SEO For 2019 – Part 1

Power Up Your SEO in 2019 – Part 1

Search Engine Optimization is a constantly moving target and Search Engines such as Google are changing their algorithm between 500-600 times per year. Because the world of digital marketing is one of constant change, to best reach your customer/client base you need to find a professional modern marketing team that keeps up-to-date with the latest and greatest SEO trends to stay on top of the competition.

In 2019 eight prominent trends are gaining momentum:

  1.  Understanding Your Client-Base

In today’s modern market, images, video, audio, and text preferences all play a crucial role in understanding your audience. Knowing what key images, videos, words, or phrases your potential client is searching for as well as what platforms they are using to find information is more important than ever in 2019. The overall search preferences of your clients change over time with the growing number of platforms and marketing trends. If your website is not written and optimized to fit the present trends, or if it doesn’t match what your audience is currently searching for, your customer base will not be able to find you. If your site content does match your audience’s preferences, Google’s algorithm will reward your efforts and rank your site higher in their results. Keyword intent is crucial here, as consumers are becoming more specific and knowledgeable in what phrases they input to target the information they are searching for.

Search engine results pages (SERPs) are web pages served to users when they search for something online using a search engine, such as Google. The user enters their search query (often using specific terms and phrases known as keywords), upon which the search engine presents them with a SERP. When conducting keyword analysis in 2019, you will need to check the SERPs to see if websites in your category are ranking for your targeted phrases. If the top SERPs are not ranking for the phrases you are targeting, you’ll need to change your optimization strategy to target more current, popular phrases. You’ll want to make sure that your content matches what clients are asking for via search as well as offer additional information to their original search query.

  1.  Optimize for Apps and Devices

Google is still the king of search engines, however companies such as Amazon and Apple are working hard to compete. In 2019, SEO will also rely on other engines and search platforms such as app stores, podcasts, videos, etc. and you will need to rank for those brands and services.

Could Amazon and Apple cut into Google’s search dominance? Eli Schwartz, director of SEO and growth for SurveyMonkey, believes so.

“I think that 2019 will be the year that, once again, SEO will not just be about how to optimize for Google, but we will have to take into account these other ‘engines’ as well,” Schwartz said.

The overall scope of SEO is intensifying and becoming multi-faceted in that a simple website may not be enough to keep up with your competitors. To reach your target audience you may have to think outside of only ranking on the first page of Google through expanding your brand and overall visibility across a number of increasingly popular interfaces. This type of exposure will put you in front of everyday audio-only search users on some of the fastest growing platforms.

In 2019, you also must at least consider optimizing for devices, said Kristine Schachinger, digital strategist and SEO consultant.

“For those with products that can be sold or brands that can benefit from the exposure, being optimized for home assistant or audio-only devices can’t be ignored,” Schachinger said.

The overall goal is not just to focus on web-based traffic, but rather to provide the most engaging and useful content across current additional apps and devices.

  1.  Quality of Content

Having exceptional content is essential in 2019. In 2018, Google’s updates to its algorithm revealed that they are escalating their emphasis on calculating content quality and at the complexity and scope of a website’s content. In short, Google is rewarding sites with outstanding depth and quality content coverage with higher rankings. Sites that had not updated their content, or simply didn’t have the breadth that Google was looking for, failed to keep up.

Every year, Google changes its search algorithm around 500–600 times. While most of these changes are minor, Google occasionally rolls out a “major” algorithmic update (such as Google Panda and Google Penguin) that affects search results in significant ways. This means that if you are keeping your content up to date via say answering a question, closing a sale, getting a lead, link building, conducting reputation management, or in other words creating content that solves a problem in a way that builds community awareness of your product or services, you are on the right track. The overall goal should be to use language that will guide the potential client to perform the next action. This type of user engagement connects with people, and should result in more visits (and time spent) on your site.

  1.  E – A – T

Another key trend in 2019 is expertise, authority, and trustworthiness – better known as E-A-T in Google’s and Bing’s search quality rating procedures. You cannot rank so easily writing authoritative content unless you are already an authority on a given subject.

Vytautas Palovis, SEO Team Lead at Oberlo, says that: “My main prediction for SEO in 2019 is that website owners will focus even more on optimizing their website’s content to match the user’s search intent.”

“Expertise” – “Who are the experts?” You need to be an expert in your field. Any site can show expertise if the content is truthful and useful for users. The people who know the most about your content topics and industry should be the ones creating or reviewing content. At the very least, they should be cited as a source. According to Google’s search quality guidelines, there are two types of expertise: formal and everyday expertise. Formal expertise is essential especially in the legal and medical fields. Any professional that requires certification will benefit from sharing their knowledge with searchers. Everyday expertise refers to regular people sharing their life experiences on personal blogs, forums, reviews, discussions, etc. This type of expertise is acceptable for topics such as recipes, comedy, reactions to current social events, life hacks, and everyday tips.

“Authoritativeness” – You need to show that you are an authority.  This can be shown through the quality of conversation, credentials, and personal experiences in the form of reviews. When showcasing your content, make sure to add the author’s job title in their byline, include a short bio at the end of the article, or link their professional website on your company’s website if you are using an internal expert. If the writer is not an expert on the topic, simply citing their research will suffice. In addition, a photo in addition to a brief biography cultivates your brand and promotes transparency with your readers.

Additionally, sources should also be linked to the appropriate anchor text. This is a direct signal to Google that you are attributing sources. Keep in mind that Google likes to see high-quality backlinks, so choose your sources carefully.

Another way to establish your site as an authority is through reputation management. In today’s modern market, most consumers will read recent reviews before making a decision. These reviews not only affect whether or not a potential client will decide to buy your product or service, but they also influence your quality rating on Google. Make sure to monitor all channels and apps such as Yelp, Google Business, Angie’s List etc. where customers can share feedback or write reviews. Responding promptly and professionally, even if the review is poor will leave a strong impression on your clients and further establish your authority with Google.

“Trustworthiness” – Help your users feel safe! You need to show users they can trust your product, services, and processes. This is especially crucial for eCommerce websites that ask users for their credit card information. If you are collecting personal and financial information, you should immediately implement an SSL certificate on your site. An SSL certificate is one of Google’s scoring signals (over two-thirds of first page results are using SSL).

The key to gaining your consumer’s trust is you must prioritize your user experience. For instance, “keyword stuffing,” harms the user experience and Google’s quality search guidelines state that “Keyword stuffing can range from mildly annoying to users, to complete gibberish. Pages created with the intent of luring search engines and users, rather than providing meaningful MC [main content] to help users, should be rated lowest.” You can avoid this fumble by choosing your keywords carefully and using them to answer the original query posed by the searcher followed with more pertinent information. Google hires living people to assess the quality of a website’s content so the main question you need to ask yourself is: How does this help or teach users visiting my website?

In order to promote trusted content Google suggests making it easy for users to contact a human, to find information on a topic, to share personal or socially relevant information, to post relevant media, to express an opinion, to sell/educate a user on a product, and to allow users to post question. Additionally you’ll need to include contact information on your company’s website, as this creates trust and humanizes your brand by giving users a chance to contact an actual human.

Assure your customers that their financial and personal information is secure by using an https address, require that users create strong passwords, and include any relevant certificates on your website. Also ads and pop ups should be kept at a minimum, as many popups can be seen as spam or irrelevant ads that could dissuade users.

BE SURE TO VISIT PART 2 OF THIS ARTICLE HERE!

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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