In 2019, SEO (like many other things) is going to evolve… It is already evolving. As competition among brands and marketers get fiercer, it is only right that you position your business to thrive well online. To get onboard the ongoing evolution, here are 4 trends experts believe you need to take note of:
USER INTENT OPTIMIZATION
In the marketing world, research is still going into the intent of web searchers when they type in specific keywords. Search engine optimization isn’t just about stuffing popular keywords into your web pages. It is about integrating keywords so that your site delivers its promise to the searcher. For your own benefit, you want consumers who intended to seek out products and services offered by your website.
When someone searches for a particular phrase in a search engine, that search engine wants to give the searcher the most accurate and helpful result. For the searcher, when they are brought to the more practical result, it gives them a good idea of who they should do business with.
Intent optimization is the future because the future of search, 2019 and beyond, is voice search. Voice search is cleaning up user intent in expedited fashion. Rather than typing in truncated versions of a search intent, a consumer can now clearly state what they are looking for in terms of products or services or even information.
The best way to achieve prime user intent optimization is to think of yourself as the one performing the search. What would you be looking for? What calls to action would influence you to learn more about a product or service? What value would be the most pertinent in your experience with your website?
User intent optimization in 2019 is going to be more important than ever, largely due to the rise of voice search.
People are increasingly turning to their phones for online searches. It makes a lot of sense, as phones are smaller and much more portable for carrying around. When out in public, people want to be able to whip out their phone to perform a web search quickly. Additionally, 2019 is the year of Google mobile first index, so if you aren’t prepared, you’re going to fade away into uncertainty.
With mobile first indexing, Google will ultimately begin with your content’s mobile version in deciding where that content is placed in the SERPs. This concept is practical for Google because it eliminates the traditional weak link in indexing content. When Google began by indexing desktop content as the priority, this often meant that some poor loading version of that content was dragging down the mobile search results. By beginning with mobile indexing as a priority, the issue of a poor loading sister version on desktop is much less likely considering that desktop computers and laptops have bigger processing engines.
Does this mean that a site without a mobile optimized, or isolated mobile version, will be delisted or penalized? No, it doesn’t mean that; instead, it means that the odds are better if your site has an optimal mobile version running. If your site’s desktop content is the only version of that content and that content happens to load fast, you will have no issues. However, often, this simply isn’t the case as desktop versions of content typically don’t play well with smartphone processors and screen limitations.
Web developers are adapting to increased mobile usage by developing more phone-friendly websites. Many WordPress themes are becoming more and more helpful in terms of possessing a responsive version. In other words, things are getting easier for online business owners to adapt. For SEO strategists, this means adjusting the search optimization strategy to attract more mobile users. More research will need to go into the types of search engine keywords that mobile users are likely to apply.
Is your website mobile friendly? Check it on the Google mobile friendly tester. You should always be cross-checking your website’s responsiveness, load times, and usability across multiple platforms to ensure the highest-quality experience.
LOCAL SEARCH GEO-TARGETING
Local searches are particularly relevant to businesses that rely on attracting local customers.
For a dog groomer located in Dallas, Texas, they want to be the first Google search result for “dog groomer in Dallas.”
The best way to ensure that is to optimize the dog groomer’s website to indicate where the business operates. Small businesses should focus on local search optimization.
For 2019, local search targetting is going to become even more precise. The added precision will mean even more targeted search results. This means rather than targeting a suburb of Dallas, you may end up targeting the cross-streets. More precise, or hyperlocal targeting, will essentially create improved funnels for pre-qualified consumers.
The fact is, proximity matters to all of us. If an equal, or slightly lesser quality service, is 10 miles closer to us, we might take it over the competition. When you can target down to streets and corners, you embrace the power of mobile searching. Someone simply walking down the street may search for a deli and be shown delis that are only blocks away, rather than miles. This same scenario is likely to be exposed when consumers visit stores that fail to carry a product they are looking for. In these cases, consumers will want to locate the nearest business which does carry the product.
Highly targeted search campaigns, whether it be SEO or paid ads, is going to rule the roost in 2019. The closer a local business can get to a pre-qualified consumer, the more likely that a financial transaction will occur. This changes search from the singular experience of being car-based to being foot-based. “Near me” searches have exploded over the years.
CONTENT IS STILL KING, BUT ONLY THOUGHT PROVOKING CONTENT
Content as a strategy is already popular for marketers, and it will continue to be for the upcoming year.
Producing quality, engaging content can inform people about what a website or business is about. It also signals to readers that the company cares about helping people, which is perfect for a brand’s image.
2019 will be no different than years past in terms of content’s powerful influence in search engine rankings. The production of content is a core business model in the SEO industry with thousands of companies popping up as content marketing solutions every few months. Most content marketing companies are scams that use overseas workers to bang out low-grade content that eventually finds the bottom of the rankings. However, many content companies are working hard to find quality writers and videographers that can produce top-level stuff.
The competition for high-quality content experiences is likely to be as rich as ever in 2019.
In 2019, if your website is content-dry, you’re not likely to make much progress with your SEO ambitions. You’ll need to decidedly beat your competition in the content sphere if you want to rank above them.
The ability to have a deep arsenal of proven content will benefit a website from a variety of standpoints. Including internal linking which helps Google learn more about the new and old content you’ve produced.
It also helps to funnel web surfers who are already impressed with a portion of your content into more of your content. This helps improve your pages per session statistics in Google Analytics which is a big trigger in Google’s SEO algorithm.
In 2019, being content heavy and quality driven will be a must for those looking to succeed in SEO.
Credit: SEO Expert Brad