As you will know, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is an ever-evolving practice and that means that some techniques may become irrelevant as Google’s algorithms change. As an SEO agency in Halifax, we are constantly seeing how they develop and how user experience is affected thanks to tools like Google Search Console and Google Analytics, as well as how our client’s sites react. We believe that the focus with SEO now is not entirely on your business and customers are taking a forefront in our strategies.
Let’s get into some of the SEO trends that are going to dominate 2019 and how you can cater to them successfully to generate more sales for your business.
Voice search is unstoppable
Over the last few years, we have seen the rise of voice-enabled smart assistants – including Google Assistant, Siri, Alexa, Cortana, Bixby and Yandex Alice, just to name a few. This has led to more and more people searching the web using their voice and this has now trickled down to local business searches. In fact, experts predict that a staggering 50% of all Google searches will be voice-based by 2020. This means that 2019 is the perfect time for you to optimise your website for voice search results.
To make the most of voice search, you need to optimise for local voice and more conversational keywords, as it is much more about how people ask for things than simple keywords. You should also train yourself in how the artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms work to ensure you don’t miss a trick. Lastly, you should prioritise search intent when it comes to voice search – why are users searching for your services or products.
Video keywords will be more important
Businesses make several different types of video to promote their business and they can be hard to get right, but optimising keywords is another monster. The types of video we see regularly are explainer tutorials, company culture reels, brand films, vlogs and brand films. These are all great ways to show off and promote your business and you should distribute them across as many platforms as possible – YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, Vevo, Daily Motion, Twitch. On average companies that use video in their strategy see 41% more web traffic juice and 75% of all netizen traffic will be made up of online videos by 2020.
Utilise video sitemaps to inform search engines, like Google and Bing, about your video’s metadata – this will give more of an indication about what your video is about. Focus your content on Millenials and Gen Z members as they are the most active video viewers in the world and have the influence to make or break your video strategy.
Mobile First Indexing
There has been a drive towards mobile first indexing for a while now but Google is getting very serious about it now. There are several buzzwords you will see surrounding it – micro-moments, snackable content, SoLoMo, 360 campaign. You should familiarise yourself with these and learn how to add them into your strategy. 63.4% of all internet traffic will be made up of mobile phone users in 2019 and over 80% of adults in the UK owned a smartphone in 2018.
A major point that can make a difference in mobile indexing is the load time of your website and this goes beyond responsive web design. Google’s Page Speed Insights will give you some indicators for what you can do to improve the speed of your website. Utilise AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) on your website to enhance the experience for your users – this can easily be done with various plugins available in WordPress and other CMSs.
One of the most important factors to improve your organic traffic is to provide high-quality content and you know that GOOGLE LOVES TO READ, so you should make this a priority for your website content. 61% of marketers say that organic SEO traffic is their number one priority for client success and 84% of people expect brands to create educational and engaging content.
DON’T STUFF YOUR KEYWORDS! When it comes to creating high-quality content, focussing on long-tail and niche specific keywords is the key to your website ranking well in search engines. Think about the journey your customers will go on through your website – creating high-quality and personalised content will help you engage more visitors and convert more people into customers.
HTTPS and SSL
Security is very important on your website, especially if your capturing customer data (which you definitely should be), so having an SSL certificate on your website should be a priority. Customers are also conscious about security and 82% of respondents to a recent survey have said that they’ll leave a website that isn’t secure while only 31% of domains in another survey were found to have an SSL certificate.
Make sure HTTPS is active on all pages of your website for increased security for yourself and your customers. To be extra safe, get SSL certificates at all levels of your website – root, intermediate and server – as this will give you extra layers of protection for your data.