Top 5 SEO Trends to Watch Out For in 2019

In an ever-changing landscape of SEO, it’s so important to keep well-informed of upcoming trends and strategies to ensure you and your business don’t get left behind!

With 2019 just around the corner, it’s important to start thinking about your strategies for the new year, and an important part of deciding what is right for your business, begins with familiarizing yourself with what’s new and what’s upcoming.

This past year for example, Google shook up the online world by making significant updates to mobile ranking factors. Mobile page speed became a major ranking factor, impacting every website that with an organic presence. There are constant subtle changes in the SEO space that can have huge impacts on rankings and traffic, so it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the updates to strategize and plan in advance to maintain your rankings.

So, what can we expect for 2019?

Mobile-First Indexing

Google’s work is never done! This upcoming year, Google will continue to make websites even more optimized for mobile-friendly use as more and more data supports the fact that most people are using their phones to browse the internet.

Mobile-First means that the mobile version of your website is now considered the primary version and should be optimized as such. However, this doesn’t mean that websites will be mobile-only, so desktop optimization is still important. How can you ensure that your ranking isn’t negatively impacted? To avoid being assigned a lower ranking, you must ensure that all of your web content is easily laid out in a mobile format by including mobile optimized high-quality text, videos, and images. And, as always, make sure each of these items are index-able!

Always take care to structure your data to include mobile versions of URLs. Read more about what you can do to optimize your website for mobile viewing here.

Page Speed

Like 2018, page speed is going to be a huge topic of conversation in the New Year. As stated in the top of this post, page speed continues to matter more and more. On a basic level, page speed matters because you want your customers to have an excellent user experience, but keep in mind, if your page takes too long to load, you run the risk of the potential customer getting frustrated and clicking away.

Think of your page speed like a customer service representative at a brick and mortar store. If a consumer is not getting the attention and information they need right away, they will probably just leave. If your site is not running at top speed, it’s essential to make on-site changes to improve the user experience, and your ranking.

When you start to tackle this challenge, it’s important to understand which metrics matter most for Google in terms of page speed evaluation. This can be done simply by using Google’s helpful PageSpeed Insights tool.

Brands as a Ranking Signal

There are two ways that brands can be used as a rank signal.

The first is through unlinked brand mentions, which is how a search engine learns that your brand is an entity. Unlinked brand mentions are any mentions of your brand online that do not link directly back to your website. In order to understand your brands ranking status, you can monitor and track you mentions though various apps.

The second factor is through recognizing that each component of your brand’s sentiment and context matters. This means that reputation, trust advertising, and complaint solving all contribute to ranking. As this article mentions, Google will pay attention to high-quality content that is cited on the internet including mentions on social networks. Now, building good brand recognition not only about improving relationships with consumers, but also about ranking!

GDPR

GDPR refers to General Data Protection Regulation, which came into effect in May of 2018. It is a regulatory code that protects the data and privacy for all people within the European Union, but did you know it could also have SEO implications?

The new regulations dictate that the old “by using this site, you are agreeing to our Cookie Policy”, notice found on many websites is not considered valid consent from the customer to gather data. There has been much discussion as to what qualifies as consent, and the consensus is that consent for data collection needs to be a clear “opt-in” choice for the user.

Customers now also have the ability to request their personal data under GDPR from any company that has collected data from the customer. You can still gather data, and Google Analytics will provide anonymous user data. But going forward, you will not be able to de-anonymize any data or you will be in violation of GDPR!

Amazon Search

Amazon is a global giant that shows no sign of stopping. So much so, that when people want to shop, much of the time, a visit to Amazon.com is part of their customer journey. According to a study, 56% of consumers visit Amazon first if they have shopping on the brain and 51% check in with Amazon after finding what they want to purchase somewhere else online. For this reason, retailers now more than ever, are focused on improving their Amazon search rankings.

As Amazon Search is not a global search engine, the way that customers search on Google versus the way that they search on Amazon are bound to be different. The most notable difference being that when searching on Amazon, the customer can only find the product if their search enquiry is matched to one of your product keywords. Follow this guide in order to learn to improve your Amazon Search strategies!

Conclusion

This is just a preview of the many top trends that are sure to make an appearance in 2019. As always, continue to keep up with trends and use online resources when it comes to maintaining and updating your SEO strategy. You’ll be glad you did!

Are you feeling overwhelmed or confused by SEO? Our team of experts can provide you with peace of mind as we optimize and strategize your SEO for the New Year. Get in touch with us to start planning 2019! A strong search presence is vital to the success of your business.