Have you ever paid another person or company to do “SEO” for your website? If so, let me guess … after paying thousands of dollars you still had NO IDEA what it did to your bottom line. Even worse, you don’t even seem to rank any higher on Google.
Well, not to kick you while you’re down, but SEO is going to get even crazier. So, for all you plumbers and e-commerce stores out there, buckle-up! In this article, we will go over 7 of the biggest SEO trends in 2019.
With the media world ever-changing, so are the most effective SEO tactics. In order to rank, outrank, and stay ranking, SEO should be top of mind. If you want your website and content seen by as many people as possible, roll up your sleeves and get to work.
Let’s cover 4 quick topical terms:
- User Experience – How website visitors use and interact with the website.
- Crawlability – How Google reviews your website to index it online.
- Content – Information and media on your website
- Backlinks – Links from other external websites back to your website.
To stay competitive, new SEO trends offer businesses a competitive way of standing out amongst the crowd.
Here are 7 SEO Trends for 2019
1. The Rise of Voice Search
How often have you heard one of these phrases in the last year or so…
For those reading (or listening), it’s a race to the top. Who will dominate search?
Have you seen the increasingly popular television commercials? It’s fair to assume you’re in a legitimate industry when you’re running TV commercials during huge sports events and popular hours. This tv ad by Google, “Yo Google”, with Kevin Durant, is just one example of a big international media company trying to eat up market share.
Whether you like it or not, voice search is the future of SEO. It is estimated that by 2020, there will be around 21.4 million smart speakers in the U.S. alone. Also by 2020, experts believe that voice search will make up 50% of all search inquiries. So how can your business stay on top of this trend and utilize it to boost your SEO?
- Create Content Good Enough to Make it A Featured Snippet. You may be asking “What is a featured snippet?” A featured snippet is the result you see at first in the Google search results that boxed off at the top of the page. While there is no answer as to how to get featured there, search engines pull the more relevant content that answers a specific question people are asking. This answer should not be something that runs around the question that was asked. Instead, aim to write content that makes the answer clear and easy to understand.
Content for snippets are pulled from the top 10 results for the specific question that was asked. Make sure your content is ranking by optimizing your SEO with great meta and internal and external links.
In the world of voice, this content is the voice search result that Google and others transcribe to you.
2. Make Sure Your Site is Up To Speed.
A major search rank consideration gaining more and more precedence is the power of page speed. 47% of consumers expect websites to load in 2 seconds or less. Your content may answer all of the voice searcher’s questions, but if your website is not optimized to load quickly, your perspective website viewers will drop like flies.
Make sure your website loads as fast as possible. This can be achieved with a few optimizations:
Hostway explains 10 ways to make your website load faster using some of these pointers as examples …
10 Ways to Make Your Website Load Faster
- Implement your own content delivery network (CDN). …
- Cache everything possible
- Evaluate your plugins. … (what to use vs not use)
- Compress your content. …
- Configure expires headers.
Use Google’s awesome PageSpeed Insights tool to determine your site’s speed and what you can do to improve.
3. Think Like a Voice Search User.
SEO can change depending on which platform is being used. We all know that searching something by typing and searching something by speaking are completely different. With each action, you use different words, sentence lengths, and phrases. With the case of voice search, the whole question is going to be different. Therefore, content needs to be composed to answer more natural, conversational questions. Content made to respond well to Voice Search must also answer the question in a short and simple manner – content used as Voice Search results are written at a 9th grade level and 29 words or less.
4. Featured Snippets (let’s dig deeper)
The Featured Snippets are a format which is supposed to provide users with a concise, direct answer to their questions – right there on the search results page, without the users having to click through to a specific result.
The key to becoming a featured snippet is by making sure that you not only provide the best, most concise and accurate answer, but to making sure your website is also structured properly for Google to scan and index.
There are three types of snippets, depending on the query:
According to Rob Bucci and STAT, paragraph snippets are the most common, occupying 82% of the featured snippets, with list snippets appearing in 10.8% of the results and table snippets in 7.3%.
These Snippets don’t always pull the result from the first position on Google either. They can actually pull from any listing on the first results page. However, position 1 usually gets at least 30% of the featured snippet results.
3. Prioritize Mobile
Please tell me this isn’t a shocking surprise. Chances are you’re actually reading this from a mobile device.
As a marketer, I probably spend more time on my PC than a smart device, but not by much. Most people I know don’t even have a computer anymore. Why have one if you don’t need it. You have a personal computer in your hands at all times, and that always has an internet connection.
Google has actually moved to mobile-first indexing. Yes, this means even Google has prioritized scanning and indexing website mobile versions first, so as to rank them and give the best results to those searching on mobile devices.
Mobile-first indexing means that Google uses your website’s mobile version as a jump-off point for determining website rankings. If your website does not have a mobile-friendly version, it doesn’t mean you won’t rank. However, because mobile is crawled first, it will affect your website’s overall rank.
(Image via MOZ)
This mobile-indexing process should not come as a surprise – 60% of all internet traffic comes from mobile devices. If you are already using SEO, make sure to transfer that data to the mobile version of your site. When building mobile-friendly websites or mobile versions of your site, for SEO purposes, take into consideration…
- Creating a better user experience. Mobile versions of your website should offer your audience easy navigation and use.
- Speed. As we mentioned before, you should optimize your site to load quickly. It is wise to have a desktop version of your site and a mobile version. Not sure if your website is mobile-friendly? Google has your back – try its Mobile-Friendly Test.
- Optimize your content. Content titles for mobile content should be around 78 characters opposed to the 70 characters for desktop. For the content description, the character length is the same – around 155 characters.
