What's coming in SEO for 2019


Read this article to know what new is coming for the SEO industry as part of the new year 2019. Know what Google changes are planned and what pre-steps you can take to make sure you blog keeps running as good as it is now or even better.

Between advances in artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality and increasing voice searches, it seems search engine optimizers have a lot to think about over the coming year! Here we take a look at some of the key lessons from 2018, as well as some predictions for the SEO year ahead.

Lessons from 2018


Before you set your New Year's SEO resolutions for 2019, it's a good idea to make sure you haven't missed any important changes. While most of Google's 2018 algorithm updates focused on improving the rankings of deserving sites, there were two main areas that could be negatively impacting your rankings and should be addressed first – security and speed. Both rolled out in July this year, Google's mobile speed and Chrome security warnings updates offer the biggest lessons.

Mobile Speed


Because mobile searchers are often on the move and need answers quickly, mobile pages that were particularly slow to load were hardest hit. This doesn't mean you need to focus all your efforts on boosting speed, but it's something to consider if you feel your rankings were negatively affected.

Security


Google has repeatedly stressed the importance of secure sites, and in July they finally rolled out their big Chrome update to penalize non-HTTPS sites. If you haven't done so already, then now's the time to move over to HTTPS.

Snippets


Featured snippets – those little boxes featuring a sample of a webpage that Google believes will answer a simple question – will continue to play a big role in SEO in 2019. Getting your content displayed as a snippet for a particular query will be massively beneficial, but there's going to be a lot of competition to get there. There are two simple ways to make your content more snippet-friendly – using tables or bulleted lists and featuring question and answer together on the page.

Updating old content to be more in line with this kind of formatting is a great start, as you get the potential ranking boost of 'fresher' content as well. It's also a good thing to keep in mind when creating new content. Pay special attention to the featured snippets you see appearing when you conduct your own research around the web, as this is the easiest way to get a feel for the style Google is after.

Search entry points that aren't Google


Searchers are getting savvier every year, and it's important to remember that while Google is definitely the biggest fish out there, they (and other engines like Yahoo and Bing) are not the only platforms people use to find what they're looking for. An increasing number of searches start on sites like:
  • YouTube
  • eBay and Amazon
  • All the various social media platforms
  • Mobile app stores and
  • Image sharing sites like SlideShare
If you're already in a highly competitive niche, creating a strong presence on the platforms most relevant to your content can make a huge difference, and give you a little boost with Google too. A short YouTube video that explains a complex process in simple terms may be far more helpful to your potential customers than a 2,000-word article, for example. If your business has no presence at all on these sites, you could be missing out on traffic from these sources.

Voice search


As using voice search on Google or through assistants like Alexa and Siri becomes more and more normal, sites who start focusing on content that answers the kind of questions users are asking now can give themselves a big advantage. While typed queries are generally brief, voice searches tend to be longer, hyper-local, include terms like 'when', 'where', 'why', and 'how', and usually only require a brief answer.

More than ever, this means getting into the heads of your potential customers and designing content that's helpful for them and anticipating their needs. If your current keyword strategy only focuses on short keywords, then it's time to start exploring opportunities for longer search phrases as well as Q&A style snippets to cater to the rapidly growing voice search market, or teaming up with a dedicated SEO company like Ruby Digital to help you strategize. Bear in mind that younger users make up the biggest percentage of voice searchers, so it's always a good idea to cater to both styles.

User experience


No matter what else changes in 2019, the user experience is always going to be one of the most important factors to consider in your SEO strategy. From mobile optimization to loading speed and technical considerations, making every page of your website a rich source of easy-to-access information is crucial into getting visitors to stick around.

In 2019, you can work on improving this by adding different types of media like video and audio content, providing brief and concise sections of content for mobile visitors and longer, more in-depth content for desktop users, and making use of free tools like Google's PageSpeed tool.


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