Voice search, RankBrain, mobile-first indexing…these are not jargons or buzzwords you come across in some random textbooks, but your new brother-in-arms in the next search result battle. With more and more companies investing in SEO and many technological advances to catch up with, 2019 is expected to be a big, challenging year for your business to deploy the latest trends, beat competitors and grab the first page on any search platform.
But how? In this article, SOY will walk you through all these dominating SEO trends, as well as suggesting best practices for optimal ranking outcomes (and hence more sales prospect).
Go beyond Google Search
In 2019 and the years to come, SEO will no longer be the sole playground for Google, but to get beyond to wherever users are searching. If your target audience look for an app, you need to rank in app stores. In case you could connect better via videos, Youtube and Vimeo seem to be much more promising. Even Amazon’s internal search should be in the list, considering that 56% consumers go straight to the e-commerce platform when they go online shopping.
How to nail this SEO trend:
- Look to other “engines” when you build keyword research
- Make sure all titles and descriptions are clear, user-friendly
- Provide high quality images and videos across platforms
- Update meta tags so all search engines understand your content
Voice search as a new SEO trend
It is estimated that 30% of web browsing sessions will be voice-based by 2020. Don’t believe? Just ask Google Assistant, Apple Siri, Samsung Bixby or Amazon Alexa. Market leaders are evolving to meet this user’s behavior and your business also needs to follow suit. This new SEO trend is extremely useful in case your business is a multinational or you plan to build a multilingual website, as users’ searches differ a lot from country to country.
Quick tips to follow:
- Focus on longtail keywords as voice search is specific
- Predict users’ typical questions to build suitable content
- Customise content into short, concise answers of 29 words
- Attract more social engagement (shares, likes, tweets…)
Ready for mobile-first indexing
Starting from March 2018, Google rolled out the mobile-first index as a response to booming traffic on mobile devices. Simply speaking, if your website has both a desktop and a mobile version, Google will prioritise the latter for indexing and ranking. It is not a mobile-only policy but you are recommended to have a responsive website to appear user-friendly, engaging and visually attractive to a huge pool of customers (63.4% of internet traffic in 2019, to be exact).
Update your mobile SEO by:
- Work with web development team to increase loading speed
- Shift your focus onto keywords users search via mobile devices
- Prepare for AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) to enhance UX
- Develop SEO strategies with snackable content to catch micro-moments
- Verify structured data on both mobile and desktop version
Rank for position zero
Your competitors are so aggressive on search engines that snatching their first spots seems impossible? Don’t worry! The not-so-new SEO trend called featured snippet will make all the difference. These are short excerpts of website content, normally as answers to questions, that appear on top of everything else in the SERPs. So yes, you will have the most privileged spot (also known as position zero) totally for free and organically.
To jump in these featured snippets, you have to:
- Research into question words your target audience often use
- Formulate concise content (40-50 words) to fit such questions
- Use heading tags so Google can easily pull content from your sites
- Upload images and videos with high quality to increase engagement
RankBrain and machine learning
Finally, the most impactful SEO trends in 2019 are inarguably machine learning and artificial intelligence, whose popular representative is Google’s RankBrain. Introduced 4 years ago, RankBrain is currently answering about 15% of the daily search queries on Google. In 2019, the machine learning AI technology is expected to be even more powerful in Google’s algorithm.
Adapting to this new SEO trend starts with:
- Complete your meta data & other technical SEO to meet algorithms’ requirements
- Conduct on-page optimisation for better user experience and longer dwell time
- Give context to your content and serve users’ search intent
In 2019, the SEO landscape will be marked with significant and innovative trends which affect the way your business appears and attracts internet users. Should you need assistance to master these trends and build strategies that actually convert, feel free to drop our SEO gurus a line to explore further.