In the last couple of months, I have lost count of the number of business owners asking my opinion on what will happen with SEO in 2019
Having just finished writing a book about SEO for global publisher Penguin Random House, I have studied and researched the trends, data, and results.
Whilst there are a lot of important features, in this article I will detail what the top 3 will be for New Zealand businesses:
Focus on the user
In the next 12 months, user features are going to have big implications on search results. Improving your calls to action on your search results (by writing engaging meta descriptions), will improve how many people click on your business pages in search results.
Once a potential customer has clicked on your website, make sure you provide value. Don’t just try and push someone straight through a sales funnel – this has been overdone in 2018 and customers are aware of hard-sell tactics. For content pages, make sure you focus on long-form content (2,000+ words) that is interspersed with images and dynamic content, such as video or animated images.
In mid-2018, Google started rolling out mobile-first indexing, meaning the mobile version of your website is the priority according to Google. This is not surprising, as independent research conducted by Pure SEO showed mobile searches overtaking desktop searches in volume for the first time during 2018.
What this means – for both you and your business – is that you need to ensure the mobile experience of your website is as good as, if not better than, your desktop equivalent. Ensure your website is mobile-friendly (Google offers a free, easy-to-use tool to check this) and that it also loads extremely fast.
Make the most of video
When I started Pure SEO in 2009, the industry was experiencing 300 per cent year-on-year growth globally. A decade later, as we approach 2019, it looks like the online video industry will experience a similar explosion in growth. According to Cisco, video is likely to account for 80 per cent of all online traffic!
Video is something I am going to be investing a lot of money and time into during the next 12 months, YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world, it is owned by Google, and more and more YouTube results are being blended with search results.
Intersperse video amongst written content to increase engagement and the amount of time users spend on your website. Perform keyword research to understand what your customers are interested in, and utilise this data to dictate which subjects you create video around.
A good, well-implemented SEO strategy is still quite hard to find in New Zealand. If businesses focus on these three areas and do them properly, the results will speak for themselves, both in 2019 and beyond.