The SEO landscape for 2019 continues to evolve and SEO is not dead. Keep in mind that while evolution is slow there will always be algorithm updates that might suddenly increase or decrease your sessions. But if you keep your site focused on evolving with user search behavior you will win. Now don’t go jump on every new search trend attempting to find what sticks. This is where you need to stick to your winning SEO strategy and evaluate the larger themes in Organic Search right for your business. So without further ado here are the trends in SEO for 2019.
- Site Architecture – this is going to be the biggest and most difficult challenge you might have to face in 2019, but it also going to be the most reliable because site architecture has been a theme in SEO for over a decade. So if you aren’t happy with your 2018 search rankings it’s time to look at your site architecture. This entails minimally… your taxonomy, Schema if any, site speed, as well as UX and UI. Site speed is going to continue to be top of mind for every e-commerce company as C-level executives and devs alike want a fast and stable website. Plus, almost every conference in 2018 had site speed mentioned by numerous speakers. My prediction is that new image formats such as JPEG 2000, JPEG XR, and WebP and 3rd party image compression tools like Compressor.io and Squoosh will become standard operating procedure for designers and developers.
- Usability – it isn’t a buzz word and nor should it be, but you need to address your usability issue across all devices and operating systems. There are over ten operating systems you should be testing on and developing for depending on your demographic, geography, and traffic volumes. And I guarantee you that you have more than a thousand people a day visiting your site you have over 100 mobile phone device types that are actively sending users to your website. Making your site more user friendly is a win-win and going to lead to more conversions, more customers, more testimonials, and better rankings. There are three aspects to focus on to make your website more accessible to all as provided by the W3C: https://www.w3.org/WAI/standards-guidelines/wcag/
- Accessibility addresses discriminatory aspects related to equivalent user experience for people with disabilities, including people with age-related impairments. For the web, accessibility means that people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with websites and tools, and that they can contribute equally without barriers.
- Usability and user experience design is about designing products to be effective, efficient, and satisfying. Specifically, ISO defines usability as the “extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals effectively, efficiently and with satisfaction in a specified context of use”.
- Inclusive design, universal design, and design for all involves designing products, such as websites, to be usable by everyone to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation. Inclusion addresses a broad range of issues including access to and quality of hardware, software, and Internet connectivity; computer literacy and skills; economic situation; education; geographic location; and language — as well as age and disability.
- Content Marketing – the products you sell are most likely sold by someone else so you have to compete against price, shipping, and trust. So how can you win when Amazon has your entire catalog and your direct competitors are copying your every move? Your most valuable asset is your BRAND and you need to protect it and grow it. But how can you grow a site when search results are filled with fake reviews and stolen content? The answer is simple…report it, call them out, and make more great content that people want to steal and copy. Remember, imitation is the greatest form of flattery and if you content is getting copied you know you are doing it right. Here is my prediction are the types of content that are going to be the most influential on Search in 2019:
- Video – specifically YouTube. If you brand doesn’t have a channel start one! If you do have a channel it’s time to brush it off and grow it. This is the lowest hanging fruit and simpler than you think.
- Best – if you have a product you want to sell you have to optimize that product for the “best” product. This term is on fire, especially for mobile devices or someone in research mode. Optimizing for best is easy with Schema, ratings & reviews, and myriad of other ways. Consider the fact that 78% of holiday shoppers who visited a store searched online before going into a store. And what type of searches do you they performed? Here are a few examples: best gifts for Christmas, best gifts for teens, best gifts for Dad, best computer, best snowboard, etc. – you know what to do.
- Voice Search – I said it. Your brand needs a voice search strategy now. Today over 20% of queries on Android devices are voice searches…that means possibly 20% of your Organic traffic is going to decline because voice searches do not return a search engine results page.
Look forward to reading your comments about how these SEO themes have influenced your marketing initiatives in 2019. Cheers!