2019 might be a pivotal year for SEO for several reasons. With new technologies such as virtual reality, voice search, and artificial intelligence making their way into the digital marketing arena, it’s crucial to stay ahead of and adapt to industry trends in order to stay competitive.

The world of SEO is constantly changing and evolving. As digital marketers, it sometimes forces us to reconsider our strategies for successful SEO. It’s no surprise that the SEO trends for 2019 are all about keeping up with technology, staying on top of Google’s latest developments, and reinforcing your commitment to quality content.

1. Be Mobile-Ready to Prepare for Mobile-First Indexing

Back on March 26, 2018, Google announced they were rolling out mobile-first indexing on their Webmaster Central Blog. In earlier years, Google web crawlers looked at the desktop version of your pages to populate the SERPs. With the switch to mobile-first, Google will be looking at the mobile versions of your pages for indexing and ranking.

If you don’t have a mobile version of your website, Google will still look at your desktop site version to rank your pages. However, it’s most likely that your pages won’t display properly for users on mobile devices, or the site will be difficult to navigate, read, and use. Your page rankings will most likely suffer as a result (if they haven’t already).

2. Featured Snippets are Taking Over

According to Google, “when a user asks Google a question in Google Search, we might show a search result in a special featured snippet block at the top of the search results page. This featured snippet block includes a summary of the answer, extracted from a webpage, plus a link to the page, the page title, and URL. It looks as shown in the screenshot above.”

Users now see these results at the top of the page, where the #1 ranked piece of content used to appear. In other words, that prime real estate is no longer guaranteed. Many marketers call this highly desirable snippet spot “position zero.”

So, how can featured snippets bring your website more traffic?

Pages that rank #1 for a keyword and earn a featured snippet get 28% of all clicks, as opposed to 26% when there is no featured snippet (Source: Ahrefs).

3. High-Quality Content Remains King

When creating high-quality content, one of the first things to think about is what will Google consider quality? Google is constantly trying to enhance their search results by providing more quality and informative content that will be beneficial to searchers. The key to providing worthy content is to find out what your customers want to know.

Ultimately, Google desires three things:

  • Quality: Well-written content that provides authority in a certain area.

  • Uniqueness: Creating unique content is essential, and failure to do this can result in a fall in the SERPs.

  • Relevance: Producing content that is relevant to what you do or the service you offer.

It’s also true that long-form content produces higher search rankings, but not just by the number of words. Longer-form content tends to have a greater possibility of earning quality backlinks. The more useful your content is, the more it will be shared – it’s as simple as that.

4. Keep Voice Search on Your Radar

As voice search technology improves, it will become even more accessible to users. A study conducted by Google found that 55% of teens and 41% of adults use voice search multiple times a day, every day. It’s safe to say those numbers will continue to go up as time goes on.

5. Understand RankBrain

One of the major trends for 2019 is the ability to understand RankBrain, which is part of Google’s core algorithm that uses machine-learning to serve users with better search results based on their search intent.

Your website’s click-through-rate is a significant factor in deciding whether or not your content is relevant to the user’s search or not. If users aren’t clicking on your website link when it shows up on SERPs for a particular keyword, Google thinks you aren’t relevant for that keyword and will drop your rankings like a bag of bricks.

2019 will be an exciting year for not only search engine marketing and optimization but also the entire digital marketing industry as newer updates come in!

Struggling with a strategic approach to search engine optimization? SEO is our specialty. We provide a variety of SEO services including strategy, content writing, and website development. Contact Digital Division or call (816) 774-1556 today!