10 Ultimate SEO Trends to Keep an Eye On for 2019
2018 is on its last leg, and with only 11 days left before 2019 pops up in our faces, it’s time to look back and see how far we’ve come. It’s the perfect time to review our current strategies and start reforming them for the ultimate SEO trends coming in 2019.
Why do “ultimate SEO trends” even matter?
Competition is fierce in the digital marketing industry. And on top of that, you have the biggest search engine in the world constantly pumping out changes to improve every user’s experience. So, to keep your position above the rest, it’s beneficial to think about your SEO strategies in advance.
From Google’s call to understand users’ search intent to answering queries directly at the search results, search engines are striving to become better. It wouldn’t be far-fetched to say that ‘intelligence’ is the main goal of every machine nowadays.
And this kind of goal brings with it an onslaught of new requirements, practices, and strategies to fully consider. Together, we’ll explore these new trends and find a way to embrace them…
Optimizing for Voice Search
With the introduction of ‘smart speaker’ devices like Google Home, Amazon’s Echo, and Apple’s HomePod, it’s no surprise that voice search has simply exploded.
- 22% of smart home speaker owners have made a purchase using their device (Edison Research).
- 27% visit the website of a local business after conducting a voice search (BrightLocal).
- 1 in 5 adults uses mobile voice search at least one time a month (Global Web Index).
It’s not just these statistics that make a mark. In fact, a study even predicts that 50% of all searches on the web will be accomplished using voice search in 2020.
And even before the rise of voice search, people have steadily grown to be specific in their search queries. In fact, some might even say the rise of voice-search is the answer to people searching for specific things on search engines.
To fully learn how to optimize your content and your site for voice search, there is a need to understand how people are using voice-search.
According to SEO expert Neil Patel, voice queries:
- Contain conversational words
- Are used for finding local content
- Produce immediate results because that’s what users want.
So, aside from concentrating heavily on short keywords, make use of long-tail ones. A keyword that contains at least 7-9 words should be good. Consider the what, how, when, and where, questions because, generally speaking, that’s how people ask questions in a conversation.
Understanding & Learning Google’s RankBrain
If you’ve ever wondered how the world’s biggest search engine manages all these search results coming from every direction, you’re definitely not alone.
Google makes use of a machine-learning AI system called RankBrain. True artificial intelligence is where a computer can be as proficient as a human being in terms of acquiring knowledge.
So, with all this rage about RankBrain, does that make it a new ranking factor for SEO?
Well, no. RankBrain is merely a part of Google’s overall search algorithm. And because RankBrain is steadily learning a lot more, it’s also capable of answering complex questions.
Therefore, we can now expect search engines becoming better at understanding us humans in the year to come.
For many web developers who are bent on delivering high-quality user experience and content to users, this is good news!
Mobile-first Indexing Above All
March 2018 has seen Google start the process of migrating sites to mobile-first index. And basically, this means that Google is bent on using the mobile version of websites’ pages for ranking and indexing.
However, keep in mind that a mobile-first index doesn’t translate to being exclusively on mobile.
It just means mobile versions of your site are the primary ones for ranking. And now, you definitely don’t have an excuse for refusing to have a site that’s responsive on mobile.
That doesn’t rule out your site’s desktop versions either. If you have both, then good for you! Just be sure to follow the best practices to fully prepare for mobile-first indexing:
- Both versions should structured data.
- Metadata must be present on both versions of the site.
- A mobile site should contain the same content as your desktop site.
Exceptional High-quality Content
Everyone’s heard of content being king for years and years and years now. But it still holds true until 2019. In fact, it’s relevance has only grown because of search engines prioritizing user experience.
Producing high-quality, engaging content is still a formidable marketing strategy to use in 2019. The coming year won’t be any different than the years that passed in terms of compelling content influence on search engine rankings.
To remain relevant in 2019’s content-rich landscape, you need to be constantly on the lookout for writers and graphic designers who have an exceptional eye for producing grade A stuff. And as a content marketer, you should also be on high alert to sniff out the latest trends and developments and put your new insights out there.
If you haven’t started a content calendar to constantly fuel your content writing, perhaps you should. Quality content and great amounts of it is a must to succeed in SEO.
Google’s Featured Snippets
Google always strives to serve results in the most convenient way for all its users. And lately, if you’ve noticed when you look for something on Google, the search engine is getting really into this format people call featured snippets.
