We are starting a new year and you will probably also have good intentions for the next 12 months.
The truth is that I don’t believe in new year’s resolutions, but in relentless work and in building small habits that will take us where we want to be.
You can make a resolution at any given time, it can be tomorrow or on your birthday.
If you have a business you may have made the resolution of increasing the organic visits to your website and as a consequence also to increase sales.
If you know a little about online sales you may have heard of SEO.
Do you already know what SEO is and what it is for?
SEO, Search Engine Optimisation, is the process of getting a website to appear on the first page of Google results.
If you still don’t understand the concept very well you can read this post before continuing. There I explain in more detail what SEO is.
This post presumes that you already have some basic knowledge about SEO and aims to give you some ideas to improve your position in search engines.
I’ve done a lot of research to share with you the new SEO trends for 2019.
SEO is a living, changing being since the world’s largest search engine, Google, works incessantly modifying and adjusting its algorithms to improve the user experience.
If you want to know how to best adjust your business to new SEO trends, don’t miss what follows.
Shall we start?
New SEO trends
Competition is serious, everyone’s on the Internet. Even the bakery on the corner has a Facebook page.
That’s why you have to use all the channels you can to share and promote your business content.
Don’t get overwhelmed thinking that you have to use absolutely each and every one of the channels that exist out there, but you must definitely be present and constant in as many as you can.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube.
The good news is that you can take advantage of the same content and share it in the different channels by adjusting it just a little.
Instagram content doesn’t have the same format or audience as Facebook or LinkedIn so you have to adapt your content.
You can use the same basic message and just tweak the format in order to save time.
Take this post as an example. This is a something I posted on Facebook and LinkedIn a few weeks ago:
I couldn’t use exactly the same post for Instagram as you can’t include a link in every entry. On Instagram the main attraction is the photo, it needs to be compelling and original.
So I did this:
Ver esta publicación en Instagram
I created a new photo with a catch-eying message and listed the 7 tips for surviving with your online business on the Instagram text.
The content is basically the same but the format is different.
Don’t get overwhelmed pretending to be everywhere, but the truth is that you will have more opportunities to generate visits to your site and get followers if you are in several channels.
Choose the 3 that work best for you and concentrate on sharing frequent, quality content on them.
2. Have your website adapted to the mobile version
Once upon a time there was a mobile phone attached to a person.
That’s right, we’re stuck to our mobile phones all day long.
The company comScore carried out a study presented in December 2017 on the use of mobile phones to surf the Internet compared to desktop use.
The graph very well illustrates this point showing the results of the different countries participating in the study.
The bottom line is that people spend on average twice as much time on their mobile phones than in front of their computers.
Look at countries like Argentina or the US. The difference is even greater.
This means that if you want your website to appear at the top of Google results you have to make sure that the mobile version of your website is perfect.
To ensure that your site is properly adapted to the mobile version, Google recommends using responsive design.
Always check that the mobile version has the same quality as the desktop screen version.
Most common WordPress themes or other platforms have code that responds to different formats.
If you’re not sure if your website does, check with your designer.
3. Voice searches
According to the statistics, 2 out of 5 adults use the voice command to search for results in Google.
I don’t really use it but to give you an example, we went last week for a weekend trip with friends and out of the 4 of us 1 of my friends used voice commands often.
So I believe these statistics 🙂
Normally when you do use voice command it’s for a very specific question.
For example “How many people live in London?”
In order to have more opportunities to be at the top of Google results, you will have to answer specific questions in a decisive and direct way, without writing long paragraphs.
Answering these questions with short and correct answers will bring more traffic to your website.
It’s also important that your page is correctly configured “https” for Google to consider it safe.
If you don’t know if your page is configured correctly https check with your hosting company.
For voice searches, it is very important that your website loads quickly, as this is what will generate a quick answer to the user’s question.
Several studies claim that voice is widely used to search for local businesses.
