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5 FAQs About SEO Best Practices in 2019

Showing up on the first page of popular search engine results will do wonders for a brand’s inbound marketing and brand visibility efforts, yet getting their web pages and online content in this coveted position can be a real challenge. Indeed, the competition for favorable search engine results pages (SERP) is thicker than ever, as brands seek to claim the Internet’s most profitable real-estate. In an effort to help, let’s answer 5 FAQs about SEO best practices in 2019.

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1. How Will Voice Search Impact SEO Practices?

One of the latest developments with SEO best practices is optimizing content for voice search. The rising popularity of voice search tools such as Alexa and Siri are changing how people search for information.

A recent article found at Forbes explains more:

 

In 2019, voice search SEO will become increasingly important. Twenty percent of queries on Android devices and Google’s mobile app are via voice search.

…Voice searches have longer-tail keywords and use more conversational words than typed searches…Voice searches are also more likely to be a question phrase.

 

The good news is optimizing content for voice search doesn’t require huge SEO changes for brands; with a few subtle keyword changes, they can take advantage of this growing search trend. Ultimately, brands should be aware of the rising use of voice search, and the influence it’s having with search queries, in order to align their content creation and SEO best practices with it in 2019.

 

2. Matching Keyword Terms or User Intent?

SEO best practices always pivot around the latest criteria Google Search uses for SERP rankings. This is understandable, considering Google Search made up over 85% of the desktop search engine market share in 2017, according to Statista. The challenge for brands is understanding and keeping up with this ever-changing criteria.

Out of the 200 factors Google’s algorithm considers, which ones should brands focus on in 2019? Well, one of the most important to focus on is Google’s shift from matching keyword terms to matching user intent. 

An article found at HubSpot explains more:

The earliest iteration of Google simply looked for the most instances of a keyword, phrased verbatim, in a webpage or blog post. This was known as ‘exact match.’

Today, ‘exact match’ means something much different, and the website that carries the most instances of a keyword doesn’t rank the highest for that keyword. Rather, it’s the website that best matches the intent behind that keyword.

 

Basically, advances with machine learning and AI have made Google bots more sophisticated; they now have the ability to measure and rank website content according to the intent behind keyword terms and phrases. This rewards content that adds value to users vs. content with the most keywords stuffed inside.

 

3. What is On-Page SEO and How Can it Help?

Another HubSpot article helps us understand what on-page SEO is:

 

On-page optimization, also called on-page SEO, ensures that search engines a.) understand a page’s topic and keywords, and b.) can match it to relevant searches.

 

With the competition for favorable SERP rankings ever-growing, SEO best practices are being refined to include essentially every aspect of a brand’s online presence. The growing focus on improving on-page SEO is a good example of this, as this involves a multitude of factors, including:

 

    • Content structure

    • Keywords

    • Meta tags

    • Image file names and ALT tags

    • External and internal links

    • Multimedia (videos, audio, text, images, infographics, etc.)

    • URL content

    • Content topic

       

On-page SEO tactics make web pages more appealing to Google and other top search engines like Bing and Yahoo. It gives indexing bots for search engines the relevant information needed to match web pages more accurately with searches. With user intent being the growing focus for indexing algorithms, brands can use on-page SEO tactics to clarify their content’s intent with search engines and improve SERP rankings.

 

4. How Will Mobile Search Trends Impact SEO?

Being mobile-friendly will become vital for brands in 2019 and beyond, as 52.2% of website traffic was generated by mobile phones in 2018, according to Statista. Essentially, brands want to make sure their website is mobile responsive, as Google and other search engines now rank websites according to their mobile-friendly capabilities.

The aforementioned Forbes article explains more:

 

Back in March 2018, Google began mobile-first indexing. In simple terms, this means that Google ranks websites based on the user experience for mobile devices. If a site has mobile and desktop versions, the mobile one is indexed. A website that isn’t mobile-friendly misses out on a huge amount of traffic.

 

With over half of online searches coming from mobile devices and SERP rankings being decided by mobile-first indexing, brands need to focus on improving the mobile experience for their users. Not only will this help improve SEO for SERP rankings, it’ll add value to end users and lead to improved brand loyalty and more conversions.

 

5. How Can Brands Develop and Execute an Effective SEO Strategy?

Implementing effective SEO tactics is a low-cost, high-value way for brands to level the playing field and gain online traction with target audiences. While having unlimited resources does help, ultimately, the efficacy of a brand’s strategy is what makes the difference. This puts a premium on developing an effective SEO strategy in 2019.

The 3 factors businesses need to develop an effective SEO strategy are:

 

    • Time

    • Expertise

    • Tools and resources

 

Generally, brands lack the time and expertise to develop and execute effective SEO strategies. While there’s no shortage of free and paid-for SEO tools and resources available online, having the expertise to choose and leverage them is the real challenge.

Brands can either commit to spending the time and resources needed to develop and execute SEO strategies in-house or outsource this to a digital marketing agency offering SEO services. Either way, the importance of developing and executing an effective SEO strategy will only grow in 2019 and beyond.

 

Conclusion

SEO tactics and best practices will continue to evolve as popular search engines become more sophisticated with how they index and rank web pages. As for 2019, these changes include a focus on search intent vs. keywords, mobile-first indexing, and on-page SEO. 

While the 5 FAQs covered really only scratch the surface with this in-depth topic, they should suffice to show brands what areas to focus on in 2019. Other notable changes with SEO best practices deal with the rise of video, website load speed, technical SEO, structured data, robots.txt, domain security (HTTPS vs HTTP), and leveraging SEO analytics. If you’re interested in learning how The BLU Group can help, please contact us today.