January 15, 2019 ByCheryl Dykstra
It’s the beginning of another year, which means it’s time to
look at your marketing and see what’s working and what needs to change. You
should ideally evaluate your website and marketing efforts (including SEO) at
least once a year, so you can stay on top of any changes in your business or in the
Here are five search engine optimization (SEO) essentials
you’ll need according to today’s top SEO professionals.
1. Understand Your
There are multiple ways that knowing your audience and their
intent helps with your search marketing.
First, if your website is optimized for your audience you
have a better chance of capturing and maintaining their attention, keeping them
on your site longer, and getting them to complete a desired action.
Not only is this great for your business, but this
engagement also shows Google that your website is valuable to users, which can
boost your rankings.
Another way that knowing your audience can help your SEO is
by optimizing for keywords that are better targeted to your ideal audience.
“It will be more critical than ever for SEOs and content
specialists to focus heavily on the user intent of the keywords they are
targeting while creating content,” said Jesse McDonald, SEO specialist and
director of operations for TopHatRank.com.
Focusing solely on broad keywords just isn’t cutting it
anymore, especially with so many large brands and directories taking up space
in the top 10.
“When doing keyword research in 2019, it’s imperative that
you check the SERPs to see if websites like yours are ranking for a targeted
phrase,” said Chuck Price, founder of Measurable SEO. “If the top SERPs are
filled with directories or review sites and your site isn’t one of those, then
move on to another phrase.”
In 2018, Google released algorithm updates that focused on
content quality and the depth and breadth of a website’s content. With this in
mind, many SEO experts believe this trend will continue into 2019 with Google
rewarding sites that provide quality content.
“What you need to do is create content that solves a problem
– content that moves, motivates, and connects with people,” said Matt Siltala,
president of Avalaunch Media.
“Do your research, be the solution to the problem that
people have, and provide something that is meant for people versus trying to
‘SEO’ the crap out of it and you will always do better in your efforts.”
Your content shouldn’t be there to get users to a page. It
should engage them and guide them to the next action.
3. Invest in Technical SEO
As the internet and search engines become more and more
technical, so does your website. Optimizing for Google is about more than just
Some key areas of focus on the technical side of SEO
- Speed: If people
land on your site and have to wait for it to load, they’re more likely to go
back to the search results instead of wait it out. This not only loses you a
potential customer but can also harm your SEO efforts by increasing your bounce
There are many things that make your site harder for search engines to process
including error pages, duplicate content, and infinite spaces (i.e., events
calendars that go on years and years into the future).
It’s more than just having a responsive site. If you have content that overlaps
or displays in non-user friendly way, then your website still needs work when
it comes to being mobile-friendly.
4. Optimize for
Featured Snippets and Other SERP Features
In addition to optimizing your website, you also need to
think about optimizing your Google search experience in 2019.
“Answer boxes, recipes, the knowledge graph, carousels, and
who-knows-what-else will take an even bigger bite out of organic traffic,” said
Ian Lurie, CEO and founder of Portent. “That makes SEO even more important,
because exposure is as much about visibility in the SERPs as it is about
That means optimizing
for featured snippets (a.k.a., position zero) and other Google search
features will continue to be an important trend.
As we move in the age of digital assistants, structured data
is one of the top ways to help these assistants serve up relevant information.
Jamie Alberico, SEO product owner for Arrow Electronics,
said you should “leverage your existing content by integrating speakable and
fact check structured data markup. These markups are a key link between factual
reality and the screenless future.”
“Contextual relationships between topics and behaviors,
supported by structured markup, is the critical trend we need to start
understanding, testing, and implementing for 2019,” said JP Sherman, enterprise
search and findability expert at Red Hat.
Stay Up-to-Date on
SEO and Digital Marketing
It’s tough for business owners to truly stay ahead of the
curve with digital marketing and SEO because it changes all the time. That’s
why partnering with a trustworthy and tech-savvy digital marketing company can
be so crucial.
Now is the perfect opportunity to review your current
marketing strategy and decide how to allocate your resources on what will bring
you the most success in 2019.
If you’re interested in learning how Sales & Marketing
Technologies can help your business thrive, call us today at (407) 682-2222 for
a free strategy session.