At the beginning of this year, an article on SEO 2019 trends is needed! Here, I share the areas of optimization and trends that I will personally be working on throughout the year on the various sites I manage.
The years go by, the basics of SEO remain the same but new SEO trends emerge and are also implemented.
If it is still important in 2019 to optimize its bases in SEO (Title, Hn tags, unique content, technically clean website, well-managed indexing, …). Google, through its updates (like the one in January 6-7 and 10) and the many pieces of news it’s been shared between Twitter, his hangouts on air with John Mueller, and the few blog posts he shares, seem to want to steer SEO towards a more and more SXO (a mix of SEO and user experience (UX)).
8 trends to boost your SEO in 2019
Here is a summary (and a selection) of the 8 most important SEO trends to work in 2019 (in my opinion):
1- CREATE QUALITY CONTENT
Voluntarily put first, this trend that has been going on for many years has never been as true as in 2019.
Google no longer wants our 500-word articles rewritten (or written quickly) just to fill a ‘single-content’ site.
Beyond the unique content, Google loves exceptional content, by its content but also its shape.
The attention of Internet users is very easily lost, Google knows it, that is why it rewards, the useful, detailed contents, but also pleasant to read.
2- THINK SXO AND ADAPT ITS PAGES, IT’S CONTENT AND UI FOR INTERNET SEARCH FOR TARGETED KEYWORDS
Search intent, do you care? This is, in my opinion, the emerging trend since 2017 – 2018 that will take even more place in 2019 SEO discussions!
In summary, it is proposing the right content (or the right products/services) according to the user request that is targeted, while caring for the user experience.
The idea is also not to try to ‘fight’ on queries where we have zero legitimacy to be well placed because Google will see it sooner or later in any case and you will have wasted your time, your money and resources that you could have allocated on much more relevant queries with a much better ROI.
Ex: if my brand only offers ‘shoes made in China’, it is useless that I try to target the request ‘shoes made in Canada’ by highlighting my products 100% made in Canada.
(On the other hand, a blog article on the concrete differences between the made in China and the made in Canada could be relevant for the surfer who seeks this. You can thus propose most of the time a relevant alternative but you will need first and foremost, what Google likes to do about targeted queries to see if you have a chance and an interest in doing so, and more importantly, if it makes more money than just traffic.)
3- DRASTICALLY OPTIMIZE THE LOADING TIME (MOBILE AND DESKTOP) OF YOUR SITE
Now that all sites (or almost) are in HTTPS, Google has been attacking for a few years now the pages loading time!
Embedded in the list (and prominently in the top) of more than 200 positioning factors that impact the positioning of pages on Google, the optimization of the loading time is a priority to be clearly not neglected in 2019, especially when the navigation is mainly done on mobile!
AMP, Progressive Web Apps, lightened responsive site, just see what Google is doing in countries with a weak connection to know what it expects from us: speed and performance even with a degraded 3G connection.
If you want to know where you are, do not hesitate to check out the new PageSpeed Insights tool that recently offered a small facelift and a new lighthouse based calculation mode (very interesting coupled with an analysis with GTmetrix or Webpagetest.org to name just these two free tools).
4- CREATE QUALITY LINKS WITHOUT OPTIMIZED ANCHORS: ALWAYS MORE QUALITY THAN QUANTITY
Quality content is good, and with quality links, it’s better.
In 2019, you will always have to create quality links for ranking on competitive topics.
The good news is that you need fewer links than before, even on very competitive topics.
If quantity has less and less interest and impact, quality is essential!
Take the time to ask yourself and determine what is a quality link for you.
To do this, analyze the links of the best-positioned competitors and focus your 2019 link building strategy on what you think is most relevant.
I am also personally convinced that Google measures unrelated quotes in its calculation of PageRank (or any other indicator specific to Google but related to popularity).
For me, it makes perfect sense that quotes come in one way or another in the balance to know if a site has more or less notoriety and legitimacy than another.
Press relations have never been so important for SEO in 2018 and they will continue to be in 2019.
5- ANALYZE TO BETTER DOMINATE
This key point has always been at the heart of my actions and it will remain so in 2019. In my opinion, the analysis is the basis of any SEO action.
- What are your most performing pages?
- Why do they perform better than others?
- What are the least competitive keywords and the most ROI sites to target?
- Why is your bounce rate high here and not elsewhere?
- Which pages should be updated first?
- What are the concrete differences between the best-positioned competitors and you?
- Which pages are useless and to de-index / delete? …
6- OPTIMIZE THE CTR OF YOUR PAGES IN SEARCH RESULTS
At equal SEO positions, you can gain a significant share of traffic over a year simply by optimizing your snippets (previews of your pages in the search results).
For this, we have several levers available that you can optimize:
- the title,
- the meta description,
- the URL,
- the breadcrumb (when well marked with Schema.org),
- the rich snippets (recipes, reviews, products,…),
- optimization for People Also Ask (PAA),
- optimization of its contents for Featured Snippets (position 0),
- the AMP icon when its pages are compatible,
- the addition of emotions in its snippets …
7- ADD VIDEOS IN THE CONTENT
In 2018, video marketing has clearly passed a new course. To optimize the user experience of your website in 2019, the use of an explanatory video (or video presentation of a product) is increasingly recommended.
Indeed, it will improve the conversion rate of your traffic and limit the bounce rate and pogo-sticking which are two indicators scrutinized closely by Google.
8- CONTINUE TARGETING THE LONG TRACK
If the optimization of the long tail is not a new trend in itself, it is, in my opinion, one of the essential axes to boost your SEO and obtain qualified traffic on any website.
Many studies prove that long-distance traffic carries much more qualified and profitable traffic than short tail traffic, so why not?
WHAT? VOICE SEARCH AND AI ARE NOT IN YOUR SEO TRENDS 2019?
I didn’t deliberately address what I consider the ‘buzzword’ of the moment as the subject of voice search. In my opinion, if your site is already optimized for SEO as we hear it for a traditional search, it will be the same for voice search (however, try to be more present in featured snippets).
For AI and RankBrain, these elements are now embedded in the core of Google’s algorithm and it’s not a trend in itself. However, we find the impacts of these changes in the functioning of Google in the trends mentioned above (SXO, research intent, optimization of CTR, …).
Google is now able to adapt and customize search results very accurately and dynamically, but this should not change your approach and what you need to do to position yourself well.