Questions such as, “which is the nearest pet food store?”, are very frequent.
This is the big New SEO trend.
Now every time you look for some information in Google the first thing that comes out are these clippings or paragraphs that answer directly your question.
This first result is called position 0.
It means that it’s more important than position 1 since it’s the first result we are going to look at.
A HubSpot study has revealed that the content of these featured snippets has twice the number of clicks.
The good news is that to appear on the featured snippets you don’t have to have a very high Google ranking. According to this study, 70% of the featured snippets come from websites that are not at the top of Google searches.
So even if the position of your website is not very high, you can get your content to appear as a featured snippet. Isn’t that great?
In order to have more chances to appear in position 0, you need to put yourself in the skin of the person who is looking for certain information and think of ways to offer such information in a simple and accurate way.
For example, the definition of a technical term that is frequently used in a certain niche but that a common person doesn’t know what it means.
This happens a lot when acronyms are used, such as CTA in marketing.
CTA stands for Call to Action.
This box that invites the reader to perform an action, such as buying a product or downloading content.
Like this one from Netflix:
To have a better chance of appearing in featured snippets or position 0, provide concrete definitions and don’t write very long paragraphs to answer those key questions that will drive traffic to your website.
Doing a keyword search also helps to position your content in featured snippets.
These sites can give you ideas for writing content by answering specific questions that help your target audience get the information they need.
5. Optimise the conversion
Advertising on Google and social media is becoming increasingly expensive as there is a lot of competition.
That’s why you have to make sure that visitors to your site contact you or subscribe by leaving their email in order to have a conversation with them by email afterwards.
Since it costs more and more to have visits to your page, once a person lands on it you don’t want them to leave without contacting you or leaving their email address.
If you have a mailing list you can have a conversation with them and build trust so you can offer your product or service at the right time.
Email marketing is very effective and a way to create your community and offer value. If you want to know more about how to write effective emails that are actually read here I give you some tips.
In order to get subscribers, you can offer free content for which they must leave their email to download it. We call it Lead Magnet.
It has to be valuable content for which the visitors consider it worthwhile to provide you with their email addresses.
Now everyone knows that when you give your email address you are going to receive marketing emails. So the content has to be really worth it.
It can be a practical guide, a webinar, a short e-book, a presentation, etc.
I don’t recommend using those windows that pop up automatically every few minutes asking to subscribe. I find them intrusive and very annoying.
They remind me of the typical irritating person insisting on having your phone number.
Better to avoid those pop-ups, so if a person provides you with his email address it’s because he is really interested in your content.
Same as when you give your phone number to someone, right?
Then you can use an email marketing automation tool to send emails to a mailing list.
Your emails need to add value, you have to be very careful about how you write them and the moment you send them to your list.
If you want to know more about writing marketing emails, in addition to my post, you can read this HubSpot post with complementary information about the art of writing emails.
6. Google RankBrain
Google is continuously researching and applying different techniques and algorithms in order to improve the user experience.
They want us to find the information we need faster.
That’s what Search Engines are for, actually.
RankBrain is an artificial intelligence system based on certain algorithms.
It tries to guess what people want to say and accumulates the results in its database, allowing future searches to readjust the results better to the user’s search intention.
For example, RankBrain recognizes synonyms and long expressions that can be said in a different way.
Before RankBrain, if a person searched for “Apple’s smartphone,” Google literally searched for those words in the text of the pages.
Now with RankBrain, if a person searches for “the Apple smartphone” Google will give you results with the word iPhone.
RankBrain learns to relate terms and does so by studying user behaviour across 3 variables:
- Bounce rate, if it’s low it means that the result is correct with respect to the user’s search since the person stays on the page after clicking on the link on the Google results page.
- Duration of the session, if it is long it means that people stay to read on the page beyond the first paragraph so again that result is correct
- Click through rate, the number of times users click on the link on the results page
By studying these 3 variables RankBrain relates terms and understands users’ search intentions.
