There’s no doubt that website SEO is a constantly changing area and what worked in 2018 isn’t guaranteed to work in 2019. But we do have some strong ideas about those most important trends, the things that you need to focus on above all others with your website. And to help you know where to start, here are seven of the most important.
1. Understanding and using user intent
User intent is the idea that you need to understand what your user expects from your website and your content at the creation stage. Interests, tastes and preferences are all part of it – do they favourite text or images? Watch a video or prefer to listen to audio? Creating content around these preferences can help engage your audience and this boosts SEO.
Using keywords and user intent together is crucial. It is important to understand what people expect when they use a particular keyword and therefore what Google expects to see. This could mean doing keyword research differently, checking the competition or working with local SEO companies to get the best keyword practices in place.
2. Structured data markup
Another important trend to be aware of is structured data and how to use it. As Google increasingly uses AI to handle search, structured data becomes more important. If it takes too long for those search bots to find the information it needs, the content will never rank well. This is one of those technical areas that working with an SEO expert can be ideal as it looks at structured data, schema, active and passive search behaviours and how these all factor into signal intent and back to that user intent.
3. Highest quality content
Quality content has been an SEO priority for a number of years now since the death of keyword stuffing. And it continues to be important in 2019 as Google looks to evaluated content on the quality, depth and breadth it provides. The more in-depth the content over time, the better the site can rank as long as the quality of the content is equally strong. Good quality content also attracts links, and this is still one of the top three factors used to rank a site.
4. Expertise, authority and trustworthiness
Shortened to E-A-T, establishing and growing the expertise, authority and trustworthiness of your site is a key trend. Guidelines we have are those provided to people who actually manually rank websites at Google, but this gives us insight into what they are looking for in this area.
One key element is to have expert guest bloggers, to use high-quality sites to link to for authority and give credit to sources and inspiration within the content. The aim is to become a known source for both your audience and others in your field.
5. Technical SEO elements
6. On-page optimisation
Solid on-page SEO optimisation should already be part of your ongoing strategy and that isn’t going to change in 2019. Some important on-page optimisations to make can include:
- Ensuring content answers common user questions
- Make sure site search provides relevant answers
- Make the conversion process quicker
- Respond quickly to business queries
- Think about using chatbots to handle common questions
- Ensure navigation is easy
On-page SEO is an ongoing process rather than a set and forget system so make sure you have a system in place to be able to constantly check and amend these and other elements as data shows where this is needed. And always remember that user intent with any changes that you make.
7. Voice search
If the last few years have been all about mobile, then the next few are going to be about voice search so the earlier you prepare for it, the better. While it isn’t as important as the other SEO basics, it is one of those areas that you can start to prepare for and be ahead of your competition. Because as experts say, there’s a lot of talk about voice search but not as much actual voice searching.
The main focus is those short answers that cover a quick question people ask of their voice assistants. From what the weather is like to the latest exchange rate or how many grams in a cup for a recipe, quick answers are what people are using voice search for and optimising your content, where suitable, can be a good step to start making this year.