1. On-page Optimization
On-page optimization will continue to be important in 2019, Make sure you fill in your meta tags with a good title, description, and the right keywords. The metatags help you remember your site info as much as it helps the SE figure it out. A good rule of thumb is that anything that won’t hurt you for SEO and might help, you should use and use correctly.
Definately use the description meta-tag, google will normally use this for the summary it displays in the listing. It isn’t used for indexing so write it for humans, this is what gets people to click on your link when they see it in the SERP. Don’t use the same metatags for every page on your site. Take the time to make them be specific to each page.
Include your keywords. Structure your content correctly, make a few title headers in the content that include keywords (use header tags h1, h2, etc.), try to have a keyword density around 2% in your content, and maybe 4% for the whole page including the metatags, alt tags, anchors, etc.
some key website optimizations:
- Content that answers common user questions.
- Ensuring internal site search is providing relevant results.
- Shortening conversion process.
- Ensure that repeat customers can restock commonly purchased items simply.
- Customer support responds to questions related to the business.
- Consider use of chatbots to lighten the load for basic, common questions and procedural tasks.
- Users are easily able to navigate to physical locations.
- Providing users with their stage in fulfillment funnel (think: clear, visual process forms).
2. Understand Your Audience and What Your Visitors Want
You should know what your your audience prefer : text? Images? Video? Audio.
You need to understand what someone is expecting to find when they query a word or phrase and you need to give them the answer in the simplest way possible. Even if your website content is perfectly written and optimized, if it’s done for a wrong audience, it won’t grow your business.
Tomorrow’s high-ranking website is all about the audience, and If your site enhances your audience’s journey, you’ll be rewarded by Google and your visitor will invest in you.
This is especially important because rankings have been fluctuating over the past year to help fit the semantic intent of a user’s search query.
3. Create Exceptional and Unique Content for Your Web-Page
Google algorithm updates in 2018 revealed that Google is intensifying its focus on evaluating content quality and at the depth and breadth of a website’s content, the sites that provided exceptional depth in quality content coverage literally soared in rankings throughout the year. Sites that were weaker in their content depth suffered in comparison.
Make sure you have some decent and unique content. Content is what the internet was invented for. If you have unique and quality content, then all the seo and backlinking you’re doing is just to get the ball rolling. Give them what they want, show them where it is, and they’ll start coming.
If it’s good enough then it’ll eventually start building on its own naturally because people like what they found. That’s the idea anyway. So whenever possible use the best page design and the best content possible. Avoid duplicate content between different pages on your site, the SE will most likely penalize your site for that.
Remember, your content isn’t just something to get google to like your site, it is the whole point of your site. The content and how you structure it is what will make visitors do what you want when they get there.
If it’s crap they’ll just leave, and 99% of them won’t leave by clicking on your adsense or affilliate link, they’ll just close the window or use the back button.
What you need to do is create content that solves a problem – content that moves, motivates, and connects with people. If you can answer a question, get a lead, make a sale, help with SEO (link building), reputation management, social proof or community building purposes with a piece of content, then you win!
Content strategy in SEO is not just about answering a query and getting users to the page. It must also use language to engage the user and guide the user to the next action.
4. Go Beyond Google Search
Amazon and Apple will cut into Google’s search dominance. 2019 will be the year that SEO will not just be about how to optimize for Google, but also have to take into account other serch engines as well .
SEO is about showing up wherever and however people are searching – not just getting the first blue link. So you must learn how to drive traffic and engagement for things other than just websites.
If potential customers are searching for apps, you need to rank in app stores. If they are searching for podcasts or videos, you need to rank where people search for those things, Strong brands are becoming multi-faceted, ranking more than just websites. Strong SEOs need to do the same thing.
5. Be Sure That Your .htaccess is Set up Correctly.
Decide on which way you want your url to be and stick with it. If you decide to use www then always use it like that in your links, don’t use both. Your Htaccess file will do this key properly.
I usually set up a 301 for all www requests to redirect to non-www urls. If you don’t set that up then every single page on your site can appear to google as having at least one duplicate. If that’s the only thing wrong on your site it isn’t going to kill you, but it’s so easy to fix.
If you don’t know how to set up a redirect in your .htaccess file then just do a search, there are many other threads explaining it. .htaccess only apples if your on an Apache server, Windows servers do it a little differently, if that applies to you then just search google to find out how to do it.
If your consitent in your linking, then the only time the redirect will come into play is if you get natural backlinks that you have no control over. You should also specify which you prefer, www or not-www in google tools if you use it.
6. Make a robots.txt File and a favicon
If you do not have robots.txt file, robots will trigger file not found errors on your server. Be sure to configure your robots.txt correctly. Make a custom 404 page.
7. Create a Sitemap.xml
If your site has more than just a couple of pages then also create a sitemap.xml file. It’s not a bad idea to just create a sitemap anyway no matter what, it lets you define the structure of your site to the crawlers.
