More than 3.5 billion Google searches are made per day, or over 1.2 trillion a year. So when you consider that over 70% of consumers begin their journey at a search engine looking to discover new products and services, you can see just how important keeping up with the latest SEO trends is for your brand. Here are some of the best ways to optimize for SEO in 2019:
Be Different. Many new and inexperienced companies get it in their heads that the best thing for them to do is to 1) find out who their competition is and 2) replicate their methods. While this may work in other areas, this is not how you want to handle SEO content. To come out on top in 2019 you should be seeking untapped subject areas, those that the competition has either ignored or hasn’t discovered yet. It’s much easier to get noticed in a group of ten than it is in a crowd of thousands.
Be Concise. Google’s relatively new featured snippet boxes take the most relevant content on a topic and feature it in a window at the top of the search results page. The key here is formatting your content in a way that packages it up nicely for one of these boxes. If the algorithm decides your site provides the best, cleanest answer to a search query, your site is rocketed to the top of the page. This gives you more visibility and a higher click-through rate. To secure a featured snippet, you’ll want to structure your page in a way that highlights simple, cohesive answers based on top SEO keywords.
Make Every Page Count. Duplicate pages, outdated information, useless content, search result pages: They all have to go. Delete anything and everything that isn’t valuable to your traffic and web presence. The Google algorithm makes no room for sites that are overflowing with pages upon pages of irrelevant content, marking them as low-quality and therefore banishing them to the depths of the search result pages with all of the other déclassé sites.
Utilize Topic Clusters. Remember when you were told that you’d get the best search results by sticking to key words instead of full sentences? Queries would look more like ‘houston restaurants’ instead of ‘What are the top rated restaurants for dinner around me?’ No more! Search engines have become smarter, and because of that people have changed the way they search. We’re getting more specific, and demanding highly tailored results to match. This, of course, also means that the way brands and companies use SEO has to change as well. To put it simply, the strategy behind Topic Clusters is to focus on topics instead of keywords. Each topic is referred to as a pillar, which broadly outlines the subject. The cluster content is linked under each pillar page, and focuses on addressing specific long-tail keywords. Not only does this help keep your website organized, but when one cluster does well, it boosts the entire pillar of content along with it. For a more in-depth explanation, check out Hubspot’s full article on the topic.
Utilize Video. A study by eyeviewdigital.com shows that using video on landing pages can increase conversion by 80%. Make it a priority to incorporate video that will keep readers engaged longer.
Adapt for Voice Search. Virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, Google Home, and Cortana are becoming increasingly popular for searches. BackLinko analyzed 10,000 Google Home search results to find out how to optimize a site for voice search:
Optimize your content for voice search
Figure out what long-tailed keywords most closely mirror how users speak
Ensure your pages load quickly
Prioritize long-form content (2,300 words was the average length)
Be Ever-Mindful of User Experience. SEO is an amazing tool, and you should definitely be using it to get your brand’s name out there. However, don’t sacrifice the accessibility of your site in the process. It’s all about finding the right balance between optimizing SEO and keeping the website user-friendly.