SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is what most often let a customer find a company. However, with so much online noise and clutter, it is essential that your website ranks on the first page of Google’s results – otherwise, you, however amazing you are, will not be seen.
Put simply, if you want your business to be found in the modern online world, you need exceptional SEO. There are many factors which come into play when optimizing your site for Google and search engines: technical factors, the quality of content, and not least of all SEO.
Know Your Keywords
All experts are in agreement that knowing what the right keywords for SEO is crucial and advise the use of tools or keyword research services to make sure your content contains the right words. But in 2019 merely having the right words are not enough.
Google’s RankBrain is one of the most influential factors that will change the SEO game in 2019. RankBrain focuses on two things: how long a user would focus on your page and how many would click through on a link. Having the right keywords will not only put your site at the top of SERPs but help to make sure that they click through to your site.
So the aim is to find interesting keywords, then and important ones and also understand their context and use them to create content that provides valuable information.
Conduct Research And Analysis
Writing for Search Engine Journal Anna Crow explains that apart from mere keywords the aim is to also “increase time on page, lower bounce rate, and provide helpful content for the user.” She argues that good content also takes into account searchers’ intent.
“To understand what your target searchers intent is, you need to dive into your Google Analytics to see what users are looking for,” Crow explained. “Reports like Site Search and User Flow can give you an idea of what your customers are searching for,” she added.
Through conducting thorough research and analysis of your site’s performance, you will be able to tell what’s working, what’s not working so well, and what you need to do to improve engagement, conversions and drive more sales.
A study from SEMrush found that 11.3% of search results now have a “featured snippet” – and it is not only about the right keywords anymore but still 100% focused on the page’s content but also the context using several keywords indicating context to determine ranking.
This shows that search engines (not to mention users) are now looking at the context, rather than simply measuring content. Therefore, the best result for the consumer is not necessarily the page filled with keywords – but one that will cover a topic in-depth. Studies have shown that in-depth content generally ranks better on Google.
It is also worthwhile to identify and use LSI keywords. These are words and phrases strongly associated with your topics. The good news is that these can be found with a free tool called the LSI Graph used in conjunction with Google Keyword Planner.
Mobile Still Matters – But So Does Video And Voice
Even perfect SEO is ineffectual if it is not visible to Google across desktop and mobile sites. Statistica reported that in 2018, 52.2% of worldwide online traffic was generated through mobile phones. This means that you need to ensure your site performs equally well on mobile.
Websites that are not mobile friendly will lose out on a lot of traffic. However, other factors are also coming into play which needs to be considered: most notably, more users are now using voice search. With the rising trend of voice search, it will also be important to figure out the keywords that people use when they search by voice.
Video is another factor to keep in mind. The video will also become very important in SEO for the next year. Keep in mind that human beings are very visual creatures and video is becoming increasingly dominant on social media and sites. SEO, then, will need to adapt to this changing landscape.
Relevance And Depth
According to Searchmetrics, backlinks are declining as a ranking signal but content relevance is leaping ahead. Their study also identified other trends including that the URLs with the highest content relevance are those on positions 3 to 6 and that 53% of top 20 URL’s were using the keyword in their title.
Analyzing SEO trends for 2019 Danny Goodwin writing for Search Engine Journal stressed that understanding your audience would be crucial. He added that content creators should also understand the intent behind keywords and providing in-depth information to consumers. He argued that there will likely be a move away from only catering towards Google in SEO and also taking other search engines like Amazon and Apple into account. He agreed that quality content will be a key factor and that Google algorithms will be focused on content quality and depth.
In the context of strong competition, ever-smarter Google algorithms, and the dynamic, changing landscape of how users use their devices, having the right keywords in place is vital for SEO. Doing so will bring more traffic to your site and therefore more customers to your business, more sales and accelerate business growth.