With the growing number of web content and marketers, search engines’ algorithm is also evolving so as to keep up with the influx of web content and at the same time provide quality results to their users. Google, being one of the most used and trusted search engine, is known to be constantly updating its algorithm in terms of search results, in order to provide accurate and quality results to its users.
Given the novel technologies being introduced, such as AI, ability to search visually, 2019 will be a challenging year from the SEO point of view, as it is expected that, as well as other search engines, will update their algorithms. What this simply means is that web owners and marketers need to improve their SEO strategies to improve their web ranking and in return get more traffic. Here are the latest 2019 SEO tips to help your website rank in high in Search Engine Result Page (SERP);
1. Content still rules
Quality and relevant web content always has a higher chance of ranking high in search results as compared to one with no valuable information. The trick here is to create readable content that is full of information relevant to your niche. As a result, your audience will want to stay on your site and read thus making your page rank high in SERPs. Therefore when writing content for your website, always write when having in mind of what the audience wants.
The best way to achieve this is to focus on a specific niche and try to come up with topics related to that niche that align with what the kind of the audience are looking for pertaining your chosen niche.
Additionally, remember to use relevant keywords that relate to your particular niche and audience search intent. But most importantly, it is always a good idea to have these keywords in the right places- not just scattering them anywhere on your site. According to on-page SEO, which describes where keywords and tags should be placed, the most relevant keyword should be placed within the first 100 words of your blog or article.
In most cases, the longer the content the more detailed and the relevant it is. And, as mentioned earlier, search engines aim at providing relevant and quality results to their users. If your web content is longer, chances are it has covered the topic in its totality by providing accurate information. In turn, your page will rank higher with more people spending a lot of time on your page, further improving your rank on search engines.
2. Improve your web speed and accessibility
2019, it is a year where every task needs to be done with speed. Consider a page that takes about 10 seconds to load and one that takes only 2 to 3 seconds, which one do you think will generate more traffic? It is obvious; no one wants to wait for 10 seconds for a page to load, as a matter of fact waiting for that long frustrates a lot of people and they won’t hesitate to switch to a page that displays content faster. Actually, Google has a tool called PageSpeed that is readily available to its users, for measuring how fast a page loads. PageSpeed measures and reports the amount of time taken from the time of navigation to web, to when the browser gets the very first bit of content. So, keeping in mind how fast or slow your webpage loads has an impact on its ranking search engines, how do you improve your web loading speed?
• Optimize media files
This is one of the easiest yet overlooked ways of improving your web loading speed. Most web owners simply shoot a video or photo and upload it to their page without realizing that such a raw video or photo is actually four times bigger than the required size. Consequently, this slows down their page loading speed, especially for mobile users.
Reducing the size of media files on your page, without necessarily compromising on their quality is, has the potential to improve your page speed and in turn generating more traffic to your site.
As for the photos, you can compress their size before uploading, using top image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop. At an affordable price, which can be billed annually or monthly depending on your preference, the program can help you reduce your web images to a considerable size good for fast web loading.
Additionally, it is recommended you use ideal image formats for your web. The JPG format is best for photographic images, while GIF and PNG are best for images with large areas of solid color. As for the 8-bit PNG and 24-bit, they are best for an image without a transparent background and those with a transparent background, respectively.
Similar to optimizing image files, video files can also be optimized using editing software, for example, Adobe Premiere or Camtasia. If you are uploading a video on your page to act as a background design element, you might consider eliminating its audio track in order to reduce its size. Alternatively, you can reduce the video length and upload the full-length video to your website’s YouTube channel.
• Enable browser caching
Enabling browser caching allows the elements of your webpage to be stored in your visitors’ browser so that when they visit your site again, their browser can load the page without having to send another HTTP request to the server for cache elements. As a result, this reduces the number of the file that needs to be downloaded during a browsing session which consequently improves how fast your page loads.
