As the new year is approaching a storm, we thought that we would compile a guide to review your search engine optimisation (SEO) performance in 2019. In this guide, we will review proven SEO strategies that work well already, but that will come to work even better in 2019. If you want to improve your search engine placements and increase your organic traffic in the coming years, this is the guide for you.
In recent years, we’ve found that Google and other search engines have begun to use more and more ranking factors based on user experience and experience of your site.
This was confirmed, among other things, when Google announced that RankBrain is now their third most important ranking signal, which Bloomberg was the first to report. Details that have been confirmed by Google.
What is RankBrain?
So what’s RankBrain really like and how can you optimize for this?
In short, RankBrain is a new machine learning AI (artificial intelligence) system used to process and sort Google search results.
The algorithm largely focusses on how visitors integrate with your site and then sort in search results accordingly.
RankBrain also processes a large amount of text to understand that context, the actual meaning of words and phrases. This way, the algorithm can also better understand never previously used searches and still filter relevant search results. It also helps Google to become more accurate.
Let’s show an example of how RankBrain works:
You are searching for “change tires” in Google and stick to the fourth search result as it best fits what you’re looking for.
You therefore quickly click on this result and notice that it is a very descriptive and in-depth article that is exactly what you were looking for. You will therefore stay on the page for a long time and read every word of the article.
This behavior will RankBrain note and most likely give the fourth search result a better placement.
Let’s say you’re doing the same search, but this time you click on the first search result. Once you come across this page, you notice that this content does not exactly match what you were looking for. You therefore leave this page in just a few seconds and instead enter the fourth result where you will find an in-depth article that you are stuck to.
Even this behavior will RankBrain note and if most visitors do the same, Google will likely move down the first result and instead move the fourth result. The same goes for all placements in the search results.
As you can, RankBrain focuses primarily on two factors:
The percentage of users who click on your search result (CTR)
How long visitors stay on your side (Dwell Time)
Click-Through Rate (CTR)
As we mentioned earlier, RankBrain focuses on Click Through Rate (CTR), also known as the clickthrough rate in Swedish.
With a little thought, it is also very logical that they use this factor as a ranking signal. If no one clicks your search result, why should Google keep it on the first page that is considered the most important? If, on the other hand, users click on your results more than average, why should they place you far below the search results?
In short, you should optimize your search result to get as high a clickthrough rate as possible. This will also be more important in 2019 because Google is doing more and more to remove the organic search results. This is done with ads, answer boxes, carousels and the like.
Studies have even shown that organic clickthrough rate is 37% lower today compared to 2015. The reason for this is just because Google moves down the organic search results in favor of ads and the like.
To learn more about how to improve your clickthrough rate, please read our previous guide meta tags .
Dwell Time is the time a visitor stays on your site. This is also a factor that RankBrain attaches great attention to. Something like the head of Google Brain in Canada recently confirmed.
With a little thought, it is also very logical that they use this factor as a ranking signal.
If you spend a long time on a page, it’s probably because you like the content on the page. In addition, if many visitors do the same, Google will improve your placements to make it easier to find your content.
Therefore, be sure to write profound and descriptive content that makes people want to stay on your site.
Then you write user-friendly content
In the past, Google and other search engines only analyzed your pages to see how many times you mentioned a specific keyword. This meant that the search results were filled with bad content that was not user friendly at all.
Today, however, search engines have become much smarter. Instead, they can “punish” you with bad placements if you use keywords for many times, or in an unnatural way. They have thus become much better at understanding context and context .
The main goal of Google and other search engines is to show users the best results. Many times, this result is content that in-depth describes a topic.
Therefore, be sure to put some heart and soul down when writing content to your side. Also make sure to write for the users . Decide on a topic and describe this in depth with about 2,000 words. Studies have shown that articles and blog posts with 2,000 words or more words perform best in search results.
Use latent semantic words
Another strategy that you should use when writing content to your site is to include latent semantic words. Also known as LSI keywords. LSI keywords are words and phrases that are closely related to the subject you are writing about.
