Earlier this week we wrote about some of the misconceptions surrounding search engine optimization (SEO) in 2019 and explored how this ever-changing digital marketing strategy is still relevant today. There’s no denying that what worked just two years ago won’t work in today’s landscape, so it’s essential that you keep your SEO tactics and efforts up-to-date if you expect to see any results.
Today, we want to share three of the most impactful SEO strategies you’ll want to incorporate into your 2019 SEO program. These are long-term and will require some planning, so take the time to build a proper SEO strategy within your content marketing plan to ensure you achieve optimal results.
Three SEO strategies to include in your plan:
The UX always comes first
You’re probably sick to death of hearing about user experience (UX) at this point. You’ve already been told a million times that it needs to be a top priority in basically everything you do, online and offline alike — but SEO is no different. Even though SEO seems to be all about winning the algorithmic lottery and landing a higher ranking in the search engines, the reality is that those bots are scoring your site primarily on the human element.
RankBrain, one of Google’s top SEO metrics, is a machine learning system that tells Google where specific pages should fall within the results for specific search terms. It does this by monitoring your bounce rate, your dwell time, and your click-through rate — all of which are based on how people interact with your content.
All of this comes back to the user experience and that big question: is the online searcher finding what they need when they come to your site? Is the content relevant to their query and engaging enough to keep their attention after that initial click? As with everything you do online, always ensure you’re considering how to provide the best possible user experience.
This isn’t an easy topic to break down, as UX touches countless variables of a customer’s experience. You’ll need to consider every step of the way, from how your website appears within the search results to the ease of making a purchase on your website. If you want that engagement, that conversion, you’ve got to create that positive UX that exists every step of the way.
Optimize for voice search and mobile
While these two things should be nothing new to any marketer or business owner, they’ve become absolutely essential if you want a shot at being successful with SEO in 2019. People are using voice assistants on their mobile devices more than ever, and this trend isn’t going to slow down anytime soon. Many people choose to tackle these two items separately, but I think given the way consumers use them, it makes sense to plan for them as if they were one.
According to data from OptinMonster:
- 51% of mobile users use voice search to find information on a product
- 34% of mobile users use voice search to retrieve information about a local business
- 60% of mobile users use voice search for everyday online searches
So there are two factors you need to consider here — ensure your content is being optimized for the way people speak and for the specific things it’s clear they’re looking for, and ensure your website is mobile responsive. Google now considers the mobile site as the primary version, so don’t make the mistake of having a separate mobile site.
Prioritize content to increase your “dwell” time
Last, but certainly not least, comes your dwell time. Think of this as the opposite of your bounce rate. How long do users stay on your site? If you can keep their attention for longer than three minutes, you’re signaling to the machines that your content is fantastic, relevant, and worthy of a high rank, relative to that specific search query.
You want to do everything you can to maximize engagement, and that will look different depending on what type of content you’re publishing:
- One of the easiest ways to achieve an increased dwell time is through video. It’s been estimated that just two years from now, video will make up 80% of all online traffic. It’s what consumers want and they’ll find it elsewhere if you don’t provide it.
- Make your written content easy to read and digest to increase the likelihood someone will actually stay longer to absorb the words on the page — think headlines, white space, and short paragraphs.
- Switch it up with multiple types of content within one post — this can mean video, text, images, infographics, quizzes, gifs, and more.
- Include relevant links, sources, and related information within your posts. Rather than have them look elsewhere for a more in-depth discussion on the topic or perform another search for their follow-up question, provide that intuitive and leading information right there to keep them engaged.
Whatever way you slice it, SEO is here to stay. But if you don’t keep it current, you won’t see any results. Try these top 3 SEO strategies in 2019 and see the difference in your overall content marketing success!