An SEO Outlook for 2019: How the Search Engine Game is Changing
Much like diapers, a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy needs constant changing; otherwise you’ll be left with a stinky website.
Though predicting what’s coming next in the search world is a challenge for all marketers, last year’s search trends left breadcrumbs hinting to what search engines have in store for 2019 and beyond.
Good marketers don’t react, we’re proactive. So even as search engines continually update and refine algorithms and SERP landscapes, it’s worth using what information we have to prepare for the future of SEO:
Artificial Intelligence in Digital Marketing
We should’ve seen it coming. There were four or five Terminator movies foreshadowing this after all.
Alright, it’s not the end of mankind, but artificial intelligence has arrived in the form of Google’s RankBrain. Search rankings will emphasize user experience (UX) and ‘dwell time’, or how long a user stays on a page after clicking through a search result, as well as click-through-rate (CTR) more than ever. RankBrain’s A.I. will be responsible for monitoring user experience, and rank sites on SERPs accordingly.
We can glean two things:
- UX design will be a top SEO ranking factor, and;
- Page titles as they appear in organic search results will be more important than ever, considering SERPs are being saturated with answer boxes, paid ads, image carousels, featured snippets, etc.
Game of Phones
Another major SEO factor in 2019 will be mobile-first indexing.
Google will now rank sites based on the mobile version of the website. It’s now no longer enough to just be ‘mobile-friendly’ – you’ll need to look into the full mobile website experience to ensure it’s better than desktop. UX design will come into play here, clearly.
And the rest of 2019’s most important SEO factors:
- Google still likes to see in-depth, comprehensive content (people may not read through the entirety of content-heavy posts, but Google enjoys it) on websites.
- If the digital marketing futurists are correct, online video will dominate in a few years. Adding video content to your website in the near future will be compulsory.
- Alexa, will optimizing for voice search be important for SEO in 2019? (She said yes.) Content in the form of a question-answer is the way to go about this, as is natural, conversational language.
- For ecommerce, selling on Amazon will be a must. Most online shoppers start their journey with an Amazon search (it has eclipsed the 50% threshold), so having products there is important. Marketers are already optimizing for Amazon keywords, to be more easily found on a product search. Your standard keyword tools work fine here, but there are also free tools that cater specifically to Amazon ecommerce keywords.
- Link building continues to be essential to SEO, and remains a top ranking factor. Google will only pile more emphasis on this. But remember, quality, relevant links > quantity!
Now, the caveat (you knew there’d be a caveat): The aforementioned points on RankBrain, voice search, and the mobile-first algorithm all go out the window if a site isn’t on the first page of results.
So, the sooner you get all your SEO ducks in a row, the sooner you can start preparing your website for the future of SEO before your competitors realize we’re already in 2019.
Keep your website from falling into the abyss of search rankings (like the second page!) with our SEO services. We’re incessantly refining best practices to align with today’s and tomorrow’s best search trends.