Where is SEO Headed in 2019?
At N2 Marketing we believe that new ideas spark new possibilities. So as 2019 comes into full bloom, we had a capital meeting with the entirety of our team to discuss the search landscape, how it has evolved throughout 2018, and what we can expect from 2019. With lots of experts on board and lots of different ideas flying around the room - one idea in particular kept coming up. Quality.
The overarching direction
It’s pretty obvious that we can’t just write whatever, slap on some images, build a few random links and expect the site to rank at the top of our users’ search queries. The idea of “Quality” ties in everything, from the content, to the flow and experience, and even the branded online presence, how you position yourself and who are you interacting with online. It’s all about the whole picture, the entirety of the experience.
Google has their sights set for “quality” in 2019
This is something that we always talk about: “Google’s mission as a company is to provide the best user experience for each interaction a user has on their platform”. Read that back. Obviously that includes search, and this is backed by the fact that the majority of algorithm changes in 2018 centered around Google’s ability to pinpoint real quality content among all the fluff available on the net these days. This meant that now a lot more weighting in positive ranking signals went towards content as opposed to the links or domain quality. Ultimately the idea is to give the platform the ability to analyze a given site and it’s content just like a real live person would.
How does quality influence rankings in 2019?
As per the typical Matt Cutts fashion, during the August 2018 algorithm changes, he recommended that marketers narrow down their focus on the quality of their content. It was noted that as the technology behind the platform evolves, it makes the process of grading any given website much easier and thus, quicker and scalable. So while it’s not exactly a groundbreaking revelation, you should prepare to say goodbye to spammy link building tactics, content manipulation and spammy keyword stuffing. The statement behind this is very simple - make quality content to deliver quality experience, and you will get quality traffic. This concept is the foundation of how we approach search engine optimization over at N2 Marketing.
What can your business do to start catching up?
As 2019 kicks off, many business owners saw their site fall in rankings and drop off due to poor optimization, or otherwise weak signals that suddenly turned into negative factors for their site. If you’re one of those said business owners, don’t worry, there’s still a lot that you can do to start catching up and getting back on track. An overtop of that there’s also the Domain Authority 2.0 update rolled out recently over at Moz.
Here are some of the steps you can take to start recovering lost rankings for your business:
- Get a professional SEO audit to understand where you stand right now. This will help you approach the recovery effort with a very clear understanding of what exactly needs doing. If you don’t know where you are, how can you understand where you need to go?
- Speak with a consultant and get a roadmap developed for your business to have a complete plan of attack. While SEO isn’t exactly rocket science, and it’s pretty easy to develop a fundamental understanding of what you’re dealing with, it’s still best practice to leave the more technical aspect of the work to the experts. Sure you might spend $100-200, but you will have a concrete set of steps that you need to take, helping your business more in the right direction.
- Re-compile your website’s content and optimize minimally, while following the best practice guidelines. One of the biggest problems on the web is over optimization, and it’s the one factor that’s holding a lot of websites back from the top spots. Where they would have otherwise been up on top organically, they have to instead focus on technical factors and building up their authority, which is not only a way more extensive effort, it’s also far more costly than just having great content developed off the bat.
- Set up a recurring technical audit with a tool like Ahrefs to make sure you fix all technical issues in a timely manner. Another incredibly common issue for many local businesses lies in simply forgetting to run an automatic audit and go through all of the fixes. That is assuming the average business owner knows exactly what they’re doing as they go through the list. If you approach these fixes haphazardly, then you may end up creating more issues than you actually started with.
- Revisit and expand on content that performs well. One of the easiest tactics to increase your general exposure and build up a healthy stream of traffic from organic search is to identify pieces of content on your site that rank well for focus keywords, as they will almost always rank for some secondary and long tail keywords as well. Once you have identified these keywords, you can add a new section to this content that focuses on these keywords, which will help boost those keywords towards the top of search results.
In short, if you see your rankings dropping off, don’t freak out because there’s lots you can do to make sure you climb back up. The one big underlying thematic behind all of these points, along with the myriad of other tactics and strategies to follow - happens to be consistency. If you keep optimizing your efforts on a regular basis and make sure that you’re moving forward daily, weekly, monthly and onwards, you will definitely see results shine through. In fact, consistency was the key factor behind the success of the 100 or so campaigns that we’ve handled in 2018 alone.