How SEO Is Changing in 2019 and How to Keep Up

With more content and competitors on the web, the factors that influence search algorithms are increasingly becoming more complex. What may have working last year, may not - will not - work the same this year.

A shortcut to success: get to know the upcoming trends and work out an action plan for each.

Mobile, Mobile, Mobile

Mobiles are ubiquitous. While around 60% of Google searches are made from mobile devices, the percentage for local searches peaks at around 95%. People are looking for all types of details on their mobile devices and local searches are on the rise.

Here’s what’s important:

Mobile-first indexing

Mobile-first indexing means that Google uses the mobile version of your page for indexing and ranking. Since March 2018, Google’s started the process of migrating sites to mobile-first index.

Bear in mind, a mobile-first index does not mean “mobile-only.” There’s still a single index with both mobile and desktop versions. However, the whole “mobile-first” buzz means that Google will be using the mobile versions for ranking once the site’s migrated.

Mobile Search

In 2018 Google released a new indexing update to prioritize mobile user experience in their organic search listings.

Just like mobile-first indexing, mobile search is playing a key role ranking - especially with the rise of voice search and local SEO.

After ensuring that your site is well designed for a mobile layout and easily navigable from a small screen, your next focus should be reframing your SEO keyword strategy and services so that they’re compatible with mobile searches.

Google has also recently announced that Google AdWords will be able to check the mobile-friendliness of landing pages - and other search engines are sure to follow suit. This means that in order to reach the top of organic listings, all website content will need to be optimized for mobile use.

Want to make sure your mobile experience is up to par? Let us help!

Page Speed

Google’s nuts about delivering the best UX and delivering it fast. Desktop page loading time has been a ranking factor for a while. In July, it got a twin sibling – mobile page speed’s become a ranking factor for mobile.

Does your website make the mark? Check your mobile speed with Think With Google, and check out these tips from Google.

Go Beyond Google Search

Seems crazy, right? But it’s true. Your business has to be prepared and equipped to rank and show beyond just that first blue link.

As Cindy Krum, CEO of MobileMoxie, pointed out, “SEO is about showing up wherever and however people are searching”.

Jes Scholz, international digital director for Ringier AG, said she also sees the scope of SEO expanding to cover visibility on other platforms - i.e. social media, Amazon, eBay, local platforms etc.

Create Content That Matters

Google algorithm updates in 2018 revealed that Google is intensifying its focus on evaluating content quality and at the depth and breadth of a website’s content.

Content for the sake of content is not enough anymore.

What you need to do is create content that solves a problem – content that moves, motivates, and connects with people.

Matt Siltala, president of Avalaunch Media puts it this way: “Do your research, be the solution to the problem that people have, and provide something that is meant for people versus trying to ‘SEO’ the crap out of it and you will always do better in your efforts.”

Keep in mind: Social media doubles up as the SEO of the future as users utilize these platforms as search engine themselves.

On-page Optimization

Optimizing your pages is a key SEO tactic, then and now.

Here’s what matters:

  • Content that answers common user questions.
  • Ensuring internal site search is providing relevant results.
  • Shortening conversion process.
  • Ensure that repeat customers can restock commonly purchased items simply.
  • Customer support responds to questions related to the business.
  • Consider use of chatbots to lighten the load for basic, common questions and procedural tasks.
  • Users are easily able to navigate to physical locations.
  • Providing users with their stage in fulfillment funnel (think: clear, visual process forms).

Need a little boost in your optimization? Let us help!

Organic Rank

Paid ADs may be beneficial, but they are not the end-all-be-all for search ranking.

Ultimately, ranking comes down to organic search versus paid search. When typing in a Google query, the list of websites that pop up as search results is considered “organic results,” because those sites are ranked according to the quality of the content on each page (keywords, publication date, locality, etc.). Although widely considered the most valuable traffic source, organic traffic takes time to track, collect, and rank.

Organic rank shows and grows both authenticity and reliability. What you are posting, what you are offering, is truly what people are looking for. You are solving a real problem with a real response.

But it takes time and work. Ultimately, if you’re willing to build a good foundation for your organic traffic and can wait to watch the data pile up, your organic traffic will increase.

Technical SEO

Thanks to search providers’ constantly changing algorithms, the technical health of our websites and media has never been more important. Stay tuned to LinkPoint for more on this!

Wrapping it Up

It is important to understand that SEO is constantly evolving and changing. Which means your business needs to be adaptable to remain relevant in search and exposure.

Need a little help ensuring your SEO is ready for a new year?

We can help!