Small businesses understand that digital marketing is essential to grow their business. With an increased understanding on the impacts of digital marketing, there is more money being invested into this marketing tactic. Consider that businesses that show up on the first page of Google get roughly 92% of consumer traffic. We’ve reached out to the top digital marketing experts to ask them what SEO trends to expect in 2019.
Backlink Like a Boss
Andrew Fiore of Jupiter Web Design says, “Outreach and Guest Posting will be a big factor in ranking websites this year along with years to come.”
“One of the most effective but overlooked SEO strategies for 2019 continues to be proper implementation of rel=”canonical”,” explains Jason Reece of ioCreative. “By optimizing your landing page strategy for SERPs, you can sculpt cornerstone content to propel the user’s journey. And if you want a better landing page presence, employ a page-by-page taxonomy and reduce the number of self-referring URLs. Google will reward you!”
Keep It Simple
“The latest trends in marketing seem to be about making things much more complex than they need to be. If you want your marketing to be successful, focus on doing the basics really well, and doing them consistently. Forget the shiny objects. Pay attention to creating a website with the most helpful content possible,” echoes Brian Walker of 5 Stones Media. “Create that content in as many ways as it makes sense for you (written, video, audio, visual graphics), and share that helpful content out through social, email, podcasts, and even direct mail in some cases. Give your audience every chance you can to see and hear your message. Theres no excuse not to do it. Its easier to do this now that it ever has been.”
Intuitive Client Experiences
“Contextual Commerce. We’ll see a lot of it in the coming years. Your smart speakers are just the beginning,” describes Ramon Helwegen of ecomstream. “Have a look at WeChat in China and see what shoppable content really means. Intuitive client experiences and frictionless payments.”
Invest in Schema
Since major search providers collaborated on Schema standards in 2011, the protocol has offered marketers many short-term benefits. Rich results help smaller sites stand out in SERPs, offering higher click-through-rates and end-users are able to quickly judge more information than ever in results,” says Matthew Banes of Williams Commerce.
“Schema carries different implications long-term. Search is diversifying from the familiar ‘Query>Result>Visit’ standards. Increasingly a mixture of voice recognition, smart-devices, and machine-learning recommendations process information, bookings & transactions for with a site visit, or even a screen-view. These systems must understand data in semantic terms to avoid irrelevancy, and while the future of search is uncertain, Schema is one way of ensuring you’re a part of it.”
User Intent Optimization
“It’s important to keep your audience foremost in your thoughts and understand the context of your chosen keywords. What are users really looking for when they search certain terms? That’s user intent…
So how can you align SEO and user intent to increase your organic rankings?
Start with your marketing persona. To truly understand what your audience wants, you have to understand who your audience is. If you are a home decor website, whether retail or content-driven, you have to determine whether your audience is made up of men or women, Gen Z or baby boomers, urban or rural dwellers, or the many possibilities in between.
This will help inform not only the keywords you target, but the kinds of content you create around those keywords that will best satisfy your users’ search intent.”
Leonard Ghazarian of Caspian Services believes you need to know how your audience would like to consume content. “There are many significant trends to pay attention to when it comes to SEO in 2019, but one of the most important is understanding your audience and user intent. Knowing whether your audience prefers text, image, audio, etc. will help you more than you can imagine.
One needs to understand what someone is expecting to find when they query a word or phrase and you need to give them the answer in the simplest way possible. It’s also important to know that the interests, tastes, and preferences of your audience can change more quickly than you think.
Even if your website content is perfectly written and optimized, if it’s done for the wrong audience, it won’t grow the business and it won’t reach the audience you desire. If your site enhances your audience’s journey, you’ll be rewarded by Google and your visitor will invest in you.”
Content For The Audience
“As content continues to be an important part of strategy, SEO professionals will have to think outside the box to find creative and engaging ideas that will connect with people,” states Mike Evans of Spice Digital Solutions. “We have to step into the shoes of our audience to find their affinities and parallel interests. By connecting the dots between two interests for a guest blog post, for example, you can create powerful content that will engage users and bring great traffic to your own website.”
