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What should SEO specialists learn in 2020?

Looking ahead to 2020 already? So are we! To prepare ourselves for the future, we interviewed SEO experts at BrightonSEO and asked them a simple question: what should SEOs learn to prepare for 2020?

Overall, we got a great variety of answers. With new technology and trends in the industry happening fast, there is always more to learn, but we heard some common threads as well.

Here are the topics to look that our experts agreed are important to look out for in the upcoming year.

SEMrush Academy at BrightonSEO, 09.13.2019

Entities and Entity-search

The most popular topic we heard our interviewed experts mention was entities. Search Engine Journal points out that an entity is defined by Google as “a thing or concept that is singular, unique, well-defined and distinguishable.”

Studying entities will give you the bigger picture of how your topic relates to its surrounding topics and attributes in the grand scheme of people’s understanding of it. In terms of SEO, an entity-minded approach to content could ensure that your website gives people all of the related information that they’re looking for when they land on your site.

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Machine Learning

Another popular topic was machine learning. Machine learning has a lot to do with how Google will understand the knowledge collected on the Internet and continue to gain intelligence as the year goes on. So, it’s probably a good idea for SEOs to study machine learning in 2020!

Technical SEO

Technical SEO refers to practices in on-page web development that impact SEO; things like website architecture, markups, internal linking, and site speed optimization. As modern technology brings machine learning and artificial intelligence to search, technical SEO will remain extremely important in communicating well to search engines.

Schema

Similar to entities and machine learning is schema. Schema is a markup language that quickly tells search engines how topics are related to each other. Schema.org has all of the codes you need to learn how to use it. With Schema markup on your website, Google will have an easier time connecting the dots between all of the content you’re publishing.

Hreflang annotation

The hreflang tag is essential to any international SEO strategy, as it tells Google which language and country-based webpage to show users, based on their location. But using it properly is critical, as there are many common misuses of hreflang. As the Internet promotes globalization more every year, Aleyda Solis named it as one of her top pieces of advice to study in the upcoming year, especially for international SEOs.

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“It's a good idea to follow what's going on in the Local SEO realm, even if you don't do Local SEO. Local has always been entity-based, and it's the area where Google is really pushing hard to use real-world signals as ranking signals.”

— Greg Gifford

Progressive web apps

Progressive web applications are a new digital technology aimed at delivering high-performing dynamic content regardless of a user’s network or device. They allow for brands to be more flexible in how they connect with their audience and provide services.

“Progressive web apps don't have the same influence as SEO, realistically, but they are the future of the web. They are connecting and closing the gap between apps and web, and they can provide a functionality that we are used to in apps on the web too. I believe that they are here to stay and it is important to fundamental that you know how to leverage them before your competitors especially.”

– Aleyda Solis

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Budget allocation

For any business, budgeting is essential to success. But as SEO becomes more complicated and technical, it may be harder to understand how much of your budget should go to certain services. That’s why Craig Campbell mentioned it in his advice for 2020.

“For me, budget allocation is really important. I don’t think certain people are spending the right money in the right areas, whether that includes schema, technical SEO, link building, content and everything else. I still don't think people are doing their job properly”

— Craig Campbell

What do you think SEOs should be learning in 2020?