Stay On Top Form With Search in 2019
Every year SEO continues to change, in fact, it can change day to day however it’s likely the core will always stay the same. Although some things are mentioned year on year, we’ve put together what we think are this year’s hottest trends for search. With search, it can’t be a waiting game and you’ve always got to stay one step ahead or you’ll quickly get left in the dust.
SEO Trends For 2019
Video, Video, Video
It might sound like we are going over video again and again, just like when you rewind a VHS. But this year there are no excuses when it comes to video, its time to get in the game or you risk being stuck in the buffering zone.
Video comes in many different forms from animations to promotional videos and everything in-between. Using a mixture of videos across your website will help to boost engagement, improve dwell time and drive those all-important conversions. RankBrain loves websites with good dwell time, and if you can keep users watching a video that’s one or two minutes long, then it’s going to send yours through the roof.
Whilst Google might like content, users can find it overwhelming and that’s where videos come in. Google loves videos and so do your users! Youtube is estimated to be more popular than Bing and more people are cutting out search engines altogether and searching directly via Youtube.
If you’re thinking about including a video, then take full advantage and upload it onto Youtube first. With the ability to rank both for your video and website, it’s two ports of call for your potential customers. Videos that include a voiceover are even more beneficial as the transcript can also be embedded on your web page, adding even more relevant content to your page.
Super Pages of Relevant Topical Content
Long gone are the days of filling a page with just one keyword, it’s time to make sure your content is strong, authoritative, relevant and engages the user that’s reading it. It’s no longer just content, you need to be putting context to that content. A page with context will rank better and it will provide your website users with the information they are looking for.
Does your page of content have about 300 words on it? Well, what if we said 2000 words was a good solid number? I know what you’re thinking, 2000 words on a page, how? Well fear not it’s easier than you might think.
When you look at the main term, all of the related terms and then the questions people are asking, putting 2000 words to a page is easy. Google is looking for content that provides relevant and informative information is much more likely to be favoured over content that lacks context.
Don’t forget about LSI keywords either, these are words and phases that are strongly associated with your page’s topic. When a page included LSI keywords, it makes the page even more topically relevant.
Click Through Rate (CTR)
Believe it or not even websites that rank can lack traffic and this is all down to click through rate. Once your website is ranking, it’s important to make sure your meta title and description is attractive and makes a user want to click.
Your meta titles and descriptions should reflect what you are offering, however they need to include buzz-words that will make people click. Terms such as ‘FREE Quote’ could make the difference between clicking you or a competitor.
One of the best tools to use to monitor click through rate is ‘Search Console’ or ‘Webmaster Tools’ as the dinosaurs once new it as. Determining how many impressions a website is getting and comparing it against CTR will help you to determine the best pages to improve.
Say It With Voice Search
Voice search is destined to be huge this year and if you haven’t seen an Alexa or Google Home advert, then it’s likely you’ve been living under a rock or stranded on a desert island for the last year or so. It’s currently estimated that over half of all online searches will be made using voice search by 2020.
The point of SEO is to rank websites accurately so users can find the information that best suits their query, so why shouldn’t the apply to voice search as well. When optimising a website for content it’s important that it loads quickly, you write the way you speak and you answer questions that people might ask.
Q & A sections or frequently asked questions are becoming more popular on websites and this is all down to voice search. There are three types of questions you need to be answering when writing content and these are generic, factual and business specific. This will provide a broad range of answers to the questions that people are most likely to ask.
But it’s not just the information you put on the page, it’s the way that you write it too. Content that is simply service - location and has no meaning isn’t going to be suitable for voice search. Whereas when you write how you speak, it’s going to naturally fit the way someone is searching for it with their voice.
Build Links Like An Architect
Links are an important part of SEO and will likely always be, however it’s not just about building any old link, you need to be building quality links and citations that make a difference. You can’t just go out and buy a link anymore, well you can but they’re unlikely to have the impact you desire.
Your number one objective should be to build links that are relevant to your website. It’s impossible to have links that are always 100% relevant, for example, if you sell furniture you might have your most relevant link from another furniture website or supplier, then it’s likely your links will remain relevant but might change to websites that are home and garden focussed.
No matter what industry you might be in or terms you might be targeting, links are important to ensure you reach the first page and stay there. For links to make the biggest impact you need to have a quality piece of content behind them.
The Real Mobile Index
Last year Google ruled our mobile-first indexing, which means they now consider the mobile version the ‘real’ version of your website. With over 60% of Google searches now made from a mobile device and with that number expected to continue growing, it’s easy to see why they have made that move.
If you haven’t already, then you need to be asking yourself ’What do I need to do about mobile-first indexing? For anyone that’s had a new website built recently then it’s likely your site will be ok, it’s always best to check so make sure you run it through Google’s own mobile friendly test tool.
Search console will also provide you with a mobile usability report, detailing which pages are invalid and what it detects is wrong with those pages. The information this provides you with will allow you to make the appropriate edits to make your website mobile friendly.
''What do I need to do about mobile-first indexing?''
Be Featured In A Snippet
Featured snippets have been around for a while now and 0 is most definitely the new 1. One of the things with snippets is it’s not always the easiest to rank for them. This is where you need to bait Google with something that directly answers the query that’s being searched for.
A block of text that is usually around 40-60 words of content, that focusses clearly on answering a search query is more likely to rank in a featured snippet. Whilst aiming for that all important position one, don’t pass on the opportunity to take the true spot of position zero.
Keep Technical Ticking Over
Fixed the technical issues with your website and think that’s it, one and done. Well, think again. It’s likely over time the larger your website becomes the more technical issues will start to flag and the slower it could become.
It’s important to regularly monitor how your website is performing technically. If you have good rankings for keywords, a solid backlink profile and then your technical lets you down, it’s like falling at the last hurdle.