The world of SEO is constantly evolving as algorithms, technology and consumer behavior continue to change. While it may seem obvious, the first thing you’re going to need in order to rank in search engines is content. Simply stated, if you’re not consistently creating content, you have no SEO strategy. Content is the reason for SEO and regardless of your target market search engines need pages to crawl if you ever expect to be found online. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here are some key trends to help shape your SEO strategy for 2019.
“Where a few years ago there were maybe 10-20 “big keywords” that would be sought after for ranking within a topic, there are now hundreds or thousands of long-tail variations that are regularly searched within a topic and change based on location. Simply dominating a few words is no longer enough to produce successful results.” – HubSpot
Due to the endless amount of data available and the increasing popularity of voice search there are more terms than ever to try to rank for. This makes it necessary for content developers to target larger groups of long-tail keywords relating to their industry. Small tweaks such as including location, targeted industries and key verticals will be needed to remain effective.
“The latest algorithm updates put a new spin on SEO ranking. Keywords and linking are still relevant, but SEO is evolving and favoring a new model called topic clusters. Using topic clusters requires new ways of thinking about SEO. It also requires changing the architecture of your content.” – Forbes
Creating a topic cluster involves building a pillar page that covers a broad topic while linking it to and from more specific related content. Search engines have put a much bigger emphasis on topics rather than keywords. The content you write and how it is structured and linked on your website makes a big difference in a search engines ability to determine its relevance.
“Influencer marketing exploded in 2016 and will become even more popular in 2017. Why? Because Google crushed shady SEO tactics. For example, Penguin is running in real time. The other main reason - it is effective. This is the easiest way to get backlinks, traffic, and exposure naturally without any risk to be penalized by Google.” – SEMrush
Backlinks have always figured greatly into search engine rankings as they help to establish relevance and authority. Influencers who run high authority websites and popular social media accounts can help the visibility of your content as well as your search rankings. Getting a valuable piece of content in the right hands can mean high rankings for years to come.
Title Tag And Meta Description
“Yes, Google still does use the meta description quite frequently. I know it seems like sometimes they don't. But, in fact, there's a high percent of the time when the actual meta description from the page is used. There's an even higher percentage where the title is used. The URL, while Google sometimes truncates those, also used in the snippet as well as other elements.” – Moz
The technical aspects of SEO still live on and should not be ignored. Including relevant keywords in your titles, meta descriptions and URLs makes it easier for search engines to recognize what type of content lives on a certain page. Additionally, with the rising importance of the featured snippet, the technical side of SEO will continue to have an influence on rankings.
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