December 14, 2018 | By:

SEO Trends to Watch Out for in 2019

Search engine optimization (SEO) practices always evolve, and with the year coming to a close, there is no better time to prepare for next year’s SEO strategy than now.

As Google continues its efforts in shifting to mobile-first indexing, as well as today’s  advancements in technology brought about by artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, and blockchain—among many others—massive changes are in order and these may heavily influence SEO practices in the coming years.

Here are five of the most prominent SEO trends to watch out for in 2019, and what relevant actions plans marketers can do in response:

1. Mobile-first indexing

Mobile optimization stays significantly relevant in 2019, and more so since Google has officially rolled out their mobile-first indexing in 2018 after many years of anticipation by marketers worldwide. In fact, Google has already started migrating sites that follow the best practices for mobile-first indexing and, in the coming months, it is expected that they will take a bolder approach in its implementation.

What marketers can do:

  • Shift to a responsive web design with fluid site grids and proportionate variable measures, if you haven’t done so already.
  • Compress web images for mobile web viewing, enable gzip compression, and minimize site redirects to optimize site speed.
  • Consider upgrading to an accelerated mobile page (AMP) to further boost site speed and mobile optimization.
2. Voice search and AI

AI technology has become more sophisticated, and it’s changing the way we conduct keyword search. With the increasing popularity of virtual assistants such as Siri, Alexa, Cortana, and Google Assistant, voice search will become an indispensable utility in the future, considering that they can be incorporated into smart home technology. In fact, it’s predicted that voice search will dominate 50% of web searches by 2020.

What marketers can do:

  • Prioritize search intent when crafting keyword research; use natural language and long-tail keywords (e.g., digital marketing agencies in Texas)
  • Use structured data to aid Google AI to easily read microdata from your website, such as your business address, contact number(s), business hours, etc.
3. VR and 360-video content

Video content has always been a fan favorite, as it compels more engagement than still photos or plain text content. In recent years, however, virtual reality/augmented reality (AR/VR) technology has gained in popularity, and although owning a VR system may not go mainstream very soon, 2019 is the year to make a bold move towards VR content and 360-videos.

What marketers can do:

  • Create and embed VR tours and 360-degree videos with the WPVR Plugin to allow site visitors to play the video without the need for a specific VR headset.
  • Use video sitemaps so that search engines can better understand and index relevant video metadata.
4. Security and GDPR

Internet security has been a great concern as of late, in light of the various security breaches in 2018. The European Union’s recent implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has made rounds in 2018, and while this policy is aimed specifically at European countries and customers, it’s still prudent for non-EU and international companies to comply. Google Analytics, in fact, introduced changes to provide an option for personal user data to expire after a number months from its date of collection.

What marketers can do:

  • Revise your cookie consent form to comply with GDPR requirements.
  • Set your User and Event Data Retention in Google Analytics to expire after 14, 26, 38, or 50 months.
  • Enable IP Anonymization if you use Google Tag Manager for better data privacy.
5. Long-form content

Despite the ever-changing nature of SEO, one thing remains constant: web content. For the past few years, users have been preferring long-form over shorter content, and the trend continues to stay relevant in 2019. It does not follow, however, that the longer the article, the better; it’s still best to focus on quality over quantity. While there is no ideal length for an optimal long-form SEO content, it’s best to aim for at least a thousand words for a single article.

What marketers can do:

  • The paradox with long-form content is that users prefer it for its relevance, yet they still value quick and easy answers to their query. For optimal search engine visibility, aim to rank for Google’s position zero, or otherwise called “featured snippets.”
  • Use subheadings and bullet points for easier reading.
  • Experiment with a mix of text and multimedia content to boost engagement.
In conclusion

With the aforementioned SEO trends setting the tone for the year ahead, marketers and consumers alike have a lot in store for them in the year 2019. The most important takeaway, though, is for marketers to stay abreast of industry updates and to implement appropriate action plans.

If you want to know more about SEO best practices, or if you need help with any of your digital marketing needs, give us a call at 888-420-5115, or send us an email to [email protected].

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