Today, many people prefer to buy products and services online because it’s convenient, time-saving and they can shop anytime, including in the dead of night. In fact, according to the National Retail Federation, 94% of consumers do an online search before making any purchase.
They simply enter the keyword in the search engine box and a list of websites offering that product appears. And statistics show that consumers like to visit websites that are on top of this list because they are always relevant to their search.
So, if your website doesn’t appear on top of this list, consumers will never find your products. And that means you’re not taking SEO (Search Engine Optimization) seriously. SEO is a marketing technique that helps your website to rank higher than other websites online when searched with certain keywords. And this helps more customers to find your products or services and buy them.
SEO changes from time to time and you need to adjust your SEO techniques accordingly if you want to stay on top of your competitors. That said; here are the top SEO trends to implement in 2019 for your site to appear on the first page of search engines:
1. Top-Quality Content
A few years ago, search engines relied heavily on keywords to rank websites. So people would generate low-quality content and stuff them with keywords in order to get higher search engine rankings. Search engines discovered this practice and changed their algorithm to rank sites based on content quality. Today, if your website doesn’t have quality content, your search engine rankings will suffer.
How does quality content boost your search engine rankings?
• It increases dwell-time on your website
Dwell time is the amount of time consumers spend on your website. And dwell time is a search engine ranking factor these days. So if people spend a lot of time on your website, it means your content is high quality and offers value to consumers. Therefore, your search engine ranking will increase.
• Helps you generate high-quality backlinks
High-quality backlinks are one of the main search engine ranking factors. Quality backlinks means your website is getting links from authority blogs and websites. For search engines, quality backlinks are an indication of credibility and trust. More quality backlinks means higher rankings on search engines.
• Enhances user experience
Good quality content has a good structure, which enhances readability. That means prospective customers can navigate it easily and find the information they want quickly. When customers have a great experience on your website, they are more likely to share your content with friends and family and this can increase your sales and search engine rankings.
2. Webpage Speed
With shorter concentration spans these days, consumers will bounce off your website and head to the competition if your web pages’ load slowly. In fact, page speed is a Google ranking factor and so if your pages’ load slowly, your ranking will suffer.
3. Mobile-first indexing
According to Google, 52% of people used their mobile devices to search for products and services online in 2018. And this percentage is projected to increase moving forward because of the explosion of mobile devices like Smartphones and tablets.
In fact, a few years ago, Google changed its ranking algorithm from desktop to mobile-first indexing because more people searched products and services online using their mobile devices than desktop computers. This means that to rank high on Google today, your website must be mobile friendly.
A mobile-friendly website means consumers can easily access your content (text, images, videos, and links) with their mobile devices (tablets and Smartphones) without having to adjust their screens. If your website is not mobile friendly, you’re missing out on a ton of traffic and sales every day.
So before you start operating your online business, use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test site to determine whether your website is mobile-friendly or not. If it’s not, this tool will walk you through the steps to take to optimize it for mobile.
4. Voice search will be bigger in 2019
With the population getting lazier each day, people are increasingly searching for tools and apps that can make their work easier. One of the tools that make online search easier today is the Google’s voice search. In fact, statistics show that 20% of queries on Google’s mobile app and Android devices are through voice search. So in a voice-centric world, your online business will get a higher search engine ranking and thrive if you use Voice Search SEO.
5. Videos will be big in 2019
With concentration spans getting shorter each year, online shoppers are increasing slanting towards visual-based content (images and videos) to find products and services. Ideally, online shoppers would rather watch a video explaining a product or service than read a long product description before they buy it It’s no wonder that you’re most likely to stumble across an explainer video when you visit any website today.
Also, if you search anything with Google today, videos tend to come up on top of your search results. Therefore, if you’re looking to rank your website higher on Google in 2019, you’d better include videos on your site.
6. Al (Artificial Intelligence)
Google introduced Artificial Intelligence in 2015 and it has since grown to be used by most big corporations like PayPal, IBM, and Amazon. In fact, if you call PayPal right now, chances are you’ll get answered by bots.
The Al technology has evolved in such a way that it can answer technical questions and this helps to increase customer experience. Al has enabled customers to get real-time answers to their questions, and this can increase the reputation of your website and hence higher search engine rankings.
With the projected increase in mobile devices in 2019, a lot more online searches will happen via mobile devices. Also, more people will consume video than text. So it’s important that, besides other trends discussed above, you give priority to mobile-first indexing and video when formulating your SEO strategy in 2019.
However, all this effort will go down the drain if your website is not secure. So ensure your data and that of your customer is secure before you implement these SEO strategies.