SEO Trends You Should Leverage to Stay Ahead Of Competitors in 2019

seo-trends-you-should-leverage-2019

In this post I’ll discuss the SEO Trends You Should Leverage in 2019 in order to Stay Ahead of Competitors.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the art and science of getting your company, product or service to show up at the top of relevant searches on sites like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

SEO is essentially a free gateway to more inquiries, customers, and sales.

When you type a search query in Google and hit ‘Enter’ you are shown the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

Sites listed at the top of Google’s search results receive an overwhelming majority of the traffic from searchers.

Getting your website to rank on that coveted first page of Google is no small feat.

Google uses a number of factors to determine which sites appear at the top of search results.

These include technical factors as well as the quality of your site’s content.

Why Bother With SEO?

Because the majority of people turn to Google when trying to solve a problem or answer a question.

Search Engine Optimization leads to:

  • Better ranking on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages)
  • Increased Organic Traffic
  • Improved Conversion Rates
  • Better Sales
  • Jealous Competitors

Keep in mind, SEO is not a short-term strategy. It requires significant investments of time and effort.

Unfortunately, there’s quite a bit of bad information pertaining to SEO, and it can seem far more complicated than it actually is.

However, SEO will over time provide a solid foundation upon which you can grow your business organically.

Producing valuable content consistently will help build credibility and establish you as an authority in your industry.

Google is constantly adjusting and updating their algorithm to provide searchers with the most relevant and valuable content.

Consequently, the best method for getting your site to rank well is to produce great content that solves searchers problems or answers their questions.

You’ll also need an SEO Friendly Website that search engines can easily crawl and index.

Google’s Made It Clear:

Google’s algorithm favors web pages that are valuable and relevant to user’s.

Google Favors:
  • Sites with high-quality content
  • Mobile Friendly and Responsive Web Design
  • Fast Site Speed
  • In-Depth or Long-Form Content
  • Sites with Good “Internal Link Structure” (Interlinking relevant pages within your site)
  • High-Authority Backlinks (Links from reputable sites)

Keeping up with the perpetually shifting SEO landscape and monitoring trends will keep you ahead of competitors.

Which is why I’ve put together this list of SEO trends you should leverage in 2019, in order to stay ahead of competitors.

Recommended Reading On SEO

Mobile-First Indexing

“In 2018, 52.2 percent of all website traffic worldwide was generated through mobile phones, up from 50.3 percent in the previous year. Mobile currently accounts for half of all global web pages served.”  (Statista)

mobile-phone-website-traffic-graph

The ubiquity of mobile phones has had a significant impact on SEO.

In the U.S. 63% of all traffic was from mobile devices. And that figure is on the rise.

As a result, Google’s algorithm has shifted toward mobile-first indexing. This means websites that perform well on mobile will receive a better ranking.

If you’re unsure how “Mobile Friendly” your website is, Google provides a free tool to check if your site is mobile friendly.

How to Make Your Site Mobile Friendly:

  • Use a caching plugin(WordPress Sites)
  • Use Larger Buttons & Typography
  • Rich Snippets” Provide searchers with more information and therefore increases the likelihood they’ll click through to your site.
  • AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) are essentially stripped down versions of your website’s pages that are meant to load instantly on mobile devices.
  • Upgrade your hosting to increase your bandwidth

Given Google’s shift to mobile-first, it’s important you take the time to ensure your site is optimized for mobile devices.

Keywords

Customers begin their quest to find you by entering keywords and phrases into Google, Yahoo, or Bing.

Identifying customer-centric keywords is at the core of effective SEO.

The importance of keywords in SEO cannot be overstated. A successful SEO strategy begins with identifying relevant keywords.

Brainstorm keywords a customer might enter into Google that are relevant to your company, product, or service.

Consider the following:
  • When a potential customer searches Google, what words do they enter?
  • What Keywords are related to your products or services?
  • How might Keywords differ among your target audience?
  • Which Keywords indicate the searcher is close to a buying decision?
  • Which Keywords indicate the searcher is early in the sales process?
  • Are there “Helper” words a searcher might use? (e.g., Geographic Location “Boston,” or “Free,” “Trial,” “Information.”)

Identify “Long-Tail” Keywords

Once you’ve identified your core keywords, you’ll need to perform a little more research to identify “Long-Tail” Keywords.

