Search engine optimization (SEO) adapts and changes all the time, and any online business that want to stay ahead of its competitors need to be aware of them.
Now that 2018 is a distant memory and we find ourselves halfway through 2019, finding out what is changing and the digital trends matters in 2019 as businesses plan their marketing strategies for the year that lies ahead. Here are a few of them we think you need to keep an eye on:
Mobile-First Design and Mobile First Indexing
Statistica reports that in 2018, 52.2% of worldwide online traffic was generated through mobile phones. Back in March 2018, Google began mobile-first indexing. In simple terms, this means that Google ranks websites based on the user experience for mobile devices – phones and tablets. If a site has mobile and desktop versions, the mobile one is indexed. A website that is not mobile-friendly misses out on a huge amount of traffic as they will not rank as high as they may have previously.
One of the first steps webmasters can take is to use Google’s mobile test site to see if your webpage is mobile-friendly or not. If your website is not optimized for mobile devices, it will tell you what steps you can take.
The Rise And Rise Of Voice Search
More and more people are using smart devices and smart assistants on devices like Alexa and Siri. What used to be science fiction is now a reality with computers that can understand human speech – most of the time!
In 2019, voice search SEO has become increasingly important. Twenty percent of queries on Android devices and Google’s mobile app are via voice search, and at the time of rewriting this article that figure will certainly be higher. Businesses need to employ voice search SEO if they want to set themselves up for success in a voice-driven search world.
The good news is if you are already using SEO best practices, your site is in good shape for voice search. But there are some key things to keep in mind.
Voice searches have longer-tail keywords and use more conversational words than typed searches. For example, people may do a voice search for: “What is the closest web designer to me?” as opposed to “Web designer near me.” Voice searches are also more likely to be a question phrase.
It is important to learn how your audience speaks about your products and services. You can use a tool called Answer The Public to research how people are asking questions with voice search based on your keyword.
Read our blog on voice search and SEO
Long-tail keywords are generally cheaper and have better click-through rates (CTR) than shorter ones. You can use free or paid keyword research tools to get an idea of the most popular search terms and get more qualified traffic. To help increase high-quality traffic, you can create a FAQ page and dedicate blog posts to answer questions from readers.
What Is Page Speed
Google wants to deliver the best user experience and deliver it fast to your device. Since July 2018, mobile page speed has been a ranking factor for mobile websites. It recommended using the updated page speed report to make improvements. But it also emphasized that the intent of a search engine query was still a strong ranking signal. So, a slower page can still rank high if it has relevant content that best answers a query.
Accelerated mobile pages (AMPs) offer the best user experience, loading about 30 times faster. Google, Twitter and some other companies rolled out this open source project, designed to make mobile pages super-fast.
Read our blog on AMP
Content Relevance And User Intent
The URLs with the highest content relevance typically rank in the first couple of positions in Google search. Unless content meets user intent, it is highly unlikely to rank in those positions. Google can evaluate the relevance of online content in real time.
Content Is Still King
Websites ranking on Google’s first page generally have long-form content. The secret is not in the length but the quality and depth of the content. Engaging, in-depth content is likely to continue to dominate the rest of 2019 and beyond.
Read our blog on content writing for SEO
What Is Blockchain And Artificial Intelligence (AI)
“Blockchain” has become a keyword and trending this year. While blockchain technology is famous in the cryptocurrency world, it has been helpful in many other industries as well, including tracking supply chains, medical testing, making the internet more secure and transforming the marketing automation space.
Blockchain fundamentally changes how the data is tracked because its technology uses a distributed ledger that is a transparent and secure record of transactions that cannot be changed. This shift gives people more control over their data and provides companies with new ways to use data. Webmasters are exploring ways of integrating blockchain into websites and potentially profiting from it. Blockchain could also possibly be used to validate backlinks and this in a singular way could have a dramatic effect on off-site SEO.
It is still very unclear what the exact effect of blockchain will be on a website’s SEO. However, with the digital experiments currently taking place, we are likely to see some of the results in 2019.
Online businesses are now looking for ways to use artificial intelligence. Google’s use of AI could bring about some dramatic changes. AI is the foundation of everything Google does. They implement machine learning in Gmail, gathering news headlines and create human-sounding robotic voices.
The Future Of Seo Is..
While mobile search is increasing quickly, videos and rich media are dominating, and we are starting to use voice-driven search tools a lot more, we also need to keep an eye on security and the protection of the user data. User experience is more important than ever, and we must continue to create relevant content to meet user intent.
SEO Agency Exeter
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