3 Major SEO Factors to Consider for 2019


In January 11, 2019
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With the New Year now upon us, it’s time to start putting the sweets and treats to the side, pick ourselves up from the holiday malaise, and begin to strategize for a successful 2019. When it comes to the online marketing realm for businesses, there is a multitude of ways to do that. Today, that could mean anything from social media and pay-per-click ad campaigns to websites, artificial intelligence, and so much more. Let’s look at a couple of areas that, while not entirely new to the scene, Google and other major search engines are going to be putting more and more emphasis on this year and going forward.

 

Voice-Based Search Queries

Since the beginning of the World Wide Web and up until very recently, the internet experience has been built and based largely around text. Sure, it didn’t take long for pictures, graphics, and even video to populate the web, but in terms of how search engines structured their algorithms and subsequently “graded” sites for ranking/relevance purposes, it wasn’t really until this past year that a major change began to take place.

 

 

The advent of new technologies like Alexa and Siri has created an entirely new way for users to search: voice-based search queries. Prior to these inventions, virtually every search query that a user made was done by someone physically smashing their keyboard (or more recently smartphone screen) with a word or string of words that may or may not resemble a coherent sentence/phrase. It’s simply much easier and quicker to fire off something like ‘good food near me’ then it is to formulate ‘What are the best restaurants in Rochester NY.’ With the takeover of “smart” technologies though, we’re beginning to see a shift in the way people are searching. Think about this anytime you hear someone around you with a phone or smart assistant begin a sentence with ‘Hey Siri…’ or ‘Alexa…’ and how they ask the query that follows. Chances are good it’s going to sound differently than the way they would ask that same question in typed out written form.

 

 

At the end of the day, Google is all about serving their users. Websites that include and structure content in a way that answers common questions the way that they will be asked more commonly going forward will be rewarded. According to a recent article from Forbes, the experts believe that 50% of all searches will be voice searches by the year 2020. If that stat is to be believed, 2019 should be the year you start to adapt the content you’re putting out to reflect this trend.

 

 

Mobile-first indexing

Google started rolling out this next initiative last year, but, according to RetailTechNews, this will be the standard going forward. Instead of crawling the desktop version of your website first, Google’s policy is now to use the mobile version of your website for indexing and ranking. Most websites built today are equipped with mobile capabilities, but the fact that Google will be looking at this version first and foremost when it comes to their algorithms means we need to start thinking about the mobile version as the “main” site rather than a secondary adaptation. The desktop version of your site may look and navigate great, but if it doesn’t look or perform on the same level as your desktop version, that’s going to really hurt your rankings from this point forward.

 

 

Credibility/Trustworthiness

As previously mentioned, website content and technical construction will play a significant role in SEO going forward, but there is another, more abstract, aspect which businesses should begin to consider—credibility and reputation.

 

 

The content websites use and technical way in which they’re built will play a significant role in SEO going forward, but one other more abstract area businesses need to consider is when it comes to their credibility and reputation. From “fake news” to the issues Facebook struggled with in regards to privacy, if 2018 taught us anything it’s that we need to be more careful when we’re online, now more than ever. Similar to a person’s real-life reputation, a business’s online reputation can be difficult to establish and even more precarious to protect. Just as people are going to be more guarded with their online inquiries (hopefully), so too is Google.

 

 

One of the best and easiest ways to boost your online reputation is by getting great reviews across platforms like Google and Facebook. Real people saying positive things about your business not only encourages other real people to trust in your services, but it is also judged favorably by search engines when they’re compiling their rankings. Another way to build reputation online is through backlinks. This tells Google that other people in the community are pointing to you and essentially saying ‘hey we trust this person/business and you should too.’ For example, getting your business featured in an online news article or winning an award from a prestigious organization in your specific industry are great ways to not only attract the “practical” attention of people who come across those things, but also earn “technical” SEO points if your website is linked within their article, press release, etc.

 

 

These are just a few areas that Google and other search engines are going to continue to place more and more stock into throughout the upcoming years. If you’re not already considering them in your 2019 plans, it’s time to start!

 

 

 

 

Donato DiRenzo

Marketing Consultant – Team Leader

 


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