description to match any search terms for 'marketing Bunbury', 'web design bunbury', 'marketing South West'.

Use all of the available field characters to try and be as specific as you can about what you offer, to ensure you're being displayed higher up in the search results for your niche.

Moshi Moshi Metadata example

Header Tags

Header tags are very important when it comes to SEO. Every website should contain Header1 tags, and Header2 tags at the very minimum.

I can hear you scratching your head and saying 'but Lauren, wouldn't a header tag be the same as a page title?' No my friend, let me explain the difference.

A header tag is a piece of code attached to the headings in your page content. They will often be styled differently, to show the order of information heirachy visually.

For example:

This is a header1 tag

This is a Header2 tag

Google will initially scan your content's header tags to get an idea of what your site is about. If your headers are relevant to what is being searched for on Google, the better your page rank.

Header2's are used to support the themes in Header1's. For example: your Header1 might be 'Handcrafted Women's Leather Shoes For The New Age" (containing the search terms 'leather', 'shoes', 'women', and 'leather shoes'. Meanwhile your Header2 (usually used further down the page to break up content), supports this. For example: "How Great Leather Affects Shoe Quality".

To Conclude: Yes, Search Engine Optimisation is Important!

And these steps are only the beginning.

If you're confident in the backend of your website, definitely have a check of how your tags, descriptions, titles, content and keywords have been written - is there room for improvement? How relevant are they to your subject?

If you feel like your site could do with a full SEO audit, feel free to get in touch with our team of experts.