In the ever changing world of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), we wanted to share some SEO trends and tips to consider if you are thinking about your website and Google rankings in 2019.
1. Content continues to be king!
Since we launched One To Three Marketing Solutions in 2010, we’ve been telling our clients about the importance of good quality content. If you share information that your clients want to know about they will come to you for advice and guidance. They are also more likely to link to your website from their own websites and social media platforms.
Create content that your readers want to see and stay consistent. Google likes fresh content so consider blogging about your industry and sharing hints and tips (much like this blog post). We think that video content will become even bigger in 2019. Currently 55% of people watch videos online every day. Did you know that viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in text? So make sure video marketing is part of your marketing mix in 2019.
When blogging and writing descriptions for your videos, remember to think about the keywords you want to be found for. Include these keywords in the copy of your website and remember to update the code behind your site too. Ensure you update the meta title and meta description PER blog post. There is often debate about the optimum length of meta data, as Google’s search displays keep changing. I recommend that the meta title should be between 60-75 characters and the meta description should be no longer than 156 characters (including spaces and punctuation). Having the keywords in the title and the first paragraph will also help your case with SEO. We always recommend creating websites in WordPress using the Yoast SEO plugin which offers a traffic light system to help you improve your SEO and takes you through a step-by-step guide per page of your website.
If you generate good, interesting, relevant content, people will link back to your site and backlinks will continue to play a role in SEO trends in 2019. The best advice here is to grow your links organically.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again; if content is king then engagement is queen! Encourage debate, ask questions and allow your audience to engage with your posts.
It’s important to ensure your brand is recognised by Google which can be achieved through consistent content. Branding is a way of promoting your website and its content (including blogs) on various platforms such as social media to gain more audience attraction. Once the audience starts to know more about your brand, if they are able to relate to your website they will share it with their contacts.
Once your online brand starts to build, Google will begin to notice your presence and will give results for the queries related to your niche. If any content on your website is popular across social media then it is possible that Google will index that page much faster in comparison to other pages. Online branding is one to watch out for in 2019 in SEO trends and Google rankings!
3. Optimising for voice search
“50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020” according to com score.
As it becomes the norm for our children to ask Siri and Alexa all varieties of questions, voice search will continue to grow in 2019. So think about providing answers to specific questions, with your business audience in mind.
Create a piece of content that directly answers a question e.g. “How do I share a post from one Facebook business page to another business page?” Make sure to include the question itself, and a direct answer to it. This is all about content again and providing answers to questions that may attract a new audience.
4. Featured Snippets / Quick Answers
A featured snippet — also known as a “rich answer” or “direct answer” or “quick answer” — is a summary answer to a searcher’s question that Google shows in a special block at the top of the page. It usually comes with a link back to your site, which has great traffic-attracting potential.
To try and rank for this rich snippet box, you need to identify queries and the intent behind your user’s search queries when performing your keyword research. You can do this through ‘how’, ‘what’ and ‘why’ search terms. You should then aim to directly answer these within your content, simply and easily. A great way to do this is through a Q&A page on your website. You can provide the user with a quick answer, rather than scrolling through lengthy articles. An example of this can be seen here, with an article we shared on LinkedIn on, “How to set up an autoreply on Facebook messenger”.
5. Longtail keywords
With the increase in voice searches, there will be more of a need to focus on on more long-tail search keywords and a natural language that matches the user’s conversational tone. Longtail keywords are basically a phrase rather than a single keyword. If I’m searching for “shoes” I’m just browsing. If I’m searching for “Where can I buy black patent shoes with a kitten heel, size 5?” this is a longtail keyword phrase and I’m ready to make a purchase.
I always tell our clients it is better to attract fewer visitors to your website who are likely to convert into customers, than thousands of visitors who only spend a few seconds on the site.
Think about more specific keyword searches, related to you and your business to attract the right kind of visitors to your site. If you only want to work in a certain area or are offering events or training courses in a certain place, then geographic keywords are a must.
6. Site Speed
Speed will continue to be an important factor in 2019. Accelerated Mobile Pages project (AMP) was a Google initiative to build a better, more user friendly mobile web by introducing a new “standard” for building web content for mobile devices. Accelerated Mobile Pages load instantly and improve the end user experience. Ever since its launch in search results in February 2016, AMP has been in the SEO news. In simple terms, pages that load quickly are going to be a must-have in the future. You can check your site speed in Google Analytics.
7. Mobile Friendly
Mobile friendly sites have been big news for a while now (see my blog post from 2015) and of course this will continue to be the case for 2019. As more and more users access websites from their smart phones or tablets, the importance of mobile friendly websites has never been more important. Can users click on your telephone number to call you? Is your site interactive? Think mobile friendly and speed for your websites in 2019. We also recommend that all sites should be secure (using https rather than http) as Google likes and trusts secure sites.
Doe your website pass Google’s mobile friendly test? www.search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly.
If not, Google will tell you what you need to do to fix things.
8. Improved User Interface
The end user experience continues to be of upmost importance. Encourage your users to stay on your site for longer and reduce your bounce rate. The trick is once you capture an audience, to keep them on the site, so if you are attracting your audience through your blog, ensure you have links to other relevant pages to your website from your blog. Is your site interactive and responsive? Improved User Interface and user needs are going to continue their importance throughout 2019.
Remember to use Google Analytics to track your bounce rate and the time spent on your site. You can also use Google Analytics to work out which pages of your site are turning your clients off and where they are leaving your site. You should continually monitor the end user experience of visitors on your website.
9. Make the most of Google’s free tools
Talking of Google Analytics, we tell all of our client to ensure they are making the most of all of the free Google tools on offer.
Use Google Analytics to track the performance of your website and find out about visitor information: www.google.co.uk/analytics.
Use Google’s Webmaster Tools to verify your site with Google, submit your sitemap and check on any problems on the site: www.google.co.uk/webmasters/tools.
Use Google’s free keyword tool when planning which keywords are important for your website.
Every local business should have a Google My Business listing, which leads me nicely onto:
10. Relevance of local search
Everybody who has worked with me will know the importance I place on local search, and as more and more websites are flooding the Internet and with the increase in mobile sites, I think this will be an area of growing importance in 2019. Think about the areas where your clients are based and where you want to work and include these geographic areas in your keywords and throughout your website.
Also remember the importance of an up-to-date Google My Business listing. Reviews are really important and encourage your clients to leave reviews on your Google My Business listing and be sure to reply to these reviews. You can now add posts to Google My Business listings and as Google collects more and more data on each listing, I believe this is an area to watch in 2019. You can read my blog here. You can feature on the first page of local searches on Google with a Google My Business listing, without working on your website at all. Google My Business is adding new functionality all of the time and you can now add short videos to your listing too. Ensure you include your keywords in your business description too.
If you have any questions or have anything to add to this post, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you believe there is there anything else that will rock the SEO world in 2019? Are there any other SEO trends or tips you’d like to share?