With 2019 right around the corner, Google is exploring new avenues to connect users easily with their precise search queries. After all, the search engine has a reputation to maintain and that is possible only if it continues to make quality recommendations. Though this bodes well for users, businesses will find it harder to feature their websites on the SERPs. And if you want to bag a prominent spot, you must prove the value of your content so the search engines think of your site as the ideal solution to confused searchers. Here are the key industry trends that will put SEO marketers on the right track in 2019:
1. Focus on Voice Search
Siri, Cortana, and now Alexa – people have increasingly begun to communicate with electronic personal assistance devices, conducting searches in question form. So, you must present relevant details in question and answer format. Blogs, salescopies, and webcopies will prove valuable resources to users as they always try to solve common problems or optimize something. The more your company caters to user experience, the more it will gain validity and authority among the public.
2. Create Superior Content
Content is king – it was true back then, it remains true to this day. The best thing you can give your website visitors is quality content since it provides a reason to stay on the site and interact more, thereby improving the SEO performance. Apart from that, good content legitimizes your business and speaks volumes about your business’ focus and expertise. Opt for long-form content since it’s engaging and performs better. Plus, your visitors are more likely to share and backlink long-form content on social media.
3. Add Lots of Images and Videos
High-quality and relevant images are a key aspect of the content puzzle. When you include a suitable picture, you stand to improve the probability of it being read and remembered later. Video is grossly underutilized on company websites. But the truth is, the extreme popularity of videos will account for 80 percent of web traffic by 2021. Adding them to your landing page and sharing them on social media increases dwell time.
4. Think Outside of Google Search
New entrants like Apple and Amazon have begun to weaken Google’s monopoly on SEO. No longer is search engine optimization limited to optimizing only for Google; companies need to focus on other aspects too. They must drive engagement and traffic for ranking in app stores, getting featured on videos or podcasts – anywhere people look for those things. So, the scope of SEO has increased to cover visibility on different platforms and you should consider optimizing for different devices. Especially if your product is sealable and benefits from exposure, optimizations for audio-only gadgets and home assistants cannot be ignored.
5. Go for Technical SEO
6. Include Featured Snippets
Google constantly updates its look in an attempt to present information more conveniently to users. The newest format is known as featured snippets where a paragraph excerpt is perched on top of the more traditional blue-link listing on the SERPs. The featured snippets cover a spot on your webpage known as position zero. If all this sounds overwhelming, you can always delegate the task to a third-party SEO service and launch your company campaign without any hassle.
7. Build Your Brand Reputation
How the Internet views your site has a tangible impact on Google’s decision to display your page favorably. Demonstrate your brand reality through backlinking. Encourage external websites to link to yours and increase your legitimacy. Ranking factor depends on direct site visitors. Circulate the name of your business and climb up the SERP ladder.
8. Transform Your Brand Into a Ranking Signal
Use your brand as a ranking signal. Harness the power of unlinked brand mentions that tell the search engine about your company’s entity. Further analyzing the properties helps Google understand your authority in a specific field. Also, you should focus on the reputation, sentiment, complaint-solving, advertising aspects.
You should cater to your reputation and address the customers’ problems with your brand. Engage with happy customers too by tracking mentions of your company on the Internet. Also use external monitoring tools to find link-less mentions throughout the Internet. Search for influencers who are willing to talk about your company. Study your competition and reverse-engineer their successful strategies for a holistic perspective on your company’s SEO efforts instead of a single-point view. You could try looking at your competitor’s brand mentions to understand how they improve awareness.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is here to stay, and although it is currently applicable only in the European Union, ripples are felt across the SEO industry. GDPR regulates one of the most annoying issues you’ll ever come across – who is the owner of the data generated from online user interactions.
Now, users are the ones who collect it instead of the corporations. So, users can now ask a company to view what personal data they have of him/her. This information is open to export and corrections. In case a company accidentally or purposefully fails to comply with the stipulated regulations, they may incur a heavy fine.
It’s best if you follow GDPR guidelines from the start as Google has already changed its analytics to be more inclusive. Personal user data including affinity data and demographic data now expire 26 months after they is collected. But if you are the owner of the website, you have the power to alter the default period of this data collection.
SEO isn’t the easiest thing in the world. Add to that the constant algorithm changes in the Google search engine and the ever-changing rules, and you’re left frustrated. However, the SEO trends mentioned above can help you find footing in the industry come 2019.