Although many SEO trends come and go each year, some can offer plenty of insight into how you can rank better over the year to come. Over the years, we have seen many trends. Some have remained a major focus in Search Engine Optimisation, such as the Mobile First era, which still defines the way that Google favours content online. Then there are the trends that have not added as much value as they seemed to at the time. It can be hard to know which trends are more about surface frills than authentic results.
SEO Trends Worth Noting in 2019
Luckily, there are a few trends that emerge each year that offer guidance on what the industry will be seeing in the months to come. These trends are less about one-hit wonders and silly gimmicks and more about practical strategies that are providing value on a deeper level. As we enter the official start of the new financial year and get settled into 2019, we’re taking a closer look at the trends that continue to shape the SEO landscape.
While it’s always important to remember that real results come not from following trends blindly but from investing in your SEO strategies, certain SEO trends help to guide you along the way. From brand reputation to user intent and ranking outside of Google, we have hand-picked the SEO trends that we’re going to be watching this year. Keep reading to get our suggestions on the trends that you certainly don’t want to miss.
Wondering how to take your website to the next level? Keep an eye on these SEO trends.
Reputation has been carrying more weight with each coming year. Today, brand mentions have become a common occurrence in search algorithms. Google’s Search Quality Guidelines state that reputation is key for rankings. Brand ranking can be used as a way to teach search engine’s that your brand is an entity, through unlinked brand mentions. When search engines analyse websites and platforms mentioning your brand, it begins to build a clearer picture of your brand within your industry.
The sentiment and context also help to build a picture of your brand’s reputation – your level of trust, your advertising, your complaints and positive reviews, and various other ways that your brand appears online.
The best way to make use of this trend is to focus not only on backlinks but also mentions. Backlinks remain a high signal of ranking. Instead of trying to build links as fast as possible, take the slow and steady approach that makes use of the power of mentions. Focus on getting your name into the SERPs. Put effort into reputation management. It’s also essential to respond to customer comments (good and bad) as your brand rather than your personal profile. Make sure that you keep customers happy and always track brand mentions online. You can also think about investors on your various social media platforms. Finally, it’s also a good idea to see what competitors are doing to see if you can analyse their efforts and use that data to grow your own brand ranking.
If user intent is not part of your SEO strategy, now is the time to start thinking about how your users find you online. Understanding what your audience wants is the first step in being able to give them the best experience. In turn, you will be able to boost your conversion. User intent allows you to optimise your SEO content in a way that is tailored for people. It’s also about improving your keywords, focusing not just on high ranking terms but also on realistic terms that are based on transaction, information or location. What are people expecting when they search for your product or service? How can you deliver what your audience wants?
When you put more thought into the customer journey and user intent, Google is more likely to reward you with a better ranking, because you are providing a better customer experience. You will also see better conversion at the same time. This is because your keyword and strategy will be far more focused rather than broad. When people are genuinely interested in what you are selling, there is a far better chance of closing that sale.
There are a few ways to integrate this trend within your SEO strategy. The first step is to take a good, hard look at your current keyword research. Think about the current keywords you are using and whether they are aligned to the content on your site. Think about the phrases people use naturally to find products or services in your industry. Stop focusing on broad phrases and begin incorporating longer tail phrases that are designed to meet user intent.
Beyond Google Search
Another SEO trend that we are watching this year is the expansion into searches outside of Google. Amazon and Apple searches are starting to gain a strong foothold in search, as both ecommerce and mobile continue to grow. To grow your rankings, you will need to start optimising not just for Google, but also for other platforms that consumers use to find products and information.
Over the years, SEO has evolved a great deal. As multi-channel marketing begins to change the way that traffic is sourced, it has become more important than ever to see ranking as something that is holistic and broad spectrum rather than limited to a single search engine. Understanding how people search for apps on iStore or Google Play, for example, is key. Understanding how people search for products on a major online store such as Amazon is also key. Searches for videos and podcasts are typically very different from searches for local businesses. Likewise, searches for physical goods on Google are different from searches for products on an online store.
If you have invested in mobile marketing or app development or ecommmerce marketing, you need to think beyond the standard SEO approach. You will need to take a good, hard look at your keywords as well as your content, considering user intent and your target audience. You will need to think about optimisation, too. This is important for app listings, websites and online stores. You’ll need to add in other factors, as well – home assistants, voice search and audio-only devices, to name just a few.
The biggest thing to focus on this year is adaptability. Whether you are implementing a new app, improving your current website, starting a new site from scratch, refining your overall strategy or aiming to grow your rankings, staying ahead of the competition means staying adaptable. Treating your rankings as an after-thought or something you can set and forget is a common mistake made by many companies all over the globe. Rather than seeing SEO as something that requires a bit of effort up front before you can forget about it again, see SEO as something that evolves on a continual basis.
When you are not adapting and improving your strategies, you are effectively throwing away your chance at visible growth. You are letting your competitors take over rankings that you could have earned. You are losing out on future sales, too. Stay on your toes, keep improving, keep changing as SEO trends evolve, and you will start to see results.