So how can you ensure that your website responds positively to Google’s way of searching for information?
Basically, in two ways:
1. Optimising the metatitles and metadescriptions of all your pages to make them more attractive
Enhance the metas of all your pages so that they attract more clicks. Use curiosity-trigger titles and compelling descriptions that summarise very well the information contained in that page.
Don’t try to exaggerate the benefits that the Internet user can get by clicking on your content. If the description or title doesn’t match the content, the bounce rate will be very high and you will have fewer opportunities to climb on the Google ranking.
2. Pay attention to the structure and usability of your website
If you don’t know what exactly site structure is you can read this post where I explain in more detail what it is and how you can optimise it
A correct site structure makes it easier for Google bots to find the information they need more easily.
At the same time good usability contributes to a better user experience since the visitor of your site finds everything she needs in an easy way.
The artificial intelligence that Google uses is getting better; in fact, forgive the redundancy, it’s becoming more intelligent.
7. Create excellent content with valuable information
This point is the most important because all the others depend on it. In the end what counts is that the content of your website is compelling, provides valuable information and helps people.
No matter what you are going to talk about, surely someone has talked about it before.
Do you want to get a little depressed?
Ok, you wanted it.
There are about 440 million blogs in the world and millions of posts are published every day.
“The good news is that even if you talk about a topic of which there are already so many posts written, no one will have told it yet as you.”
You can always provide your point of view on the topic and different examples that best illustrate a concept.
What also helps to endow your content with a fresh and different aura is to add some personal anecdotes from time to time.
Because you probably have something different to tell. Each person has different experiences and can bring new light to a topic.
So don’t get depressed thinking that there are millions of posts talking about the same thing as you.
Better yet concentrate on figuring out how you can bring a different perspective or explain that point in a simpler, more enjoyable way.
The best thing to do is to create content frequently and over time, you’ll progress and obtain better results.
Good content is what will bring you organic traffic so it should be a very important part of your business.
If you are not good at writing or creating videos or infographics or simply you don’t have time to do it, a good option is to delegate the creation of content to someone else.
Content is increasingly important when positioning your brand, so don’t neglect it.
8. Podcasts and Videos Will Bring Even More Traffic
People like to watch videos. They are personal, persuasive and entertaining.
We read a lot of comments, blogs, news etc. So from time to time, people want to rest watching a video or listening to a podcast on the train back home.
I know, it’s a difficult step, you have to get in front of a camera and get rid of all your complexes.
You’re also afraid of being annoying or seeming inexperienced but the reality is that by adding videos to your content you will obtain much more traffic than if you don’t.
The best strategy is to get ready, write a script including what you want to say and make sure that the light and sound are good enough.
By creating graphic content and posts you can also get visibility and speed up sales but if you want to increase your organic traffic faster videos will help you.
If you are too embarrassed to appear in front of the camera you can also opt for a podcast. Choose the format you like best, solo shows or interviews, or combine both of them.
SEO will be very important in 2019 as it has been since digital marketing came into our lives to stay.
Focus on these points and try to adapt your strategy to these new SEO trends.
In the end, it’s not a matter of following everything that’s been talked about here, but of knowing what can bring you more traffic in order to increase your presence and sales.
Let’s summarize these points:
- Omnipresence, use several channels on social media to share your content
- Have your website adapted to mobile version
- Optimise your content for voice searches
- Your page can appear in the featured snippets (position 0) even if it doesn’t have a very high position on Google.
- Optimise conversion to build your community
- Google RankBrain, enhance your metas (titles and descriptions)
- Create excellent content with useful information
- If you dare get started with a Podcast or a Video
Do you have any other SEO trends that we haven’t seen?
Leave it on the comments so that nothing is missing!
I write web copy and engaging content for businesses without borders. I live in the Netherlands, I write everywhere. I love arthouse films and books that make me think. Tolstoy and Chekhov are my life coaches.