Webmasters and SEOs had to keep their skills sharp in 2018, proving that Google and their ever-present algorithm shifts can easily disrupt the search engines. But as we start the new year, 2019 will likely be no different. So for our 2019 SEO Roundup, we asked some of our favorite SEO pros to weigh-in on the state of SEO and what they see as being some of the best SEO tips and strategies for the year to come.
1. Tedel, Heptagrama.com
In my opinion, online marketers need to go back to basics in 2019. SEO has two core components: sound articles (or others) that effectively solve the searchers’ inquiries, and relevant support for those articles. So, in a nutshell, every SEO specialist should focus on two things:
- Getting a really strong optimization of their sites, including the server, code, images and, well, everything else; and,
- Getting links from websites that are either geographically or contextually related to them.
I would even dare to say the rest is a waste of time.
As a general rule, your website should at least get 90 points in PageSpeed Insights tool before you can consider it optimized. As for where to get links, I suggest making use of Google Alerts so you can build a list of relevant websites for your business. Once you get a list, the next step is to negotiate with each website individually so you can get the links you need to get your rankings. If you are investing in advertising, take notes on where your ads are appearing and getting clicks from, because those sites are relevant for your audience, and you should include them in your link-building efforts as well.
What should you stay away from? Social media. Ask yourself when was the last time you bought something because of a tweet, and then ask yourself why you are spending countless hours on Twitter or Facebook.
Tedel is one of the top online marketers in Peru. You can contact him here.
2. Tim Priebe, owner of T&S Online Marketing
The SEO strategy of creating articles that help your target market hasn’t changed, but the tools used for researching topic ideas have. Here are three tools I recommend.
Wordtracker – You can see some data for free, but if there’s one tool on this list I recommend paying for, this is it. My team has used Wordtracker for years. Of all the tools we originally considered, this one presented the data in a way that let us mine a lot of data quickly.
AnswerThePublic – In most cases, you can take the words you uncovered in Wordtracker, run those through AnswerThePublic, and get a huge list of questions people are actually asking on Google and Bing. If not, plug in various services and products you sell instead. Their free account works for most organizations.
Google suggestions -You can use Google’s normal search results to do topic research as well. Google provides three things that can help. First is the autocomplete suggestions when you start typing. Second is the “People also ask” section that often appears in the middle of the results page. Finally, look at the “Searches related to” section that’s usually at the bottom.
3. William Chan, Inbound Law Marketing
At Inbound, our niche is focused on law firms/lawyers across North America. We understand that SEO is an ever-changing algorithm and every year presents itself with different challenges and opportunities.
One of our go-to strategies that have been working consistently with our team is to demonstrate a law firms (or any company’s) credibility and authority.
You can establish instant credibility from featuring details about the awards you or your client has won. Including text is fine (and great for SEO) but it’s even more visually effective if you can include logos or images of your awards.
Instant credibility is also provided by reviews and testimonials from past clients. Remember to feature a page of testimonials for each practice area, with case results detailed too.
Finally, having a case study to demonstrate your expertise can be extremely effective as well. The purpose of a case study is to highlight or demonstrate their expertise and previous successes. This is super important too especially if you’re marketing an intangible service. By using these “instant credible” actions you can turn an intangible service to become a service clients can feel, understand and relate too.
4. Jeff Couret, Founder of SEOak
UX (User Experience) for SEO will become even more important. Don’t forget that Google typically has the data of how long people stay on a page, how many pages they view on a site, whether or not they convert to an Analytics goal, and whether or not they hit “back” and go to a different page on the SERP and spend time / convert there instead. Nail your UX, nail your SEO.
Content will continue to be king. Of course, great content results in a better user experience, more time on site, and higher conversions so this makes perfect sense. Also, don’t forget to research the existing search intent before trying to optimize for any keyword. If Google doesn’t think searchers are looking for the type of content you’ve got on a page, no amount of on-page optimization or anchor text will matter.
Links will continue to play a smaller role, but will continue to remain fairly important through 2019. What I’ve definitely been noticing is that pages with zero backlinks are starting to rank well for competitive keywords when the content is solid – and it’s not always huge content pieces, either. So if links are your primary focus for performing SEO, you might want to scale it back a bit. Also, I think Google will be reducing the value of inbound links that have zero search traffic and zero eyeballs to the page where the links exists. I mean, it makes sense – after all, if no one is seeing a link, how good of a link could it be? So this is going to result in a decline in the typical guest blog type link that we see from most link sellers. This actually goes back to UX in a way.
5. Frank Mas, SEO Long Island SEO
RankBrain – While certainly not new for 2019, RankBrain will continue to help weed-out content that’s not relevant to a user’s search, and continue to shape the SEO industry for years to come. Unfortunately, Google doesn’t provide us with a checklist on how to optimize your website for RankBrain, so the old school theory of creating amazing content is likely to be the best way to have RankBrain on your side.
