A popular saying goes, “Social may be sexy, but search still pays the bill.” This line expresses the importance of search results. Irrespective of whether you have prominence on social media or not, if you cannot make your brand visible on search engine results, then you are losing big time. After all, search engines are the first step towards navigating the net. And if you do not focus here, then your digital strategy will be doomed to be ineffective.
At Adsyndicate, we define Search Engine Optimization as the process of increasing your webpage visibility on search engines. SEO results in maximizing the traffic of your webpage in terms of quality and quantity by means of organic search engine results. However, SEO is a continuous process, since search engine analytics keeps changing and the brands need to constantly thrive to make their presence visible on top search engine result pages (SERP). Here are seven SEO trends that are most relevant with respect to the latest analytics that you cannot ignore in 2019.
- Video Content Optimization
It is no secret that video consumption is increasing at an astonishing rate. Recent industry statistics by Cisco suggested that video consumption will surpass all other content formats with a percentage share of 85%. It is also predicted that by 2021 78% of the overall mobile data will be consumed by video content. Considering the mobile-first objective, video content optimization is a very crucial aspect to be considered by all digital marketers and SEO experts in 2019.
To make the most out of video content optimization, every brand must focus on claiming a vanity URL, which can be obtained by acquiring minimum subscribers of 500. Vanity URL is a vital factor in SEO. In addition, optimizing channel keywords and channel description helps to drive traffic. But one must keep in mind to optimize these descriptions from a usability point of view, because the latest analytics rewards extra brownies for any attempts towards generating seamless user experience.
- Mobile First
By 2018, mobile users officially overtook laptop users in number, making mobile the most common platform to access internet. Today, more than 50% of the users access internet via mobile and smartphones. And the number of mobile users is only increasing exponentially with every passing day. Thus, Google insists everyone to create web pages that are optimized for mobile platforms. It has become a common understanding that any website that does not contain a mobile interface will have very minimum chances of listing in SERPs.
It must be noted that when Google suggests Mobile First indexing, it is not limiting the importance of laptop interfaces. What it means is mobile platforms are as important as (or even more important) than laptop platforms. Therefore, it is of great importance to design responsive, high-quality and reliable content for mobile platform, as well as desktops. Both mobile and laptop indexing determines the overall SEO rankings. Hence, in order to boost SEO for your webpage, you must necessarily have a ‘m.version’ of your website that is highly responsive when accessed through mobile platform. Hence, investing in developing mobile interface for your website is surely a great way to generate traffic in 2019.
- Search Intent
Until now, it was thought that inserting certain keywords repeatedly in a web post would organically rank your web page on SERPs. However, this tactic will become less relevant, and 2019 is all about search intent. In short, intent based search optimization will replace relevancy-based keywords search optimization. Google and other major search engines are recoding their analytics to ensure the SERPs display web pages based on exactly what the user is search for i.e. based on the user’s intent, rather than what keywords the user has typed.
Thus, the search engines will consider three parameters while determining the intent of a user’s search: navigational intent, informational intent and transactional intent. Navigational intent refers to the intent of the user to reach a particular website. Examples could be: “Adsyndicate” ,“Facebook”, “Adsyndicate blogs” etc. Informational intent refers to the intent of user to access information regarding a topic from one or more web pages. Examples for informational intent include: “side effects of paracetamol”, ”benefits of yoga”, “home rents in mumbai”, “Nissan reviews” etc. Transactional intent is to conduct a web-mediated activity such as “subscribe to adsyndicate’s instagram page” or “get digital marketing quotes” etc. Transactional intent is largely focused on voice based searches.
Hence, in order to capitalize on search intent in 2019, you must generate quality content for users, research upon their needs and interests, and provide them information which they did not even thought they needed it. This is a profound way to satisfy search intent, user experience and engagement and enhance web rankings.
- Voice Search
In early 2018, we saw the advent of smart speakers entering the Indian market. And by now, voice search are gaining high acceptance and popularity. In fact, global industry experts predict, in 2019 almost 50% of all online searches will be voice based. Voice search will be a very significant trend in 2019 and it cannot be excluded from any effective digital strategy. Here are some of interesting statistics that will ensure why you cannot risk keeping voice search out of your SEO strategy:
- 3 out of 5 consumers conducted voice based search to find a local business in 2018.
