2019 is already upon us so is a good time to take stock of where SEO (search engine optimisation) is headed this coming year. Specific January predictions about SEO are always slightly risky and can sometimes look laughably quaint come December. However, here at Red Ant Solutions in Surrey, with our proverbial ear to the ground, these are the top three trends we think are going to have a major influence on SEO in 2019:
We’ve all seen an answer at the top of the page when we have typed a question into Google. This answer is known as structured data, specifically a rich snippet. Structured data is where you label the content on your site in a way that makes it possible for Google to understand what it is. So a question is marked up as a question, an organisation is marked up as an organisation and so on. By better understanding what is on your page Google is better able to use the content in its search results.
But why is that important, I hear you ask. Well, because the last time you asked Google a question and it gave an answer you didn’t keep searching did you? The sites with the best structured data now get a large proportion of the search traffic for that specific query. So, with the trend in 2019 towards more structured data, and more sites adopting it every single day, it’s something that will be very hard to ignore.
Did you get an Amazon Echo for Christmas? Or do you use Siri on your smartphone? If the answer is yes then you are not alone. Both Google and Amazon now offer ‘home’ devices and we are reliably informed by Techcrunch that one in six American homes now have a smart speaker - with the UK catching up fast.
Then there are smartphones, the vast majority of which offer voice search. According to Google 20% of mobile queries are now voice search and Search Engine Watch claim these searches are three times more likely to be local-based than text searches. The trend is so dramatic that Comscore are even predicting that voice searches will account for 50% of all searches by 2020.
That’s only one year away!
So, if you have a small or medium business, can you really afford not to be optimised for the next time someone says: “OK Google, where’s my local…”
Do you remember the days when a business website consisted of little more than a couple of paragraphs, a picture and a contact email address? Many were not much better than the old Yellow Pages adverts but shown on a screen instead of in a book. Those days are now well and truly gone.
In an ongoing move to improve its service, Google released a number of updates last year which focussed on better indexing ‘quality content’, a trend that is fully expected to continue this year. But, what is quality content?
The answer to that is actually the fundamental reason you use Google – you want an answer to a search query. Google, being a business, wants to provide you with the best possible answer to that search query so that you keep using their service. So sites which are seen to give focused, high-quality answers or information and act as an authority in their chosen area will be given far higher priority than those that just consist of a few lines of text. This means that if you sell gizmos in Guildford or widgets in Woking it is worth writing or even filming some content which gives a bit of background about your products, what they are used for and the benefits they offer. So the next time somebody asks ‘why should I buy a widget?’ or ‘how are gizmos made?’ your website is there to answer their query.
These are the three things that we think are going to be big in 2019. Do you think your website is ready? Are you worried your competitors’ sites are a bit more ready than yours? Then contact the Red Ant Solutions digital marketing team today and see how we can promote your business, boost your traffic and increase your sales this coming year.
09 January 2019