Post by Joe Davies
Do you want to appear at the top of Google? Appearing at the top of Google means more traffic to your website, more leads generated, and more customers.
But there are roughly 200 ranking factors that determine where websites will appear on any given search result. And this alone can turn some business owners off the idea of SEO.
Here’s what you need to do to help your website rank in 2019.
Become Mobile Friendly
More mobile searches occur on mobile devices than desktops, prompting Google to roll out a mobile-first index in 2018.
With consumers using their phones to search for products and services online, there’s no choice but to optimise your website to look great on mobile phones.
Follow these steps to ensure your website looks and handles great across all devices:
- Make sure your site is responsive and appears functional and beautiful on all devices.
- Scale your images when using a responsive website design.
- Shorten your meta descriptions and titles so they are able to be read on smaller mobile screens.
- Avoid pop ups that cover entire mobile screens. Your web design matters, so make sure it looks great on all devices.
Improve Your Technical SEO
Technical SEO used to be confronting and challenging. Now, with a range of free SEO friendly audit tools available to help remove the mystery surrounding technical SEO, you can run tests on your own website and see what needs tweaking to help improve your rankings.
Make sure you check the following:
- Is your website mobile friendly? You can use Google’s Mobile Friendly Test to find out.
- Is your website indexed? You can check using Google Search Console.
- Are there duplicate title tags and meta descriptions? You can use a free tool like Screaming Frog to find out.
In addition you’ll need to make sure there are no broken links, no duplicate content on your web pages, and fast enough when people come searching.
Which leads us to our next point…
Boost Your Website Speed
Your page speed has a direct impact on your conversions.
And by impacting your user experience, it also impacts your SEO.
This makes sense. If slow page speed creates a poor user experience, then Google will actively demote websites that are slow, and are creating a bad user experience.
Follow these steps to ensure your website is fast and available when a prospect comes looking:
- Reduce file sizes by compressing images. Free online tools like Tiny Panda can reduce size without losing quality.
- Minimise your use of plugins.
- Minimise your use of redirects.
Leverage browser caching.
Create Valuable Content
Content is king.
For SEO in 2019 this is as true as ever. Remember, a fast and mobile friendly website won’t make a difference if you don’t provide valuable content for your site visitors.
Your content should solve the problems that your prospects have. But more than this, it should identify new problems they may not even realise they had.
Some of the most effective ways to do this include:
- Ultimate guides
- ‘How to’ guides
- Swipe Files
- Video Content
This doesn’t have to be a costly process. According to Michael May, Content Manager at Paperclip, “your smartphone is your greatest tool for creating authentic content on the go. Images and videos are more engaging than text alone, so use video to your advantage by setting aside time each week, even 30 minutes will do, to get creating”.
Focus On User Experience
SEO doesn’t have to be confusing.
If you design your website so it is easy to use and helps your visitors solve their problems, you will be helping your SEO. This is known as user experience (UX) and it is at the heart of an SEO friendly website in 2019.
Here’s what to ask yourself to stay on top of to improve your UX:
- Is my content useful and satisfying the needs of my site visitors?
- Is my website easy to use, navigate and browse?
- Is my website well designed and visually appealing?
- Is my website accessible on all devices?
If you can confidently say ‘yes’ to these questions, you will be working towards a positive UX and positive SEO results too.
Sydney pest control business, No More Birds, showed the value of UX by adding an easy to access downloadable guide helping their site visitors understand the 5 health risks that come with bird infestations. This had the effect of reducing bounce rate, increasing dwell time, and increasing conversions too. Owner Russell Betland said that, ‘User experience is key. You can have the best product in the world, but if it’s not easy to find and understand, it becomes the worst product’.
Start Link Building
Links have been considered one of the ranking factors most effective at moving the needle for some time now.
While this is still the case, Google has become more skilled at identifying spammy or weak links, and reflecting this by decreasing your SEO friendly rankings.
While your website should still have back-links, it is a case of quality over quantity.
To boost your SEO in 2019 and beyond, consider the following link building tactics:
- Guest posting (but only on high-quality blogs in complementary industries)
- Link Reclamation
- Broken Link Building
Claiming unlinked mentions
Trying to improve your SEO in 2019 doesn’t have to be confusing or even expensive.
Making your website SEO friendly comes down to optimising for mobiles, getting the small technical tweaks right, keeping your load time fast, creating valuable content that is easy to find, and building backlinks to promote your brand.
Get these small steps right and you’ll make great strides towards the top of Google.
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. If you would like to get in touch, email Joe here firstname.lastname@example.org