With every passing day, search engines are evolving to become all the more intelligent. The number of voice-activated search queries is also mounting up.
Now, stop and take a closer look at the time when search engine optimization (SEO) began. It’s pretty fascinating how far SEO has come in the past few years.
If you want your business to thrive and prosper in an exceedingly competitive environment, you must warm up to the latest SEO developments and trends. With 2019 just around the corner, here is the list of SEO strategies you should watch for.
- Greater emphasis on search intent
Every insightful mind would agree that the future we are talking about is already here. The changes in the SEO practices that we wanted to see are happening now. More and more consumers are heavily relying on their phones to search for specific items, recipes, or general information. Keeping with that practice, the use of keywords has also shifted from short-term to long-tail keywords.
To further simplify, here’s an example.
Let’s say you have searched for “affordable assignment help services.” So, it’s quite likely that you wanted to know about the kind of services these companies provide, including the distinctive features, and advantages of hiring them. But, there are other details you didn’t even think about, such as the affordability of the services and the guarantees that you can enjoy.
As we gear up to step into 2019, keyword generation will witness a drastic shift. This is due to the fact that mobile and voice search is becoming the new norm. Hence, it’s less about the keyword and more about what the keyword represents and how it is utilized in the context of a search.
- Page speed boost with AMP
Mobile Optimization is one of the biggest criteria to develop new websites. With Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and Progressive Web Apps, Google tells you how to make your pages load faster to provide the optimum mobile viewing experience.
AMPs are already a pivotal element of Google SERPs. It is estimated that the “AMP” theme will gain more momentum in 2019. However, owing to its shortcomings, not all websites are encouraged to use it. AMPs don’t include images and structure; they comprise of pure text, which is why these pages load swiftly. Such technology can work wonders for news websites as well.
- Directory pages for Google and Bing
One of the most convenient things you can do to elevate your rankings in the search engine pages is to claim and optimize your business pages for online directories. Consistency across listings is vital. So, you have to make sure you utilize the exact name, phone number and address.
Google My Business and Bing Places for Business are two of the most popular directories. It’ll be a good idea to start with them. You can claim your free pages by visiting these websites. They have similar procedures that include filling out some details and verifying your business.
Optimize your listings by putting up a well-crafted description, logo, business hours, a photo, and more. Make sure that your profile is complete.
- Optimum user experience
Whoever proceeds with the belief that it’s just “search engine optimization,” hasn’t actually grasped the essence of it yet. The truth is that we don’t optimize for search engines, but for the users of the search engines and websites. This is the reason why user experience plays an exceedingly crucial role.
You need to consider the following metrics for web page optimization in the coming year.
- Loading speed: There are multiple tools that you can adapt to check the loading time of your web page. You can also check out the PageSpeed tool from Google to monitor the performance of your site.
- Mobile optimization: In most cases, more than half of all search queries are carried out via tablets or Smartphone. This makes it all the more significant to meet the need of the user.
- Technically advanced websites: With rapid advancements, users are turning out to be more and more demanding. Optimizing web pages will ensure that the users are able to put their faith in your services.
- Structured data becomes all the more relevant
With the evolution of SERPs, Google is accumulating more and more data. Today, Google can consistently try to create its own meaningful meta-descriptions from the content available on the web pages. Additionally, the search engine giant utilizes search engine data to produce rich snippets. Since the available space has been compressed due to the changes in the arrangement of the advertisements, you should always try to create eye-catchy snippets.
One interesting aspect to consider here is that homepages can’t get review snippets. Rich snippets can considerably scale up the click-through rate (CTR) for your website.
Google requires structured data, so that the rich snippets can be displayed. Some examples of such snippets include:
- Opening hours
- Rating stars
- Event data
Pro tip: Mark up your content in the best possible way. You can have different possibilities at your disposal, the primary one being Google’s own website at schema.org.
- More focus on local content
You can present content for a huge number of people on your website, but it’ll be wise to focus on attracting local consumers. Brand yourself as an authority in your specific industry by providing information that is relevant. Make sure that your focus stays on the local community.
You can carry out other activities like promoting meet-ups for your industry or for local business owners, highlighting employees, sharing local news, and offering informative content.
Also, you must make sure to share your content on your social media platforms. Consumers who don’t visit your website frequently will keep coming back via Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and other social channels.
- The growth of voice search system
As early as 2014, Google highlighted in a study that over 40% of people use a voice-controlled web search. In the case of teenagers, the rate is even higher than 50%. As per Google, every fifth search query on a mobile device is recorded through voice input. With the rampant use of digital voice assistants and smart home devices, users will open up to explore all the features of “Voice Search” in 2019.
