3,2,1……2019 is here! What is your SEO strategy? The same-old, same-old game plan won’t work. We’ll tackle the top priorities affecting SEO in 2019 so you can develop an action plan around what elements will be the biggest influencers to you and your business.
As we know, success has no shortcuts, but with proper knowledge, planning, and timely execution you can make a BIG difference in your bottom line. Prepare your SEO strategy after thoroughly combing thru the latest trends below to see which ones will align with your business goals. Then go, go go! These are things you can do TODAY!
Google Page Speed
Google has continued to ensure that the user experience includes page browsing speed. In July 2018, Google switched from desktop page speed to mobile page speed as a primary ranking factor. There’s no time like the present to strategize how your page speed plays a role in your bottom line.
- The best way to control page speed is to ensure that every bug on your site is fixed. So, go back to PageSpeed Insights. Google will give you their suggestions on what you need to do. There’s no guesswork. They will tell you exactly what needs to be fixed. Although Google allows your page to rank up if your page is completely relevant to the queries, slow page speed may bounce your traffic to other quicker sites. So, find out your speed immediately and the issues slowing it down.
Know Your Audience and Their Goal
What your audience wanted last year isn’t necessarily what they want this year. Don’t make that assumption, as it could stifle your business. Gather your business facts and statistics. Has your audience changed over the last year? Who is generating your income? Having a solid idea of your audience will allow you to focus on your user intent when they complete a search. And answering your specific target audience’s questions should be tailored in the appropriate form, whether it be text, picture, etc.
When you begin evaluating your keyword changes you need to take it further than you have before. You need to anticipate your audience’s questions and follow up questions. A top ranking keyword or phrase you always thought was imperative to rank for may not be the best solution today. Your focus could be better spent with terms that are further down the funnel. So you need to do your research. Your audience can change and you need to re-evaluate every year, at a minimum.
- Determine who your target audience is today.
- Review your website content to ensure that your content answers your audience’s questions.
- Keep your answers simple; don’t over complicate things.
- Determine what your audience’s follow up questions will be and answer those as well. Stay one step ahead.
Content Quality is Key
Writing that blog consistently and keeping your audience abreast of the industry’s changes, trends and company news has always been a key priority for many businesses. But no longer is this enough. The quality of the content and the impact of Google’s algorithms on your SEO performance has changed the ballgame. Videos, webinars, live feed, voice search, influencer marketing and real life experience sharing has added another dimension into quality content. You can read more about this here.
Those 200-300 word blogs that you publish weekly just to have a consistent presence with your audience are not good enough any longer. You’re better off taking your time to write a monthly in-depth piece that resonates with your audience and gives them detailed information they can implement and use. Your competitors are raising their game and there is a new norm in the content arena.
- Continually keep abreast of Google’s algorithm changes to ensure that your website content is aligned with the latest standards.
- Engage your audience thru being the solution to the problem. Motivate, inspire and connect with your visitors.
- Fine tune your content delivery strategy and brainstorm on new ways to provide content thru different mediums.
Blockchain is going to make its debut and be an influencer in the digital marketing arena sooner than later. Blockchain will be responsible for recording search engine transactions in a transparent form. In other words, it will be the middleman, much like Google.
Don and Alex Tapscott, authors of a 2016 book called “Blockchain Revolution,” define it best, “The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.”
Blockchain can effortlessly ensure every user is who they say they are, reducing fraud and making certain business owners are only paying for actual click thrus. If you haven’t heard about it keep your ears open. They are predicting blockchain will have as much of an impact as the Internet did in the 90’s. As companies and websites implement blockchain they will gain a wealth of information from blockchain transactions.
- Begin researching how blockchain could affect your company. You’re not going to want to be behind the 8-ball on this one.
- Pay close attention to blockchain news as it grows.
- If you don’t have an SEO expert or web developer in your back pocket, reach out so we can help prepare you as this new movement unravels.
Pay Attention to Amazon Search
Amazon search has become just as popular as Google search. Can you believe that? You’d better or you’re missing out on tons of potential dollars for your business. My purpose is to drive you to focus on its zillions of customers, users that are directly accessible for quality products, like yours.
Though Amazon search is similar to Google search, it has limited boundaries; the boundary being Amazon pages only. According to a study by BloomReach more than 55% of people go directly to Amazon for shopping purposes on a priority basis. And, above 50% of people visit Amazon to compare products bought from other shopping sites. Thus, without a single thought, include Amazon into your 2019 strategy, whether your business is personal care, kitchenwares, toys, or even home security. Amazon is a formidable force to reckon with.
If you know your potential customers are going to Amazon first, you should utilize their platform. Amazon can almost immediately help you open the doors to an international marketspace.
- Complete your keyword research comprehensively according to the Amazon database. According to BloomReach, even if your customer visits your direct website for your product they’ll then go to Amazon to compare pricing and selection.
- Try to keep your products title and descriptions simple and attractive according to the customer’s mindset.
- Never compromise on the quality of images you are uploading, as visual impact engrosses the maximum attention of customers.
- Every single customer gained is your key to unlock the doors of thousands of others. Pay attention to your customer service plan. Track delivery time and customer feedback scores, etc.