4. Amazon Search Optimization
Wait…Amazon competing against Google? Go figure, right?
Amazon is a huge search engine competitor. If you want good SEO, you have to be in front of your customers on all major search engines, including Amazon. 72% of shoppers use Amazon to find and order the products they need. 56% of consumers search Amazon for what they need first before they looking at other sites for the same product.
According to BigCommerce, people favor Amazon when it comes to making purchases because Amazon offers great prices, fast shipping, and overall better customer convenience. Not only do people find products on Amazon, but everything they need for their shopping experience including product reviews, similar product suggestions, and other products consumers may be interested in based off of the product they are looking at. Amazon acts as a one-stop stop for online shoppers. With Amazon, there is not a need to use another search engine to find what they need or want to buy.
Amazon is a threat to Google and Google Ads revenue if consumers are searching for products on Amazon instead of Google. If your business has products available for sale, you may want to consider posting your items for sale on Amazon. To sell your products there, you must first…
- Enroll. Choose one of the 20 product categories available on Amazon for your products.
- Choose a selling plan. There are 2 plans available depending on how many products your business intends to sell.
- Register and List. Use Seller Central to set up your account.
The reason we want to include Amazon in this blog is simply due to the fact that they have and and will continue to steal market share from Google, YouTube, eBay, and others. Yes, anything you search on is a search engine — even social platforms like YouTube and Facebook.
5. Domain Authority
Domain Authority and SEO work hand and hand. If you didn’t know, Domain Authority is a search engine score that determines the popularity and quality of the domain itself. It’s a marketing term itself, as coined by Moz and others.
DA scores range from 1 – 100. Domain Authority strives to prove that your website is producing high-quality content about your specific subject matter. To achieve “good” domain authority, your website and website content should have a high number of quality internal and external links. High Domain authority sites, as an example, would include Facebook (99), New York Times (95), ESPN (91).
It is not a realistic goal to have a DA of 100. Instead, focus your time on determining the DA of your competitor’s sites and aim for your website to have a higher number than theirs. The best way to improve your site’s DA is to prove it’s overall SEO. If you decide to work on improving your Domain Authority, you should use some of the same practice that you use for your SEO optimization. Our partners at Hubspot say to improve DA, you can…
- Look at Your Links. Search engines like Google only want the highest quality links. Take advantage of tools like SEMrush’s Backlink Checker and MOZ’s Link Explorer to see how you can improve your linking game.
- Content, Content, Content. Are you tired of hearing about content yet? In order to boost your Domain Authority, you need people to visit your website. Draw people in by creating compelling content that is answering a direct question. Once you have visitors, use lead nurturing tactics to build a dedicated following that will keep coming back to your site for more.
- Get backlinked. Other companies linking out to your content on a page with a higher Domain Authority than yours will boost your DA number tremendously.
6. Semantic Keywords
Adding Latent Semantic Keywords to Quality Content
LSI keywords are also known as to “semantic keywords.” In other words, LSI keywords are terms and phrases that search engines find based on the frequency they are used throughout the web.
What are semantic keywords? Semantic termsare not quite like synonyms. Instead, they are more like sub-topically related concepts. For example, if I were to write about landing pages, some potential semantic keywords could include subject line tips, A/B testing, landing page ideas, landing page design, and landing page optimization.
Here are 3 tools that can help you find the best LSI keywords for your content:
- LSI Graph is an easy-to-use tool. To use LSI Graph, just write in a focused keyword and new ideas will generate for you! It’s that simple – plus it’s free.
2. Google’s Auto Suggest feature is another way to generate new ideas. Type in your main keyword, but, instead of hitting enter like your normally would, look the suggested queries. These are all things that are ranking on Google from what people are actually searching.
3. Google’s Search Related Feature appears when you scroll to the bottom of the Google search results page. Here, you’ll see additional suggestions based off of your original Google search. You’ll also get semantically related keywords in bold.
When creating content remember to add LSI keywordsto your content to drive organic rankings. Be sure to include them in your:
- Alt Text
- Image File Names
- Body Content
- Link Text
Let’s not forget, your content has to be relevant to both Google and humans. Be sure to include keywords, but never let them degrade or distract from the message you’re sending.
7 – Blockchain Technology’s Influence
When thinking about the idea of Blockchain Technology, it is mostly associated with Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. However, Blockchain’s influence has a larger reach than expected. So how does Blockchain Technology and SEO relate?
First, we have to know the logistics of how blockchain works. Blockchain is used to create protected and trusted transactions. The use of Blockchain Technology secures digital relationships through its network. When using Blockchain Technology, transactions will occur directly between the advertiser and the website owner, cutting out 3rd party search engines, like Google, that were meant to build trust.
Utilizing Blockchain can verify identity authentication of your website’s users with 100% accuracy. This accuracy helps to determine whether your ad was viewed by a real person or by a bot crawling your site. Distinguishing this can allow the website owner to only pay for legit clicks from real leads through Blockchain. Some ways you can use Blockchain Technology with your sites are..
- Use an Embedded schema markup. This allows websites to record the identity of visitors on your site.
- The use of token rewards. BAT, a basic attention token, monitors your website’s user’s activity. If the user is an active user, you will gain “tokens” to reward different user interactions.
Thanks for taking the time to learn more about the future of SEO with our 7 trends for 2019. The key point of this article is that SEO is ever-changing, and that your website must be focused on the future. Your visitors’ experience is the key to making sure your rank continues to climb.
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With questions regarding SEO and Digital Marketing, you can reach our director, Mac Frederick.