2019 is fast approaching and that means you should start thinking about how the new year will affect your SEO strategy. The competition for the top search rankings is fierce, so it’s important to stay on top of changes in the SEO world. Check out what’s in store for 2019 and make sure your SEO is at the top of its game for this coming year.
I Wanna Be the Very Best (Quality)
Ever since Google started improving its algorithm (with Panda, Penguin, and more), its main focus has been on ensuring the best quality user experience (UX). That means directing users to the highest-quality sites that meet their search criteria. As we move into 2019, in-depth and comprehensive content will be just as, if not more important.
Google’s algorithm will only get more sophisticated with time, meaning that no matter how good the rest of your SEO strategies are, if your content is thin or of poor quality, then your search rankings will still suffer. [tweetshareinline tweet=”The higher the quality of your content, the more likely your site is to appear at the top of the search rankings.” username=”BrainVineSEO”]
Click Through Rate
Click through rate, or CTR, is something that’s going to be increasingly important in the coming year. The number of clicks your site gets does affect your search ranking. Google is just getting smarter and can actually update your ranking in real-time. Several experiments have been done to test this and found that with no other changes made, simply getting more clicks on a specific search result improved the rankings drastically.
Ranking and the Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain
RankBrain is a part of Google’s core algorithm that can use machine learning, or the ability of machines to teach themselves, to calculate the most relevant results. This has a direct affect on the search ranking of sites in real-time, boosting sites that have higher click through rates and that have longer dwell times. Sites that have high bounce rates may go down in the rankings as Google uses RankBrain to adjust the rankings to provide users with the best results.
Dwell on Sites and Forget to Bounce
Because RankBrain uses bounce rate and dwell time in its calculations, it’s important to try to increase the amount of time users are staying on your site. Take the time to look at the top-ranking sites and the Adwords ads for your keywords and any keywords related to them. You may be able to improve your click-through rate by using these successful titles and description tags as inspiration for your own.
Getting users to click is only half the battle. [tweetshareinline tweet=”If your site doesn’t have the content users want, they’ll click off right away, increasing your bounce rate.” username=”BrainVineSEO”] Producing good content can thus increase the dwell time of users visiting your site.
SEO Go! Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly
- Make sure that the mobile version of the site has the same content as the desktop version
- Use responsive design instead of the mobile site version
- Ensure that metadata, including titles, tags, and descriptions, are the same on both site versions
- Check that your site, whether it has a separate mobile version or not, is actually easy to use on mobile devices
- Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool to see how mobile-friendly your site actually is
There Aren’t the Links You’re Looking For
Links are still very important to search rankings. Not just any link, however – if your site has a lot of spammy backlinks, that can actually end up hurting your rankings instead of boosting them. Put together a good link campaign that will get high-quality links back to your site. Good content is another key player in link-building – sites with good content are more often linked back to organically.
OK Google, Optimize for Voice Search
From Siri to Alexa and Cortana, nearly everything now has a voice search option, even TV remotes. Optimizing your site for voice search requires a slight change in keyword approach, as most people use voice search like they’re initiating a conversation and approach the search by asking a question. Many people actually do this in regular searches as well, so structuring your keywords to be questions (usually seven to ten words long) and then making sure the site provides the answer as well can help your search rankings across the board.
The biggest takeaway from the SEO trends for 2019 is that producing high-quality content is still going to be perhaps the most important part of SEO. Comprehensive content actively contributes to improving other SEO tactics and a lack of good content can decrease your search rankings no matter how good your SEO strategy is. Content may be the most important, but it’s not the only thing – a lot of factors go into determining search rankings. Keep these new trends in mind as you rethink your SEO tactics for the new year.