2019 SEO Forecast: The (Latest) Future of Search Is Now
Staying on top of the latest trends is essential to staying on top in the ever-changing world of SEO. Success in search requires identifying and implementing these best practices throughout your digital properties to establish authority with the search engines. That’s not going to change.
What will change this year, however, is a shift in focus toward making content not just searchable, but usable and relevant. With that, here are some tactics that are sure to dominate the world of SEO in the coming year.
Optimize for More than Just Google
Fun fact: there are actually more search engines out there than just Google. Weird, right?
With audiences becoming more digitally savvy as the years pass, it is important to not just understand the intent (more on that in a bit) of your users, but also understand where they are consuming their information. This will become even more important as Amazon, Facebook, and Apple roll out more robust search functionalities within their platforms and as voice search and app usage continues to gain acceptance and use in the marketplace.
Because of this, you should focus on creating the best search experience possible rather than just driving traffic.
Intent, Intent, Intent
This year, keywords will refer solely as a paid search execution rather than an element of your organic search strategy. That’s why digital marketers should stop trying to match keyword phrases and start making sure that content comprehensively answers the questions your audience is asking via search. Sounds simple, right?
This goes for more than just the written word, too. We’re talking about everything your audiences are consuming. If they prefer images, audio or video, by all means create more compelling images, audio or videos to satisfy your users consumption habits and more easily find your content. Understanding what your audience is expecting to find in the medium they prefer is optimizing content in the new age of SEO.
Local SEO: The “Near Me” Phenomenon
You want to match intent, you say? Well, “near me” mobile searches that contain a variant of “can I buy” or “to buy” (example: “where can I buy envelopes near me) have grown over 500% over the last two years. Users want relevant returns in their search engine results pages (SERPs), and nothing is more relevant than something easily found right down the block from you.
Time, and saving time, is really important to a lot of people and, the fact of the matter is, proximity can sway a purchasing decision. If a relative service or a store carrying your desired product is located a couple miles closer than your usual “stop,” a user might decide that the convenience is worth the switch and choose it as their point of purchase over the competition.
Targeting down to the neighborhood or street level is truly embracing the power of mobile search. When this type of hyperlocal targeting is done right, you can fill your sales funnel with qualified leads with near-immediate results.
Technical SEO will still be the foundation to every SEO execution moving forward, but it appears that the rest of the space will be highly swayed towards enriching user experiences. This leaves open the door for the little guy to once again remain competitive by creating niche focused content that does exactly what the Google Algorithm wants: answer the intent of the searching public.
Consumers want answers and solutions to their questions and problems. Those same consumers have shown a propensity to want those answers and solutions based on where they’re located. Putting a focus on Local SEO by optimizing across devices and platforms with user intent in-mind, that is what will win the day in 2019.
Want More Insight?
Read about our other 2019 predictions throughout the months of December and January.