Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is dominating the internet and digital marketing world. If you want your business to thrive in this competitive business environment, you must embrace the latest SEO developments and trends. 2019 will be the time where massive SEO changes are most likely to occur. In this article, I will discuss some of the top search engine optimization changes I see on the horizon for the year 2019.
How AI (Artificial Intelligence) is Going to Change the Way of SEO
It is important to note that artificial intelligence (AI) will continue to become more global. This means that SEO experts will have to decipher first-hand data on machine learning and automation. Many internet users are expected to switch to voice search using tools such as Alexa, Siri, Google Home & Smart TVs. What this means is, SEO experts and specialists will have to adjust their knowledge and practices to continue the success of their clients. Keep in mind that voice requests are very different from normal queries, so the challenge there is to make sure your website or article appears as a voice search result.
What about Virtual Reality?
Personally, I think that virtual reality (VR) and/or artificial reality (AR) will have a tremendous impact on search engine optimization in 2019 and beyond. I also expect to see more personalized SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) that will take into account users’ hobbies, locations, interests, age, gender, search history and much more. SEO experts will be required to consider certain important factors when optimizing internet properties. Many, for example, are the quality of the content, the length of the content, TF-IDF (Term Frequency-Inverse Document Frequency), page structure, image optimization, page loading time, URL optimization, and schema markup.
While the number of searches using mobile devices will continue to go up again in 2019, web developers and SEO consultants will have to ensure that their websites are mobile-friendly and relatively fast to load via mobile browsers. AMP (Accelerated mobile pages) are expected to rise and there will also be fast SERP (Search Engine Results Page) features. All these mobile changes, development and trends are expected to come to reality in 2019.
How Will Amazon Search and Amazon Voice Will Effect SEO Efforts
With my years of expertise in SEO, I predict Amazon Search will be the largest movement in 2019. Presently over 50% of consumers looking for a product start their search on “Amazon Search” instead of Google. (And, I don’t see this changing anytime soon.) Following Amazon Search will be Amazon Voice where consumers are searching vocally via Alexa. This is something I am sure you have seen on a daily basis. (You probably have used it yourself). People talking to their phones. Many consumers prefer this method not only because of the convenience, but they can say more keywords in their search without having to type it all out.
Of course, there will be many SEO challenges with these changes but they are not going away any time soon. These latest progressions are expected to have a tremendous impact on the market big time, and your website will have to embrace these changes and adopt them. If you want your business to survive, you must adapt to the developing trends and tailor your SEO accordingly.
How SEO Experts Will Concentrate Greater Attention on Search Intent & Code Optimization
Every fair-minded person can now conclude that we are indeed living in the future. The changes that were expected to be seen in 2019 & 2020 have already begun today. As I explained earlier in this article, more consumers are talking sentences into their phones searching for specific items, recipes, or just general information. So as you can see, key-phrases are becoming more important than individual keywords.
Let me give you an example;
Say you search for “the best margarita recipe”. Most likely you wanted to know the ingredients, the measurements, and maybe even the brands of liquor. But, perhaps there is other information you didn’t even think about; like whether it’s best frozen or over the rocks? Or, how about, which foods it pairs with best?
What I have learned, is researching what the consumer wants, and build helpful information into the content the user didn’t even know they needed. This will satisfy the consumer, expand engagement, and boost rankings.
New Tools, Methodologies, and Technologies
When it comes to new tools, technologies, and methodologies, here are a few things you should think about:
Data and Interpretation
Technological advancement has resulted in easier ways of interpreting data. This means that SEOs will be able to generate informative content and also provide advice that gives people or satisfies the needs of a specific audience.
This is a very important factor to consider currently. The security of personal information is very crucial, whether for yourself, your business, or your consumers. Keeping your site up to date, hosting on secure servers, and having your site encrypted is critical. If you haven’t heard already, Google will boost your ranking if your site has a secure protocol (HTTPS vs. HTTP). So, as you can see having security is very important to SEO efforts.
Most people do not have enough time to manually monitor and control their websites. If your website is loading slowly, (more than a few seconds) modern customers will mostly be deterred and move on to the next site. That is why it is imperative that your site’s speed and load time are optimal. Even with the technologies of CDB’s, caching systems, and key management of Scripts and CSS files working; if your website’s loading time is more than 5 seconds, you may be penalized.