- 28% of consumers worldwide visited the website of a local business via voice based search.
- The voice recognition market is expected to hit USD 601 million mark in 2019.
- 3 out of 4 smart speaker users search for local business in a week, while 1 of 2 smart speaker users will conduct a voice search every day.
Although these statistics speak on a global scale, it is just a matter of time when Indians too get accustomed to voice based search. The question is when? Hence, voice search cannot be excluded from SEO strategy any time soon in the upcoming days. Voice search will drastically alter the way a search us conducted. For example, when a user carries out a voice search, terms such as ‘what’, ‘where’, ‘when’, ‘why’ and ‘how’ will be included in almost every search-query. Voice search also means a radical change in the very way a question is asked, which will generally be a lengthy sentence. Although this means a lot of rework in terms of optimization, one cannot risk neglecting voice search in 2019, considering its amazing potentials and popularity.
- Long Form Content
There is no doubt: Long form content is going to produce greater search rankings in 2019. One can even say Google loves long form content. The reason is simple: Quality long-form contents tend to more inclusive, informative, comprehensive and has greater value proposition compared to that of short form content. However, marketers must remember that Google does not simply decide the rankings for your webpage based on the number of words. There are a lot of other factors such as keywords, backlinks etc. Particularly it can be noted that, it is easier to insert quality backlinks into long form content.
Moreover, Google and other major search engines have began to realize that users do not enjoy short snippets of information and generally like to know more. While backlinks are a great way to achieve this, too many backlinks on a page containing less information may appear odd. Hence, long form content is a great way to overcome this challenge. Moreover, with voice searches and smart speakers on the rise, users tend to talk and listen a lot, rather than type and read. Thus, long form content of great quality is a great way to engage and retain them on your web page for a long period of time.
- CTR Optimization
CTR is short for Click-Through-Rate. In order to thrive in your SEO race in 2019, it is crucial to optimize your webpage for Rankbrain – Google’s algorithm. Rankbrain determines whether your content is relevant to a user’s search or not based on your website’s CTR. To be more specific, let us assume that a user will not click on your webpage despite it being on SERPs for a particular keyword. This will prompt Rankbrain to deem your webpage as irrelevant for a specific keyword, resulting in Google dropping your webpage from top SERPs. Therefore, it can be stated that Google has affinity towards web pages that gets highest clicks. Thus, CTR has a direct impact on deciding the position of your webpage on SERPs.
- Social Media Indexing
Every digital nomad knows very well that content is the king. And experts predict that the net-worth of the king will exceed USD 300 billion in 2019. This will have a great impact on SEO, since content and SEO are inseparable from one another. Considering the previous trends of user intent, content will be generated not merely to satisfy search engines, but also to provide value and quality. And it is no secret that quality content often leads to shares and likes on social media! With this respect, social media will play a great role in crafting well-defined SEO in 2019.
Social networks will keep continuing to enhance their depth in incorporating their elements with search engines. In fact, social media platforms are similar to search engines themselves. For instance, YouTube and Quora are social media platforms that act like search engines and present the ability to carry out a search. Similarly, Facebook has joined the bandwagon too with its Facebook Watch portal. Hence, Social Media Indexing will alter the way we look at SEO in 2019.
To Sum Up
All the above mentioned trends hint at the advancement of technology, and its extent in infiltrating our lives. These trends are a reflection of changing user behaviour. A common focus in 2019 will be towards increasing the transparency of internet and at the same time, secure user privacy and create a safe environment for transaction and consumption of information. Particularly, three major trends will dominate 2019. These three trends are video content, voice search and long form content. 2019 will be an exciting year for Search Engine Optimization, as this year we will witness a radical drift in the fundamental way we perceive SEO.
Search Engine Optimization, as it was thought, will no longer be restricted to Google or other search engines alone. Recent advancements in the field of Artificial Intelligence have altered the way we interact with online content. Major players such as Amazon is developing their own SEO know as Amazon Search Optimization (AMSO). Many experts predict that 2019 will be a milestone year in terms of AMSO with more than 20 million Alexa products circulating in the market. Hence, one may conclude that in 2019, the scope of SEO in digital marketing will march into a greater realm and encompasses a greater space, which was limited to search engines alone until now.