Search engine optimization (SEO) continues to be an ever-evolving specialty and requires the assistance of experts who track SEO trends. Google algorithms change constantly to improve user experience (U/X), so it’s important to keep up with the “new rules” and adjust your Internet marketing strategies accordingly. While implementing best SEO practices and getting your website recognized by Google remain the top priorities, here are some SEO trends that also continue in 2019:
- Mobile Optimization – 2019 is the year for mobile-first indexing. Google rewards websites for being mobile-friendly, because a site that operates quickly on mobile devices increases its U/X. Such websites enable Google to evaluate where to share content on search engine results pages (SERPs). They also eliminate weak links for indexing content.
While Google and other search engines don’t penalize websites that aren’t optimized for mobile, their rankings are likely to be low. Desktop-version content is virtually unreadable on smartphone screens. Web developers are making sites more mobile-responsive. SEO professionals are adjusting their strategies to attract more of their clients’ target audience. To check the mobile-friendliness of your website, use the Google mobile-friendly test.
- Voice Search – As early as 2014, 40 percent of the population used voice-controlled web search to find what they were looking for on the Internet. The most frequently-used digital voice assistant apps include:
- Siri (Apple)
- Alexa (Amazon)
- Google Assistant
- Cortana (Microsoft)
- Bixby (Samsung)
- Alice (Yandex)
People usually conduct online searches by writing or speaking questions. It benefits businesses to anticipate those questions and provide answers on their pages. By doing so, companies gain trust and authority from their audience, as well as from new visitors to their sites.
Practical Tip: As voice-controlled searches continue to grow in popularity, make sure to optimize content by using long-tail keywords. Think about potential questions users may have and offer solutions in your content.
- User Intent Optimization – People seek information by typing specific keywords into search engines. Understand, however, that optimizing your content isn’t effective if all you’re doing is stuffing in popular search terms and keywords. Artfully, organically integrate keywords into your web pages. Offer useful and accurate information in your blogs and service pages. Get a greater understanding of your users’ intent, and you’ll be better able to optimize and give them the experience they want.
- Local Search Geo-Targeting – Local searches bring nearby customers to your door. For example, if you are a plumbing expert in Toronto, your goal is to appear first in Google results when someone searches for “plumber in Toronto” or “Toronto plumber.” Therefore, the most effective way to optimize your website is to specify your business location in calls to action and service pages. Become more precise with local search geo-targeting by providing exact terms; instead of focusing on a Toronto suburb, use cross streets. “Hyperlocal targeting” creates and improves funnels for customers in your area.
- Page Speed – Google focuses on the importance of U/X and fast delivery of information. Page speed (for both desktop and mobile) has been a significant ranking factor for many years, and understanding Google metrics for page speed evaluation is essential. SEO specialists use PageSpeed Insights to improve speed and web performance.
Optimization and speed scores are important metrics used to grade desktop and mobile websites; generated speed score has become a game-changing part of page ranking. The Chrome User Experience Report reflects the amount of time it takes for your site to load and gives you the ability to fix issues that affect page loading speed.
Which metric has the most significant effect on ranking? SEO PowerSuite conducted an experiment on mobile page speed and found that the relationship between page optimization score and ranking in SERPs is strong (0.97). However, there is zero correlation between speed score and a page’s position in search rankings. Although Google may rate a website as slow, its ranking may remain high. The speed metric is new; it appears that Google is still in the testing phase for it.
Image Search – Google made significant enhancements to its image search in 2017 and now allows users to view and browse images more like a photo gallery. This upgrade sparked a trend, with increased numbers of users searching for images on Google. To attract more visitors to your website, consider optimizing your visual materials and photographs. Think about using infographics to explain concepts and enlighten your audience. Use engaging and professional-looking images on your website. Make sure they’re relevant to your page content and add value to user experience.
- Featured Snippets – Featured snippets (or “answer boxes”) continue to be an SEO trend for 2019. They provide simple (yet direct) answers to search queries and display excerpts from websites to satisfy users’ questions.
Getting your website in a top position in the SERPs may be more difficult in 2019. To attain more visibility, you must be strategic when optimizing your website. Provide a question and answer (“Q & A”) section to increase your likelihood of ranking highly in the SERPs. Smaller websites that provide well-structured answers have a good chance of ranking high in featured snippets. For greater visibility in 2019, take time to learn what your clientele wants to know. Talk to current customers and do market research. Ask friends and peers in the industry to look at your site and tell you what’s lacking, so you can make appropriate improvements and anticipate the needs of your target audience.
- Engaging, Quality Content (E-A-T) – SEO is not about producing random content and merely letting bots index your pages. Likewise, content is not simply about quantity; Google pays more attention to the quality of your pages and information. Google’s broad core algorithm update evaluates how websites are able to meet “E-A-T” (Expertise-Authoritativeness-Trustworthiness) standards.
If you’re following the E-A-T philosophy, you’re providing your current clients and potential new customers with engaging blog posts and video materials. The guidelines were initially designed for Google’s algorithm raters, not for the algorithm itself. SEO expert Dixon Jones believes these guidelines are essential to understanding where Google is heading and the importance of quality when it comes to context.
It’s sometimes difficult to write and rank your content unless you are an expert on a specific subject. Each business owner must consider their reputation and branding when deciding what content to include on their site. If you want high-quality content but don’t have the time or ability to write it yourself, hire experts to do it for you. Top SEO companies in your area likely have a content team who can produce authoritative, well-researched blogs and posts for your website. Like Google, Bing also rewards websites that adhere to E-A-T guidelines in creating quality content. Promote your brand wisely and leave the writing to the pros.
How Google determines the trustworthiness of a page remains a bit of a mystery. However, with some smart SEO tactics, optimization for mobile, and other efforts, you can be “on trend” for success in 2019.
Hire the Pros
Building a successful business is challenging and doesn’t happen overnight. In today’s market, having a strong website that gets ranked in SERPs is a necessity. Local SEO Search, an Internet marketing expert in St. John, can keep your website pages current and move with the constant changes Google and other search engines make. Hire a professional SEO team that’s always on top of algorithm changes and help boost your website’s performance for greater success each year.