Post by Joe Davies
2019 SEO Trends – Optimising your website to appear on Google is a constantly changing process.
What worked last year might not work as well this year. And what worked 5 years ago might not work at all.
In 2019, successful SEO places the needs of your customers front and centre, supplying the answers they’re looking for in quick loading, mobile friendly and technologically aligned websites.
By staying on top of the latest trends in SEO you can make changes in anticipation of what’s to come, and manoeuvre above your competition too. That means more website traffic, more clicks, more leads and more conversions.
If you’re ready to start flexing your SEO knowledge, here are the top 3 SEO trends you need to know in 2019.
High Quality Content
Content is king. It always has been. But in 2019 the type and tone of content has changed.
It’s no longer enough to create simple guides that tread the same path as content that’s already been published. Your content has to be rich and in-depth, providing a new approach to your customer’s problems.
Some of the most effective ways of creating this type of content include:
- How to guides
- Deep dives
- Original research
- Expert opinions
- Consumer surveys
These offer new perspectives and can help you to stand out among the 2 million blog posts that are written every day.
Sydney SEO Expert Clarinda Cheon says that “Content is no longer a matter of SEO. It’s a matter of user experience. Forget keywords. Forget backlinks. Focus all your energy on understanding user intent and solving user problems. Once you’ve done this your SEO and backlink strategies will naturally fall into place.”
As well as boost your SEO efforts by ranking on Google and attracting new streams of traffic, high quality content is more likely to be shared. This creates valuable backlinks that further strengthen your SEO position and create even more streams of traffic.
This is the cycle of quality content and it’s exactly where you want your business to be.
Voice Search Optimisation
According to the latest data, 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020. This means search terms will no longer be entered manually, and will instead by spoken out loud.
This might seem like a small change, after all Google will still display 10 results in a traditional sense. However, the use of keywords will need to change. Think of it this way, if you are looking for a local restaurant you might type something like ‘local restaurant near me’.
But with voice search it is likely that search queries will become increasingly long tail and reflect a more natural, verbal style. For example ‘where is a cheap local restaurant with outdoor seating’.
Your content should adapt to contain 4 types of questions for each stage of the awareness funnel.
- What? = looking for general information
- How? = looking for specific information
- When? = looking at specific options
- Where? = looking to visit or buy now
Ultimately, voice searches will be longer than text searches. Because of this, your SEO efforts will have to focus on conversational language and long questions.
Start creating content around this new type of search and you’ll be best placed to benefit.
Mobile First Indexing
More and more people are using their mobile devices to search for products and services online. In fact, the latest data shows that 60% of all searches are conducted on mobile devices.
Google’s mobile first index means that Google will use the mobile version of your site to determine your rankings. Which means if you don’t have a responsive site that is accessible on Google, you risk losing your rankings.
Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean you will fall off Google without a mobile site. In fact, if your site still loads fast then your rankings won’t suffer. However, a quick desktop site won’t typically look or handle well on a small screen, so your conversions would still suffer as a result.
According to recent data, 44% of people say they’ll tell their friends about a bad online experience. So if your website isn’t accessible on mobile, you might not just be losing a customer. Negative word of mouth could also result in further losses down the line.
You can find out if your website is mobile friendly by using Google’s free mobile friendly test here.
Follow these steps to make sure the mobile first index doesn’t affect your rankings:
- Add XML and media sitemaps
- Add optimised meta data
- Set up structured data
- Use expandable content
- Optimise your site speed
While these may sound like advanced technical tweaks, as long as you ensure your website can be used on mobiles easily and quickly, with content that is also easy to consume, you’ll be taking your business in the right direction.
The digital world changes rapidly. While this can be a challenge for business owners and marketers, it also offers new areas of potential for growth and success.
It’s clear that new technology is impacting the role of SEO, with voice search and mobile friendly websites going to play a huge role in ranking sites in 2019 and beyond.
While content remains the cornerstone of SEO, but with a focus on user intent rather than keyword intent. What is your audience looking for? What problems are they trying to solve? In what way can your business help them?
By creating content that is simple, direct and conversational you’ll be ticking the emerging SEO trend boxes and be playing your part in moving your website up the SERPs.
What SEO trends are you anticipating in 2019? Let us know in the comments!
Joe Davies is an Australian freelance writer and Sydney-based university student. As an Interior Design, he has a passion for learning about global changes in business culture and specialises in entrepreneurship and innovation-related topics. When Joe isn’t at his desk, you’ll find him exploring National Parks.