Google has developed AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) for an effective and near-instantaneous load for sites. If this is well implemented, websites will be able to load faster. The performance and productivity of your website are likely to increase in 2019 if the projected changes are implemented. Because of this, it would be recommended that web developers tighten up the code to optimize JS/CSS and HTML.
Why Virtual Reality (VR) and/or Artificial Reality (AR) Will Have Their Own Place in Organic Searches, Whereas Blockchain Will Land More on the Technical Side
[Blockchain is a list of records, called blocks, which are linked using cryptography. Each block contains a timestamp and transaction data. It was designed to allow digital information to be distributed but not copied. It was originally created for digital currency like Bitcoin.]
Both augmented and virtual reality are technologies that will have a great impact on search engine marketing. This includes both organic and paid searches. The way people search will most likely not change but the way we need to engage users, our link building processes and how we generate leads must change in order to stay on top.
Content marketing specialists are also making large efforts in incorporating video into their plans. VR and AR content can replace the functions of infographics in SEO. Google and other search engines are expected to favor sites that have more mobile engagements and just may allow searches for VR/AR, just like they have done for images.
As far as Blockchain is concerned, that will be determined on which businesses will adopt this technology and for what reason. The way I see it, many corporations will be integrating Blockchain and web 3.0 into their hosting. It is for this reason that webmasters must maintain their sites on the technical side so it does not affect their rankings.
How Voice Searches are Likely to Increase and Make Up About 50% of Searches
In 2019, it is important to note that voice search will actually be the main areas of focus for SEO. It is projected that by 2020 voice search will be the number one way of searching. Currently, many SEO specialists are not focusing on this change, but in order to compete, they will clearly need to make a jump on this.
Since Voice Search contains more keywords you would need to create content that will match what the consumer is actually trying to find. For example, a sneaker company will optimize their site with the brands or color of sneakers they sell. But if someone does a voice search for “where can I find the cheapest sneakers?” The new approach now will require marketers to consider long tail keyword such as the “where are the cheapest sneakers”.
In short, I believe that we will have to focus more on the terms such as when, how, where and why. We need to focus on problem-solving and answering people’s questions to guide them to what they are looking for.
Why Mobile and Voice Search Will Go On to Dominate
Mobile and Voice search is no longer a trend. Today, more people search via mobile than on desktops so, you can safely guess that SEO in 2019 will seriously favor results that will be the most mobile and voice-query-friendly. What this means to companies is they need to concentrate on building their rankings by giving answers, as well as posting their information in a question and answer form.
Keep in mind that search engine algorithms will constantly change and become more technically sophisticated. This will continue to push Black Hat SEO out of the picture; so it is important to always provide quality and relevant content to keep your rankings on top.
What exactly will SEO appear to be in 2019?
In my opinion, I believe consumer experience will be one of the most significant ranking factors. Google is driving towards increasingly more customized SERP’s, so you need to make certain you provide an improved end-user experience that will keep people on your site. You are going to need content that engages them, answers their questions and a well-designed site that is lightning fast to keep them from leaving.
Social Media Sites Will Become More Indexed and Therefor Social Media Optimization is Crucial
Social Media has already begun playing a big role in SEO. It creates more content to be indexed and ranked. Many consumers utilize these social platforms as search engines as well. Think about it. YouTube is already the 2nd largest search engine.
Optimizing Other Platforms for Search By 2019
As Google’s SERP’s become progressively monetized and other websites such as Amazon and YouTube gain more SOV (Share of Voice in Online Advertising) and search volume level, I believe the focus of SEO should shift slightly away from Google.
YouTube monetization has gone through massive changes during the last year that has made it problematic for content designers to count on traditional video monetization. Instead, YouTube is driving them into options like branded apparel and sponsorship.
Since Amazon has inserted the offline space by means of the Whole Foods acquisition, Walmart has started to push into the e-commerce space by offering alternatives for third-party vendors.
What we can expect from this is the most dominant platforms will carry over these SEO ranking studies. An overgrowing knowledge and usage of big data control mean increasingly more publishers will regress to engineer those ranking factors, setting the stage for new tools, brands, and technology.
Why is Location and Voice Search important?
Voice search is already making SEO more competitive, as I explained earlier. Consumers speak into their phone asking to purchase something or maybe finding a place to eat. Now listen to this! 76% of consumers who also use location search usually visit the business within one day. That is huge! Location search keeps growing yearly and we will continue to use our cell phones to find answers and alternatives locally to us.
