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9 SEO Trends to help you prepare for 2019

Published by on December 27, 2018

You can never stay still with SEO.

While there will be new things on your marketing agenda for 2019, such as Artificial Intelligence, a mainstay will continue to be SEO. Whatever you did this year needs to be tweaked, while some entirely new goals need to be added to your strategy.

As we come to the end of 2018, the time to optimize your website for 2019 is now. To help you stay one step ahead of the game, join us as we take a look at the top 7 SEO trends to look out for next year.

Voice Search

Microphone

Voice search isn’t going to go away. In fact, it’s expected to increase in popularity. According to predictions by ComScore, 50% of all searches by 2020 will be voice.

At the start of 2018, voice search was defined as “an upcoming technology that allows users to access internet search results using nothing more than a smart device and their voice.”

In 2019, it will no longer be “upcoming” – it will be a trendy you need to get onboard with.

Optimizing your website for voice search won’t be easy, as the keywords you use will be different to the ones you use now. Instead of finding keywords that users type, you’ll need to understand how users talk.

For example, instead of robotically saying “men’s leather jacket” into our devices, the average internet user would say something like, “Google, can you find me the best deals on men’s leather jackets?”

Voice searches tend to be question-based long-tail keywords.

Mobile First Indexing

The rise of mobile SEO is unstoppable, and you need to put it on the same pedestal as desktop now that Google has rolled out mobile first indexing.

To make your website mobile ready and primed for some serious SEO results, there are a few tweaks you need to make. For one thing, make sure that your mobile load time is good.

For another thing, verify structured data for the mobile version of your site.

Then, make adjustments to your website so that the mobile user experience is awesome. For example, take a look at your headlines: Could they be shortened for mobile screens?

Social Media

There’s been talk about social media as a ranking factor for a long time. In 2010, Google said social media was a ranking factor.

In 2014, the same search engine said that social media probably isn’t a ranking factor.

In 2019? Hootsuite ran a test and found that the number of social media pages making their way into Google’s results has grown “exponentially.”

This means that if you double down on your social media efforts in 2019, they can complement your SEO strategy.

To that end, spend some time and money putting together a solid social media marketing campaign. Produce consistent content that offers value, and engage and interact with your followers.

Video

A phone displaying app icons for IGTV, Instagram and YouTube

By 2021, video is expected to dominate the SERPs.

It isn’t even that far away. As such, you need to start getting serious about video SEO, as this will be a big trend.

Users have an insatiable demand for video, and Google has responded in kind. To that end, it’s time for you to up your video marketing game. This means producing more video content – from explainer videos to tutorials to interviews – and using video sitemap to inform Google about your video metadata (essentially the video version of a meta description).

Moreover, if your videos are absolutely awesome, the chance for more backlinks (incredibly important for medical seo purposes) will increase.

Don’t forget to optimize your videos for mobile, too.

Personalized Content

The more personalized your content is, the higher you will rank. How? Because you’ll be giving your site visitors more of what they want, which increases click rates, bounce rates, and conversions – all of which affect your ranking.

Personalization is what your customers expect in 2019. By leveraging audience profiles, you’ll be able to give people more of what they want and need – and less of what they don’t.

To do this, you need to track user behavior data at each stage of the buying journey so that you can provide content at any given stage of this journey. And this must be content that they both want and need.

Paid Search

Paid search – otherwise known as PPC (otherwise known as Pay Per Click) – is when you pay a set fee to Google each time a user clicks on your ad. An ad is placed at the top of search results for a particular keyword.

PPC doesn’t always work for a number of reasons, and one of them is that web users know that it’s an ad and as such might refrain from clicking on it.

However, Google makes a lot of cash from PPC and will be pushing it more in 2019. For their part, they’ll most likely work harder at making ads blend in better with the organic search results. For your part, you need to do what it takes to increase click opportunity. This means picking relevant keywords (don’t abuse dynamic keyword insertion) writing compelling meta descriptions that convince a user that you’ve got what they want (despite this being an ad) and refining your landing page so that it’s relevant to the ad. In other words, it’s got the information users who clicked your ad expected to be met with.

The Featured Snippet

How to bake a cake featured snippet

The featured snippet – otherwise known as position 0 – is the first search result that appears for a particular query. It’s the answer (and content) that Google has deemed offers the most in-depth and valuable response to the user’s question.

Google will be putting more weight on the featured snippet in 2019, which means the race to land the much-coveted Position 0 is on. To grab it, you need to, first of all, understand the categories that even have a chance of ranking as a featured snippet.

Other than that, you need to do your research into what keywords have a chance of ranking as a featured snippet. Long queries are a better candidate than shorter ones, as are high-volume keywords. An easy way to get more ideas is to check Google’s “people also ask” section.

Alternatively, use a tool like Answer the Public to find out the most popular questions in your niche.

Then, produce an in-depth, valuable piece of content that answers the question while summarising the answer in the first paragraph. 

Topic clusters signal a shift from keywords to topics.

Just as Google is getting smarter about snippets, it’s also learning how to address users’ questions about broad, relevant topics, not just specific keywords. This is a continuation of the trend toward smarter search results. Marketers must prioritize relevant, informative content that answers audience questions and concerns comprehensively — not keyword-stuffed content that attracts clicks first and maybe provides good information second.

Audiences no longer search for one or two keywords. They’re looking for answers to their questions, and they trust search engines to address the reason behind their search — not just the literal keywords they used. Content that’s equipped to fully answer questions on a topic will do much better than call-and-response content geared to targeting isolated keywords. This topic cluster model of content optimization will become even more popular over the next year.

Anchor less Links are getting more weight.

Backlinks are one of the strongest signals to Google of the quality of a website and how trustworthy it is. For years, earning a feature or press mention by a trusted journalist in a reputable publication was great, but if it didn’t also include a link or anchor to your site, it felt a little bit like a hollow victory.

That’s changing. Now that Google is getting better at assessing the value, quality, and relevance of content on a page, it’s getting better at knowing when companies are mentioned in reputable places, even without a link to solidify the connection. This doesn’t mean that backlinks aren’t still valuable they are and still are the main ranking factor, but it should be a good reminder to everyone that actual content quality and relevance are key. With that in mind, marketers should work to bolster their brands’ authority by pursuing strategies to earn online brand mentions that are helpful and relevant, Anchor text or no Anchor text.

Plain anchor links in the right relevant sources can also pass on value.

Final Thoughts

These are the top 7 SEO trends to look out for in 2019. To make sure you don’t drop the ball, refer back to this article and execute as soon as possible. Your rivals won’t be hanging around, so neither should you.

Article Sources – http://www.minttwist.com/2018/12/24/7-seo-trends-for-2019/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnhall/2018/12/23/5-seo-trends-to-help-marketing-leaders-prepare-for-2019/

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