SEO trends for 2019 that you can put into practice immediately
It’s no secret that Google loves to shake things up. In any given year, Google will make over 500 algorithm changes.
SEO means optimising your website to appear higher in the search results. With so many considerations, it’s easy to miss something important.
And when you miss something, your website might as well be invisible. 😱
However, get it right, and you will reap the benefits of increased traffic, which leads to brand awareness and sales coming to your business. Get all that nailed on, and people will come back time and time again.
And what business doesn’t want more leads, sales and brand awareness, right?
SEO has changed a lot over the years. Search engine optimisation hacks that worked five years ago simply won’t cut it today.
That’s why, in today’s article, we’ll be pulling together ranking advice from our team of experts to make sure you have the best strategy for the coming year. After all, new year, new business strategy.
We’ve also included this link to our FREE advanced SEO techniques guide that will have you ready to rank at the top of the SERPs in 2019!
Ready for some SEO trends for 2019? Let’s get started…
1) Optimise for RankBrain
If you’re confused at what Rankbrain is all about, you’re not alone. It sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie. Simply put, Rankbrain is a machine learning system that helps Google decide where to place pages in the search results. In that aspect, it is similar to sci-fi.
Rankbrain will scan Google to see how people interact with the search results. For example, a site that ranks at the top of the Google results will inevitably receive a high click-through rate. However, if the people who click on that website bounce right off, it will drop in the rankings. But, why? Google will consider the content to be irrelevant to the user who landed on that page. People obviously aren’t finding what they are looking for on-page, so the problem lies with the quality of content.
Improve the quality and relevance of the content and watch as your rankings skyrocket!
Some other considerations when optimising for Rankbrain:
- Onsite engagement – how long a user stays on your website before leaving (over 3 minutes is a good result)
- Click through rate – how many people click through to your website from the Google search results.
2) Improve your almost first-page results
Up next in our list of SEO trends for 2019 is a content overhaul. Look for pages that rank on page two of Google. These will be the ones that are, how do we put it, one short of the big time. The ones that didn’t quite make the cut. They may blip on and off the first page but to really make an impression, it’s essential to appear as high up on the first page as possible.
You can find these pages using Google Analytics by going under Acquisition, Search Console and Queries. From here, you can set up an advanced filter to show only results with a position (rank) above 10, which is on the second page of Google.
Now you can give your content a complete overhaul. Go big on images, data capture forms, statistics, quotes, reviews and comments. Basically, include anything that will make your content more engaging.
By focusing on quality, you are more likely to include key phrases naturally with the length of your content. Make it a piece of content that people would link to because it offers real value to readers.
Here are three ways to make this SEO trend even more successful:
- Check your rankings on a regular basis. Don’t just write, hit publish and call it a job well done. To make a difference, you need to be on the ball with every piece of content you publish.
- Don’t re-write the entire post. If it’s on the second page of Google, there’s a reason. It’s doing a pretty good job. Change the content and you run the risk of dropping off the search results. Instead, add to the content with improvements to better your post.
- Do this every month as you track your progress. This way, you can identify your highest performing posts and the ones that need a little work.
3) Tap into video marketing
No SEO trends for 2019 list would be complete without a mention of video marketing. Your readers are busy people. The chances are, they don’t have time to read every sentence in your carefully constructed blog post. You need to break things up a little…
… see what we did there? Images are a great way to increase time on page (see above) and encourage people to read on, without falling asleep. If you really want to engage with your audience on a personal level, start filming. It can be scary to position yourself as the face of your business. What if you slip up? What if you say the wrong thing? Stumble over your words? It happens, and it’s normal.
Video marketing has a lot of untapped potential. It’s great for SEO and can dramatically increase user experience. Chances are, people will remember you far more from a 1-minute video than from a lengthy blog post. For the best results, combine the two to give people the option to click to view or read on for more information.
When questioned 81% of people were encouraged to purchase following a promotional video (HubSpot). And despite all that video out there 43% of people say that they want to see more video content.
Here’s how to keep your video content optimised:
- Include a relevant title and description. Remember, your videos can rank in Google much like your website copy.
- Create a YouTube channel for your business. Link this to your website and embed relevant videos onto the pages of your site.
- Optimise your video’s audio and visual quality.
4) Appear in featured snippets
To rank in the organic search results takes time. Let’s not talk about the hours of agonising optimisation that goes into making your blog posts rank at the top of Google. Of course, there is a benefit to ranking in the organic results. However, there is a quicker way to steal clicks from your competitors.
Around 11% of pages will appear in the featured snippets. This section of the search results appear above the organic search results and just below the ads. They’re placed alongside an image, table or video making them stand out and steal more clicks than any ranked result.
Here’s what they look like:
Pretty amazing, right? So, that’s what they look like but how do you get them? As the name goes, the content presented should be a ‘snippet’ of information containing no more than 60 words. If you are looking to be found for question terms like ‘how do I appear for featured snippets?’ or ‘what is a social media schedule?’ then opt for a paragraph. However, if you’re trying to rank for a proposition then a list format (for, to, like, etc.) would be the best option.
Here are some ways to keep your featured snippets optimised:
- Keep content clear and concise. Basically, get to the point. No one likes a story that drags on and on… and on.
- Use heading tags for easy to read content.
- Don’t neglect social sharing options.
5) Maximise user engagement
Do everything possible to increase user engagement with your website. That’s everything from creating new posts and optimising existing ones.
Here are some of our top tips when it comes to maximising user engagement:
- Be easy to read. Make use of white space, headings, short, snappy sentences and relevant images to retain the interest of your readers for longer. Not only will this hook them long enough to make a sale but it will also see your rankings shoot up as Google favours a site with increased engagement.
- Include highly relevant internal links. When a reader is scanning your content the chances are they will come away with many questions. Including a strong internal linking structure will not only boost other pages on your website but it will ensure that your readers get the answers they are looking for.
- Use LSI keywords, and answer any additional questions users may have. It’s no longer good enough to write solely about your targeted keyword. Your pages need to supply additional information that will retain the reader for longer. Having pages that are more valuable than competitors (optimising for the same keyword) will send you straight to the top of the search results.
- Contain multiple ways for a reader to engage with your content. We’re not just talking about the odd image dotted across your page – though, they are valuable and can rank. Consider infographics, videos, transcripts, forms and buttons for maximum results.
Employ these tactics and watch as your website becomes an authority in your industry and people share your content with others.
6) Optimise for voice search
In case you haven’t heard, voice search is a pretty big deal. Voice search technology is growing with more brands, like Google and Amazon, embracing this new way to browse the web. It makes sense to use more geo-targeted keywords when optimising for local search. Since most voice searches are local, this is an absolute must if you want to rank for local search terms.
In addition to optimising for local search, don’t neglect the importance of question-related terms. As more people are turning to voice software to ask on the spot, quick questions, optimising for these terms is an absolute must.
Questions are usually long tail search terms meaning they are easier to rank for because fewer people are targeting them. Creating high-quality, voice search optimised FAQ’s is a great way to rank for voice searches.
That’s great, but where do I start?
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