We are in the fourth quarter of 2018, it is the right time start thinking about the year ahead and new changes SEO realm might expect.
Even though it is hard to assume about the changes that might take place in 2019, but we know for sure what SEO trends of 2018 will take greater prominence in 2019.
In this post, we will be covering the SEO trends that you need to keep an eye on and implement in your SEO strategy to stay ahead of the curve.
1. Voice search and digital assistants
The exploding growth of voice-first devices is making it inevitable that users’ search behavior will shift towards voice over text search.
At present, there are over 33 million voice-first devices in use and almost one-fourth of these devices are primarily focus on providing voice assistance to the users.
As people are getting comfortable with using voice search it’s not long before the majority of users shift towards voice-based search.
The trend that took a stride in 2018 will see an exponential growth in 2019 as well. Whether you are a marketer, webmaster or business owner, it is important to invest in voice SEO optimization to reap benefits in 2019.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai in his keynote made the announcement that 20% of mobile queries are voice searches.
The number is still growing and this reason alone should be good enough for you to follow this trend.
Important: How can I benefit from this?
Answer: When you focus on SEO for voice search you need to create your content around long tail keywords as people tend to use more words in voice search.
Also, try to write content that is more natural and conversational.
The AI-powered digital assistants like Google Home and Amazon Alexa are getting smarter by day and as their accuracy improves people will start using them for quick and relevant answers.
This is why you need to keep the voice user intent at the core and offer content that provides exact answers. If you are able to embrace the voice search then you can expect to gain a lot in the long term.
2. Hack into ‘position o’ with good content
Did you ever tried a search query and got the solution for your query in the form of small snippet like this? Most of the times, yes. But did you think those snippets would become one of the key SEO trends in the future?
Let’s be honest. Most of us didn’t. We will see more competition for position o starting in 2019.
Position 0 featured snippet has already made a dent in the SEO when it was released in the early months of 2017. However, building on the growth of voice search, featured snippets have become more important.
According to Seoeaze.in, “With voice search, users’ intent is to get exact answers to their queries.
This is why you need to focus on providing quick answers with your content to the users. In 2019 the popularity of featured snippets will be on the rise as people will want precise answers to their queries in as little time as possible.”
Important: creating content to rank in ‘position 0’
Well, there’s no specific thing that you can do to achieve position 0, but…
can start including more lists, graphs, and tables in your content. To further improve the chances of your content to appear in featured snippets by structuring it into Q&A format, so that it is easier for Google to extract information.
3. User experience will beat everything
UX has always been an important aspect of SEO and now it grows more relevant in 2018-19. Google has already made it clear that user experience is one of the ranking signals.
You need to focus on offering a smooth user experience to your visitors in 2019 as well.
With good user experience makes people engage more with the content and it signals search engines to prefer such pages over the ones with poor UX. The first step towards making your site user-friendly is to make it faster. If you want numbers, 53% of mobile users abandon the sites that take more than 3 seconds to load.
Important: How can I deliver good UX?
In 2019, it is important to have a site that is lighting fast. You can start by checking the performance of your website using Google’s PageSpeed Insight tool.
The tool provides you with detailed information regarding the performance of the page. It will also detail the errors and how you can fix them to boost your website’s loading speed.
After, you have fixed the problems the next logical step is to check the readability factor of your site.
Make the content readable using shorter sentences. The use of long-tail keywords in the content will make it voice search friendly as well as more conversational.
You should also focus on the browsing habits of visitors on your site.
If your website has a high bounce rate then you need to take a closer look at what elements are responsible. The number of mobile users is increasing and they are consuming more content, it is important to create more personalized experiences for them through better UX.
4. The rise of Mobile-first Index
Google already made it clear in its March 2018 official statement that it has fully rolled out the mobile-first index.
What it means in simple words is that now your website’s mobile version is evaluated to decide its ranking in SERPs rather than the desktop version.
In 2018, this trend is on the rise and if you invest in making your website mobile friendly you will enjoy higher rankings in 2019 as well.
And it even makes sense to give preference to mobile version as now 57% of the internet traffic comes from mobiles. There is a significant difference between users’ behavior and the keywords they use for the queries.
Important: How to play well on Mobiles?
In the rest of the 2018 quarter, you need to invest in mobile-first content that will rank you higher in mobile search in 2019.
Also, you should start embracing the AMP version of the site as outlaid by Google. AMP sites are mobile friendly and specifically designed for slow internet connections as they load faster.
5. Link building will be lit
You might call me old school, but I still root for link-building as one of the utmost important signals for ranking pages in Google.
But, link-building won’t be the same in 2019.
Linkless backlinks will be one of the SEO trends that you’ll witness in 2019. So what exactly are these Linkless backlinks and how do they affect my SEO?
Using Linkless backlinks search engines can easily associate mentions with brands and use them to determine a site’s authority. Duane Forrester, formerly a senior product manager at Bing, confirmed that Bing is already using unlinked mentions for ranking.
Rumors do say that even Google is working on something similar.
While links are going to still carry some weight, the other content around the hyperlinked text is going to also be very important.
All the SEO trends listed here might have begun in late 2017 or early 2018, but their true benefit can be reaped in 2019.
Focus on making your site mobile friendly and optimize your content for voice search, this will give you an edge in competition. I hope you like this article on SEO trends.