Brand as a Ranking Signal
A renowned Webmaster Trends Analyst, Gary Illyes, mentions Google requires you to mention your online brand as much as possible as it will help Google algorithms to get familiar with it. Your businesses online identity should be very clear. Basically, there are two ways in which your brand can be used as a ranking tool.
First thing, Google understands your brand as an entity when your brand is mentioned by other links. In addition to this, after a thorough examination of your brand through different sources and links, Google grasps the true picture of your brand. They then apply your rank.
Secondly, your online brand identity is like your personal identity in the real world. Similarly, your every activity or mention, whether it’s good or bad and whether it relates to your reputation, promotion, follow-thru, etc. is used to demonstrate to Google your online identity.
- As you know, building links using white hat techniques is a slow but effective process for a strong ranking signal. Implement consistent linkless backlinks; it can be super effective. Never miss a single opportunity to mention your brand name online.
- How do you build your reputation in the real world? The straight forward answer to this is by winning trust and giving the best possible service to your customer’s needs. The same strategy implementation is required in the online brand building business. Use your brand name every time and give promising service to your customers.
- Finalize your SEO strategies holistically; avoid being focused on one task. Workout the strategies and methodologies followed by your competitors. Increase your awareness and thoroughly investigate what the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors are to take the edge.
General Data Protection Regulation
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), is a regulation passed in favor of online users whose data is collected by corporations through online interactions. Now onwards, users have all rights to correlate their data given to companies any time with a simple request. If any company disobeys these regulations, they will be penalized.
The GDPR’s impact is global, but the maximum effect is on European Union companies and their customers. Considering this, Google amended changes in its Analytics. They will no longer keep data past 26 months. In addition, every owner has a choice to change the default period of collection. Moreover, if any customer wants to remove his data from company records that is even possible now.
- For businesses without European customers: change the Google Analytics settings to “do not automatically expire”. When you do this, you will drop the security responsibilities on yourself and business are dropped.
- For businesses with European customers: verify meticulously every single data point collected from sources before updating it on Google Analytics. Avoid updating private data.
RankBrain is Google’s machine learning system, entirely emphasized on providing best ever search results to the users globally by understanding long tail search queries intent of a particular user. Basically, it lets Google sort the search results.
Google’s intelligent machine learning is understanding users’ requirements deeply and serves them better, improved, and compromising results to what could initially be a vague search just by understanding their intent. Isn’t that rad? Regardless of what you searched it’s learning to understand what you actually meant. WOW!
Let’s look at an example. Say, you search, “Red wine varieties” in Google. You then review the results and click on an article half way down the page. You then spend many minutes reading the enticing article which feeds you with tons of info you were looking for. Sounds great, right?
Let’s look at another example. You complete the same search and immediately click on the 1st result that comes up. The article is HORRIBLE and doesn’t include any relevant info you were after. You then have to go back to the results and click on another article. RankBrain will notice both of these scenarios. They will review which result is clicked on and how much time is spent on the website.
RankBrain is one only one tool that is used by Google though so don’t invest all of your efforts here. Just beware of the tools that are evaluating your rank and ensure your content is relevant and valuable.
- Understand RankBrain and how it can be implemented into your SEO plan.
- Optimize meta titles and meta descriptions for each page inclusive of H1, H2, tags. Then, let the RankBrain do its job. It will automatically improve your ranking.
Keyword Research & Artificial Intelligence (AI)
For best SEO results in 2019, your keyword research strategy must be smart enough to grasp zillions of market shares for your business. The fascinating idea behind keyword research encompasses your keyword selection in comparison to what customers are searching forrelating to the same product.
For instance, if you are targeting keyword “photo-booths” for ranking purpose within 3 months, and you are using photobooth as the main keyword, then you may not get results easily. As this is a common keyword in this category, thousands of your competitors across the globe are already using this keyword. If this is your SEO strategy, you will fail.
AI is also making an impact with keyword search. AI was introduced into the industry in the form of Alexa, Siri and smart TV’s, with tons of users preferring voice searches and video searches. Therefore, in 2019, SEO specialists have to understand prevailing AI strategies globally. They have to comprehend machine language in order to grasp a maximumshare of the market. Similarly, SEO experts have to create methodologies considering voice searches and video outputs for a user-friendly experience.
Search snippets are taking over the top spot. You may have seen them at the top of a page after you’ve queried a search in Google. It’s often shown as a paragraph with a company’s URL and page title. With your business featured in a search snippet you’ll be dominating your competition. It should increase your website traffic considerably.
- Fine tune those keywords. If you haven’t figured it out by now. Getting the right keywords is not a guessing game.
- If you have a page that currently ranks in the top 10 it may be a great time to revise the content to increase its chance of getting into that highly coveted spot. Always ensure the content is valuable and user friendly first.
2019 is going to be challenging for SEO and new entrepreneurs as it relates to SEO. Implementing your best strategy considering all the above trends and other factors meticulously will be a key to success. Keep on top of Google’s latest algorithms and trends to see your business sky-rocket. Don’t go it alone. If you have not hired an expert previously, it’s time to consider one. The hours of time you need to understand the intricacies of SEO to launch a successful campaign are better off in the hands of a professional. Reach out today so we can discuss your 2019 successful SEO launch.