To help you get a head-start on optimizing your content in the new year, we’re now going to take a look at some of the SEO trends that will be worth paying attention to in 2019. We’ll also give you some tips on how to adapt your content and strategy to take advantage of those trends. Let’s jump right in!
1: Prepare Your Site for Voice Search
Voice search has already nestled comfortably into many people’s lives. Perhaps you use Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Echo, or Google’s Assistant, just to name three examples. As this technology becomes more prevalent so to will the need to consider how voice search will affect your SEO efforts.
The main difference between typical SEO strategies and optimizing for voice search involves using more ‘natural’ phrasing. After all, text searches usually involve stilted, compressed phrases like “best blog hosting 2018.” However, if you were to use your voice to search for the same information, you’d probably say something like: “What is the best hosting for blogs this year?”
Do you notice how the second phrase is both more natural and considerably longer? This means you’ll also want to consider optimizing your content for long-tail keywords to a greater degree. Since the ultimate goal is to use keywords people are likely to search for, this might actually make your job easier, as you won’t need to jam cumbersome key phrases into your content.
2: Optimize Your Site for Speed
Optimizing your site for performance is something we’ve discussed in several previous posts. However, the importance of this step bears repeating. Loading times will undoubtedly remain a huge consideration in 2019, especially when it comes to improving your site’s rankings.
This issue became even more pressing in 2018, as Google announced it would begin factoring in page speed for mobile devices. This is due to the growing popularity of mobile browsing, and means that keeping load times short is now a primary concern for all website owners.
To speed up your site in general. Key strategies include implementing a caching solution, as well as optimizing your media files.
3: Improve Your Mobile Pages
Google’s mobile-first index means that the search engine now ranks pages based on their versions designed for mobile devices. As such, even if your site performs flawlessly on a desktop, but it’s hard to use and sluggish when viewed on a smartphone, your SEO rankings will likely suffer.
For this reason, optimizing your site for mobiles is no longer optional. In reality, you’ll need to spend even more time making sure your mobile site is fast and usable. This is also called making your site responsive, since the goal is for it to work well regardless of the screen size or device type used to view it.
4: Extend Your SEO Strategy to Your Social Media Channels
Having a strong social media presence is a significant aspect of online marketing. Naturally, this also applies to your SEO strategy. While social media shares aren’t currently a direct ranking factor, there does seem to be a correlation between social signals and rankings.
How this works is complicated, to say the least, and we won’t get too deep into the details here. Suffice it to say that the more your content is shared, the more traffic your site will likely get through search engines. This also helps you build backlinks and brand awareness, since more people will see and talk about your site.
5: Improve Your Technical SEO
SEO is often thought of as a concern exclusive to content creators and marketers. However, the reality is that it’s also something developers need to think about. The process of ‘technical SEO’ refers to making sure your site is compatible with the standards set by search engines.
Two major aspects of technical SEO that we’ve already touched on include page speed and mobile-friendliness. However, another crucial consideration is site security. For instance, Google now requires sites to be delivered using HTTPS, in order to be labeled as ‘secure’ in the Chrome browser.
These are just a few of the elements that fall under the technical SEO umbrella.