With almost half the world’s population accessing the internet, it’s no wonder that more and more businesses continue to turn to digital marketing to build their brand, increase their customer base, and boost revenue.
And anyone who’s dabbled in digital marketing understands how valuable search engine optimization (SEO) is. In many cases, SEO drives online marketing success.
And yet, to truly master SEO, you need to be ready to pivot as trends and algorithms change.
That’s just what this article will help you do for SEO 2019 trends—stay ahead of the competition by targeting the specific SEO trends making waves in online marketing.
The 4 SEO 2019 trends you must master
Let’s take a quick look at the most important SEO-centric marketing strategies you need to master in 2019 to keep your site ranking high—and your revenue moving upward.
1. Compelling, in-depth content is still king
Gone are the days when Google’s webcrawler would analyze your website’s pages to count keywords.
At that time, keywords drove rankings whether they were in your page title, alt tags, URL—almost anywhere on the page.
But algorithms have changed, and Google is intent on providing the best results for every keyword search. That means your content can’t just be stuffed with keywords because modern webcrawlers are also searching for context.
How can you ensure that your content is filled with good contextual information as well as keywords? Simple. Just make sure that it has the following elements:
That means your content should end up being around 2,000 words in length. This allows you to provide readers with a deep dive into all the information they may need on a topic—all in one spot.
Evergreen content is content that is so important—yet basic—that it will be valid years from publication, regardless of trends.
You can provide this in the form of ebooks, listicles, infographics, glossaries, how-to-guides, and more.
It includes Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords
These keywords are words related in some way to your topic. For example, if your article is about how to reduce stress, you may include words or phrases like:
- Relieving stress with yoga
- Foods that reduce stress
If you have trouble finding these, don’t worry—there are lots of LSI keyword generators out there. Here’s one by LSIGraph. Simply input your keywords as in the box, below.
Image source: LSIGraph
And, get a list that looks like this:
Image source: LSIGraph
By using these generators, the research is done for you—all you need to do is find creative ways to add these phrases to your long-form content.
2. Get a grip on Google RankBrain
Technology is constantly expanding the way we can quantify online behavior—and search engine giant Google is at the forefront of exploring ways to get the best content noticed.
Google RankBrain is an algorithm created in 2015 that harnesses machine learning to fine-tune rankings in accordance with searchers’ online behavior.
How does it manage this?
By looking at how searchers interact with their search results.
For example, let’s say you search for “how to meditate,” get the following results, and decide that the Buddhist’s Guide (the last entry on this list) looks interesting.
Image source: Google
If you click through and read the whole article word-for-word, Google notices that the content captured your attention, and your behavior can boost the ranking of that site.
Conversely, if you try the New York Times article and get bored after a handful of seconds, Google notices that too, and the Times may be nudged out of first place if too many other searchers follow suit.
What does that kind of technology mean for you? It means you need to consider not just content, but user experience (UX).
RankBrain knows the longer someone lingers on your page, the more they like it (and your content)—and they’ll rank it higher.
In fact, the optimal “dwell time,” or amount of time a searcher is on your page, is over 3 minutes. And dwell time has become even more important than backlinks in ranking your content high in search results.
This aspect of RankBrain also means you need to make it easy for users to get to your fantastic content, which is why a well-designed, functional website is key. And, with mobile usage on the climb, UX issues like website speed are even more critical.
Image source: Designing for Performance
Some of the factors that help create a great UX are:
- Mobile optimization
- Site speed
- Social media
In other words, in 2019, good web design has become one of the most critical SEO tactics for showcasing stellar content and assisting in your SEO optimization.
3. Voices will be heard in 2019
Voice search is becoming increasingly common with over half of teens and 41% of adults relying on it every day.
And, the top three reasons people use voice-enabled technology on their smartphones to search are:
- They’re conducting online searches for general topics (60%)
- They’re finding information on a specific product (51%)
- They’re asking questions (50%)
As you can see, optimizing your content for voice search is crucial to harness voice search SEO. In a nutshell, you need to make sure your content and/or site have the following attributes:
- Secured with HTTPS
- Uses long-form content
- Page load speed is optimized
- Content is written at a 9th grade level
- There’s a featured snippet
- Your answers snippets are concise (around 29 words)
- There’s a detailed FAQ page
- Your page is authoritative (an Ahrefs Domain Rating of around 76.8)
- Your answers are highly shareable
The infographic, below, is a great way to hit the highlights of the key elements you need for your high-ranking voice-search-friendly page:
Image source: MarketingProfs
In addition to all these attributes, you still need to ensure that the content you’re providing is high-quality, high-value material.
And, you want to get your pages ranking in the top three spots for content because Google tends to choose those for voice search results.
Image source: Backlinko
Since voice search results get more attention, sometimes garnering upwards of a thousand Facebook shares on average, it stands out among SEO tactics to capture your fair share of the social media market.
Social media presence is important for digital marketers because social media drives engagement—and revenue.
The Neilsen Global Trust in Advertising Report shows that 83% of people across the globe trust recommendations from friends and family like those posted on social media sites.
In addition, social media platforms cultivate engagement—and engagement is crucial to a healthy ROI.
4. Harness the power of video
Get ready—by 2021, 82% of all traffic on the internet will be video, and people are already clamoring for more.
With YouTube edging close to Google for search engine dominance with over 3 billion searches each month, it’s hard to deny that video is in demand.
Want to get in on the ground floor?
Make sure you SEO-optimize your YouTube real estate and add even more creativity to your online content by embedding shareable videos right into your blog posts.
Because 55% of Google search results consist of videos (and 82% of those videos come from YouTube), the more videos you have living on YouTube, the more likely you are to hit those top rankings.
As you can see from the graphic below, video still leads the pack in keywords with universal search integration (USI). Google owns YouTube, so it’s no surprise they’d give their protégé pride of place among those rankings.
Image source: Tubular Insights
Ready to optimize your videos for YouTube to help your pages rank higher? Here are some basics:
- Use keywords in your video title
- Have a professional, intriguing thumbnail
- SEO-optimize your description and include a website link or call-to-action
- Provide well-edited transcripts
- Use phrases and keywords in tags
- Post videos on a consistent schedule
Don’t forget to run YouTube Analytics—or third-party tools—on your videos to keep track of metrics and understand what motivates your subscribers.
SEO is continuously in flux, but that can be a positive if you’re always seeking to improve the value of the content you’re giving your subscribers.
SEO 2019 trends provide many ways to integrate new SEO tactics into your current marketing plan, including optimizing for voice searches and video and tweaking your site to get the attention of Google’s RankBrain.
However, it’s important to always cultivate a knowledge of, and affinity for, the basics of good online marketing—in this case, producing high-quality, compelling content.
Regardless of new technologies or trends, in the end, all of your potential customers are craving content that gives them in-depth information about things they need to know—in a creative, engaging way.