Search Engine Optimization has changed rapidly over the years and the next few years are probably going to be full of more developments. Due to these trends, it’s critical for anyone whose role involves SEO to stay on top of these known algorithm changes and SEO trends.
Simplilearn hosted a webinar with Matt Bailey, digital marketing expert, author, and Simplilearn instructor, where we discussed recent changes and upcoming trends in SEO in 2019. You can watch the complete webinar here, or scan through the highlights below.
Keyword research and search trends
- Use search intent to identify keywords. Brands should predict intentions behind searches. You should understand people’s intent behind searches and be able to explain what causes such patterns to occur, how audiences react to it, and how you can incorporate the trend into your marketing strategy.
- Apply keyword trends across all marketing channels. If your organization practices email marketing or social media marketing, keyword research can help develop the content of the emails and social posts as well. An SEO strategy should influence and determine the content that is generated by the entire organization in all the communications.
- Create content that has higher chances to appear on Google Search. If you ask Google for help, you will find the answer to your question at the top of the search page. If your website does not provide the most relevant solution that completely answers the searcher’s question, Google will not generate a page view at all. If the search audience doesn't see enough of your brand, they won’t engage with your website. In this case, they're engaging with Google directly. Your SEO strategy should be able to anticipate the questions people ask and predict the search results, then merge these answers into the content of your website.
- Understand Voice Search. When people search Google using voice commands, Google Assistant reads the answer back to them. This reply is not coming from your website; it's coming from Google. The search engine is delivering only the result and not going to your website. Google is delivering results that don't require a click through. Your SEO team must be able to analyze which voice search queries are driving traffic to your pages. By learning how people are searching using spoken queries, you can optimize your website and climb higher in the rankings.
- Using better keyword tools: You can use keyword tools like Raven or Word Tracker. These tools are very essential because Google has been combining keyword concepts under a single keyword and doesn’t disclose it’s data. For example, if you search for “pool table” and “pool tables” Google puts both the forms under the same umbrella, that is, “pool table.” Keyword search tools other than Google will give you the correct analysis. Some tools let you see what your competitors have been doing. You can learn and examine using their SEM data. You can assess the valuable keywords by learning what your competitors are paying for.
- Use SEO keywords in your copywriting. To become a better copywriter, you need to understand
- Variety and types of content being searched
- Current search trends and patterns
- Ways your readers associate themselves with your content
- Try Implementing Personalized Search trends. People are looking for more personalized information. They look for solutions directly from Google. A research found out that 82 percent of smartphone users use specifically the term “near me” after their search. Even though you may put on something about near you or your audience on your website, it has nothing to do with the content of your website. “Near me” is more of a mobile phenomenon strategy that gets estimated based on distance, and based on former preferences.
- Avoid headlines with double meanings. Using double-meaning headlines can be confusing. Try sticking to headlines that are clear. Based on your keyword research, you can educate your content team on what works well, what's going to click well, and what's going to look good to the search engines. The language and framework should be natural.
- Don’t use clickbait headlines. Keyword stuffing damages your brand by hurting your credibility. A controversial, teasing title may make your article or headlines attractive, but it will increase the bounce rates eventually. You can highlight keywords if you're publishing a well-researched article.
Website and landing page optimization
For a better search ranking, you can work on your local business listing on Google and develop more reviews for your business. The more you develop such listings, the more it increases your brand’s visibility. All the web pages, including the landing page, need to be optimized for an inbound flow. Google’s Quality Score algorithm considers this. Make sure that the landing page matches or at least reflects the paid search headline and also contains keywords that you are bidding on. Optimizing your landing page is one easy way to improve your Quality Score.
Employers are looking less for single-channel specialists and more for integrated management specialists. With more automation coming in, the industry needs people who can lead the entire tech marketing stack of digital marketing and make recommendations to the board on overall strategy. This is where AI and machine learning can integrate with content marketing. SEO, paid search, and content marketing should be combined into omnichannel marketing.
When you are creating content or strategizing content marketing, you need to implement SEO keywords and tactics. SEO and Keywords are important for context and intent, especially in the following channels:
- Email Marketing
- CRM Marketing
- Display ads
- Social Media
Here are things to keep in mind while aiming for better search results and higher ranking on the search engine:
- Track the performance of your content. Analyze which article or blog performed better, and try implementing those tactics into other assets. Observing your ticker analytics to see how your audience is locating you.
- Understand the effects of your SEO strategy. You need to see how people associate content or ideas with your brand or not. You need to figure out where did you lead your audience once they landed on your website, and what made them bounce off. Using your current strategy, were you able to drive more leads or nurtured your customers
- Learn the intended primary action.- What were you expecting from your audience and how successfully you motivated them to act upon it.
- Involve your sales team. Use real conversations with salespeople to understand keywords. Your sales team can help you find out what your customers are looking for, and help you understand how are they finding your website.
What to watch (and not watch) ahead
While it’s essential to stay on top of SEO trends and bona fide changes, it’s important not to chase the needle. Google tweaks their algorithm literally dozens of times a day and trying to over-analyze every confirmed or unconfirmed change can be maddening. Google has said numerous times that you can't do anything specific to fix your rankings or fix for pages that perform less over time; your content will rise and fall over time based on a number of natural factors.
“The vast majority of SEO is giving people what they want: great content that answers questions,” concluded Matt. If you've got the basics covered (your architecture, your URL structure, your page speed), those are known quantifiable factors from a technical standpoint. The other side of great SEO is to answer people's questions. Do they like you? Do they search for you? Those are the types of things that are really very simple. You can't fool the machines.
To learn more about SEO and even how to become certified, check out Simplilearn’s online course on Search Engine Optimization.