2020 Marketing Predictions from Moz

Expect a greater emphasis on digital reviews, Google using location in search rankings and delivering more video in search results, and users embracing voice search.

The Moz team has made it its business to help you market more effectively. They see changes on the horizon as 2020 approaches, and share their insights to help you make informed decisions about where to invest your time and marketing resources:

Reviews Will Gain More Recognition

“Reviews signal trust and authority; they are also becoming a bigger player in search engine ranking factors—especially for local. As such, digital marketers will expand their work with  reviews as more than community management, branding, and trust but also how reviews impact rankings, increase CTRs, and ultimately facilitate organic traffic.” Kelly Cooper, Director, Lifecycle Marketing at Moz 

Google Will Emphasize Local SEO

“The bifurcation of local SEO and traditional SEO will close. This is because Google wants to show results that are most relevant to users, and location is increasingly gaining dominance as a search engine ranking factor. As consumer search expectations evolve in pace with Google innovation, both SEO software companies and SEOs will need to embrace local at their core—if they haven’t already, they are already behind.” Kelly Cooper, Director, Lifecycle Marketing at Moz 

Google Will Crack Down on Advertising from Some Industries

“I believe we will see Google continue to crack down on certain advertising industries. The latest target is credit repair related services, although we have seen the same in the medical and adult industries over Google’s lifetime. When these bans take place, it creates a short-term opportunity for companies to shift advertising dollars to organic. Those that make this pivot quickly and strongly stand to gain a substantial market share in the long run.” Russ Jones, Principal Search Scientist at Moz 

Video Will Be More Common in Search Results

“Google is getting better all the time at understanding search intent, including which content formats best fit a particular search or question. We’ve seen substantial growth in video results (including large-format videos) in the ‘how to’ and DIY space, and you can expect that growth to continue. Google also has the capability, using machine learning, to understand text within a video and even produce transcripts, allowing deeper searches for specific clips and content. As more devices add screens, like Google Nest Hub, video will play a more prominent role beyond desktop and laptop. It’s important that brands understand where video best serves their customers and Google.” Dr. Pete Meyers, Marketing Scientist at Moz  

 Voice Searches Increase

“As voice searches on smartphones and voice devices grow, people are becoming more comfortable with longer, natural-language searches. This trend has not only led Google to completely rebuild its search algorithm (for all searches, not just voice) but to focus more features specifically on answering questions. While most brands won’t need to rush to create a voice app or voice-specific content, it’s vital that they understand how natural language is changing search, have the data necessary to track long-tail phrases and questions, and move away from a narrow focus on so-called ‘head’ terms. This not only represents a shift in keyword research but also in content creation and strategy. Google’s ability to understand natural-language and process meaning will only accelerate.” Dr. Pete Meyers, Marketing Scientist at Moz 

“I believe voice search will continue to grow, but I do not think that it substantially impacts an SEOs strategy. While there may be some argument around creating content that answers questions likely to be asked in a voice search query, the attribution of that search will only be valuable if the user is performing the voice search in a screen environment like a computer or cell phone. A voice response will be of little value. Local search is most likely to be affected by audio-response voice search as a query like ‘where can I get sushi?’ will be tied to a geographic location. In this situation, being at the top of the local pack will be essential as fewer options are presented to the user.” Russ Jones, Principal Search Scientist at Moz

SMBs Won’t Think or Act Small  

“Small business owners today are tech-savvy and innovative. They are well-versed in the necessity of digital marketing and will seek out access to the same tools and technologies that large companies need, just at a smaller scale. But both large and small businesses need to compete at the local level to serve neighborhoods and communities.” Brittani Dinsmore, Director, Product Marketing at Moz

SEO is now a mandatory skill

“Every marketer will need to have baseline knowledge, if not more, of SEO principles. It’s fundamental to the decision-making about the online customer experience as well as the in-store experience. You can learn from SEO-based research and understand the tactics and best practices it takes to influence organic results. For example, positive online reviews are critical for both your SEO performance and your brand’s reputation. A strategic marketer must know what their local SERPs (search engine results pages) look like to their customers in their target markets to inform strategic marketing decisions. It’s as important as knowing what your product looks like on the shelf, what customers think of it and how easy it is to find. For marketers who are dedicated to SEO principles, this becomes a virtuous cycle.“ Brittani Dinsmore, Director, Product Marketing at Moz  marketing predictions