SEO is increasingly becoming a major part of a business’ marketing strategy. In 2018, 61 percent of marketers found that improving SEO and organic presence was a high priority. Search engines are only going to improve and upgrade their algorithms to provide searchers with the best results. As time goes on, businesses have to continue anticipating the latest trends.
As 2019 comes in, new trends will arrive that businesses must prepare for. Once you know what’s coming, you can start making plans to incorporate each new trend. Be aware of the best SEO strategies in Canada to prepare yourself for the coming year. Here are some trends to expect for 2019 and how you can use them for your business.
● Build quality content
Making quality is the simplest strategy when it comes to improving your SEO. In the words Brian Sutter of Forbes.com, “Sadly, much of the content being published is simply not worth linking to. 75% of it is getting zero inbound links. So forget the ‘more is better’ approach to content if you want links. Go with quality instead. Your content will generate links only if it is truly exceptional—’remarkable,’ as Seth Godin would say.”
The more high-quality content you post, the more traffic your website will attract. Look for any key factors that drive quality content you can apply to strengthen your content. Be an authoritative and informative resource to establish yourself as an authority in the field. Include relevant keywords to bring in the right visitors. Be specific with regard to the content you post; it’s easy to spread yourself thin and lose to other sites that focus on specific content. Do post regularly to let Google know you’re still active.
● Update your content
Look into old content targeting specific keywords you’re targeting. Avoid writing new content with the same keyword. That’s keyword cannibalization (those pages will be competing for that keyword and probably won’t rank). Improve the existing page by adding new content. There are online tools that can provide you with relevant topics and keywords to improve your ranking. Keep an eye out for anything new about your pages, and update from time to time to stay fresh.
● Design a 404
For websites that are large enough, some pages may be defunct, leading visitors to see 404’s. A 404 is an error message indicating an internet address can’t be found (e.g. a missing post). When clients encounter this page, they tend to leave, costing your website visitors and revenue.
Consider designing your own custom 404 pages. Use strategies for 404 errors that can help the user experience and improve user retention. For example, include a call-to-action on the page to redirect visitors to your homepage and avoid losing traffic. For businesses with eCommerce stores, consider offering goodies to reduce your bounce rate (e.g. special offers and discount codes).
● Create videos
A video is a great way to improve time-on-site. Create informative videos to give customers visual aids. This can especially help when providing how-to guides. Google takes note of sites with high user retention rates. It takes this as a sign that your site has strong content and that your audience finds you relevant. Videos are great tools for keeping visitors on your site for longer and reducing bounce rates. Faster internet speeds also let you take live videos, which you can link to social media accounts. Use live video to interact with your audience instantly.
● Add breadcrumbs
ECommerce sites can add breadcrumbs to organize pages within categories. Many stores link their products from category pages. This lets category pages send equity to product pages, making the pages stronger. Breadcrumbs consolidate the strength of your category pages by linking them to subcategories and related products. Check the template settings for your site. Most templates come with breadcrumbs, allowing you to arrange your pages fairly easily.
● Focus on mobile-first
Google has recently moved to a mobile-first indexing process. What does mobile-first indexing mean for your SEO? Google will now rank your pages based on how they are viewed by users on mobile devices and focus on the mobile version of your site. Stay competitive by optimizing your site for mobile users. Use responsive design to adjust your pages for different screen sizes. Do test the site’s performance on your mobile devices to check how optimized they are. In case you have a desktop and mobile site, check that the primary content is identical to avoid confusion.
As the graph states, more people are increasingly comfortable with using virtual assistants to help with searches. Google has taken note of the increased use of these tools, and adapted to make voice search easier by focusing on more precise search terms. Optimize your new content and upgrade your old content to adjust to these changes. Start early to get ahead of your competitors and reap the benefits of voice search before they can. Voice search requires slightly different keywords and techniques than typing. Redesign your keywords to match spoken search terms and make your website more visible on search results.
● Consider voice searches
Optimize your pages for voice searches. Digital assistants like Siri and Alexa are becoming more widespread. Users can use these tools to find instant results, especially for exact and question-based search terms. Optimize with geo-targeted and long-tail keywords to keep up with spoken search terms. Create an FAQ page to compile the most common answers for greater convenience.
● Implement tracking
Tracking traffic to your site helps you spot issues and do troubleshooting. Monitor which pages users leave, or ones on which they stay for more insights into what works for you. Monitoring your search traffic also allows you to check if your ideas are making progress, or if you’ve been penalized. From there, you can start making changes to improve your strategy and maximize your traffic.
● Optimize your images
Images take up plenty of physical space on your server; they also take up the most space on devices. This can make your pages take longer to load and put a dent in conversions. Compress your images to make them take up less space. Compression reduces the file sizes without affecting the image quality, allowing your images to have the same effect.
● Increase site speed
Images affect site speed, but there are other ways to increase the speed for a better user experience. Many users make a decision about staying on your website within seconds. Site speed is a priority for reducing bounce rates and getting customers to stay.
Limit plugin use and remove any unnecessary ones. For example, consider eliminating slider plugins. They take up plenty of space and can annoy customers when the image shifts automatically. Replace them with a static image and CTA button instead. Consider using online tools to test load speeds and improve your site’s performance.
● Secure a social media profile
Social media profiles are a great way to secure more backlinks to your pages. Make profiles on the most relevant platforms (e.g. Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter) to give your business more exposure. Depending on your business, you may consider other platforms like Yelp. Use your social media profiles as other platforms to generate more traffic. For example, post blog articles and videos with links back to your site. You can also do this in reverse. Add share and like buttons to your posts to let visitors share pages they like. Include CTAs in your content to motivate visitors to give you a call for products and services.
● Share other people’s content
Think of sharing other sites’ content as a “you scratch my back, I scratch yours” situation. When you share other people’s content, they can share yours, allowing both of you to benefit from increased exposure. When sharing, focus on content from other pages instead of people. Personal profiles usually aren’t indexed, meaning Google won’t be able to see backlinks created by those shares.
● Solicit reviews – Reviews are very relevant for increasing your local SEO ranking. Know how to use product reviews to drive SEO and strengthen your online presence. Higher rankings improve your visibility on search results, giving you more business. Ask for reviews from all your satisfied customers. People in their social circles are likely to see the reviews. Potential customers tend to view customer reviews as impartial. These reviews can be an effective way of improving your brand reputation among new visitors. For businesses offering services, build a testimonial page to let past customers share details of how well a job you did for them.
As you implement strategies to boost your SEO in the new year, stay informed to find the most effective ones. Do be aware of any SEO myths that aren’t effective to avoid weakening your search rankings. Keep aware of the latest trends and strategies to stay competitive and improve your site’s traffic.
Check this video for advanced techniques to help improve your SEO game. Many businesses use common SEO tips and strategies. Use different techniques to stand out from the crowd and improve your search rankings. For example, include plenty of conveniences for viewers (e.g. Click to Tweet links) to make it easier for visitors to share your content. Consider other forms of content to post, like podcasts, that you can use to share helpful information with your audience. You can also convert old articles into new content (e.g. videos, ebooks, or infographics) to put a new spin on them. Alternatively, update your old content to keep it relevant as time passes. Use a variety of SEO strategies to keep your content strong and noticeable to your intended audience. Keep an eye out for new ideas and trends to stay competitive and keep up whenever search engines update their algorithms. SEO may be forever, but the trends do change.