• Minify your resources
• Do away with cheap web hosting services
As a way of saving money, many web owners often go for less expensive shared web hosting services. What most page owners don’t know is that such web hosting services pile way too many websites into a single server, which makes their pages load slow. However, this does not necessarily mean that you should break a bank when purchasing web hosting services; on the contrary, there are a lot of web hosts that are built around optimized speed for their users. The bottom line here is that you should web hosts that sell their services mainly based on the price and go for those that prioritize customer satisfaction in terms of optimized web speed.
• Take advantage of caching and CDNs
Caching enables your web server to store copies of your webpage so that they can be delivered faster to your visitor’s browser; CDN on the other hand, allows these copies to be distributed to servers across the world, such that a visitor can download them from the closest server depending on their location. This greatly improves page loading speed, which increases traffic eventually improving your page ranking in SERP.
3. Voice search optimization
One of the fastest growing technologies in the previous year was the use of voice recognition and voice search. This growth is expected to continue in 2019 and even shape SEO trends in the coming years, where it is predicted that voice searching will command up to 50% of all searches by 2020 thanks to devices incorporating voice search into their units. This poses a new challenge to web owners as well as businesses with a web presence, to make sure that they can still be found easily on search engines in this era of voice search.
When doing a voice search, people tend to use longer questions and more conversational queries; the challenge here is to use long tail keyword phrases as well as understand which keywords are more relevant especially to your audience. The more a web owner thinks like a consumer or gets into the mind of the audience, the higher the chances of knowing the relevant keywords hence boosting his web ranking in search engine pages.
4. Implement SSL security
Your web content may be detailed enough and provides relevant information to the audience. But, if your website isn’t secured with SSL security, search engines won’t even bother ranking it anywhere in their search result. The SSL security, Secure Socket Layer, consist of small data files that are installed on a web server as a precautionary against threats to visitors privacy. Search engines particularly Google, only rank sites that are secure for its users to visit, as such your web page ought to be secured with SSL security for it to command authority in Google search ranking.
5. Mobile indexing
Each year more and more people are doing searches online with their smartphones as compared to searching with PCs or desktop. Therefore, as a web owner, you cannot afford to overlook the growing number of traffic from mobile searches. Google, having recognized the increase in searches from mobile devices, it started ranking higher; sites that follow the newest form of mobile-friendly SEO called mobile-fist indexing. This same trend will continue even in 2019 and years to come as mobile devices become more integrated into people’s everyday lives. Google’s mobile-first indexing is designed to show if your site is mobile-friendly in terms of your site loading speed when accessed using a smartphone. One of the best ways to make your site mobile-friendly is to use mobile friendly themes and plugins on a CMS platform. You can also redesign your site to be mobile responsive so as to improve your ranking on search engines.
6. Local SEO
Even in 2019, the importance of local SEO cannot be overlooked. This is simply because, online users trying to search for products or services often search for the ones close to their local area; and if your business is not linked to your local area, chances are it might not be ranked in SERPs. To improve your ranking, your website optimizes the location where you a verified Google My Business listing which shows the address and physical location of your office.
To further improve your ranking, it is also a good idea to integrate location signals of surrounding areas besides the area where you are located. Basically, location signals are landmarks and another major geographical data point that is specific to your targeted surrounding area. You should also ensure that your citation matches with the data used on your Google My Business listing to ensure transparency and consistency. Inconsistency in citation can negatively affect your ranking and presence in local search.
7. Analyze your existing content
Sometimes, you do not have to create new content regularly; all you need is to optimize your old and underperforming content to increase traffic significantly. The higher the traffic, the higher your ranking on search engines. From your content in the previous years, you may have a chunk of organic traffic and leads. This means that there other posts on your web that aren’t performing well as they should be. Now, from your best-performing pages, look for common characteristics which are continually attracting traffic. Is it the keywords? The length of the post? Or is it the quality of your content? Using the derived characteristics, optimize your poor performing content while following the best practices of on-site optimization.
Using SEO to drive traffic to your website will always be a daunting task mainly due to the dynamic technology as well as competitors. Nevertheless, keeping up with the latest trends in SEO and algorithm updates is a great way of improving your webpage ranking on search engines and generating more traffic. Use the above 2019 SEO tips to help your content perform better in search engines.