Power Up Your Business’ Seattle – Tacoma – Portland SEO/SEM For 2020 – Part 2

Power Up Your SEO in 2019 – Part 2

  1.  YMYL

Trustworthiness plays a crucial factor to popular search engine companies, and Google uses the acronym YMYL to categorize types of industries and the related search queries for them. The YMYL acronym stands for Your Money, Your Life. This categorizes industries and search queries that may result in the searcher entrusting either their money or their life to you. A few of these industries include: shopping and financial transaction pages, financial information pages, medical information pages, legal information pages, and news and public/official Information pages.

In August of 2018, Google launched a global update, also known as the “medic update,” which implies every niche and every type of site could have been impacted. According to several data companies and SEO consultants, there seems to be a focus on medical and health niches, as well as “Your Money Your Life” types of sites, which is creeping into the entertainment and gaming niches as well.

Sistrix shared some of the figures, saying, “The majority of changes can be seen for YMYL-sites and even there we generally only see an uplift or loss of a few percentage points.” Sistrix, also responded that “Mostly health and finance pages have been affected by this update, but e-commerce sites, educational as well as dubious automotive websites got their share of movement,” reported Juan González from Sistrix.

Google wants to protect people against poor advice and services by granting users an impeccable customer experience to keep people returning to its search engine. In short, when it comes to your finances and welfare, Google doesn’t want to take any risks at all.

  1.  On-page Optimization

“On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing individual web pages in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines. On-page refers to both the content and HTML source code of a page that can be optimized, as opposed to off-page SEO which refers to links and other external signals.” – Moz

On-page optimization will continue to be important in 2019 as it optimizes content for a target keyword within a single blog post.  This includes using proper headings, proper keyword placement, ensuring content quality, and paying attention to many other factors. Here you’ll need to evaluate whether your content answers collective user queries, safeguard that your internal site search is providing relevant results, ensure that returning customers can easily restock commonly purchased items or services, and create a customer support process that promptly responds to questions related to the business (this can be mitigated with ChatBots). You also need to make sure that users can navigate to your physical location (if necessary), and provide a stage in fulfillment funnel (the complete process from point of sales inquiry to delivery of a product or service to the customer).

  1.   Machine Learning

If content and understanding your client base are the two most important factors in SEO, machine learning is fast becoming the third most important factor.

RankBrain is an algorithm learning artificial intelligence system, the use of which was confirmed by Google on October 26, 2015. According to Jack Clark of Bloomburg Business, “It helps Google to process search results and provides more relevant search results for users.” In a 2015 interview, Google commented that RankBrain was the third most important factor in the ranking their algorithm along with links and content.  During that year, the RankBrain algorithm accounted for 15% of all Google searches, in less than one year the figure rose to 100%. RankBrain uses machine learning to calculate the relevancy of online content and even though Google has stated that RankBrain is something that cannot be optimized for, it shows a preference for well written content that users spend a long time reading. Therefore, instead of optimizing directly for RankBrain, optimize your site content for users and the ranking will follow.

Dave Davies, CEO of Beanstalk Internet Marketing, said machine learning is about to explode in 2019.

“While we’ve seen machine learning in search with RankBrain, Google News groupings, etc. we haven’t really experienced the true power of what it can be. This is the year that changes,” Davies said. “We can see the prep work coming with some of the layout changes the engines are pushing out and their drive to answer intents rather than questions. This is the root of machine learning’s impact on search.”

  1.  Featured Snippets – Rank for Position Zero

In addition to optimizing for your own website, machine learning, devices, and user experience, you must also optimize for the Google search experience in 2019.

First off, let’s look at what Google says about featured snippets:

“We display featured snippets in search when we believe this format will help people more easily discover what they’re seeking, both from the description and when they click on the link to read the page itself. It’s especially helpful for those on mobile or searching by voice.”

What exactly are featured snippets? Featured snippets are selected search results that are featured on top of Google’s organic results below the ads in a box. Their purpose is to target the user’s query immediately in the form of an answer box. Being featured in one of these boxes not only further exposes your brand or company, but also increases organic traffic to your site. Ben Goodsell reports that the click-through rate (CTR) on a featured page increased from two percent to eight percent once it’s placed in an answer box, with revenue from organic traffic increasing by 677%.

There are three major types of featured snippets – paragraph, list, and table. A paragraph snippet is an answer box containing text along with a relevant image that answers the user’s question. A list snippet provides an answer to the searcher’s question in the form of text organized in a list. A table snippet provides an answer to the user’s question in the form of a table.

The procedure for creating a featured snippet is as follows:

  1. Identify a common, simple question related to your market area.
  2. Provide a clear and direct answer to the question.
  3. Offer value added info beyond the direct answer.
  4. Make it easy for users (and Google) to find on your page.

Featured snippets play a major role when it comes to SERP Features. This stems from the fact that they outrank organic results, appearing at the very top of the page (position zero). Additionally, they mostly provide the most relevant answer to a search request in the most direct way possible – right in the results. Featured snippets are incredibly important for brands trying to rank, as Google’s algorithm reports that the first organic result shows a significant drop in click-through rate when a featured snippet is also on the page.

That means optimizing for featured snippets and other Google search features will continue to be an important trend, and more important than ever in 2019.

As listed, these are just eight SEO trends to prepare for in 2019.

It will be about understanding your client base, optimizing across various platforms such as voice search, mobile, and AI-powered technology, creating exceptional and relevant content, EAT, YMYL, on-page optimization, machine learning, and featured snippets (ground zero ranking).

With all of these SEO strategies listed out for you, what remains  is updating your digital footprint so your company stays ahead and your conversions increase on a massive scale in 2019!

Are you ready for SEO in 2019, or is there work to be done to update your site and online presence? Do you see some new SEO possibilities for 2019?

About the Author – Michelle Sinclair – SEO and Internet Security Expert, Google Partner, Google AdWords Certified for: (Fundamentals, Search Advertising, Display Advertising, Mobile Advertising, Video Advertising, and Shopping Advertising), Google App developer, Apple Authorized Developer, Windows App Developer, Amazon Authorized App Developer, Comp-TIA CSA+,CISSP, CISM, CISA, Security+

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