The Hitchhiker's Guide to SEO: 2019 Edition

Search engine optimisation is always evolving and growing.

The hottest and best methods for getting new website visitors, social media followers, and YouTube viewers five years ago are basically extinct now. If you want to succeed in digital marketing, you’ve got to stay up on trends, but it can be difficult.

Whether you’re a young go-getter entrepreneur or a seasoned veteran of running a small business, most of your time will be consumed with just that; running your business. The problem is, success in digital marketing leads to success in business. If you ignore current SEO practices, you’re going to hurt your business.

Fortunately for you, this post is going to tell you all you need to know about SEO as it is in 2019. We’re going to tell you what the biggest trends are now and what you should look out for moving forward so you can get a leg up on the competition and focus on running your business the right way.

This is your hitchhiker’s guide to SEO in 2019.

SEO BASICS

No matter what type of business blog or e-commerce website you run, you’re going to want people to be able to find you. Just getting a WordPress account and launching a quick site isn’t going to make a blip on the radar for Google or other search engines.

MORE THAN KEYWORDS

That’s why you need to put a special focus on SEO. When used the right way, SEO can bring your page up the search engine results page (SERP) when someone is looking for a site like yours.

Most people associate SEO with stuffing loads of keywords into blog posts, etc., but there’s so much more to it. As we’ll learn later on, dozens of factors affect your search ranking and trends are always developing to win over Google’s search algorithm.

For someone running a web page, the basics of SEO require you to accomplish a few important things.

SEO IN A NUTSHELL

First, you need to find out what your customers (or the people that you want to be your customers) are searching for. Looking at search intent, you can begin to figure out how you can optimise your website so that Google deems it to be a relevant match for the search.

You’ll also need to make sure that your page is as visible to Google as possible. This comes with citations and listings, which we’ll discuss more later when we talk about local SEO.

Lastly, being able to analyse your SEO successes and failures is how you’ll be able to improve. Use Google’s Analytics and Trends tools to help you. Analytics will look at how your website is performing and Trends will give you ideas on how to improve.

SEO TRENDS IN 2019

Now, let’s look at some of the biggest trends in the world of SEO in 2019. There are a few that have been building up in the past, as well as, some newer things that will probably develop and become extremely important in the future.

LOCAL SEO STILL WINS

Most businesses are hip to the importance of local SEO by this point, but the whole story hasn’t been told yet. Fill out your Google My Business card, get lots of backlinks and citations, write localised content; all of this is important, but where will it go from here?

Expect listings sites like Google and Yelp to dive a bit deeper into the inner-workings of your business. The more valuable information that customers can provide about your business, the more Google will know and the more adept it’ll be at knowing what a searcher will want to see on the SERP.

MOBILE-FIRST

A few years ago, mobile search surpassed desktop search for the first time. Obviously, this trend hasn’t subsided, as people are putting more of their time and money into their phones and tablets. Having a great mobile site is great for SEO.

Now we’ve got AMPs. Accelerated Mobile Pages are Google’s way of making mobile search even faster, albeit at the expense of some visual elements on your mobile site. Whether or not you use it, however, does have an effect on the search ranking of your mobile site.

USER EXPERIENCE

The importance of a user’s experience on your page can never be underestimated. SEO is often full of abstract concepts and analytics, but at the end of the day, how easy it was for the visitor to navigate your site and how fast your site was are still crucial factors in optimisation.

Do page speed tests often. If a landing page takes too long to load, that customer you almost had will be off finding a faster website.

The visual appeal of your site matters too. Make sure your menus are well organised and things are easy to find. Don’t put any unnecessary fluff on your website, just focus on what you’re trying to accomplish.

CONTENT: KING AGAIN

It was once thought that your blog content was a vehicle for keywords to appeal to Google’s algorithms. Lately, Google has made vast improvements in the analysis of content, so you can’t just write meaningless blog posts to get clicks. It has to be relevant and informative.

You should always be trying to offer the highest quality content on whatever topic you’re writing about. This should reward the best content providers with more clicks.

VOICE SEARCH

As SEO experts have spent the whole of their careers preparing for text search, the outset of voice search has become quite the conundrum. This is because people don’t talk how they type, so the keywords are different and longer.

Mobile devices and home assistants are to blame here, but businesses are starting to catch up. Being able to anticipate the questions that your website is able to answer is currently the best method to appeal to voice search.

SEO IN THE FUTURE

SEO now is different than it was a few years ago and it’ll be different in 2020 than it is today. If you keep your ear to the ground and stay on top of current and upcoming trends, your site will never be lacking visitors.

Does your site need an SEO makeover? Contact us at Climb Online and visit our services page to find out what we can do for you and your business’ online presence.

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