6 Local SEO Trends to Follow in 2019
While we’ve been speculating about digital marketing trends in 2019 for a while, the new year is officially upon us! It’s time to take a look at some solid new year goals for digital marketers to reach in 2019.
Think Bigger than Google
Local SEO thrives in Google listings. That is where most people do their searching—Bing comes in second, but only brings in about 20% as many searches per day as Google does. So, it’s pretty straight forward—it’s important to ensure you are ranking well on Google because that’s where most people are searching.
However, this is if people are searching for websites. People also search for apps, and they use home assistant/voice search devices as well. We’ve written a little about how to optimize for voice search and home assistant devices, so feel free to check that out for more in-depth information. As for apps, we know that not every business has one, but if you do, you must be considering the traffic you could be missing out on. Here is some basic information on app store optimization, and if you’re interested in building your own app, you might be surprised to find out that we do offer this service—just get in contact with our personal marketing consultants!
The takeaway here is to consider all avenues for discovery. If people can find your website via Google, Bing, and Yahoo, great. But can they also find your app in the app store? Can they use a home assistant to locate your site? Is your site mobile friendly? By covering the most ground, you’ll reach the largest audience.
Great Content is More Important than Ever
Content has been a key part of local SEO for many years. Sites with poor-quality content tend to be overlooked not only by any visitors that do happen upon them, but they also get shoved in the lonely depths of pages 2, 3, 4, and beyond, by Google. Google and other search engines reward sites with unique, high-quality, and purposeful content.
What do we mean by “purposeful content”? We mean that the content answers visitors’ questions. Think about it—you perform a web search with a specific question in mind, one that you intend to answer. If a website doesn’t provide a satisfactory answer, you move on to a new site. While the regular publishing of content can be important, it’s also vital that website owners take the time to promote their content. If you can get links to your content, Google will view it as higher quality. It can be a time-consuming effort, but that’s why you can get help!
Fix Any On-Page Optimization Problems
Let’s say you built your website in 2010. You haven’t updated the content much since then, mostly because your business hasn’t changed much—you still offer the same reliable services you always did. While the information may still be correct, your website is likely sorely in need of an update. But what are you supposed to do about it?
Enter what we call “on-page SEO.” Some on-page SEO elements include:
Ensuring fast loading times
Ensuring usability—easy-to-navigate menus, compelling calls-to-action, and easily locatable information
High-quality content that answers common questions
Customer service opportunities—easy to find contact information or chatbots
Fixing broken or out-of-date links
It should be one of those spring cleaning tasks for every company: Freshen up your website at least once a year, removing broken links, fixing any loading issues, and ensuring everything is still usable and visitor-friendly. So many people get poor results from having poorly-designed or neglected websites!
Learn about Featured Snippets—And Optimize!
When you perform a Google search, you might see a dropdown that features different questions, or you might see more information about your search query along the right-hand side of the page.
You can see both examples in the screenshot below:
Your goal should be to optimize your website for this type of search experience. The easiest way to do this is to provide information in a table, bulleted or numbered list, or a concise paragraph. In fact, you should keep it between 40-50 words.
There is no guaranteed way to be featured in a Google snippet, but following these simple tips can help increase your chances.
Bring On-Page Customer Service Onboard
We’ve discussed the trend of using chatbots for online customer service, but it seems like this is a trend that isn’t going to be short-lived—it’s here to stay, at least for 2019!
Chatbots might sound off-putting to a lot of people, but they don’t have to be. For example, they can be optimized to answer the most frequently asked questions your visitors have, saving you the time and effort of answering the same questions over and over. They can help visitors fill out forms and direct them to the proper area of your website to help them continue a sign-up process or submit information. You can set them up so that they’re available to take messages or direct queries when you’re off the clock. They can also direct visitors to contact a live representative—they don’t have to take the place of live customer service. They simply help streamline the process and pare down the number of inquiries that can be easily answered via the bot.
Optimize for Voice Search
If you haven’t figured it out yet, we’re big proponents of optimizing for voice search. It is not an absolute necessity yet, as only about 20% of Google searches are done by voice. However, this number is rising all the time, and by 2020, 50% of searches are estimated to be voice searches. More and more people are getting phones with search assistants or purchasing smart speakers such as Alexa or Google Home. If you get used to this idea earlier, you’ll have an easier time ranking and adjusting as others try to get on the bandwagon!
Need Help? While anyone can do this on their own many business owners find it more cost effective to outsource this work to an SEO firm, like Zoek. Zoek has recently been rrecognized by designrush.com as a top company in its space. To read more please check out https://www.designrush.com/agency/digital-marketing