It’s easy to get confused by the information overload when you’re just starting with SEO. Too many tactics can discourage you from practicing your skills. However, it doesn’t have to be scary to learn more about search engine optimization.
That’s why we’ve analysed the key SEO trends for 2019 and what they mean to someone who’s just getting started with search engine optimization.
1. Start with optimizing your site for mobile devices
Mobile optimization is critical when you’re getting started with SEO. Start by testing your site’s performance and load speed across all devices. Every delay in browsing may be a missed opportunity to engage a new visitor.
People are spending more time on their phones every year, which means that a new SEO strategy cannot ignore mobile optimization. Moreover, it goes beyond improving e.g. the site speed on your site. SEO in 2019 is about understanding the ‘mobile consumers’ and how their searching habits differ when they are on the go comparing to a desktop user.
Think of your own searching habits when you’re in a rush and you’re looking for a fast answer. Or think of the search result that grabs your attention. Chances are, it’s mobile optimized and it takes into consideration that you’re looking for a clear and quick answer without further delays.
2. Understand how users search
We tend to assume which keywords will perform better over others. Keyword testing is always a good idea but SEO nowadays is focusing more on understanding the search intent. It’s not enough to find an effective keyword that leads traffic to your site.
A long-term SEO strategy relies on search intent and the reasoning behind every search. Once you start understanding how your target audience is using search engines, then you’re able to optimize your site more successfully.
Searches are becoming more dynamic and it’s not enough to rely on assumptions. Start testing how your optimization can affect your search traffic and start applying more conversational queries to your keyword mix.
3. Write for humans, optimize for search engines
A successful SEO strategy does not ignore the human element when optimizing a site. We are not just picking good keywords to improve our site’s rankings. The goal is to pick the right keywords that your audience would use in a way that the content remains relevant and engaging.
Always start by thinking of your audience when creating your content. Your content should be both interesting and relevant to them so that they want to read more about it. Once you start understanding the content that your readers want from you, it’s time to focus more on its optimization.
It’s not enough to create good content if you don’t get people to read it. That’s why you want to optimize your content to reach higher in the SERPs. There’s no need to start adding keywords in your content simply to appeal to search engines. Google and the rest have become way too sophisticated to reward such techniques.
On the contrary, the quality of your content and its relevance, for example, can help you increase your search traffic. Find the right balance between quality content and search optimization for the best results.
4. Analyse your existing search traffic
If you’re not sure how to get started and what to test then start by having a closer look at your current search traffic. What are the best-performing pages? Which keywords is your audience using to access your content? Analyze your top 10 posts and what they all have in common. Is it the quality of your content? The length of each post? Did you follow the best practices of on-site optimization?
Find the posts that work well as evergreen content and think of new ways to update them. A closer look at your search traffic and current SEO performance can even help you update your content calendar with topics that your audience would appreciate.
5. Stay up-to-date with the latest changes in SEO
If you want to master SEO, you need to follow the latest trends and the algorithm updates that might affect your tactics. As with every new skill, it’s useful to keep reading about it to stay informed about any recent changes.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced professional, it’s still important to keep reading about the latest SEO updates and what they mean to your strategy.
6. Learn the most important ranking factors
As we’ve just mentioned in the previous tip, it’s useful to dedicate some time every month to catch up with the latest SEO updates. A great starting point is to read more about all the ranking factors that affect your position in the SERPs. From the relevance and the use of the right keywords to the page speed and the use of backlinks, it’s good to learn how each ranking factor can affect your optimization tactics.
7. Never underestimate UX
User experience is becoming more important for SEO year over year. As Google is evolving, search results are becoming more personalized and the goal is to offer the best experience to the users. The quality and the relevance of your content are very significant, but you also need to ensure that your site’s UX is appealing enough to encourage people to keep reading.
A good post cannot be engaging if your page is not, for example, optimized for mobile or if it doesn’t facilitate longer reads. What you need is the right balance between great content and even better user experience. None of the two alone can lead to great SEO success.
Start analyzing your current bounce rate and the time spent on site and see how these compare with your site’s load speed. Test your site’s performance across different browsers and devices and start improving all the issues that may risk you losing your readers.
8. Discover the link between social media and SEO
Social signals may not be among the ranking factors, but it’s still useful to understand how your social presence can affect your search results. As social media becomes a bigger part of our lives, it can define a big part of our online presence and authority. The same occurs to all brands with an existing social presence.
Google has started integrating social results to the search answers in an attempt to present a more holistic idea of an online presence. By indexing more content to the search results, users are able to find the right answer to their questions as fast as possible. Thus, it’s good to keep in mind that your online presence and authority are not limited to your search results.
Similarly, social networks are turning into their own search engines where users are still looking for an answer to their questions. YouTube and Pinterest have become very popular visual search engines, while Twitter and Facebook can be helpful for finding more information about a person or a news event. This means that our searching habits are changing and it’s useful to understand all the different ways someone can find your content on various channels.
9. Understand how voice search works
Voice search is the biggest trend to shape SEO in 2019 and 2020. It is already seeing a growing adoption rate and more consumers are expected to use voice commands in 2019.
This means that search optimization should change to understand the new kind of search intent. People tend to use longer questions and more conversational queries in voice search. The challenge is to understand which keywords will be more relevant to your audience and how to measure the success of your strategy.
Although the measurement is still at an early stage, it’s still useful to understand the difference between text and voice commands. The more we think as consumers, the higher the chances of answering their questions in the most relevant way.
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