It is no doubt that SEO is a continuous process. Google and other major search engines are constantly setting challenges to SEO experts to tackle and excel in SEO race. Based on the latest SEO trends, here are seven best practices that you need to follow in order to exceed in your SEO race in 2019.
- Don’t Imitate– Create
Imagine that you are in an ocean and you need to compete with others inside the waters. Which of the following setting would you prefer? Clear blue waters or blood-soaked shark filled waters? Obviously you would prefer the former than the latter. Well, this scenario could be termed as “Blue Ocean Strategy,” a marketing theory that us gaining prominence in the world of digital marketing. According to blue ocean theory, there is a scope for greater success by delving into non-competed market area rather than battling with other competitors.
Especially in the digital space, which is largely unexplored, there is immense scope to dive into uncharted realm rather than being a part of the mundane trend. You objective must be to find a safe space where you can confidently deliver information before your competitors start to do the same or your fellow sharks bloodies that area of the ocean. Thus, by the time other players try to imitate you, your page would be indexed and you would already be a recognized entity.
- Explore Featured Snippets
Have you observed those instant text boxes that pop up just below the search bar, which provides quick answers to your query without you clicking on any SERPs? Those handy text boxes are called as Featured Snippets. Featured snippets are becoming extremely popular because of their instant information delivery without any necessity to click and visit a result page. Featured snippets are gaining prominence along with the rise of mobile and voice searches, where convenience is the key factor.
A recent online study indicates that content with featured snippets have the ability to enhance their click-through rates by 50%. Hence, featured snippets are the best way to rank your webpage among top-5 SERPs. Make sure you align your webpage’s framework to support simple and cohesive answers by also including relevant subheadings that give an overall glimpse of your webpage.
- Weed out Outdated Webpages
Outdated webpages will not help you excel in SEO race in anyway. The latest analytics make it clear that your website will be ranked based on quality and not on quantity. Hence it is necessary to prune irrelevant and outdated content from your website, in order to boost your authenticity and credibility. Irrelevant content refers to your webpages that do not have any real worth in terms of generating traffic, establishing authority, enhancing your online presence and latest information. These pages must be terminated to make your webpage more sophisticated. You can weed out pages such as those containing replicated content, outdated blogs, old press releases, information on products that no one purchases etc.
It’s natural for every website to have a few outdated pages. But when the number of outdated information surpasses relevant information, then the website will be affected badly. Thus, must prune your webpage regularly to ensure you are up-to-date. This is an effective way to get your website noticed by Google that will boost you at the top of SERPs.
- Organize Content into Clusters
Organizing your content is always a good thing. Not only does it enhances the aesthetics of your webpage, but also makes it convenient for the users to browse and engage with your website for a long time. Topic clusters refers to a group of content that contains related information and are hence clustered. A topic cluster can provide a 360-degree coverage of a particular subject. Topic clusters can help to retain users for a longer duration since they continue to access and know more about a topic of their interest.
The latest algorithms encourage a website to develop topic clusters as they provide a comprehensive view of the website and also add to its credibility and authenticity. Building topic clusters involve developing a user-friendly page design layout that can accommodate pillar pages, which will act as anchor points to access information. Individual web pages of related information can be connected to these pillar pages through hyper-links. This makes users as well as search indexers to know what does your website has to offer at a glance.
- Optimize to support Voice Search
It is not surprising that larger segment of users are opting for voice search. So voice search cannot be discarded from SEO practices for 2019. Statistics released by Google recently indicates over 50% of all search queries are conducted through mobile platforms and 20% of them are voice-based. The increasing popularity and applicability of voice assistants such as Siri, Alexa and Google Home are only contributing more to these numbers. Thus, in order to pioneer in the SEO race, you cannot ignore to exclude voice-search in 2019 and years to come.
In order to monetize on the benefits of voice search, you must first research on the long-tailed keywords that are frequently used and also reflect how users actually speak, Understanding the demographics and dialects of your target audience is the first step. Then, optimize your content to align with frequently asked questions on voice search. Also keep in mind that Google loves long-form content, especially over voice search since it is easier for users to listen than read. Make sure that the minimum word count of your web-page intended to support voice search is about 2000 words. Also ensure that your pages are optimized to load quickly, since nobody likes waiting, especially in the world of high speed internet.
- Landing Page Videos
By now, it is a well-established fact that SERPs rankings for webpages are based on high user retention rates, low bounce rates and longer navigation time. In other words, the extent of user engagement will determine the position of your website on search results. However, there is a new trend that will surely add to your advantage i.e. including videos on your landing pages. Recent report indicates that landing page videos have the ability to multiply conversion rates by 80% by engaging with the users, retaining their attention for longer duration and developing the trust. Since videos have an added benefit over other mediums, landing page videos will definitely increase the user engagement rate of your content.
- User Experience is the Key
“User experience” will be the key mantra for SEO experts in 2019. In fact, the above mentioned best practices are fundamentally employed to increase the user experience on your webpage. In order to build on user experience, you may also consider the following pointers:
- Know your Audience
- Explore new topics that may interest them
- Provide simple and effective content
- Mention the highlights of your content using featured snippets
- Cut out unnecessary pages from your website
- Organize your website, realign its structure, concentrate on user interface
- Cater to the needs of users who access your site via voice search
- Persuade your audience into faster decision making through landing page videos
To Sum it Up
The purpose of having website in the first place is to reach out to your audience and to cater to their needs. Hence, user experience must be the heart of every website design. In terms of enhancing the visibility of your website on SERPs, 2019 is going to be crucial year since it is incorporating a lot of technological changes into SEO strategy. However, remember – although SEO is all about increasing your visibility and rankings, what is more important is to establish yourself as an authoritative and credible source that your webpage visitors can rely upon.