Today, search engine optimization (SEO) is no longer an optional marketing strategy. As a matter of fact, it has become a mandatory strategy due to the highly competitive and overcrowded landscape. One may believe that SEO isn’t as important as people claim it to be, but it’s also important to know that 70% of links consumers check out are organic.
In other words, a truly efficient way to reach out to consumers and cut through the noise of the competitive market is certainly SEO. However, SEO practices and activities change all the time because search engines, such as Google, are updating and tweaking their algorithms on a daily basis.
Consumer behavior shapes modern trends and companies that are not keeping up with these trends won’t hold a competitive edge or remain relevant to their consumers. That’s why it’s important to keep up with the SEO trends as well, in order to not just gain good rankings but also to maintain them. Therefore, here are a few of the most important SEO trends in 2019.
The diminishing of traditional keywords
As you may already know, a lot of SEO practices are dependent on relevant keywords. Keywords help match user intent with the context and the content of your pages. However, when search engines developed their algorithms, many features that exist today didn’t exist back then. For instance, mobile usage alone was disruptive enough for SEO, but everyone adapted eventually.
Today, the increased use and popularity of screenless assistants gives a whole new meaning to the word ‘disruptive’. That being said, although traditional keywords such as short and long-tail phrases still matter, for the most part, they’re slowly being replaced by voice search optimization.
That’s why it’s better to start considering voice search now rather than being left behind when it becomes a standard. For example, Amazon’s Alexa and other IoT (Internet of Things) assistants, search for conversational keywords in content. Therefore, your keyword research should also include what consumers may say instead of just what they might type.
Content is still king
It’s no secret that top-quality content is the most important ranking factor when it comes to SEO. What’s more, content is a trend that is bound to stay even in the future. Content doesn’t just deliver value to consumers and help you establish a strong presence across various media channels; it also helps improve the authority of your website.
Content is yet another crucial element in another top-ranking factor, which is backlinks. The richer the content experience you provide, the more benefits in terms of rankings you’ll favor. However, for your content to be as efficient as you need it to be, you’ll require a truly effective content-marketing strategy.
Anything that involves content development, publications, link building, guest posting and so on requires a solid strategy. If you have difficulties managing this on your own, you can always consult with a data lead SEO agency. In any case, the importance of good-quality content and its proper distribution will continue to increase in the upcoming years.
It’s been some time since mobile-friendliness became a ranking factor for SEO. It’s also been some time since mobile traffic surpassed that of the desktop as well. This trend won’t go away any time soon, or ever, for that matter. As a matter of fact, it’s estimated that there will be 63.4% of mobile internet users in 2019. Therefore, if you haven’t made a mobile-friendly strategy for your SEO a priority, you might as well start now.
With that in mind, there’s going to be a greater focus on mobile optimization as far as search engines are concerned. For instance, prioritizing mobile page loading time expectations, even though you may have a responsive design on your website, is a good idea. Also, consider implementing Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), in order to provide enhanced customer experience. Moreover, prioritize mobile-first indexing by verifying structured data and including features, such as micro-moments, snackable content, as well as 360° campaigns.
Local search optimization
Local traffic is also important as opposed to online traffic. The main reason is that local search improves your online presence. If you’re not established enough on your local market, you’re not really relevant on the online one. Associating your business with a location is a trend you shouldn’t ignore. For example, 54% of smartphone users search for business hours while 53% of them search for a business location and directions to a local store.
What’s more, 18% of those searches result in a purchase the very same day. Therefore, updating business listing directories, as well as Google My Business listings with information such as the location, phone number, open hours, etc., is important for local search optimization. Also, leverage positive reviews and social media signals to improve your local rankings. Moreover, proper content is also a must, in order to boost relevancy and awareness for your business.
It’s no secret that the rules of SEO are constantly evolving. Frequent algorithm updates make SEO a continuous effort for businesses that wish to maintain good rankings. Each year new trends arise and companies must familiarize themselves with such trends, in order to improve their practices and SEO strategies. 2019 promises changes, but that doesn’t have to be bad if you’re ready for what’s coming.