These are multi-word phrases that are much more focused than your initial list of keywords.

long-tail-keyword-graph

Example 1 –Let’s say you own a high-end watch repair shop in Phoenix. One of your keywords might be “Watch Repair Phoenix.” This is a high volume keyword, but low in value as it may be someone looking to have their Timex repaired. Since your shop does high-end watch repair, you would target keywords such as “Rolex Repair Phoenix,” “Tag Heuer Repair Phoenix,” or “Mavado Repair in Phoenix.”

Example 2 –  If you were looking to upgrade from a car to a truck, and you knew what you wanted, what would you search?

Short-Tail Keyword: ‘Trucks’
Long-Tail Keyword: ‘New Ford F-150 Boston’

The difference between the two searches is pretty obvious.

However, incorporating “Long-Tail” Keywords into SEO hasn’t become common practice.

Because of the way people naturally type, long-tail keywords make up the majority of search queries.

For every “Short-Tail” keyword you identify, there are dozens of long-tail keywords you can target.

Knee Pain” could become:
  • “Boston Knee Surgeon”
  • “Best Knee Surgeon in Boston”

Why Focus on the “Long-Tail?”

Long-tail keywords have less competition as well as higher conversion rates.

People searching using long-tail keywords are closer to making a purchase.

Therefore, identifying and targeting the long-tail keywords most relevant to your business will deliver more leads and sales.

Local SEO

The shift to mobile-first along with the “Review Revolution” means Local SEO is one of the most important SEO trends you should leverage in 2019.

Getting your business to the top of Google’s search results, or to appear in Google’s “Local Pack” can have a significant impact on your business.

local seo button on keyboard

                    ¾  of people will not get past the first page of a SERP.

As far as Google is concerned search queries fall into one of three categories in terms of their locality.

1) Very Local: When Google considers a search query to be “Very Local,” you’ll see what’s commonly referred to as the “Local Pack” or “Snack Pack.” It’s essentially three listings in a box. The local pack is typically generated for short-tail keywords such as Plumber, Electrician, Barber, Lawyer, etc.

2) Local: 
These search queries will generate localized results, but not the “Local-Pack.” A search “Social Media Marketingwill produce different results for someone in Boston, Ma vs. someone in Seattle, Wa.

3) Not Local At All: 
These search queries will return the same results regardless of your location. For example, “President of the United States,” or “Motorcycle Insurance.”

google search local 3 pack for plumber

Factors Unique to Local SEO

Of the many SEO factors influencing your ranking, there are a few that are unique to Local SEO.

  1. Physical Address: Is your business listing in the city searched? (i.e., On Google or Yelp)?
  2. Proximity: How far is the searcher from your business when they did the search(Mobile Phone)? For desktop or tablet searches how far are you from the business city center?
  3. Correct “Google My Business” Listing: Have you claimed your “Google My Business” listing? Did you select the correct category when you set up your listing?

Name/Address/Phone (NAP) Consistency: Is your business’ name, address, and phone number consistent across local review sites?

google-my-business-google-plus-google-maps-optimization

Recommended Reading for Local SEO

Off-Page SEO

As the name implies, “Off-Page SEO” consists of all the things you can do to improve your rank away from your website.

Reviews

One of the best ways to improve your rank and drive business is Google reviews.

Google reviews function like links and are an extremely influential factor in local rank.

The best way to influence your rank for local searches is to solicit reviews from customers.

Reviews act as a trust indicator and signal to searchers that you provide quality products or services.

The best part of reviews is that they create a positive feedback loop or “Virtuous Circle.”

Social Media

Another factor of off-page SEO is your social media presence.

You should maintain an active presence with a steady stream of content, and ensure the business information is consistent across platforms.

Most importantly, engage with your audience, and include links back to your website in your posts.

Maintaining an active and engaged presence on social media helps signal to Google that your business is legit.

Building Local Backlinks

This aspect of your off-page SEO strategy can have a significant impact on your sites rank.

Building backlinks from other trusted and reputable sites acts as a huge trust indicator to Google.

When a high-authority site links to your site, it’s akin to getting a personal recommendation for a job you seek.

The traffic your website receives is directly related to the quality of the backlinks you have.

Obtaining backlinks from authoritative sites will lead to better rankings and more traffic.

As far as Google is concerned, having a lot of links from trusted sites towards a page on your site means the content on that page is valuable.

The sites linking to you, are basically lending their credibility to you.

Outside of targeting the right keywords, backlinks represent the most important factor for SEO.

If you want to be successful in your Local SEO Marketing, building quality backlinks is a good place to start.