Provide Quality Information
“The most effective SEO strategies in 2019 and beyond will not be tricks and hacks to “rank overnight,” but rather, providing quality, relevant information that is strategically associated with other authorities and big players in each industry,” explains Jennifer Glidden of Next Door SEO. “Establishing your site as the most trusted and relevant search result for your targeted keywords is the key to successful SEO in 2019.”
Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness
“We believe the major trend for the rest of 2019 and beyond will be cultivating expertise, authority, and trustworthiness – identified as E-A-T in Google’s search quality rating guidelines,” describes Glen Maguire of Clickthrough. “I am hopeful that this finally means search engine optimisers understand that quality is key, and you can’t rank easily just writing authoritative content unless you are already an authority on that subject. This means hiring experts to write, leveraging data from well-known authorities and recognising their expertise for what it is and the credibility it brings to your brand.”
Ask For Help
“With the ever-changing landscape in digital marketing, it is tough for a small digital marketing company to be proactive when search engines make changes and apply those changes to a client’s site,” says Thomas Moore of iSite Multimedia. “It makes sense to bring in a third-party provider to handle these tasks, not only for the cost savings but also allowing them the stress of keeping on top of the latest trends in online search requirements. ”
Use Google Data
“One of the ways we try to match up SEO with blogging and content marketing, is by being tuned in to the Google Search Queries within Google Search Console,” describes Gene Sower of Samson Media. “These search queries show secondary keywords that triggered the site to come up in a search. Granted, it could be page 5 or page 50 of the SERPS but the fact of the matter is that SOMETHING about the site made it seem relevant enough to a particular Google search to have a particular webpage returned. While many of the queries will be very tangential, a handful will be very relevant and spark ideas to increase your visibility surrounding those searches by creating content around those query terms. I like to think that we’re throwing gas on the fire!”
Remember Local Citations
“Local business owners (or their marketing agencies) are not taking full advantage of building their entity,” describes Leonard Parker who works at a Houston SEO company. “The focus should be Google MyBusiness, Facebook, Yelp. Unfortunately, Google MyBusines receives most of the attention, Yelp the least, but data from Yelp feeds Apple Maps, Bing, and Alexa. This is a common overlooked opportunity to build your presence.”
Factors to Improve Rankings
“Posts that are 1500 – 2000 words and are full of relevant, researched information will keep the reader on the page longer. Keeping a reader on the page longer alerts Google that your page is worth spending time on,” explains Don Keller of Catalpha Advertising & Design.
“Content must be in very readable format. That is, NO MARKETING SPEAK. Use words that describe and tell your story plainly. Your content must genuinely be about the information users are looking for when they search for your product or service.
Another way to help your blog is to make it graphically readable as well. That is, using a thinner column (left to right) and at a type size that easily readable on cell phones or laptops. That means using white space between lines (‘leading’ in typesetters parlance). Graphic elements and images used throughout will help keep your readers attention and move them down the page.
Don’t forget about technical issues with your website. How fast do your pages load? Fast load times can have an positive effect on your ranking. Are pages built using “Best Practices?” Google rewards clean code and proper HTML heading tags. Create a hierarchy with HTML Heading tags. The H1 tag being the most important, followed by H2, H3, and so on. Each tag representing the next most important content in your post’s hierarchy.”
Additional ranking factors that can boost page ranking is updating or refreshing current posts, You don’t have to start over with all new articles. These techniques can be used with the posts you already have.”
Improve Site Quality Score
“Improve your site quality score with good SEO practices and it will likely bring down the cost of your PPC advertising as well,” describes Sean Rieger of Edgewater Digital. “It’s pretty straight forward, Google looks at the quality of your site and the content on it as one of the factors to determine your search ranking, but it also looks at those same factors when it comes to deciding who will win a PPC auction. So if you are spending money on PPC, you should consider good SEO practices to protect your investment. Not only will you you being your organic search results up, you may end up spending less on your advertising efforts as well. That’s a win on many levels.”