8. Structured Data Markup Is Key
Use structured data whenever possible. With AI becoming increasingly important for Google, structured data is becoming more important as well. Google wants to move from a mobile-first to an AI-first world, structured data is key. No matter how good your AI is, if it takes too long to ‘crawl’ the required information, it will never be great. AI requires a fast processing of contents and their relations to each other.
You should start looking at and understanding structured data, schema, active and passive search behaviors, and how they can connect to behaviors that signal intent so that the behavior of search becomes a much larger effort of findability.
Contextual relationships between topics and behaviors, supported by structured markup, is the critical trend we need to start understanding, testing, and implementing for 2019, and Using information architecture, tags, metadata and more recently, structured markup.
9. Increase Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness
Establishing and growing your expertise, authority, and trustworthiness – better known as E-A-T in Google’s search quality rating guidelines – will be another key trend in 2019.
Although the E-A-T guidelines are written for Google’s algorithm raters, rather than Google’s algorithm itself, it helps us to understand where Google is heading in the short term. I think this will help SEOs start to understand that ‘quality’ comes with context.
Like Google, Bing also wants to reward E-A-T.
10. Building Backlinks
Backlinks are always important for your website. The backlinks will be not only to your main domain but also to your sub-pages. But backlinks should be only from relative websites.
Whenever possible include keyword anchors and title or alt tags on your backlinks. Don’t always use the same anchors, vary it up a little, use 3 or 4 different keywords and even do a few with some non keyword anchors.
You are trying to look as though a lot of different real people have taken a liking to your site, if it were natural then all links wouldn’t be exactly the same, so you want to simulate that same type of randomness. Backlinking strategies are all about simulating the natural events that happen as a site grows in popularity.
If you can do it successfully then the SE’s will give you good position in the listings, and then hopefully what you are simulating can become reality. The point of all of it is to get traffic.
Change up your anchor text. The idea of backlinking is to simulate that masses of people are becoming interested in your site. It should have some amount of randomness to it in order to look natural.
I’ve seen a few made up stats on what’s best, but I think a good rule of thumb is maybe about 45% primary keywords, 35% secondary keywords, and about 15% random unrelated like Click Here, and then about 5% just the url. The exact percentage isn’t dramatically important, it just needs to seem like the linking is natural.
Create relevant articles containing your keywords, include backlinks using keyword anchors, and submit to article directories. Article directories are mostly authority sites and your article becomes a relevant backlink to your site. Then create profiles and accounts on blogs, social networking sites, forums etc. Include a link to your website whenever you do that and each one of those become backlinks as well.
11.Social Bookmarks, Directory Submissions, Profile Links, and Blog Comments
Link Building are really the easiest place to start getting backlinks. It’s not a bad idea to purchase these links from a service. They are easy to make, but to do it right they really need to be posted from many different accounts and ip adresses. You want to get a lot of links, but you don’t want to over do it.
Building too fast can look unnatural, just do some searches and read up on it a little more. How many and how fast is a judgement call you have to make. hold off on more complex linkbuilding until you have a little more experience. Linkwheels and other link structures can be very powerful, but can also hurt your site a lot if not done correctly.
12. Invest in Technical SEO
Websites continue to grow in complexity every year, making technical SEO a major area of investment in 2019 and beyond.
Some key areas of focus on the technical side of SEO will be:
- Speed: “Sites will finally start to become simpler and faster as SEOs discover that Google is rewarding sites more than once thought for [first meaningful paint] speed,” according to Jon Henshaw, founder of Coywolf Marketing and senior SEO analyst at CBS Interactive.
- Progressive Web Apps (PWAs): “For 2019, you should start thinking about how your website could live on as a PWA in the future. How can your PWA become a keepable experience your users would like to put on their home screen?” Tandler said.
13. Get Ready for Voice Search
the year of mobile became a kind of running joke. Every year, the experts predicted that this, finally, would be the year of mobile. Year after year. Until hype finally matched reality around 2015.
Well, is this year the year of voice search? Once again, not quite. Voice search is a game changer for multinational and multilingual websites.
Hopefully, marketers will realize in 2019 that the effective use of voice response can’t be done by translators (machine or human). The use of voice is, and can be, very different from country to country, region to region, dialect to dialect, social class to social class, etc.
14. Watch Machine Learning
Machine learning is about to explode in 2019. We’ve seen machine learning in search with RankBrain, Google News groupings, etc. we haven’t really experienced the true power of what it can be. But machine learning won’t just be something to watch on Google and the search engines. Companies need to adopt machine learning to develop unique content for SEO, beginning with a set of data based on specific variables.
Machine learning, coupled with the need for analysis and reporting, as testing new strategies and implementation is imperative to understanding successes and failures.
15. Optimize for Featured Snippets & Other Google SERP Features
In addition to optimizing for your own website, you must also optimize for the 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. That makes SEO even more important, because exposure is as much about visibility in the SERPs as it is about clicks.
That means optimizing for featured snippets (a.k.a., position zero) and other Google search features will continue to be an important trend – and more important than ever – in 2019.