Don’t lie. You’ve seen them and used them too…
Depending on the type of query you enter, a block of four spots with text ads or shopping ads with pictures also get a place in front of organic search results.
For these reasons, featured snippets will continue to play important roles in 2019. Aside from displaying excerpts from websites that Google considers suitable, they also satisfy the user’s need for simple answers to a question.
These featured snippets are even called “position zero.”
And for a practical approach in 2019, always ask and research on what your target audience wants to know when searching the web. The more you meet this requirement, the better your chances at ranking are.
- Create content that shows up on page 1 of SERP
- Answer the questions your target audience is asking
- Make use of subheaders, and numbered or bulleted lists
The EU’s GDPR
GDPR or the General Data Protection Regulation regulates the issue of who owns the data created by people’s interactions online. Well, because of the GDPR, companies don’t own that data anymore. It’s the users that do.
Moreover, users can now request to see what kind of personal data the company has about them. They can also ask for corrections or an export. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in fines (€20 mln or 4% of the company’s annual profit).
You may be thinking why this matter is such a big deal. Well, it wouldn’t be if it didn’t affect international companies as well. And as a result, Google made changes to its analytics.
And now, every personal user data expires after a period of 26 months since it was collected. Website owners can change this data collection default shelf-life, and individual users are free to ask for deletion of data upon request.
So, if you’re a company that deals with European climates, you must:
- Your cookie consent form must include: what information you collect, where you keep it, why you do it, and an affirmation that the data is protected.
- Review your sources that collect user data on your site.
- Activate IP anonymization.
Travel Beyond Google
When people talk about search engines, everyone knows that people immediately start thinking about Google. Contrary to what most people think, there is a search territory beyond Google.
Some of the other search engines you have to pay attention to include Amazon & YouTube.
With people’s fascination with e-commerce and videos, are you really surprised?
And why should you consider Amazon and YouTube anyway?
You have to know that Amazon isn’t a universal search engine. But it’s algorithm is similar to Google’s, and is mainly used for performing searching for things in the Amazon website. It’s a big deal because recent studies have pointed out that 56% of consumers troop to Amazon when they shop online.
And when it comes to increasing visibility on YouTube, you would do well to optimize every piece of video content you publish. YouTube is the second largest website when it comes to the number of people that visit it.
Don’t miss out on these opportunities.
Structured Data Markup is the Key
We have long established the fact that SERPs are evolving. Google has more and more access to data material. And to create its own rich snippets, Google makes use of structured data.
And every SEO practitioner knows that in order to get rich snippets, complete structured data is needed.
So, it is highly advised to mark up your content in the best and most accurate way possible. Make it perfect.
Technical Aspect of SEO
Good technical SEO has a maximized crawlability, guaranteed indexation, and optimal performance. Strong technical SEO is the foundation that will aid you in acquiring more traffic.
- Optimize for site speed
- Make use of accelerated mobile pages
- Look into progressive web apps (PWAs)
- User intent optimization
Keep Investing in Video Marketing and its Many Forms
Aside from featured snippets, videos are also taking center stage in Google’s search results. Indeed, video marketing isn’t getting left behind in 2018. On the contrary, it’s becoming even more important.
Not only are videos the fastest way to interact with your audience these days, but it’s also becoming the immediate go-to for sources of important information.
- Come 2020, online videos will make up more than 80% of all user internet traffic (Cisco).
- Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it on video versus the 10% by reading it in text (Wirebuzz).
- 78% of people watch online videos every week. 55% do it every day (HubSpot).
- A one minute video is worth 1.8 million words (Forrester Research).
- 55% of users pay attention when they watch videos more than any other type of content (HubSpot).
- Companies that do video marketing have 27% higher CTR and 34% higher conversion rates (Buffer).
- Shoppers who’ve seen demo videos are 1.81x more likely to purchase than non-viewers (Adobe).
But above all, YouTube is the second most trafficked site after Google. If that’s not enough reason to invest in video marketing, then we don’t know what is.
In all complete honesty, 10 SEO trends are not that many. But despite the numbers, these trends have big changes in store for everyone involved.
And yet, despite all these ultimate SEO trends, evergreen SEO tactics — like earning quality backlinks and keywords research — are still very much alive and not to be thrown aside.
These changes may make achieving a ranking more difficult for some, but when you really get into it, 2019’s ultimate SEO trends assure that those who work hard and put genuine effort into the practice will rise to the top.
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