For Marketers, the endless power struggle to earn, let alone maintain, a first-page result on Google can be exhausting. Search engine optimization (SEO) is an ever-changing entity that requires constant iteration in order to be successful on a long-term basis.
The bad news is that it’s not going to get any easier in 2019 — but there’s still a bright light at the end of the tunnel. As SEO continues to become more sophisticated, more opportunities are being created for marketers to promote their products and services. While it still requires the same rigorous approach, there are new ways to get ahead of the competition and drive that coveted organic traffic.
With all that in mind, there are some key SEO trends to take into consideration as the year unfolds. Having a basic understanding of these trends can be the difference between appearing on the first page of a Google search and total digital irrelevancy, so read carefully and take notes! Here are some of the biggest SEO trends on the rise in 2019.
Putting Your Audience First
Due to the general oversaturation of content in the current digital landscape, focusing on your audience is more important than ever in 2019. The overall level of quality content has risen significantly in recent years, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult for businesses to stand out based solely off publishing content alone — which is where the importance of understanding your audience comes into play.
Let’s say you’ve hired the very best content creator in the world who specializes in writing incredible long form blog posts with amazing detail and research. That’s great, but it won’t matter if your audience is hungry for video content. If you don’t take the time to unpack your audience’s content needs then you will never gain significant SEO traction because you’re not addressing their search queries the way they expect or demand.
It’s also important to grow alongside your audience when it comes to content. Their needs will inevitably change over time and it’s your job as a marketer to anticipate those changes and address them when necessary. Always keep in mind that your audience is the main driving force behind content and you won’t be able to broaden your reach without catering to them first. If you’ve already got a ton of great personalized content but you need help translating this into a high performing website, take a look at this extensive blog post from Kansas City Web Design that goes over everything you need to know to lay your content out on your site in a way Google will love.
Prioritizing Mobile-First Indexing
We all know how big of a trend mobile-first indexing was last year, and it’s only going to get bigger in 2019. The user experience for mobile devices is now the most important factor in how Google ranks websites and it doesn’t look like it’s going to shift back to desktop anytime soon.
This is where marketers really have to change their overall mindset towards content. Users looking to access content via their smartphones are generally looking for fast information. What that means from a content creator’s perspective is that everything they do must be concise (with minimal fluff!). For blog posts, that translates into shorter blocks of texts that are easily identifiable with clear headers that tell users exactly what they can expect from that piece of content. Burying your main points in the text will not do you any favours when it comes to SEO.
Having a multimedia approach is also ideal for mobile. Incorporating images and videos is a great way to grab a user’s attention on this platform, the latter being especially critical when you consider viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it on video.
In order to determine whether your website is properly optimized for mobile devices, Google’s mobile-friendly test site will tell you everything you need to know. If your site isn’t meeting Google’s mobile-friendly standard then it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to get ranked through its algorithm — in fact, it’s almost impossible.
Making Room for Voice Search
How many times have Alexa or Siri helped you figure out the answer to a quick question like ‘how many grams are in a cup’ or ‘what is the temperature outside’? Well, it turns out you’re not the only one– more than 50% of searches are expected to be voice-based by 2020.
If you already have strong SEO practices in place, this will help you make a smooth transition from optimizing content for text-based search to voice search. One of the most important differences between the two is that voice searches tend to be more conversational in tone and include longer-tail keywords as a result. Since you’re “talking” to an Alexa or Siri, you’re also more likely to ask a question as a full sentence rather than typing in a phrase such as “clothing stores near me.”
As voice search become more commonly used this year, this will be an important component of SEO for marketers to focus on. Marketers should also do their best to anticipate the type of question a voice searcher may be asking and how they’re going to ask it. This will help in creating appropriate website content that is optimized for both typed searches and voice searches.
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