In an ever-increasing world of websites, apps, and gadgets, businesses are in a desperate race to break through the clutter. Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, isn’t a luxury or novel approach to building a website. Instead, it is a critical component in reaching customers and building a brand. In 2019, businesses will need to master several trends successfully to stay on top.
More than 224 million people in the United States now own a smartphone. Smart and mobile devices now account for 57% of all online traffic. To say mobile is king, is quite frankly an understatement. In 2019, continuing to optimize for these devices is critical due to Google’s mobile-first indexing initiative. Essentially, Google has decided to tweak its algorithm to look at the mobile version of your website first. This means that if you're only optimizing the desktop version of your site, you're going to be missing out. Although developers are catching on, it's paramount that you ensure your mobile platform is Google mobile friendly, optimized for speed, and just as robust as your desktop version.
Search is more than just Google. If you sell a product, you must be on Amazon. More and more consumers are turning to sites like Amazon, Etsy, and Wayfair to search for products. While these platforms are not comprehensive search engines like Google, Yahoo, and others, they do serve a growing number of people who search specific sites first when looking for a product. Kenshoo recently published a paper that found that more than half of consumers use Amazon first when shopping for a product. For businesses that are selling any type of product, it’s imperative to have a presence on Amazon, and use Amazon tools to maximize your optimization.
Content has always played an important factor in SEO. In 2019, to win the SEO battle, you will need to take your content to the next level. Rich content that includes internal linking, backlinks, and deeply engaging content will boost your overall ranking. The key here is to increase your pages per session and time on page statistics in Google Analytics. Using digital influencers and original content will improve your rank and conquer your competition in the search results race.
Did you hear that? By 2020, 50% of all searches will be by voice. Whether it's through devices like Google Home, Siri, or Alexa, the way we search and what searches for us is going to begin changing dramatically in 2019. What? How? When? Where? These types of questions are going to govern the future of search. To remain competitive, businesses must adopt an SEO strategy that focus not just simply simple text searches, but longer, more complicated question generated searches. To do this, focus on 5 to 9-word conversational phrases that people may use to find your business and build your SEO strategy around intent. As more screen-less devices driven by artificial intelligence enter our homes and offices, businesses must be ready to adapt.
As mentioned earlier, nearly everyone has a smartphone. In 2019, optimizing your search campaigns for hyper-local search will be critical because the tools consumers use to find products and services are becoming more precise. Now instead of being shown restaurants, bars, and canoe rentals from all around town, search engines are displaying results only a few blocks away. Optimizing for “Near me” searches will lead to increased conversions in 2019.