How do you build quality backlinks?

  • Build Internal Links – These are links within your content to other pages of your site. Internal links make it easier for search engines to crawl your site. They also enhance the user experience by making it easy to access relevant helpful content.
  • Infographics – Are a great way to build backlinks and get your content spread around. People love visual content, and infographics are a highly shareable form of content.
  • Guest Blogging – This is one of the most tried and true link building strategies. Guest blogging allows you to get your content in front of new audiences and can help to establish you as an industry expert.
  • Testimonials – Writing testimonials for sites whose software or service you use is a great way to build links. You also have a good chance of getting on their homepage, which is where most sites display their testimonials.
  • Contact Bloggers & Journalists – Reaching out to bloggers or journalists to pitch them a story about your business can get backlinks from very high authority sites. Furthermore, it can help establish your expertise.
  • Get Interviewed – Interviews are very popular right now. If you’re just starting your business people don’t know who you are yet. Getting interviewed can help to change that.

Featured Snippets

Google is constantly coming up with new ways to display search engine results.

In addition, the previously discussed “Local Pack,” Google also displays results in the following ways.

  • “People Also Ask” Boxes
  • Google News
  • YouTube Video
  • Google Shopping
  • Google Image
  • Knowledge Graphs
  • Featured Snippets
example-of-featured-snippet-on-how-to-create-a-google-my-business-listing

Google has made it easy for people searching for common questions to find answers as quickly as possible.

As a business owner, you should optimize your content to appear in a rich snippet. Getting your site to show up in this coveted spot could have a serious impact on your business.

Some other features that you’ll see in Google’s rich snippets/structured data are:

  • Calories
  • Star Rating
  • Store Hours

Pay attention to what Google is doing.

Seeing as they are the search engine just about everyone uses, it would be wise to tailor your content to suit what Google likes.

In the coming year, “Structured Data” will be one of the biggest SEO trends, and it will only continue to develop.

Voice Search

With so many people using their phones while on the go, it’s no surprise “Voice Search” is becoming more and more popular.

This is one of the most significant SEO Trends You Should Leverage in 2019, and beyond.

With the trend towards mobile-first web design, voice search is a natural progression.

With 1 in 5 searches coming from voice search, you can target an audience by determining what they are saying when making a search.

voice-search-apple-siri-vs-google-now-vs-windows-cortana

Beyond what they are saying, lies the “Intent” behind their search. What is the searcher intending to find with a given search?

If you’ve ever performed a voice search, chances are you were looking for a specific piece of information.

A typical voice search might look something like this:

  • “What’s the address of XYZ store?”
  • “What time does the ABC Habadachery open?”
  • “How much does the new iphone cost?”

The best way to optimize for voice search is to structure your site and your content to preemptively answer questions.

As simple as this might sound, it’s commonly overlooked.

Ensure that important information such as your hours of operation and street address (if applicable) are readily available on your site.

Additionally, don’t use an image to display this information.

Google can’t (not yet at least) index the content of images.

Next, consider the products and services you offer. A prospective customer may not even be aware they need your services. Brainstorm the questions they might ask about what you do.

What information will prospective customers need to make an informed decision about your business?

What’s your USP (Unique Selling Proposition), and can visitors tell immediately upon arriving at your site?

Keep these questions and any others you brainstorm in mind when creating content for your site.

Anticipating and preemptively answering these questions can have a serious impact on your site’s ranking.

This brings us to the end of SEO Trends You Should Leverage in 2019.

In Conclusion

SEO can have a profound impact on your business: delivering more website traffic, attracting qualified leads, raising brand awareness, and most importantly increasing profits.

Keeping up with the ever-evolving SEO industry can be difficult, but is necessary if you hope to achieve a coveted spot on the first page of Google.

Currently, around 40% of E-Commerce traffic comes from organic results pages.

As a Arizona Digital Marketing Agency, we love helping businesses climb the search results and begin seeing the massive Benefits of Local SEO.

SEO is a task most people dread, and it’s difficult for businesses of all sizes.

If you’re struggling with Search Engine Optimization, Cre8tive Digital Media LLC can help.

We’d be happy to discuss where and how your website could benefit from our Phoenix SEO Services.

Let us help you reach that top spot on Google’s Search Results. Get In Touch for a Free Consultation.

What SEO Trends have you noticed impacting your rankings?

Did I miss anything, that you think is going to play a major role in SEO throughout 2019?

Please let us know in the comments!

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