7 Advanced SEO Techniques for an Awesome Start to 2019
Contrary to what many of us would like to believe, there will be no titanic-proportioned change in SEO for 2019. Well, for the most part, most SEO techniques of 2018 will carry on this year. Most notable and the largest of which include Google’s changing algorithm and the new route to focus on: user intent. Check out these advanced SEO techniques you need to start 2019 site managing right.
The Goal of Advanced SEO Techniques
What better way to start your SEO journey in 2019 than to stay on top of the rolling ball. There is no need to stay behind in the SERPs.
You have your specific goals for your business, we’re sure. But the general objective everybody strives for is to climb higher in the search engine rankings to increase the organic traffic you want to pour into your website. Afterward, you can focus on converting them later while boosting overall ROI so your SEO strategy thrives.
And 2019 brings with it crucial advanced SEO techniques you need to take account of to remain relevant and in the game.
Prioritizing User Experience for Your Entire Site
Let’s start things off with Google’s life mission — as what we can perceive…
Similar to every other search engine in the world wide web, Google aims to provide high-quality results to every user’s query. Give users irrelevant results, and search engines can say goodbye to people making use of them. Evidently, Google is doing its job superbly so far, and that’s why it’s the largest and most used search engine in the world.
With that in the clear, it’s time to think about aligning your content production with Google’s motives and goals. This calls for a high-quality website that provides relevant content to everyone who’s looking for you.
For this reason, placing user experience as a top priority is not only essential, it’s beneficial. And because of Google’s agenda, you can expect sites with strong engagement getting pushed up to the top of SERPs.
How do you make this happen for your site?
Improving site speed
Site speed has been a ranking factor since 2010. And Google’s emphasis on the matter is ever constant. The importance of site speed remains relevant to this day along with the constant reminder that site speed is a factor that determines whether or not you show up on the first page of SERPs.
Personally speaking, even you wouldn’t deny getting annoyed at a site that takes ages just to load. What’s your casual response? Why, leave that site in search of some other site that’s just as efficient yet speedy in delivering the answers you want, of course.
And how do you boost your page speed to impress the giant search engine and rank higher? It’s a matter of:
- Reducing server response times
- Enabling browser caching
- Taking out the unnecessary code on your page
- Compressing images so the combined size of kilobytes won’t slow your site down.
Analyzing and redoing current page designs
Experts say high bounce rates are the result of poor website design and awkward user experience. These UX issues vary from one site to another, and no part of it should ever be taken as a one-size-fits-all solution.
To make your page redesigns as effective as you can have them to be, you have to identify the problem points first. And two famous ways to do it is through heat maps and A/B split testing.
Some tools you can use are:
- User Testing: A research tool useful for gathering commentary from marketers and target audiences alike.
- Google Optimize: This is a tool branching out of Google Analytics. It simplifies A/B testing and includes advanced modeling to improve engagement and targeted experiences.
- Optimizely: Specializes in A/B testing; scientific and data-driven for testing websites for more engagement and better usability.
- Crazy Egg’s Heat Map: Portions of the page that receive the most or the least clicks are represented by the colors on a heat map.
Formatting content for bite-sized reading
People’s attention spans nowadays are too short to bother accommodating huge blocks of text or skimming through word walls. To put it more kindly, people have far more important things to do with their time than to pay attention to what you have to rant about in your walls of text.
Optimizing content for readability’s sake is not an option. It’s basically a requirement!
Bite-sized and readable content has:
- Shorter paragraphs: Generally speaking, keep your paragraphs trimmed down to 3 or 4 lines. Even one-sentence paragraphs are totally okay.
- Sub-headings: They’re not going out of style anytime soon. Sub-headers make scanning a piece of content much easier. It becomes especially useful when you make use of clear and informative sub-heading to guide readers’ eyes down the page.
- Lists and bullets: Stats, facts, ideas, and examples are better illustrated through the use of bullet points. Not only do you make them easier to read, but you also make them clearer.
