SEO Trends to Give Digital Marketers an Edge in 2019

There are over 65,000 searches conducted on Google every second. Considering nearly 80% of users ignore paid ads in search results, ranking in the top positions of the search engine results pages (SERPs) is the ideal way to boost traffic to your B2B site. In order to do this, you need a killer B2B SEO strategy in place.

The difficulty with this, however, is that SEO is always changing. Search engines are consistently working to update their algorithms so that they can deliver more accurate results for their users. As these algorithms change, certain SEO approaches become obsolete, while others become more powerful. This means that SEO specialists have to keep on top of these algorithm changes and alter their strategy accordingly to keep seeing results in their rankings.

The following are some of the SEO strategies that are going to shape the latter half of 2019 for both B2B and B2C companies. Master these tactics and your website will dominate the SERPs and generate leads and revenue for your business.

Optimise for Featured Snippets & Other SERP Features

Featured snippets are a type of search result on Google’s SERPs. They provide quick answers to the queries that users are searching for without them having to click through to a website to find the information. Despite the fact that featured snippets don’t require the user to click through, research from HubSpot found that business with featured snippets actually seen a dramatic increase in click-through rate (CTR).

Featured Snippets appear below paid ads but are most often above organic results. This position has come to be known as ‘position zero’ and it’s a good place for businesses to be as they dominate the results page. As such, appearing in featured snippets results can be more effective for driving traffic to a website than reaching position 1 on the SERPs. Going forward into 2019, we’re likely to see more competition for these coveted positions as SEO specialists start to optimise their websites to rank for featured snippets.

In addition to featured snippets, Google is continuously updating its search features and recipes, the knowledge graph, carousels, and other features are always being introduced. All of these new features will impact organic traffic for better or worse, so optimising for Google’s additional search features will be more important than ever in 2019.

Look Beyond Google

Search Engine Optimisation is about ensuring your business appears where people are searching, and the way they are doing that is changing. At the moment, Google may be the dominant search engine, with almost 75% of searchers preferring the search engine to its competitors. However, while optimising for Google will still be a priority in 2019, marketers may have to consider strategies that include other search platforms, such as Amazon and Apple that are starting to cut into Google’s market. As new technologies are starting to be adopted by the masses, it is no longer sufficient to simply optimise your site for Google searches. For example, optimising content for home assistant or audio-only devices (if that’s where your audience is) can be an extremely effective SEO tactic.

According to Keith Goode, a senior SEO Strategist at IBM, this basically comes down to serving the best content on the fastest platforms geared to meet the users wherever they’re coming from. The role of SEO has evolved and in order to succeed, it is necessary to optimise the entire search experience, whether that’s on web, apps, podcasts, or other technologies and ensure the content that the user find meets their expectation and fulfils their query.

Get Ready for Voice Search

Gartner has predicted that almost 30% of all web browsing will be voice activated by 2020. ComScore also thinks that voice search is set to increase, expecting 50% of all searches to be voice activated by 2020. This will have a huge impact on the way SEO is carried out going forward. As most people do not type the way that they speak, websites that are currently optimised to rank highly on SERPs may not be as easily found by someone conducting a voice search. Another thing to be aware of going forward is that the use of voice can be very different, obviously between countries using different languages, but also the way that people speak (and search) will vary between regions, dialects and social classes.

Focus on the Audience, Not the Search Engine

If your website is optimised for the wrong audience it won’t grow your business. As such, the key to crafting a successful SEO strategy is to understand exactly what someone is expecting to find when they search for the keywords or phrases that lead to your site. In in order to keep users engaged on your site, you have to understand the intent behind their search query and deliver the information that they want, in the format that they want. For example, consider if your audience prefers content in the form of text, images, video or audio and ensure your landing page presents the key information in this way.

Considering the user’s intent behind their search query is also important for semantic search. If you’re not familiar with the term, ‘semantic search’ describe Google’s process of using additional factors, other than keywords, to determine what exactly the searcher is looking for. This includes things like the searcher’s intent, the context of the query and the relationship between the words in the search phrase. Semantic search also allows Google to interpret searcher intent based on a variety of factors including their search history, location, global search history and spelling variations. The easiest way to ensure your website is optimised for semantic search, is to create content for your audience rather than the search engine. Don’t think about matching your content to keyword phrases but rather make sure that your content comprehensively answers the questions your audience is asking when they search, while still being technically optimised for SEO.

Make Use of Structured Data

Understanding the contextual relationships between topics and behaviour, supported by structured data markup, will be vital for SEO specialists in 2019. Structured data helps Google crawl your site faster and find the information that it is looking for easier. It is the more modern version of information architecture, tags and metadata that gives search engines signals to understand the content structure of a website. By embedding structured data directly into your website, you are helping search engines generate rich snippets, which are small pieces of information that will then appear in search results.

Implementing Structured Data on your website does involve HTML code, however third-party services like schema.org, as well as Google’s Structured Data Helper, make it easier for marketers.

Invest in Technical SEO

An effective SEO strategy will cover both on-page SEO and technical SEO factors. Marketers are getting better at the on-page, content side of SEO, according to a SEMrush study, many websites still have significant technical issues. This is a problem for web owners as search engines are continuously crawling and indexing websites and technical issues make this much harder for them.

There’s no denying that websites are becoming more complex, and technical aspects are becoming more important. Some of the technical aspects that you should focus on to improve your SEO in 2019 are as follows:

  • Site Speed:Users want quick answers and a seamless experience online, so Google has long rewarded sites that load quickly. Going forward, the most successful sites will become simpler and faster in order to boost their SEO performance.
  • JavaScript:Search engines prefer websites that are driven by JavaScript. As such, websites are likely to become more heavily JavaScript-driven going forward and SEO specialists should become familiar with this type of programming.
  • AMP: Google needs to serve sites that load fast, particularly for mobile users. Accelerated Mobile Pages significantly help boost results for mobile searchers and are likely to become more popular this year.
  • Responsive Design: Responsive design ensures that the user experience (UX) is optimised for all devices, so ensuring your website is responsive is imperative an SEO strategy in the mobile-first era.

Continue to Optimise On-Page

On-page optimisation significantly impacts a website’s position in the SERPs, even more than generating backlinks from other sites. However, the trap that many site owners fall into, is doing on-page SEO as a one-off when they set up a page and then forgetting about it. The most successful SEO specialists are doing on-page optimisation continuously, evaluating their on-page strategies regularly in accordance with Google’s ever-changing algorithms.

Some of the key things to consider when optimising your website are ensuring the on-page content answers common user questions, developing an internal site search feature that provides highly relevant results, using a chatbot to answer common questions and ensuring users can easily find physical locations. In addition, taking steps to shorten the conversion process on your can help you to generate more online leads from your SEO efforts.

The Lead Agency is a B2B Marketing Agency specialising in digital strategies such as B2B SEO, B2B Lead Generation, B2B Email Marketing and B2B adwords. For more information on how we can help boost your SEO results, get in touch with us today.

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