Google rewards the best. To be considered among them, you need a website that is optimized for SEO. Although there are no big SEO changes happening in 2019, the trends are becoming more influential. Below we share six SEO tips to pay attention to in 2019.
Optimize Your Website for RankBrain
RankBrain is a machine learning system that helps Google sort through their search results. It measures how users interact with the listings and then ranks websites accordingly.
For example, if you search for “soft serve ice cream” and find what you need in the third result, RankBrain takes note of this and gives that website a boost. On the other hand, if you click on the first result and find that it doesn’t have what you need, RankBrain boots the site from that spot.
For RankBrain to work in your favor, here are a few tips to follow:
- Create content that your audience will find helpful
- Improve your brand’s reputation
- Optimize for medium tail keywords
- Increase click-through rates
Improve Organic Click-through Rates
Organic click-through rates do influence page rankings on Google, even though they aren’t a direct ranking factor. Nevertheless, your click-through rate is important because it tells you how many people are clicking on your listing. These people are actually engaging with your listing and are more likely to convert.
Here are the best ways to improve organic click-through rates.
- Optimize pages with low organic quality scores
- Create irresistible headlines that include keywords and emotional words
- Publish content that your audience will stick around to read
- Use social media ads and remarketing to increase search volume and CTR
Get Your Content to Show Up in Featured Snippets
Another SEO tactic to focus on in 2019 is getting your content to appear in the Featured Snippet. To do this, you need to find keywords that you already rank for and keywords that have a Featured Snippet. If you don’t rank in the top 10, you don’t have a chance for being featured.
Next, write a small block of content, or “snippet bait,” that is designed specifically for the Featured Snippet spot. It should be short and to the point, usually 60 words or less. Lastly, format your content for a Featured Snippet spot. The most common format is the “paragraph snippet,” though you can also consider list snippets and table snippets.
Create Comprehensive, Long-form Content
Google shows the best result, and in most cases, the “best” is thorough and complete. The reason why Google prefers longer content is because it covers a topic in its entirety so that the reader gets everything they need in one place. Also, remember that Google is a lot smarter than it used to be and can understand context, not just content.
To publish comprehensive content, follow these tips:
- Publish content that is at least 2,000 words, such as guides and long-form content
- Publish authoritative evergreen content that will continue to be relevant
- Add LSI keywords to your content, or words and phrases that are strongly related to your page’s topic
Optimize for Google’s Mobile-First Index
Google plans to rank and index websites using their mobile version, a change that is expected to take a few years to complete. The mobile-first index isn’t live for everyone yet, but in time, it will be. To prepare your site for mobile-first indexing, there are a few things you should focus on.
First, create content that is consistent across your desktop and mobile sites. Users should be able to find the same information no matter what site they are using. Second, use a responsive design that is “thumb-friendly.” Third, be sure that your site is mobile-friendly. It should load quickly, have easily consumable content (like videos) and font that is easy to read.
Optimize for Voice Search
Voice search is the next big thing in SEO because more people are searching for information using voice assistant technology. This is why successful SEOs are optimizing their content for voice search.
To do this, your content must rank highly in the search engines. Follow the tips listed above, especially #3, because Google is more likely to use snippets in their voice search results. Lastly, include a question and answer in your snippet, and write in a conversational tone.
You work hard to maintain an active, engaging website, so follow these six tips to help it get found! The more traffic that comes to your site, the more opportunities you have to improve click-throughs and bounce rate and develop new relationships.