- Visual content: Images and videos are effective at breaking the monotony that informative words usually bring.
- Bucket Brigade technique: A copywriting maneuver designed to capture your readers’ interest and attention through the use of trigger phrases or words.
- Great writing skills: There’s always room for improvement, so don’t be discouraged if you find your writing inferior compared to others. It simply means you need more practice. But rest assured that good writing with proper grammar and sentence structure is necessary to hold a qualified readers’ attention.
Understanding User Intent
Keyword-focused content is still important, but it’s not as aggressively needed as it was back in the day. So don’t expect your content to show up at the top in the first page of SERPs just because your content is healthily keyword-rich.
It’s not enough to look at keywords alone. Viewing the context around them is just as important. And in doing so, you being to understand user intent.
The difference lies between knowing and understanding what your target audience is looking for, rather than coming up with different ways a user can phrase their search queries.
To help you uncover searcher’s intent, focus on answering questions that generally begin with the 5 W’s and that one H; who, where, when, what, why, and how.
Three other things you need to consider to understand user intent is:
- Thorough keyword research,
- Understanding and knowing your target audience,
- And, organizing content into different themes.
Producing Video Content and Doing YouTube SEO
Besides the fact that YouTube is the second largest search engine on the internet, the preference and demand for video content have grown. And because YouTube is one of the most visited sites, that stands to say that more people are searching and watching videos online.
Similarly, 2018 has seen many businesses turn to video marketing. This move yielded a significant amount of ROI and better traffic for their website.
And if you haven’t leveraged on this growing SEO tactic yet, then you can be sure that creating video content relevant to your business, niche, products, services, and website is the way to go.
The world of video creation is so diverse and so expansive that you will hardly find a lack for the type of videos you can create. Even places to share your video content are numerous — social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc to name a few. Another great idea you can implement is coupling your blogs with video content.
Regrettably, however, despite YouTube’s huge opportunity, a lot of marketers think it’s as simple as uploading a video — giving it a title and sharing it to a social media platform — is enough. This time around, don’t make the mistake of overlooking the importance of implementing SEO on YouTube.
The necessary elements for a well-optimized video on YouTube include:
- Video title: Your YouTube video title acts as your meta title as well. And the importance of creating a catchy headline is needless to say. It’s a balancing act. It has to be both SEO-friendly, and click-worthy as well. Don’t forget to include your focus keyphrase in that headline too.
- Description: YouTube bots can’t “read” videos. Instead, they rely on your written description to determine what your videos are all about. But aside from throwing in keywords, try to create a short paragraph that describes your video content.
- Longer videos: People may have wanted short videos before, but times are changing. And much like content, detailed tutorial videos or simply very entertaining and interesting ones do pretty well.
- Custom thumbnails: If you’re going for YouTube SEO, there’s no point in doing a halfway job. Just by observation alone, you can see how much thumbnails matter. I can’t count the number of times I’ve scrolled through YouTube comments to see ones like: “I came because of the thumbnail,” or something like: “I’m a simple person. I see ___, I click.”
Voice-search is on the rise. It’s something that’s been said over and over again. Everybody knows it, and everybody is acknowledging it.
This voice revolution is the product of a mobile-first generation. The popularity of mobile devices (your smartphone) most notably, has led to voice search increasing rapidly in the bygone year. Presently, research has revealed that 20% of mobile searches are voice-based. And by 2020, that number is expected to hit the 50% mark.
There is one notable quality that distinguishes voice queries from typed in ones. Voice searches are mostly in question-form.
So, once again, we return to the basics of determining searcher intent by implementing the use of the 5 W’s and that 1 H.
Optimizing your website for voice search means prepping your site to answer your audience’s questions.
You can accomplish this through the use of long-tail keywords, and perfecting your site’s structured data.
