2018 was the year of massive SEO changes, such as the growth of voice search, the blockchain technology, and Google’s Mobile-First Index. These trends have taken SEO to a whole new level and provided a solid basis for its future improvement. Now, speaking of the future, 2019 is just around the corner and it is expected to bring new technologies and trends to the table. Sure, to stay competitive, you need to keep pace with these changes. Here are a few SEO Strategy trends to prepare for in 2019.
SEO Strategy in 2019
Make your Site Visible to Voice Searchers
With the rise of AI assistants and sophisticated voice recognition software, voice search has grown impressively fast over the past few years. Today, about 41% of adults perform at least one voice search daily. And, this number is estimated to reach 50% by 2020.
Voice search has become an essential part of your SEO puzzle. However, it has redefined the way we do SEO.
For example, voice assistants are designed to impersonate real-life conversations. Searchers can now “talk to” search engines naturally using full sentences and asking questions. Therefore, they are not limited to short-tail textual queries.
This phenomenon impacts voice search results. Google wants to answer users’ questions as precisely as possible, choosing sites that provide straightforward answers to their queries.
Why Is It Important?
This is why you need to put your audience first, understand their intent, and optimize your content for conversational search phrases. To see what questions people usually ask and adapt your keywords to them, track online communities, industry forums, Q&A platforms, and social networks. Tools like Keywordtool.io or LSI may also help.
Sure, voice search is still relatively new and optimizing for it requires the right tools and lots of research and auditing. Therefore, if you’re still not sure what tools to use and how to align search intent and your keyword research, you can always invest in SEO services and let professionals put you in front of your voice searchers.
Leverage AI Technologies and Chatbots
Chatbots are the new big thing in the world of digital marketing. They not only help you provide real-time customer support during your off-hours but also engage your customers and personalize their interactions with your brand. Today’s chatbots are AI-powered, meaning that they constantly improve their conversation patterns and provide relevant customer feedback.
From an SEO point of view, chatbots have numerous benefits. For example, chatbots let you guide your customers through different stages of their buyer journey, help them find the desired information effortlessly, and convert faster. This will result in lower bounce rates and better user engagement, showing Google that you’re a relevant and authoritative source of information.
Up your Content Production Skills
Content marketing remains the foundation of your SEO strategy. It gives you the opportunity to rank higher for your highest-performing keywords, increase your organic traffic, and build trust with your target audience. By creating content that stays on top of industry trends and solves your readers’ specific problems, you will position yourself as a credible online resource and get them to convert faster. Most importantly, high-quality content is your most effective link building practice. When credible sites in your niche start seeing the value your posts bring to your readers, they will start linking to them in their blog posts organically, boosting your backlink portfolio.
Now, in 2019, short-form, self-serving blog posts won’t provide any SEO value. You need to start creating attention-grabbing, unique, and highly informative content that truly resonates with your target readers.
For starters, this means creating long-form blog posts. According to Backlinko, 2000-word content does better on Google. Back up your content with relevant statistics and recent studies, provide original insights into major industry topics and offer actionable tips. Be it long articles or ultimate guides, your content should never be packed with fluff text.
Finally, don’t forget that content production doesn’t include articles only. There are numerous engaging forms of content you should try out to increase user engagement and skyrocket your rankings. These could be infographics, videos, quizzes- basically, any type of content that provides targeted user experiences.
Boost User Experience to Please RankBrain
Google is constantly striving to improve its searchers’ browsing experience by providing them with more relevant and authoritative search results. Precisely because of that, it uses numerous algorithms and ranking signals to classify sites by their quality. And, one of the most significant ones is definitely RankBrain.
RankBrain combines different metrics like the site’s dwell time or click-through rate to assess its relevance. Sure, your goal is to improve these aspects of your site to get Google to rank you higher.
For example, to increase your organic CTR, you could:
- Test and improve your SEO titles. Write headlines from your readers’ perspective, optimize them for your major keywords, and use emotional hooks that inspire clicks.
- Create catchy and spam-free meta descriptions. They should not only tell a user what your page is about but also entice them to click on the link.
- Implement structured data to tell Google what your page is about. This will increase your chances of appearing in Google’s infoboxes, such as carousels, top stories, videos, etc.
- Use descriptive and memorable URLs that give insights into your page content.
However, getting people to click on your content is just half the job done. The other half is to get them to stay longer on your page. Dwell time is one of Google’s most important ranking factors, as it indicates how relevant, friendly, and engaging your content is. If someone stays on your page for 10 minutes, reading your post and clicking on your links, it’s a clear signal that they like it. However, if the number of people kicking your site fast is growing, Google will conclude it’s not relevant to your audiences and rank you lower.
Just like with CTR, there are numerous ways to boost your dwell time. For starters, you should boost your page load speed, make sure your site caters to both mobile and desktop users, simplify your site navigation, and improve the overall appeal of your site.
Back to You
The SEO strategy ecosystem keeps evolving. And, to stay on top of it, you need to tailor your SEO strategy to these key shifts. Monitor major trends in the digital marketing industry and implement them into your SEO practices strategically. On the other hand, don’t forget to test your site’s performance regularly. Identify the practices that don’t work for you, and eliminate them fast. Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to SEO. It’s all about adapting the major trends to your specific needs.