What’s new in SEO in 2019
2019 has arrived and is well underway, and here at Geelong’s Circle Media we’ve hit the ground running. While it still feels like early January, it’s really not. This means that we’re starting to see the industry’s answer to the upcoming changes in technology for the year. It’s time to update your practices because it’s a New Year, New SEO.
Where did we leave off?
Way back in 2018, Circle Media’s SEO advice was well documented. Essentially there was an influx of people promising you the top ranking, but the system doesn’t work that way. It’s a gradual process that requires time and effort and some attention to detail. It’s about making sure you’ve got a fast, well organised website with good, relevant content and appropriate metadata and names on images. And even if you’re ticking all of these boxes and doing everything right, you’re still not guaranteed top ranking. Well it’s 2019 now, so the rules have changed again.
Set achievable SEO goals
First off, lets not get too ambitious with our New Years resolutions. You’re never going to rank overnight, so focus on improving where you can. To start the year, open up an incognito browser window and search for the keywords you’d like to rank for. This will give you an unbiased take on where you rank without factors like location and search history playing a part. Look at what terms you’re doing well on, and where you would like to see better results. Then pick the keywords you want to focus on. Pick a few where you’re already doing well and put in some extra effort to bump those results. Then, find a few where you’re not doing well and start creating useful content surrounding them to help boost your ranking. Check in three months later and look for improvements, then repeat the process.
Now introducing: featured snippets
A new feature in Google results is a featured snippet in the top slot that best answers your search. If you’re searching for how to make pancakes, Google will search for a webpage that best answers this question and show users a direct answer. This can be a great function as Google won’t automatically draw from the top result, so it can give your website a good bump. But, it’s a competitive slot and this year we’re going to see businesses paying a lot more attention to their content and reformatting to make the best use of this function.
Featured snippets aren’t relevant for everyone; if you’re a small ecommerce site this change realistically won’t impact you or your SEO. But, if you have a particularly strong blog that provides valuable answers to relevant questions this could be instrumental for your success. Make sure you think about how you’re formatting your content, because snippets could give your website a great bump.
Think about structure
If your website doesn’t make sense, if page links don’t connect or you have unused or unvisited pages, it’ll hurt your SEO presence. Google is looking for websites that are providing good content that consumers are searching for. If you’ve got out-dated stock or items that just won’t sell, it’s time to say goodbye.
Voice search is on the rise.
Years ago everyone was frantically working to make sure their websites were mobile adaptive. Now Google’s web crawlers are looking at mobile versions first, and desktops as a last resort. This means it’s time to move on to the next big thing. Voice search is here. Almost a quarter of all searches done on mobiles are voice searches and given the rise of Siri, Alexa and Google Home this stat will continue to rise. What this means for your website is that you should start using long-tailed keywords that reflect how people speak. Rather than optimising for ‘SEO Geelong’, use ‘what’s new in SEO in Geelong’ to rank well for voice searches.
What does this all mean for SEO?
To finish off in broad terms, what Google is looking for in terms of SEO are websites that are created for people not the search algorithm. If you’re creating content for the sake of creating content, not for your customers, it’ll be obvious on your website. The answer to how to rank well doesn’t change drastically from year to year. The techniques update and you have to take new things into account, but SEO is based off how people use your website. If they’re engaging with your content, reading your blog posts and watching your videos, you’ll rank as a result. Focus on making good content and the SEO will come with time.
If you’re looking for experienced advice on how to optimise your website for SEO, talk to the Circle Media SEO team today.