10 Min Read
Do you know how your customers are using search to find products or services related to your business? Have you set up a strategy to capture the search market in 2019? For years, up to 80% of searches have been done on Google. However, the search landscape is constantly evolving. This market will become more fragmented as different platforms, devices, and user behaviours will change the way people conduct their search for products or services. SEO will be affected and businesses must be able to identify what factors will influence the search behaviours of their audience, as well as influencing factors of their market at large.
In this post, we will discuss the SEO approach needed in 2019. We will cover the importance of traditional SEO and its role in businesses marketing, as well as the fragmented SEO opportunities.
Traditional SEO refers to website content that is found through user searches conducted on search engines. In most of the major markets, Google is the dominant player. Depending on which location your business targets, other search engines will have a share of that market. For example, Yahoo and Bing operate in most of the English language markets, whereas Yandex in Russia, Bing in China, and Naver in South Korea dominate their respective markets, with Google being a close competitor.
Gaining SEO visibility in the past has really relied on 3 major factors:
– The technical build of a website.
– The content that is published on a website.
– The links that are pointing to the website.
These factors will continue to be important in 2019 and beyond. In order for your site to rank successfully in 2019, you will need to implement the following.
SEO isn’t simply about ranking for single keyword phrases anymore. Sites will need to have a well-rounded keyword strategy that focuses on the primary keywords that you would like the site to rank for, as well as other related search keywords that people may be using when typing in their search queries.
The keyword strategy can make or break your SEO campaign. It is essential that you choose a portfolio of keywords that will allow you to rank successfully and generate your site that web traffic that you desire.
You need to identify the keywords people are using when they have an intent to search for information, products, or services. There are a few ways you can identify these keywords:
Google Keyword Planner: You can use Google’s keyword planner tool to identify keyword search volumes in different markets.
Search query data from Google Ads: If your business runs Google Ads, you can see the exact keyword phrases that people are using to search for and convert from your website’s offering.
Google’s suggested keywords in organic search results: Google provides suggested keyword phrases if you start typing keywords into the search box, or at the end of the organic search results. Keywords from Google’s answer boxes can also be implemented.
There’s been a lot of emphasis on the importance of a website’s technical make-up and how it influences both search results and user behaviour. Search engines and users want a website that has an architecture that is easy to navigate, quick, easy to access information, is compatible with different devices and is free of errors.
The technical foundations must be in place; however, website managers must also consider the additional technical elements that search engines are providing to make accessing information and understanding the context of the website easier. Below is a summary of the technical SEO items that need to be managed.
– HTML Semantic markup.
– Schema markup.
– Website’s speed.
– Site navigation.
The relevance and quality of your website’s content will contribute greatly to your site’s SEO performance. The more long-form content that is created, the more keywords the content will rank for.
Businesses must do an honest assessment of their content to identify the following:
– The content relevance.
– The content structure.
– The content’s quality signals.
Search engines want to provide the most relevant result in the organic search results for the search query that the user types into the search engine. The relevancy is determined by the keywords that are used on the page, the context the keywords are used in, and the density of the keywords within the text.
To improve your SEO performance, the right keywords must appear throughout your website’s content. These quality signals will help search engines with ranking your website higher in the results.
You can target broad keywords, however, it is essential that you target niche or long-tail keywords that will allow your site to gain visibility and organic traffic. These long-tail keywords will help to boost the ranking performance of the main “broad keywords” that you are targeting.
For example, if you want your website to rank for the keyword “weight loss”, it would be better to form a content strategy that is related to that keyword. Some options would include:
– Weight loss tips
– Weight loss diet
– Weight loss recipes
– Weight loss meal plan
How can you trigger your site’s content quality signals? There are several quality signals the search engines will use to determine whether or not a piece of content should rank for a particular keyword.
Add relevant keywords to the web page’s title: This means adding your target keywords to the title tags of your web page.
Add relevant keywords into the description tags in your site’s web pages: Strategically add your target keywords into the meta descriptions of your web pages.