Being on Featured-Snippets
You’ve seen a lot of them, and chances are, you’ve used them more than you have the number one result. Featured snippets are special results shown at the very top — surpassing even the top result.
And from a searchers’ perspective, featured snippets provide easily accessible and quick answers to queries that don’t really need much in-depth reading.
But from marketer’s standpoint, featured snippets do a whole lot more to boost a site’s morale — so to say. They:
- Give website credibility.
- Open an opportunity to be found through voice-search.
- Even the playing field by giving smaller sites a chance to compete with larger competitors.
- Let a site jump to the very top of a results page.
To have your content as a featured snippet, you need to:
- Find your relevant keywords for which these featured snippets are shown. You can use tools like Buzzsumo, Moz’s Keyword Explorer, or Ahrefs.
- Make your site’s structured data perfect.
- Create a (what they call) “snippet bait.” It’s a paragraph containing 40-60 words around the search term.
Implementing and Making Use of Technical SEO
Great content and beautiful web design only goes so far. It’s no use if search engine bots are unable to crawl it. For this reason, a solid website founded on a stable foundation is important. And this is accomplished by taking care of technical issues and technical SEO requirements.
If you were Google, would you want to give a site the top spot if the users would be immediately greeted with glitches and bugs that ruin the experience and waste their time? Of course, you wouldn’t.
That’s why, for 2019, every site owner and SEO practitioner must get a proper grip of their technical SEO so their worlds don’t fall apart.
Basically, you would need to:
- Use HTTPS: Security is a priority in this day and age because the potential of data theft is so rampant. Google has been warning users against visiting non-HTTPS sites, and if you haven’t switched to this encrypted connection, then you’re surely turning away a good portion of your would-be site visitors.
- Perfect your structured data: Structured data is responsible for enabling your website for bot crawling. Structured data is your site’s inner structure, and numerous errors in it won’t do you favors.
- AMP for mobile: Accelerated Mobile Pages take information from web pages. It then displays them in a format that’s easier to view for mobile devices.
- Fix 404s by customizing them and redirecting URLs: Nothing ruins the user experience faster than a dead end like 404. The easy solution is to redirect broken pages to new URLs to help boost user experience. Another solution is to make use of 404 pages to passively entertain site visitors.
Earning Backlinks for Your Site
It’s not a secret that backlinks are essential to your SEO world. Because according to Google itself, links are still the number one factor when it comes to determining search rank.
When we talk about earning backlinks, we (like every genuine online marketer) won’t encourage the method of link spamming to quickly climb the ranks. That’s not the way to go. Nowadays, it’s less backlink building than it is earning.
Yes, if you want backlinks, you need to earn them. You do it by building healthy relationships with people in your industry.
- Broken-link building: A process that involves contacting a webmaster to report broken links on his or her website. After that, you recommend other links to replace the broken ones.
- Guest posting: In addition to reaching new audiences on different platforms, one of the biggest advantages of guest blogging is earning backlinks. That benefit is on par with building a decent online reputation and cultivating a crop of social media followers.
- Building internal links: This passes link juice and makes up a good internal linking structure. This helps users navigate your website and even increase user experience.
- Promoting your content: Don’t hesitate to share and promote. Because sometimes, a good push is all it needs for your sweet piece of content to soar.
SEO in 2019
Small tweaks and changes in the landscape doesn’t necessarily mean stagnation in SEO. Sometimes, the smallest changes make the most ripples.
SEO and Google algorithms are notorious for changing from one year to the next; at times, in between months. It may seem like much and may be too much to literally stay on top of, but giving your business’ website an edge over the competition is still perfectly doable.
All it takes is a strong dedication to creating solid content that is relevant, fresh, and valuable. Don’t hesitate to make use of tools and AI that will help you accomplish your goal either.
Doing your advanced SEO techniques right will yield nothing but profitable results. Start your 2019 right, and employ the bare basics of these advanced SEO techniques.
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