Midyear Review: Top 5 SEO Trends in 2019
We’ve officially moved past the midpoint of the year.
It’s difficult to believe that it’s gone by so quickly—and that means that it’s time to review the top SEO trends as we move closer to 2020. SEO changes just as quickly as time passes, so let’s dive in before this list is obsolete 😉
Ahh, another article about voice search. It seems that it’s everywhere these days—and you shouldn’t expect that to change any time soon.
The reason you keep hearing about voice search is that it’s going to be the way of future search behaviors. As we move closer to 2020, experts estimate that 50% of all searches performed on Google will be voice searches.
If you’re not familiar with voice search, it’s done by using assistants such as Siri, Alexa, and Google assistant. This includes your smart phone, tablets, desktop computers with smart speakers, and even smart watches. The way people utilize voice search differs from the way they use text search. With voice, people tend to speak full sentences, whereas with text, they abbreviate.
For example, when typing, someone might write “Italian restaurants Atlanta GA” and when they use voice search, they might say, “Alexa, where are good Italian restaurants in Atlanta, Georgia?” You can see the difference. This means that your content has to be optimized for voice search as well as mobile search.
Finally, it’s important to understand that Google wants you to create brief, concise answers to voice search queries. When people search for anything, they want quick answers to their specific questions. This is especially critical with voice search because there is a connection between voice searches and looking at Google’s featured snippets. Sometimes, people don’t even click on a search result. So, you should be trying to get your information featured in that snippet—it’s difficult, but there are tips to improve your chances.
Amazon may not be the first thing you think of when you think of SEO, but you should change that ASAP. In an e-commerce study across the UK, Germany, France, and USA, 72% of shoppers said they used Amazon to find products, and over half also said they looked on Amazon before looking anywhere else. That means that people are searching Amazon for lots of different things—including products your company might offer. Furthermore, people place a lot of importance on Amazon’s reviews to help them determine whether they will make a purchase.
One important note: Resellers on Amazon might pick up products to sell them again. Do not let some random person control the lion’s share of your brand. Make sure to get in and come up with an optimization and marketing plan to avoid this.
In summary: Moving forward, it’s going to be a big deal to ensure that your content is optimized for Amazon in addition to Google.
While voice search and Amazon are big contenders in the search optimization market, so too are mobile devices. At the beginning of 2019, 59% of searches took place on a mobile device. You might remember the statistics above stating that voice search may account for 50% of searches by next year. How can that be if mobile searches make up 59%? Does that mean mobile searches will drop?
No. It is essential to understand that these two categories are not mutually exclusive—many voice searches take place on mobile devices versus smart speakers and assistants. So, there is a lot of “cross optimization” that needs to occur—sites must be designed to be mobile-friendly, as search engines now prioritize those sites; however, your content must also be voice search-friendly as well as text search-friendly. Isn’t the future grand? The more technologies that develop, the more you need to learn! It can be overwhelming! (Psst, we’re here to help with that, just so you know.)
Blockchain is… well, confusing to say the least. You have probably heard this term dropped in marketing conversations like some new slang term. You might understand a little about it, but maybe you don’t know how it relates to SEO.
This is grossly simplified, but blockchain technology is designed to create highly secure transaction records, and Google places a high priority on secure transactions in the ranking algorithm. It is an attempt to thwart scams and bot activity—not only to secure transactions that happen on sites and through search engines, but also who is clicking on Google ads. In short, Google wants actual humans to click on ads and make purchases, not bots—bots are generally designed for malicious intent, and this is how people game the system to make more money, steal information, and other unsavory things. So, whether you want to understand blockchain to run your transactions or just pay someone who does, keep in mind this technology’s importance moving forward to 2020.
Good, Old-Fashioned On-Page Optimization
So, the majority of this list is new technology, some of which can be very complex and difficult to work with, especially if you only have the fundamental marketing skills under your belt.
That’s okay, because tried-and-true on-page optimization is still in the game moving into 2020, and it will likely always be a top contender. This is because, well, people look at sites for the content.
So, it makes sense that on-page content is going to continue to be relevant. There are a few golden rules to follow when optimizing your page:
Content is king: Yes, it’s still true. Make sure your content is high-quality, relevant to the interests of the users of your site, and easy to read.
Site speed: Make sure your site loads quickly. Users will click away after a mere few seconds of load time. In fact, mobile sites that load in 5 seconds or less earn up to two times more mobile ad revenue and have 70% longer sessions than those that take longer to load. And, 53% of visits in general (meaning on mobile and desktop) are likely to be abandoned if they take longer than 3 seconds to load. It’s a huge disparity, and therefore not worth risking the loss of traffic with slow page load times.We have more articles on this, so feel free to browse for whatever issue you’re having trouble with! Or you can contact us for additional help.
Site function and usability: While SEO is all well and good, if people can’t figure out how to use your site, they’re going to get frustrated and leave. This is an all-too-often overlooked issue; not only with websites, but with apps, programs, and even games! The graphic interface has to provide a good user experience, and people need to be able to find what they’re looking for fast. So keep this in mind when hiring someone to work with your website. It should be attractive, functional, and satisfy the user’s intent.
Customer support: We’ve talked about chatbots or assistants in the past. Keep this in mind if you run a store that may require support. Customers actually prefer to have an option for text assistance rather than being forced to call a store, especially if the store has limited hours.
While there are always other trends happening in the world of SEO, these are some of the top contenders to keep an eye on as we near the end of 2019. We’ll provide a year review in December, so be sure to follow up to see how things are looking for 2020. Until then, these ideas should give you a good starting point for your marketing strategy.
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