You’ll find these keywords when you start typing something in Google search fields:
They also appear at the bottom of the search results:
Mobile as a ranking factor
As we talked about in previous posts and guides, the importance of having a mobile site is becoming increasingly important. In 2015, Google made a statement announcing how to start using mobile site customization as a ranking factor .
Probably, the mobile will continue to be an increasingly important and important ranking factor even in 2019. Last year, for example, Google made a statement announcing that it will switch to a “mobile first index” .
This means that Google will consider the mobile version of your site as the “real” version, even if someone searches from a computer. Perhaps this is a natural step, considering that 60% of all searches on Google are from mobile devices. Something that will only increase in 2019 and beyond.
Even though this “mobile-first index” is not used yet, it’s just as good to prepare and optimize your site right now. This is best done by switching to a responsive design on your site.
However, your site is not mobile-friendly. Many companies today hire a web developer to make their site mobile-friendly and then think they’ve solved the problem. However, they have only solved a part of the problem.
Another important factor is that the site must be easy to use and navigate through mobile devices. Otherwise, users will still leave your site. If you remember, RankBrain notes how users integrate with your page and are therefore most likely to give you worse placements.
Therefore, it is important to ensure that: a) the site is mobile and b) the site is easy to use and navigate via mobile devices.
Pagespeed mobile site
Another important ranking factor is page speed, or upload speed as it is called in Swedish. Simply how long it takes for your website to load for those who visit your site. This may seem irrelevant, but actually has a major impact on the user experience.
Studies have also shown that 47% of internet users expect a site to load within 2 seconds. Otherwise, there is a high risk that they leave the page, which may adversely affect your placements in search results.
In fact, most sites lose half of their visitors due to slow page loading.
To control how fast your mobile site is loading, you can use another tool from Google .
Use you out of video
Online video is something that is explosively explosive right now. In fact, YouTube is already the world’s second largest search engine for Google. There are also surveys showing that online video will account for 80% of all online traffic by 2021.
Therefore, if you want to keep up with the trend, you should start producing video content right now. Another great advantage of producing videos is that you can embed them in blog posts and other content on your site. Something like Candy for RankBrain as it can increase the amount of time visitors stay on your site (Dwell Time) drastically.
As I mentioned earlier, YouTube is already the world’s second largest search engine. And it continues to grow. Quickly. Moreover, the time spent on YouTube is 60% higher than the previous year.
This has also resulted in more and more conducting searches directly on YouTube instead of Google and other search engines. It is therefore a search engine that is too big to ignore. It is also a search engine that can help drive new visitors to your site. YouTube has made it all the easier to include links embedded in videos, but also in descriptions. This allows you to easily drive traffic to your site.
Something else that grows incredibly fast right now is Voice Search, or voice search as it’s called in Swedish. Voice searches can be done via your mobile. However, they are also becoming more common through devices such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa.
Although these types of searches are becoming increasingly popular, voice searches are still at a very early stage and development has just begun. Having said that, however, you should start optimizing some of your content for voice search.
Optimize your content for voice searches
To begin with, your content must be on the first page of search results to be found in voice searches. The best way to optimize your content for this type of search (so far) is to include a question and answer .
The reason for this is that most voice searches are based on questions. For example, “who participated in the movie Titanic” or “what is search engine optimisation”. Google therefore has a tendency to choose a page containing a question and an answer.
Content and Links – The Key to Success in Search Engines
Nevertheless, there are two factors that are most important – content and links. Therefore, do not forget to read our previous guide, where we show you practical strategies for attracting links .
Content, links and good positions in search results are very logical:
If you do not have profound and descriptive content that makes people want to stay on your site, you will never get any links. And without links, you will not reach the first page of search results. If you do not reach Google’s first page, RankBrain, mobile customization, voice searches, and other algorithms do not matter.
In conclusion, we hope you learned some valuable insights and strategies that you can implement on your site to improve your search locations by 2019!
Note: This guide is inspired by Backlinko’s blog post “The Definitive Guide To SEO In 2019”.
SEO Expert Melbourne sharing the knowledge, Updates, Tips, Techniques & useful information within SEO, PPC, Digital Marketing, Local SEO, Content marketing, Inbound Marketing & Digital marketing topics.