Top SEO predictions for 2019

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The world of search engine optimisation (SEO) is constantly evolving. Google’s algorithms change regularly and the way websites employ SEO tactics needs to change with the times. Experts in the field have consulted almost endless data from 2018 and have compiled in-depth analyses of where they predict SEO will go in 2019.

Here are some of the top SEO predictions for the coming year. Try to implement some of these methods into your SEO strategy and grow your website audience, or, let us help you with your digital marketing needs.

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1. Answers will lead search results

One trend that has gained popularity on search engines are the ‘People Also Ask’ boxes. Google wants to answer questions so it will reward websites with succinct, well-written answers to common questions. Answer questions in your website content and establish your business as one that is knowledgeable and credible.

2. Mobile is a must

If you haven’t already implemented a mobile-friendly version of your site, you may be losing most of your traffic. Almost all of Google’s top-ranked sites are designed with mobile-first in mind. Mobile search results continue to grow and take up a bigger portion of Google’s searches. Get your website mobile-friendly as soon as possible to maximise on these searches and get ranked higher on the search engine results pages (SEPRs).

3. More SERP feature intrusions

Google is likely to find more ways to replace organic searches with solutions that keep users on Google’s properties (i.e. Google Maps, Google Weather, Google’s live sports scoring etc.). Over the past few years, Google has started providing instant answers to search queries rather than links to sites with these answers. These interactive SERP features will continue to feature more.

4. Video will dominate DIY niches

Featured videos, video carousels and suggested clips will continue to feature prominently in “how to” searches. Any instructional or do it yourself (DIY) search query is likely to be met with a step-by-step video as the top result. This means you should be using video if your website has instructional content.

5. SERPs will become more interactive

SERPs have become quite interactive. Results are displayed with numerous other options, such as ‘People Also Ask’ boxes. This gives the user real-time engagement and keeps them on the SERP for longer to allow Google to better understand what the user is looking for.

6. Local SEO will improve

Search results will continue to use more and more local results, where possible. This means that Google will be asking businesses more questions and will be looking for more user-generated content (UGC) from websites. Google will try to gather as much data about a business and an area so that they can feature more prominently in localised search results.

7. Business proximity-to-searcher will influence rankings

This is directly linked to the previous point. Google will place a greater focus on the proximity of a business to a searcher. While hyper-localised search results can be helpful and more convenient to the searcher, sometimes better content can be sidelined for proximity. With the exception of emergency situations, searchers will often always prefer the best results rather than just the closest ones.

8. Marketers will place bigger focus on SERPs

As mentioned before, Google will do more to give searchers their answers without having to leave the search results. Marketers will, therefore, place a greater focus on the SERPs. They will start to do more in-depth reporting on their brand visibility within the SERPs, rather than simply focusing on their rankings.

9. Targeting topics better than targeting queries

The number of individual search queries is likely to decline as people focus more on clusters of answers around topics. Websites should start to focus on topics rather than simply answering questions. For best results, answer multiple questions within a certain topic. Google is likely to boost your rankings as they are focused on giving searchers the best results across an entire topic, rather than just a specific query.

10. Increased emphasis on reviews

A Google representative recently said that almost one-third of local searches are made with the purpose of reading reviews. Searchers want to see what other people think about businesses, restaurants, activities and websites. Business that have good reviews from other customers are more likely to feature at the top of search results. Don’t ignore your reviews. Monitor, respond and implement changes to your business where necessary.

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