If you have a website then you will have SEO bouncing about in your head. What should you do for SEO, where should you concentrate your efforts in 2019? We all want to be on page one, on the top spot to gain visitors, and where businesses are concerned to generate sales.
But what should we be looking at in 2019, to make sure that we are doing all we can, to try and get that special number one spot?
Let’s take a look…..
According to various sources on the internet, CTR (Click Through Rate) is down on the organic top spot listings, this could be due to Google creating (again for good user experience) feature snippet information which shows above the organic website lists.
A good example of a feature snippet is a recipe
If you search ‘How to make an apple pie’ Google will have searched through its index and found the exact match to your question ‘here is how to make an apple pie’ the format is in a way of a list, which gives a clear solution to this search. – Exactly what you needed right!
The feature snippet elements appear above the organic website listings, Google knows that your search query means you want to make an apple pie, so give you the best solution with one click, straight to a how-to with listed instructions.
Content on your website which is clearly and simply laid out and answers a query will always rank well. Why not type in a search query related to your topic and see what comes up – could you be doing the same on your website… but better?
The SEO Voice Of Reason…
For many years now I have bored my colleagues with voice search SEO, I explain to many of our clients… you have a fantastic product that serves a great purpose so make sure that when a related question is asked it is your website that has the answer!
Results have shown that if your question and answer is in a featured snippet, you have even more chance of ranking high – but do not forget to be relevant to your topic!
Top Tip A great way of getting your website included in voice search is within your FAQ area.
If your website is not delivering take a look at How to create rich results for your website
Meta Descriptions, Still Important SEO?
In terms of SEO, the meta description is not about stuffing your keywords in, it is about relaying to the viewer why your site would be the best option for them.
Always make sure you deliver on your meta description offer, if your content is not matching, then you will find yourself with high bounce rates. This could be interpreted by Google as negative and could lose your ranking.
So if your website is appearing within the organic website list below the featured snippets, you need to be seriously thinking about your meta descriptions. This information is your chance to entice a user to click through to your site over another one. Taking the Apple Pie search scenario-
A) Steps on how to make a traditional apple pie with easy instructions
B) Quick and easy simple steps on how to make a delicious apple pie, with melt in the mouth pastry, with the sweetest apples – Your family will love this traditional recipe.
Which one would you choose out of A & B?
Top Tip Write an enticing meta description to help encourage visitors to click on your page.
Do Backlinks Still Help Your Website To Rank In 2019?
We have known for a long time that backlinks help your website to rank, however it is important to understand why. It is no longer the case that the more backlinks you have pointing to your website increase your ranking, it is far more important to have backlinks from relevant high-quality websites.. it is very much quality over quantity.
Top Tip Backlinks should only be used if they enhance your content, ask yourself, by adding this backlink will it add relevant information to my copy? If the answer is No, do not do it.
Guest blogs with links are great but again make sure they are relevant to your topic. If you have a gardening website, writing an article about flowers that can be grown in a garden as a guest blog on a florists blog, makes sense. This will tie in with the visitors on both sites and enhance both sets of content. However writing about the same guest blog for an equestrian blog that has a fairly good domain authority, although you may have some that may be interested, does not tie in with your gardening website. Unless of course, you were talking about a particular flower or plant that horses love to eat.
Top Tip Always have the visitor to your site in the forefront of your mind, write good content, and lead them to other good content.
We have said it once, and we will say it many more times….. ranking is all about a user experience, this affects every aspect of your website. From how easy it is to look at when you land on it, how easy it is to navigate, does it have the right information, and the backlinks which will add to a user’s experience.
But don’t just take our word for it – Take a look at this short Video by Google Webmasters
If you are still unsure then take a look at this documentation by Google Link Schemes
What does Google Bot Do?
Many of us have heard of Google Bot, but what is it and what does it do? Google bot is a programme by Google which does 2 main things
- 1)It Crawls
- It does this based on the information you have provided, for example, you have submitted a site map.
- 2)It Indexes
- Looking at what it has crawled and puts the information into place – similar to a library and books, history in the history section, then relevance, new information, etc..
Google bot is giving out over 200 signals to learn as much as it can about your website and its pages, although we do not know for sure what each one does (Google’s Guarded Secret) you can be sure that it is looking at the content, how easy it is to read for a search engine and a visitor, the relevance, the information, the links, the speed of loading – put yourself in your visitor’s position, are you fulfilling the possible search criteria to the best of your ability because that is what Google is looking for?
Top Tip Use Google Search Console This tool helps you to analyse the traffic going to your website. You can submit sitemaps and individual pages for crawling, an inspection tool can check to see how Google crawls and indexes your website pages.
The need for speed….Loading speed
Top Tip Remember not every person searching the web has the latest technology, so by creating a clean and easy to load website, every visitor has a good loading experience.
At XRF Digital we take user experience and website load times VERY seriously, take a look at one of our recent projects WKA Asbestos the page load time get 100 out of 100.
And here is our website speed-
What Is Googles RankBrain
RankBrain learns all about what is being put in as a search query, it learns about how the users actioned the information given, what the user clicked on, how long they were there, did they click on any links within the site.. RankBrain is learning from every user journey taken. By doing this it can address which websites are better at meeting the user’s expectations.
Your website may be at the number one spot, but if users are beginning to stay on your competitor’s websites for longer, following links within the content, commenting or sharing the information, RankBrain will soon be moving your competitor’s website above yours. RankBrain is learning that your competitor is delivering a better user experience than you are.
Top Tip Keep your website up to date, check links are working correctly, check your Google analytics to check performance.
Part of your user experience is dependent on having a feature-rich websitenCheck to see if your website is Feature Rich – Rich Results Test
It’s 2019 You Should Be Mobile Friendly
If your website is not mobile-friendly you should be seriously having a word with yourself! Not only are you way behind the times on how people use the internet these days, but you will be losing many visitors.
Check your website to see if it is mobile friendly Here Being mobile friendly is another crucial ranking factor, Googles mobile indexing is in place, so don’t get left behind!
SEO 2019 concentrate on-
- 4)Mobile Friendly
- 5)It is, and will always be about, User Experience and how it can be improved upon!