Every year it’s getting harder and harder to build referral traffic from Google. Why is that? Well, the competition is getting stronger by day, but Google is also making various changes.
Gone is the time of Google’s ten blue links and organic search results—they are just not generating traffic as they used to.
So, if you want to stay afloat in the sea of competition, you must adapt and optimize your content and website by following new SEO trends. Not only that, but you must also predict some of the new and upcoming trends that will be popular in 2019.
It’s not completely possible to know what future of SEO holds and what surprises search engines prepare, but if you listen to the latest announcements and trends that are gaining momentum as we speak, you can make pretty good predictions.
So, here are the most prominent SEO trends and tips that will boost your traffic, prepare you for 2019 and show you have to have the best year so far.
You might not know them by their name, but you know what they look like 100%. Feature snippets are those search results that get featured on top of your Google search in a special “featured snippet block”.
The reason why they are so popular is that they usually answer the question right away and they don’t even require you to click on any search results (photo below shows an example of a snippet with instant information).
However, being featured in feature snippet often means getting additional exposure for your brand. That’s why you should try to snatch that top position.
According to research, almost all pages that get featured in feature snippet are ranked in the top 10 search results (around 99.5%). So, if you know you already rank high, there’s a great chance you’ll get featured.
However, you don’t have to be the first to be featured! More than half of snippets come from other than the first organic position. So, the trick is to be among top 10, but not necessarily first.
One thing you can do to improve your probability of being featured is to work on your long-tail keywords (the more words are typed into a search box, the higher the possibility of getting a snippet).
Also, try to provide well-structured answers that Google can use and ask the question and answer it in your article (you can even use several questions to cover more queries). The use of eye-catching images and videos might also be helpful.
You might know about Google’s AI algorithm RankBrain. Even though it was announced in 2015, it’s still the 3rd most important ranking factor thanks to its ability to evolve constantly. Figuring out how AI works is not an easy job, but the diagram below might help you understand RankBrain.
All in all, this smart AI pays attention to user experience signals like dwell time, bounce rate (percentage of visitors who enter the site and leave after viewing only one page), pogo-sticking (when a user performs a search, clicks on a result, very quickly leaves the page to go back to search results, and clicks on a different result) and organic Click-Through-Rate (number of clicks a search result receives divided by the number of times it's viewed on the SERP).
Luckily, there are ways to improve these user experience signals by optimizing your title and description tags, creating thorough content, improve usability and boosting page load speed.
According to research, around 20% of all mobile users use voice command at least once a day (teens use it even more).
However, while the future of voice search might still be unknown, it’s certain that it won’t go away any time soon. As a matter of fact, it’s predicted that Siri, Alexa, Cortana and Google Assistant are only going to get more intelligent, accurate and responsive.
So, in order to get the best of the voice search trend, make sure to concentrate on long-tail keywords.
Why? Well, most people are conducting searches in the form of questions such as “where can I buy…” or “where is the nearest…” At the same time, anticipating user questions can also improve your content and your traffic.
Today, almost 60% of all searches and purchases are made from a smart mobile device. When it comes to some niche searches, these numbers go up to 90%. That’s why Google is trying to make the web more mobile-friendly and improve mobile users’ experience.
Also, now is the crucial time to make no mistakes when it comes to website design and user experience, lest you risk losing a lot of consumers.
To stay relevant in this changing market, make sure to create a website with a responsive design and that both desktop and mobile versions of the site have the same content.
Also, to improve your mobile SEO, you must boost your page load time (if the user has to wait for content too long, they will likely bounce) and question optimization (more and more people on mobile phones use voice search where they ask questions and search in a more conversational manner).
There are some more points you can read upon, but these are definitely what you should pay attention to the most.
Many people today would rather watch a 10-minute video than read a 5-minute article even though it contains all necessary information and is perfectly optimized. It’s even predicted that by 2021, video content will take up almost 80% of all traffic.
So, don’t neglect video content in 2019. The best combination you can have on your website and the one that will reach the biggest number of people is the mixture of video content and text.
However, keep in mind that your videos should also be SEO-optimized
Focus on image search
Last year, Google made a noticeable improvement in its image search. As a matter of fact, many websites suffered traffic loss because users didn’t have the need to leave Google in order to view images.
So, the fact that users show the increased affinity towards searching for images should push you to optimize your visual material and use better photos than your competition.
Your content should be a pleasant harmony between text, image and video material that will not only attract more users but also cover a given topic in a more comprehensive way.
Hopefully, these SEO trends and tips will inspire you to improve your SEO game in 2019 and ensure amazing traffic for your website. Implementing them now will help boost your performance from the first moment and into the next year, so don’t waste precious time.