Add relevant keywords to your site’s web page headings: Add the target keywords to your web page’s headings. Mark-up the keywords according to their importance on the web page. (E.g. H1, H2, H3, etc)
You can see more in our ‘Beginners guide to SEO heading tags (HTML Tags)’.
Aim for a keyword density of 2-6%: You want the keywords to make up at least 2% of your web page’s content. This can be made up of your main target keyword and related keywords.
Publish content that is valuable: Ultimately, the content that gets published on the site needs to be valuable for the user. So engage the user by using clever headings, web copy, images and videos that will incentivise them to stay on the web page and engage with your site’s content.
Samuel Shepherd from the Digital Next team shares some of his tips here.
There’s an ongoing debate about the impact of Google Analytics data on a website’s SEO performance. Google’s John Mueller went on record saying that adding Google Analytics doesn’t directly impact a site’s SEO ranking performance. However, the insights gained from Google Analytics can help Google improve its understanding of the website.
Search engines want to serve users with results that will provide them with the best user experience. By improving the user experience metrics, it can potentially help with the SEO performance of your website’s rankings. Below are a few of the user experience metrics that can be improved.
Improving the bounce rate means that people are viewing more than one web page when they visit. This can be improved by creating more internal links to relevant content. Officially, there’s no conclusive evidence to say that bounce rate directly impacts SEO rankings. However, Google has a patent that relates to bounce rates from the organic search results. Minimising a website’s bounce rate will also minimise the risk of potential ranking drops.
This can be improved by creating more engaging content. For example, the content could be expanded into long-form content, or a video could be added to the web page or an infographic.
Links are the framework that binds the internet together. They have a huge influence on organic search rankings and will continue to do so in the future. Acquiring or earning links that impact your site’s SEO performance is becoming more challenging. It is important that you partner with an expert or agency that can secure those links that will “get you the SEO results that you desire.”
Google has been on a quest to combat link spam and link schemes. The search engine is known to “count certain links” that point to a website. So it is important that the right type of links are targeted initially otherwise the link building efforts can go to waste.
Contextual links from relevant and authoritative sites provide the best impact. These are typically acquired through guest post contributions, resource links, citations, mentions or interviews. There are several link building tactics that can be adopted, however, the team at Digital Next have found that guest blog posts are the most scalable and provide the quickest impact.
Additionally, the links should be built in a way that is natural. That means building links at a steady pace and using anchor variations that web users would use. You can click here to see the success that we had with Little Bloke Fitness’ SEO and link building campaign using this approach.
There have been different splints of SEO emerging over the years, however, these splints may become their own silos in 2019 and it is important that businesses that plan to implement an SEO strategy factor these different SEO channels into their campaign.
Video search continues to grow as more people engage with video content. YouTube has grown to be the second largest search engine in the world due to the number of searches that are conducted on its platform.
It can be easier to penetrate the video search engine market and generate inbound traffic from organic video rankings simply by uploading and optimising the video that you publish. The video can generate hundreds or even thousands in referral or direct traffic, simply from the search query that originally started with the user.
Image search is increasing as people become more engaged with image sharing platforms. Traditionally, people have used image searches on search engines like Google. However, specialist image search and discovery platforms, like Pinterest and Instagram, are proving to be a formidable traffic and lead generation channel.
There are thousands of users searching for images on these platforms every day. If the image is optimised for search, it can drive hundreds or even thousands of visitors.
There have been developments in voice search technology on the phone with Siri (Apple IOS), as well as Alexa (Amazon) and Google. According to insights from Search Engine Land, devices read results from featured snippets such as those results in the zero position.
Semantic search is also being used to power voice search results. For example, if you search for movie times at a cinema near you, the search engine will rely more on semantics and schema rather than keywords alone.
If your web business services a local area, it is important that the website and the Knowledge Panel are optimised. This will allow people that are searching for the product or service that you offer to find you easily. Additionally, the information from the Google Knowledge panel may even suggest your business and provide directions to your business, giving you a highly qualified lead.
Digital Next can execute traditional SEO tactics that will improve your website’s organic search visibility. Our team of specialists can also consult with you to implement the ‘best practices’ that will allow your site’s content to gain maximum visibility in the emerging fragmented SEO space.