SEO in 2019
SEO requires continuous work to ensure you maintain your existing rankings and to improve your position in Google search. What are the things you should be thinking about and acting on in SEO in 2019? Here are eight of the most important.
The Advance of Mobile
Overall, a huge percentage of people search using mobile devices rather than computers. While the results are different industry-by-industry, all business owners need to focus their efforts on improving the experience of mobile users.
Remember as well that Google is increasingly prioritising mobile. For example, it has adopted mobile-first indexing. This doesn’t mean it ignores desktop websites, but if your site is mobile friendly, it will look at that first.
Content is Still King
All three of the most important factors about your website from Google’s perspective will be covered in this blog. One of the three is the content on your pages, particularly the text.
Put simply, you must ensure the content on your website is as good as possible. It needs to be sufficiently long (without being repetitive), and it needs to be helpful and engaging for users.
This is as important in 2019 as it has ever been.
You Gotta Have Speed
Another element about your website that remains crucially important is page load speed. Google has been focused, almost from the day it launched, on speeding up the internet. That focus continues in 2019. So, if your site takes too long to load, your priority this year should be to speed it up.
Security Can’t Be Ignored
Security is now important for all websites, not just those where users or customers send personal or sensitive information. Even if the only place you ask people to enter information on your website is a contact form, Google wants you to make your website more secure.
This means adding encryption by getting an SSL certificate. This is a fairly straightforward thing to do, so your website developer or SEO provider will be able to sort it out for you quickly. It’s not costly, either, so should not be ignored.
Evolving Your Backlink Strategy
In one of the above points, the fact that Google has three main ranking factors was mentioned. One of those three is links. In fact, links are arguably the most important of the three big ranking factors.
If you want success in SEO in 2019, you need to continue building backlinks to your website. This involves creating fantastic content that people want to link to, having a good social media strategy to ensure as many people see your posts as possible, and sharing your content in as many other different ways as you can.
There are two other things you should think about in 2019, however, if they are not already part of your strategy:
- Targeting your competitor’s backlinks – this is a simple concept but is one that can produce excellent results. It involves researching the websites of your competitors to find out where they are getting backlinks from. Your SEO provider can give you this information, plus there are plenty of tools on the internet that will give you a backlink profile of almost any website on the internet. You can then devise plans and strategies to get links from the same or similar sources that your competitors are getting them from.
- Increase mentions to your website – links are one option that websites have when including a reference to your business. The other main one is by mentioning your company name, brand, or product without linking back to your site. This is called a mention in SEO and, while it’s not as beneficial as a link, it still helps.
Focus on Search Intent
This point is absolutely crucial, particularly if you have a fairly advanced SEO strategy in place already. This is because search intent is one of the main priorities of Google at the moment, as you’ll see in the next point below.
Focusing on search intent means thinking beyond a keyword, instead thinking about why people use that keyword when they search.
The most important keywords are those that have a buying intent, i.e. where there is a chance you can get the person into your sales funnel. This covers everything from someone using a keyword for initial research on a product or service right down to a person who has decided on what they want and is ready to make a buying decision.
Many of these will be long tail keywords. If you don’t yet include in your SEO strategy long tail keywords that have buying intent, 2019 is the time to start.
Get Your Head Around RankBrain
RankBrain is the third of three main factors that Google considers when ranking websites on search results pages. It is something that hasn’t had much focus in SEO, particularly with small and medium-sized businesses. It is becoming more important, however, so this year is a good time to start getting an understanding of what RankBrain is.
In very simple terms, RankBrain is a machine learning algorithm. Its main job is to help order search results for keywords that Google has never seen before (which is about 450 million a day). In other words, RankBrain tries to understand the intent of the user so it can display search results that don’t include the keyword used in the query the person typed into Google.
Start Adapting for Evolving Search Patterns
The way people search on the internet is changing. Of course, Google is still the dominant search player. However, there are other things you should be aware of that could influence your SEO strategy in 2019. At the very least, you should be thinking about the following:
- Increasing use of voice search – the use of devices like the Amazon Echo is increasing. When people use these devices, they use a more conversational tone than they do when typing.
- Siri and Bing – Siri, the personal assistant in iPhones and iPads, uses Microsoft Bing to answer search queries. Most companies, however, focus only on Google when thinking about SEO.
- Amazon search – according to research, people looking for a product will search in Amazon before they look anywhere else, including Google.
Setting Your Priorities
All the above points will be important to SEO in 2019, but you need to focus on those that are both relevant to your business and likely to generate the best return on investment. This will help you improve your position and the results you achieve.