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Annually we see improvements to search engines enabling them to create highly specific results, unique to users’ questions. 2019 is already shaping up to follow suit.

This for small businesses means planning to include the latest trends into your marketing strategy to improve visibility in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Below I discuss some of the top SEO trends we’re already seeing emerging in 2019 and what’s upcoming to help your website rank as highly as possible by your target audience.

Be mobile friendly

Statcounter showed during March 2019, 39.98% of traffic online in the UK was viewed via mobile*. With this in mind its easy to understand why Google emphasises the value of user experience (UX) across all platforms; desktop, mobile and tablet. The emphasis is ever increasing in mobile, with mobile doubling in searches since 2011.

From March 2018, Google started using bots to move sites to the mobile-first index. This means the bots will analyse the mobile version of your site first to create a decision where to rank you in the search results. Although a desktop site is still important, it is essential to understand that it will be ranked lower in the SERPs without the addition of a functioning mobile friendly website.

For your business, make sure you have a website optimised for mobile. If you’re not sure if your site is or how to make the improvements needed, contact me today. The sooner you make it optimised the quicker you’ll see results.

(*Statcounter – http://gs.statcounter.com/platform-market-share/desktop-mobile-tablet/united-kingdom)

Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness (E-A-T)

Google are constantly running updates to their search engine with a focus on E-A-T signals, with these signals being among the top 3 considerations for page quality. This makes sense when you consider the main aim of Google improvements is to provide more credible content to its users. This means Google tries to better understand if users are receiving a positive experience across an entire website as well as access to good quality content, appropriate for their request.

For you, trying to consider and implement E-A-T considerations across your site will help increase your search engine rankings. Let’s look at some ways to implement this on your site:

Expertise

Firstly, consider who is providing the content and giving the advice. Is this person qualified to offer advice or knowledgeable enough to provide guidance? With this in mind Google considers there to be 2 types of expertise; formal and everyday expertise.

Formal expertise is for instance, if you’re in the financial industry you’d require a certified professional to provide guidance to readers. Take in to consideration the content and advice you are providing, especially in industries like medical, legal and finance, where information could be hazardous to users; the writer needs to be a trained professional.

Everyday expertise is advice given by anybody, regardless of qualification. For example recipes by home bakers or house chore tips by cleaning enthusiast. Google considers that for some topics, ‘ordinary people’ are the best experts to provide guidance.

Authority

It’s important to build authority in your content and across your website, here’s a few tips:

  1. Add author names and biographies for all your blog or editorial content, enabling readers to get a better understanding of why they can trust the contributor. Plus add a picture if possible for complete transparency adding to the sites trustworthiness.
  2. If the authors aren’t complete experts, always cite studies the authors researched and link to credible sources to show the author has done their due diligence and cares about providing accurate advice.
  3. Your online reputation is important; monitor online reviews and feedback regularly across the internet and respond to both positive and negative comments to demonstrate you provide a 5* customer service.

Trustworthiness

There’s easy ways to create a trustworthy website:

  1. Always make your contact information visible across your website, this immediately makes the company feel more real. Your phone number and email address are essential and if possible a physical location need to be highly visible and easy to find on a website.
  2. An SSL certificate is another essential for all websites. This certificate reassures visitors to your site their personal information including financial is secure whilst they are journeying through your site.
  3. Most importantly create content with a purpose, do not create fluffy content which has no value to your readers for the sake of click bait, etc. The more relevant, accurate and useful the content the better your site will rate for trustworthiness.

Overall, during 2019, make sure you create a schedule for your content and make it all accurate, useful and engaging. If you have any questions how to do this for your company send me an email.

More improvements to UX

As mentioned previously, Google takes the value of user experience (UX) very importantly. Here are a couple more ways to make sure you’re at the top of your game:

  1. Page speed — Many websites have a common problem of slow web speeds. This affects not only Googles opinion on your sites ranking but the users commitment to reading further. If you think about your own feelings using a slow site, its most likely you give up waiting and we expect fast download speeds these days. To make improvements try to work out what’s slowing down your website load speed. This could be making sure your photos aren’t a large file size and swap them from PNG to JPEG. Google provide a useful list of page speed recommendations* to improve your sites loading speed.
  2. Website security – As mentioned earlier about SSL certificates, HTTPS is a way of building trustworthiness on your website. You’ll have seen the green ‘secure’ sign at the top of the page, this represents a website with HTTPS and means a user can feel safe their personal information, including financial and passwords are protected and safe. Make sure you take your websites security seriously and HTTPS is covering your website. This is more of a necessity than a trend.

(Google page speed recommendations* – https://developers.google.com/speed/docs/insights/v5/get-started)

More trends

  1. Linkless mentions vs backlinks – Backlinks have for a long time been important to improving a sites SEO but theres an additional consideration to monitor, linkless mentions. Google now monitor where your brand is mentioned across the internet. This is important to consider and relates back to trustworthiness; always monitor customer comments on and off your site, then respond to all. Build relationships with those who mention your brand, the more positive the mentions, the higher the ranking.
  2. Voice search — Digital assistants are become ever more popular to use and intuitive to the users. Digital assistants include Siri and smart home devices. This is effecting the way people search; more natural language is being used due to voice-activated searches. You need to consider longer, more conversational keywords which relate more to the way people naturally speak. A project to figure out these keywords is to start writing down the most common questions customers ask via digital methods, then create pages optimised to answering those questions.

Put a plan of action together to implement all these tips for a successful 2019 online. If you have any questions send me and an email and we’ll get your site optimised.

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