Taking the time to update your approach to blogging for 2020 will keep your strategy fresh and effective! After all, each new year brings its own set of new blogging trends as digital media and consumer preferences evolve. Updates to search engines like Google and Bing also influence how search terms, or keywords, are used in blog posts.
Altering how you write blog posts based on changing expectations and technological advancements as they arise can seem nerve-wracking. However, each new parameter provides multiple opportunities for your company’s bloggers, including the chance to master new skills as a writer.
In the coming year, quality, relevance and consistency are set to be more essential for a successful strategy than ever, which means that it’s a good time to brush up your core writing and editing skills while re-evaluating your audience’s preferences. By embracing a return to fundamentals, from search engine optimization to consumer trends, you can continue pushing the success of your blogging strategy forward as we enter 2020.
Why Change Up Your Blogging Strategy for 2020?
It’s important to review your blogging strategy each year.
Blogging for business is a well-studied art form in terms of content and strategy. Through trial and error, content creators have discovered that the formula for a successful blog combines strong content, consistent posting and search engine optimization (SEO). But the specifics of what draws an audience to particular content continues to evolve as society and technology become more intertwined.
Between changes in content trends and search engine algorithms, 2020 may mark the start of a new era in digital publication. High-quality, long-form content designed with a skimmable layout and interactive media components is predicted to outperform the formats that dominated the 2010s, like short blurbs and photo-based listicles.
According to content marketer Charlene Boutin, 2020 will place long-form blog posts in the spotlight. Bloggers who pay special attention to formal elements like editing, fact-checking, composition and eye movement should see an uptick in website traffic and audience retention. There are two main reasons for this prediction:
- A recent update to Google’s algorithm, called BERT, which prioritizes originality and accuracy
- An ongoing shift in consumer preferences toward thoughtful, in-depth content
As a result, best practices for a successful blogging strategy are returning to the basics of media design, with a new emphasis on thoroughness, accessibility and professionalism. The biggest content trends predicted for 2020, according to ContentFly, are:
- Long-form posts
- Reliable facts and references
- Thoughtful, developed content
- Frequent, consistent posting
- High-quality snippets to draw in traffic (from social media)
- Video and interactive media
- Professional-level copywriting
Design your new blogging strategy around user experience and collaboration for best results.
In the New Year, SEO and user experience (UI) practices in blogging will require one all-purpose toolkit of considerations rather than two overlapping skill sets. To prepare for 2020, take advantage of the opportunity to streamline your blogging strategy, and adopt changes that make your posts more appealing to search engines and readers alike.
SEO Considerations for Your 2020 Blogging Strategy
The two hottest topics in SEO for blogging anticipated next year are the integration of BERT into Google’s search algorithm and the ongoing optimization of web pages for mobile users.
According to Search Engine Roundtable, BERT will impact roughly 10 percent of search queries, although the sum of its global effects on search results and ranking may be greater than that. BERT was rolled out on December 9, 2019, while Google introduced Mobile-first Indexing, which prioritizes mobile-friendly pages, in 2016. Over half of website traffic was from users on mobile devices in the third quarter of 2019, according to Statista.
Understanding How Google’s BERT Update Affects Blogging in 2020
Work originality and creativity into your blogging strategy this year to raise SEO.
According to the Search Engine Journal, “The BERT algorithm (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) is a deep learning algorithm related to natural language processing. It helps a machine to understand what words in a sentence mean, but with all the nuances of context.” The “bidirectional” part of its name means that BERT looks at the individual words in a sentence for the parts of a search query, rather than for strands of words in perfect sequence. This frees writers up to use the components of a long-tail keyword phrase throughout a headline or sentence.
In 2020, bloggers will be able to focus on naturalistic word flow rather than the precise repetition of a high-ranking phrase without losing out on SEO value. BERT is moving SEO for Google into a more user experience-focused territory, where audience-based considerations also boost search engine rankings. By understanding language more like a human, BERT alters Google results to boost written resources with logical language flow, robust supporting context and thorough editing.
Continue To Make Mobile Optimization Part of Your Strategy
Aside from designing your website for mobile viewing and navigation, as recommended by Leaving Work Behind, it’s important to account for mobile visitors when formatting blog posts. Small images wrapped into text rather than large ones that interrupt text can make lengthy posts more convenient to scroll through on mobile. Using bulleted lists and other formatting decisions that accommodate skimming can also make blog posts more hospitable to mobile users.
Increasing visitor access to your blog posts, through improved SEO and mobile-friendly formatting, will increase potential traffic to your entire website. This makes it more likely for your website and associated brand to get both backlinks and linkless mentions on other websites, which in turn boosts its SEO even more!
Reframing Your Blogging Strategy for the New Year
Make reworking your blogging strategy a top priority. The New Year is just around the corner!
Although blogging is in a state of flux, some best practices never change. Reviewing and improving a marketing strategy at the end of each fiscal year is a long-standing tradition in the business and advertising worlds. Many periodical publications, like newspapers and magazines, review their past progress and future goals once a year as well. Looking at current blogging trends merely tells us what’s succeeding on a large scale. However, examining the response to your posts published throughout 2019 can outfit you with a custom set of clues about how to proceed into 2020.
- Be responsive in your blogging strategy: Responsive strategies incorporate specific insights from how your audience interacts with published content. At the end of 2019, you likely have a whole year of engagement data at your fingertips. Consult your website’s Google Analytics as well as any social media insights from updates with links to your blog. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What posts received the most traffic?
- What received the least traffic?
- What internal links embedded in posts performed the best?
- Which posts were most widely shared?
- Overall, what subjects, keywords, length and accompanying media did your audience seem to get the most out of?
- How can you replicate the success of your most popular posts with fresh, original content?
- Plan to spend more time on your writing process: According to ContentFly, more businesses will outsource blogging to ensure professional quality. Additionally, BERT is built to rank carefully-edited, original content with well-supported information on query topics. Combined with a move toward long-form content, these factors mean that bloggers who dedicate time and attention to brainstorming, researching, drafting and editing in-depth blog posts are more likely to grow their audience in 2020. Aside from conforming to shifts in best practices, keep in mind that it may take time to incorporate specific insights gained from reviewing your blog’s 2019 analytics. In order to keep up with new demands in blogging, consider your own writing speed and technical flexibility when writing blog calendars and setting internal deadlines.
- Identify the trends that work best for your audience: Not every blogging trend is worth chasing, just like not every social media platform is right for every business. Review the goals for your blogging strategy with new analytic information and general trends in mind. What trends are most likely to benefit your relationship with your audience? For blogs that receive a large chunk of traffic from social media, creating shareable short-form posts (“snippets”) with interactive content and well-labeled links to long-form content may be the smartest approach. However, for blogs that receive a high volume of organic traffic from search engines, meticulously crafted long-form content should take priority.
- Promote audience interaction within posts: As digital media becomes an accepted part of our lives, consumers are more eager to participate rather than merely observe. Quizzes, maps, games/activities and clickable infographics all invite readers to delve deeper into the subject matter of a blog post while internalizing its information. Embedding or hyperlinking interactive resources in a post encourages readers to explore your website more thoroughly, with the added bonus of making your site a richer resource for future visitors.