CTR – Click-through-rate, which is a known RankBrain ranking single will be one of the key optimizing strategies for 2019. While CTR is nothing new to online marketers, it plays a pivotal role in SEO. SEO in 2019 won’t be about beating another page based on article word count, social metrics, keyword usage, or the number of backlinks acquired. SERP dominance will come from beating your competitors with a higher than expected click-through rate.
In-depth Content – Looking back at previous SEO ranking factor lists from years past, Google looked at the frequency and volume of published posts or articles when ranking. Now, Google is much more focused on the quality of content, bumping up content that exceeds the 2,000 word mark. In fact, you can go months without publishing a single piece of content on your website and the be pushed to the top of Google for a single piece of content that is highly researched and well thought-out. However, beyond content length, it’s important to ensure your posts and articles are “in-depth”. Producing content with contextual facts, data, charts, graphs, images, videos, and more, will keep you on the right path to providing the best content possible.
6. Manny Janero, Click Elements
As many marketers are aware, 2018 was a pretty big year for SEO and digital marketing in general. There were Google algorithm updates that came out; new trends and features that were pushed live; and new tools and software that launched. Because of all of this, SEO has grown to a new level and shows no signs of stopping anytime in the near future. With all of this occurring in 2018, it leaves us to ask: What are the SEO tactics we should focus on for 2019?
Below are a few SEO strategies and trends that all SEO experts and pros need to be aware of for this year:
Homepage Video – Placing a video within your homepage has the potential to really catch a user’s attention. This allows the user to stay on the homepage for a prolonged amount of time. Search Engines, like Google, Yahoo, and Bing, take into account how long users stay on a website into their ranking algorithms. Therefore, having a user watch a video on the homepage for a longer period of time helps increase your organic rankings.
Post Sharing – Post Sharing is another tactic we will see increase in 2019. You want to make sure that you are sharing your content everywhere possible. This includes social media, content-sharing websites (such as Reddit and Digg), and so forth. One, you will get links back to your website, and two, people will be able to engage with your content – both of which help your organic rankings.
Quality Backlinks – Link building is an SEO tactic that has always been around. However, always remember that it is quality over quantity when it comes to backlinks. Back in the day, you could submit your website to any sort of directory or blog there is and receive credit for the link from search engines. Now, you want to focus on links that have high domain authorities and do-follow links available.
Social Media Signals – Social is becoming a more and more significant ranking factor when it comes to search engines. Search engines are now starting to significantly take into account the amount of engagement that your social accounts and social posts receive. This is why it is even more important now to create quality content on your social media.
Evergreen Content – Creating authentic, fresh content on an ongoing basis is something that is not going away when it comes to the ranking algorithms for search engines. Quality content results in better organic rankings. It is crucial to make sure your consistently putting out evergreen content on your website – whether this means updating interior pages or putting out frequent blog posts.
Structured Data – Structured Data is a significant factor that is taken into account when it comes to organic rankings. Because AI is becoming more and more important for Google, structured data is becoming more important as well. Structured Data means that AI can process content much faster and determine which content is relevant for each search.
Because of how far SEO has come in 2018 alone, the above are just a few of the SEO tactics to be aware of for 2019. We can definitely expect to see even more innovative strategies and techniques to appear throughout the year, so it is important to keep up-to-date on all digital marketing updates as you continue to build your own SEO and your clients’ SEO up. With the amount of new trends and strategies coming out, it is highly recommended to make sure you have a digital marketing agency working on your SEO to make sure that your campaigns are optimized to the fullest in order to see the most significant ROI for your business in 2019.
7. Liam Abbott, Top Shelf Media
I personally believe that Search Intent is one of the biggest priorities clients and SEOs alike should think about while they are building their SEO strategy. What is the purpose of the user coming to your site? Is it informational or transactional? Once you know this, you can tailor your content to better serve this purpose.
What do you define your prospects by and where does their value come into play? If a potential customer enters your site… what is the purpose of them being there? Create content to guide your visitors to the end goal. If that end goal is a checkout, then create sales funnels to properly push prospects in the right direction.
Lets look at an example: a fitness blogger wants to bring in more traffic to their blogs while simultaneously making more affiliate ad sales to raise revenue. From the start, the blogger should be thinking about why the user is coming to their blog, and if they could find the ads they are displaying to be useful to them. A fitness blog will find no use in loading up the site with advertisements for computer parts. Instead, the site should incorporate relevant ads geared towards the user, like fitness gear or supplements.
As we can see, some of our SEO pros agree on the SEO strategies and key signals to be aware of in 2019. Do you have an SEO strategy that you’ll be leading with in 2019? Feel free to share with our community in the comments section below.