SEO Set to Evolve in 2019
SEO is constantly changing. From a day-to-day basis, it seems to evolve and take on a new form. And while the turn of the calendar from December 31 st to January 1 st is an arbitrary marker of time, it does give industry experts a chance to pause and reflect on how things are changing and what’s coming down the pipeline.
4 SEO Trends, Predictions, and Techniques That Will Define 2019
“In a day, Google processes more than 40,000 internet searches per second. That’s more than 3.5 billion searches every 24 hours. From that, about 88% go to organic results,” Bambrick Media explains.
In other words, avoiding SEO and pouring everything you have into PPC isn’t an option. While PPC does play an integral role in digital marketing and online visibility, it can’t be relied on as your one and only traffic source. Costs continue to rise and you lose your entire investment the moment you stop paying.
In most cases, businesses avoid SEO because of its complexity. But don’t let the ever-changing nature of SEO scare you away. By familiarizing yourself with the following trends and techniques, you can prepare your business for 2019 and beyond.
1. Voice Search
What used to be a novel method of searching the internet – “Hey, look what I can do!” – voice search has now become commonplace. Not only do most adult Americans own a smartphone with internet access, but 1 in 6 also own a smart speaker (such as a Google Home or Amazon Echo). Research shows that 40 percent of adults use voice search at least once per day, while 50 percent of all searches will be voice searches by 2020.
The trend towards voice search is a significant one for businesses that want to be competitive with SEO. For some reason, the verbal nature of voice search makes people more likely to search for products and terms in a more natural manner. Instead of typing “best restaurants NYC” into a search bar, a voice searcher will say something like, “What are the best restaurants near me?” As voice search continues to be used more frequently, savvy businesses will adopt content and keyword strategies that are more natural and semantically pleasing.
Blockchain is, without a doubt, one of the more complicated terms for people to grasp. However, it’s going to become commonplace within the next year or two – affecting nearly every area of our lives, including SEO.
Blockchain will prove to be catalytic in the decentralization and democratization of the internet over the next year-plus. While Google (and other middlemen) holds all of the power at the moment, this sort of authority will gradually dissipate. With identity and security guaranteed by blockchain, people and businesses will be more willing to work directly with one another. Blockchain will also help reduce click fraud, which represents nearly half of all ad clicking and internet traffic. It will be able to identify when a single person – such as a competitor or bot – clicks on an ad repeatedly and minimize costs.
“Also, as blockchain as a concept becomes better understood by the general public, more and more consumers will expect to see webpages with blockchain code implemented,” industry insider Ludy Yelp writes. “This will become the new ultra-secure method of obtaining products, services, and information. SEO firms will have to provide blockchain integration services in the near future.”
3. Content Clustering
In 2019, expect Google to continue rewarding websites that produce strong content that’s focused around niche topics. Known as content clustering, this SEO strategy is fairly easy to implement. (Just keep writing and talking about the things that are central to your unique value proposition.)
For successful content clustering, identify the pillars that are integral to your website and use these as the foundational elements for your content strategy. Everything – including titles, subheadings, keywords, and images – should be centered around them. Even your backlinks and social media posts need to relate to your content clusters.
4. Google RankBrain
User experience (UX) signals have been really important in 2018 and will continue to be significant in 2019. Google has openly admitted that RankBrain – the machine learning system they rely on to sort search results – is its third most important ranking factor and tailoring your onsite SEO to account for UX will prove enormously helpful. The best way to optimize with RankBrain in mind is to deliver stellar content that satisfies readers and keeps them on your page for longer periods of time. This, in and of itself, tells Google that users like what they’re experiencing. Over time, this – combined with other factors – will help your pages improve in the search rankings.
Embrace the Evolution of SEO
If you’re looking for something stable and predictable, SEO isn’t it. However, there’s no reason to feel overwhelmed. A strong foundation of basic SEO principles – combined with an awareness of what’s changing in the industry – will allow you to flourish. Embrace the evolution and take your business to the next level!