How Searchers will Get Their Answers Without Actually Going to Your Website
While the essence of SEO will continue as before, the competition will keep on becoming increasingly focused in 2019. Google keeps on expanding fast data in the SERPs, from answer boxes (Rank #0) and product data to extended reviews. These “rankings” on the first page of a Google search, and it will continue to expand as Google puts more trust in entities instead of people.
Voice search at present puts an overwhelming dependence on the answer box search. This makes it harder for advertisers and brands to have the capacity to give answers to the inquiries from the consumer. Before long, “being on the main page” won’t be adequate on the grounds that voice searches don’t depend on pages. Having the capacity to answer inquiries over an expansive range of information will be basic as the overall industry for voice develops.
Will Artificial intelligence and Technical SEO Be the Trend in 2019?
Yes, it will. Large SEO companies have already invested in machine learning. One example is SEMrush. SEMrush conducted its first Ranking Factors research, based on the scope of 600,000+ keywords, in order to shed light on what really impacts search results. They used a machine learning algorithm instead of correlation analysis to arrive at their conclusions.
Google now uses AI to mimic human engagement on sites, and rewards sites that display powerful metrics of usability. Metrics such as bounce rate, number of pages viewed and time on site are increasing rank factors. This is why long informational site content is effective today. So, if your goal is to increase organic presence, you will focus more on usable relevant content that answers many questions and therefore focuses less on spammy link building.
The old way of SEO was more of a technical skill back in the day by making sure sites were crawlable and implementing meta keywords. Then the focus switched to relevant content using linkable keywords. Even though using relevant quality content is still important, the technical SEO knowledge and skills are coming back to the frontline. Developers and SEO specialists need to stay on top of these changes or risk losing their clients rankings.
SEO Specialists Need to Think More like Their Searchers
With people becoming apter to use their voice to search for information on the internet (especially with the smart home technologies like Google Home, Amazon Echo, and Apple HomeKit) we’re starting to see individuals beginning to utilize a more regular dialect when using search engines. For example, people used to type “prom dresses”, but now that people are have been asking and speaking into voice search, they are most likely to type “where can I find prom dresses near me”. Because of this, search engines are adapting more to favor more speech-like content. In 2019, voice-search will be the prevailing way that individuals search. That is why it is important for SEO specialists to talk and think like their audience.
Is Google Organic Space Being Sold Away?
Between Google Place listings, answer boxes, Google Shopping Ads, plus the paid search ads claiming the top fold of organic SERP, yes, I believe that Google will push organic listings further down. SEO Specialists will have to work hard to get those few organic listing spots on the first page. With organic space being depleted SEOs will have to take on a more diverse approach to their overall campaigns. Multiple forms of digital marketing tactics including paid search, local SEO, social media marketing, in addition to SEO will be needed rank on a Google SERP.
Can the Use of Video Help My SEO?
Yes, the use of video is likely to become a more popular trend in search engine algorithms for 2019. With content moving increasingly towards different types of media, for example, audio and video, and far from plain text, we can anticipate that search engine optimization will adjust as well. As search algorithms adjust to accommodate video, it is imperative for SEO Specialists to optimize their content accordingly. I expect that search engine algorithms to zone in on smartphones and video as people become more accustom to their mobile devices.
Will Voice Search Optimization be the Next Trend in 2019?
Absolutely! SEO techniques such as quality content, keyword links, and site architecture aren’t going away anytime soon, but I do believe that Voice Search will change the way we optimize our sites. Smart home products will continue to grow in popularity, which means people will be asking questions, not typing in keywords. Companies need to tailor their content to match these queries to show up in the featured snippets.
Are Search Engine Optimization Algorithms growing as Fast as most SEO experts believe?
Everything is constantly evolving, I just don’t believe SEO Algorithms are in the fast lane. There are many SEO tools out there today that use AI to claim to put all SEOs out of business, but I have tested many and do not feel they will be taking the job away of an SEO expert anytime soon.
The number one trend I believe for 2019 will be Voice Search. Virtual Reality (VR), Artificial Reality (AR), Blockchain, Voice Search with Location Search, and Video, will make a big impact as well, but voice search will take over.
If you want your business to thrive in this competitive business environment, you must embrace the latest SEO developments and trends. Of course, it is never too early to begin preparing for the future. 2019 may be actually the time where massive SEO changes of development are most likely to occur.