Search engine optimization (SEO) will be more significant in 2019. As in previous years, its importance in serving as the steppingstone for small businesses to find online success continues to increase. In combination with a strong and effective digital marketing campaign, small businesses need an excellent SEO strategy.
Small businesses need to stay at the top of their game by appearing in local search results, not in just 2019, but every year. If you are an up-and-coming business or an established small business that wants to be bigger and do better in 2019, here are tips to improve your SEO practices in 2019.
1. Deliver content fast.
People are always on the go. They're using digital devices while they're on the move. When you're using your device while out and about, you're looking for content you can quickly access, read and absorb. To fulfill that customer need, your business needs to create coherent, informative and useful content, and you need to deliver the content in the shortest time possible. Most importantly, users should be able to access the content through organic search or internal linking. That too needs to be a fast process.
2. Optimize content to match users' search intent.
Let's say you need to find information, so you perform a quick search on Google. Several websites come up, and you click on a website from the list, only to go back to searching, as you did not find what you were looking for. This is a problem that small businesses will solve using SEO in 2019.
If you run a small business, you need to increase SEO efforts by optimizing your content to match the users' search intent. With search engines focusing on improving the user experience, small businesses need to optimize their content for snippets, the knowledge panel and other features introduced by Google. The search engine wants to display relevant content to users, which is why it displays several more video and image packs than before.
If you want your small business to rank for something specific on Google, search the keywords yourself to see what pops up in the search results. If images appear, create an infographic. If videos appear, create video. If videos and images both come up, you need to create a comprehensive article, containing video, text and images.
3. Present smarter information without using queries.
Users do not have to put in a query to find the information they seek on Google. This is because the search engine utilizes its knowledge and use of entities, artificial intelligence and natural language processing (NLP). Therefore, you need to ensure the content you produce uses the schema markup. Google also aims to find the answer to the user's question by going to extreme lengths by discovering it in the middle of an audio file, video file or image.
For your part, you will need to create scripts with NLP and entities and include transcripts that match the text. You also need to ensure the search engine can access your audio and video files if you host them on your website via the schema markup and XML sitemap files.
For image files, focus on labeling the pages and files, page placement, schema markup and landing page quality. These types of content are new areas of SEO, and Google is working toward making them appear in search results.
4. Voice search for direct answers box.
Google Home, a voice search software, takes information from the search engine's direct answers box and shares it with the users. The popularity of voice search devices will cause small businesses to use SEO to rework content on their website to directly answer questions a user may ask via voice search.
You want to come up in that search box, as it appears above all the results at the top of the page with a link to the website. In terms of using SEO to promote voice search, you'll need to use 7-9 long-tail keywords. When people converse, they use longer phrases. When they are conversing with a voice search device, they will do it in a conversational manner.
If you are a small business that needs to kickstart 2019 with a bang, you need to focus on SEO done in a new and better way, one that is in line with today's Google, new ways of searching and modern devices.
If you do not, you will be left behind in the race to appear on Google, as SEO will become even more competitive in 2019. Make your resolution for 2019 to present relevant information, optimized for SEO, by using various mediums to rank higher in the search engine rankings.