Users interact directly with the search engine in voice-controlled searches. Therefore, it is essential to focus more on long-tail keywords when optimizing content for search engine pages. At the same time, it can be effective in estimating the user questions that your content will address.
- More emphasis on image search
Google had considerably revamped its image search in 2017. Many leading websites had to grapple with traffic losses. This is because consumers no longer have to leave Google to look at images. They can click through the results just the way they scroll through the pictures in the gallery of their cell phones. By enhancing the image search, Google has definitely responded to a trend.
The fact that users are continuously searching for images should encourage you to optimize your visuals. You should also use better pictures than your competitors. In 2019, businesses should think holistically in terms of content. The content of your website should come across as a harmonious blend of image, video material, or text which should be focused on the added value for the consumer and cover a topic as comprehensively as possible.
- Links will continue to be significant
Every year a buzz goes around that says, “Link building or SEO is dead”. As a matter of fact, even in 2019, backlinks will still play a significant role. In 2018, Google announced in a conference that the good old PageRank is still a great ranking system for Google internally. Link power or authority is achieved through backlinks.
In fact, the so-called “linkless backlinks” may assume an even greater role in 2019. This consideration relies on the fact that Google can also include mentions of brands or other websites.
You need to be aware of the fact that link-building through mediocre article portals or unmotivated guest posts is not going to work anymore. Instead, you should invest in relevant yet authentic content that consumers enjoy sharing.
You should also be cautious with guest posts in general. Two years ago, Google had warned against low quality blogs. So, make sure to put in extra effort if you wish to maintain the quality.
A simple rule that you can follow in 2019 and build links is to think if the page link actually offers the consumer with additional value.
- AR and VR will have their own section in organic search
Many business owners are of the opinion that AR and VR will drastically impact Google’s organic search algorithms. Both VR and AR technologies are promising for search engine marketing (both organic and paid). By 2019, the way we conduct searches might not transform completely, but new technologies will surely alter the way we build links, engage users, and generate leads through content marketing. Also, it’s expected that content strategists will make a considerable attempt to include visuals into their content.
Content strategists are making substantial efforts to incorporate videos into their plans. With VR and AR in the picture, they will surely figure out ways to leverage these. AR and VR content can also turn out to be a great replacement for infographics in SEO.
Also, Google already prefers mobile-friendly websites. Since VR and AR are too mainstream, Google can modify the algorithm to feature sites with more mobile engagement. Alternatively, it might come up with a new section on the search engine that focuses only on VR/AR.
- The evolution of featured snippets
If you take a closer look at the SERPs today, you’ll see that there is an increase in the level of “competition.” Now, Adwords use plenty of space in commercial search queries. Based on the type of search query, shopping ads with images or a cluster of four spots with text ads are also presented as organic search results.
Featured Snippets will continue to maintain a significant role in 2019, as they fulfill the user’s requirements. The displayed excerpts are derived from the websites that Google considers to be relevant to the consumer’s query.
However, it still needs to be figured out how Google deals with the trustworthiness of the pages appearing as snippets. This popular search engine has already begun to develop a knowledge graph for a multitude of queries, by utilizing data from Wikipedia. Google is way ahead when it comes to addressing queries. This is where the search engine highlights its “People also Ask” Boxes, which can be clicked directly by users.
In 2019, it will be even more complex to appear in the top positions of the SERPs. To optimize your website, you need to be more strategic about the goals you want to achieve.
- Video is the future
Videos have been a smashing hit in 2018. And the good news is that it is not showing any sign of slowing down in 2019.
If your organization hasn’t focused on video content as part of the marketing strategy, then this is your cue. These days, most people spend considerable hours watching videos on YouTube, Facebook or Twitter.
It is definitely a golden opportunity for your brand to engage organically with consumers. In fact, it also indicates that Google is going to keep a closer eye on your brand’s video presence. Also, it will reward those that are delivering content in the channels that are preferred by internet users.
Make the most of your SEO strategies by keeping things straightforward and repurpose your existing blog content into short video contents that convey the same details. You can then take your video plan forward from there on.
With 2018 already buzzing with rapid developments, it’s hard to anticipate how the digital world will transform six months from now. You need to watch for the trends discussed in this post. The web is always evolving, and hopefully, more advanced innovations are to crop up in the coming year. Here’s to a more advanced business environment!
Author Bio: Marceline Joseph is an online math solver, programmer and an academic writer associated with Tophomeworkhelper.com. Besides being associated with the education and teaching industry, Marceline is a passionate stamp collector and chess player.