Every business owner knows the importance of being found on the Internet. If you’re not being found on the Internet, you’re not being found period.
It’s also common knowledge that the way to ensure that your website is found is to employ a smart Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy as part of your overall digital marketing strategy. But the world of SEO strategy is changing so quickly it can be hard to stay on top of the trends and formulate a smart SEO plan. This is especially true for small businesses who aren’t relying on SEO professionals.
Luckily, we’ve compiled a quick reference guide to the important 2019 SEO trends that you should be aware of. Read on to find out what should be most important to your SEO strategy in 2019.
1. What Kind of Content Do Your Users Want?
Content has always been king in the world of SEO. Having content that is relevant to your customers and provides them with reliable information gets your website a higher search ranking. Ten years ago this just meant having informative, well-written text on your website.
But these days, there are a variety of mediums for effective website content – images, audio, video, virtual tours – and text is no less important than it always has been. So, the content challenge today lies in determining which kind of content your users want to see. Do they want to watch a video or look at an infographic? Is a slideshow with captions sufficient or do they want to read more text?
The best way to tackle this content challenge and optimize your SEO is to include a variety of content types on your website.
2. Content Quality is King
That being said, you can’t just jam your site with a bunch of different kinds of content and hope to rank well for your content diversity. Google has recently updated their algorithms so they are more sensitive to content quality. So, quality content, not just content, is the new king of SEO.
The text on your site needs to be relevant to your business, informative to your customer, and well-written. It can’t just be stuffed with keywords and links. Speaking of links, they need to be highly relevant to the anchor text in your content and direct users to pages that also have high-quality content.
All videos, images, and audio should be accompanied by alt text, which explains the content. That helps the search algorithms understand the quality of non-text content.
The bottom line is that you can’t fake out the algorithms in order to rank better, so focusing on producing quality content for your website needs to be your top priority.
3. Going Beyond Google
We’re not suggesting changing your SEO strategy to optimize for search engines other than Google. Other search engines will probably never catch up with Google’s popularity, so it doesn’t make sense to focus your SEO strategy to rank better on other search engines. But you should start optimizing your presence on other platforms like Amazon and Apple’s App Store.
Everyone knows that Amazon has its own search function, but few businesses are focusing on showing up better in Amazon’s search results. How can you accomplish better visibility on Amazon? Make sure that your product and business pages on Amazon are just as optimized as your website! Focus on adding quality content to your business page and the pages for each product. Get your customers to review your products on Amazon. Having more quality content and reviews also helps customers decide to purchase your products, so there’s really no way to lose when it comes to optimizing up your presence on Amazon.
If your business has an app or a podcast, then focusing on optimization in the Apple App Store is also essential. Even if your app or podcast is secondary to your website in your marketing strategy, they are both ways to get more people engaged with your business. So, how can you optimize in the App Store? It’s all about those five-star ratings. Provide the people interacting with you via these platforms the opportunity to give you that five-star rating via a pop up in your app or adding a line at the beginning or end of your podcast.
4. Aim to Appear as a Featured Snippet
Recently Google rolled out a new section on their search results page which they call the “featured snippet.” This snippet of text appears above the search results with a link to the website. It appears when the content on the site provides a direct answer to the question typed in by the user.
If a customer searches “What is SEO?” Google chooses a site that has the most relevant answer to that question and features the content that answers that question in the “featured snippet.” The featured snippet also includes a direct link to the page on the website where that question was answered. Since these “featured snippets” are shown above the rest of the search results, the click-through rate is high.
There’s no way to force Google to choose your site’s content for a featured snippet. To increase your chances of being featured, focus on adding high-quality content that addresses customer questions. Also, ensure these answers are written in a way that’s easy for your customers to read – think short, relevant paragraphs or bulleted lists.
5. Get Technical with Your SEO
Even though content is still king when it comes to search rankings, technical SEO is more important than ever. This means that your developers need to be focusing on SEO just as much as your content team.
Google has started rewarding sites with faster low times with higher rankings in the search results. So, your team needs to be focused on improvements that increase your load times. Site architecture, the way your site is built behind the scenes, is also important to Google’s algorithms. This means it’s important to build your site in a clean and logical way. Language matters too, and we’re not talking about content. With new programming languages hitting the scene all the time, it matters which combinations of languages you use to build your sites.
Bringing your development team into conversations about your SEO strategy is essential in 2019, so make sure they’re in the room.
Implementing 2019 SEO Trends
These are only a few of the 2019 SEO trends that you should be working to add to your business’s SEO strategy. For more information about implementing these strategies and other trends you should be watching, check out our blog.