Google processes over 40,000 searches per second. With stats like that, having your SEO solutions on point this year is essential to your business’s success.
But how exactly can you optimize your site for SEO in 2019? Keep reading for a rundown on the state of SEO this year.
Mobile First Indexing
Mobile-first indexing is technically last year’s news. But that doesn’t mean it’s any less important in 2019.
For starters, fewer websites were mobile-friendly in 2018 than in 2017. This means a good chunk of the web isn’t optimized for Google’s new emphasis on mobile.
But what exactly is Google looking at when they say “mobile-first indexing”?
Basically, their algorithm now prioritizes the mobile version of your website when choosing how to rank your SEO pages. Previously, it looked at the desktop version when weighing your site’s importance to users.
Mobile-first indexing essentially shifts the focus to your mobile site, so you have to ensure it’s SEO optimized.
If your site isn’t optimized for mobile, now’s the time to make it so. The easiest way to do this is to design your site responsively.
Responsive websites size to whatever resolution is required by the device it’s being accessed on. It’s a great way to ensure your multi-platform audience is getting the best experience. It also gives Google the most content-rich experience to use when deciding how to rank your pages.
Page Load Speed
Google prioritizes user experience wherever possible, and that includes site load speed. Desktop page load has been a ranking factor for Google for some time. But 2019 introduced a new metric to the mix: mobile load speed.
This shakeup calls for a better understanding of exactly which metrics matter when it comes to page speed evaluation.
Historically, page speed was evaluated on its technical parameters alone. How the site was built and how optimized its code, content, and functionality was. The measurement of load time itself wasn’t a priority, until now.
Google’s new speed score now takes real user experiences into account. Essentially, it’s measuring how your site loads for each individual visitor and scoring your speed accordingly.
This is a tricky thing to measure as an SEO specialist. We don’t have access to as much data as Google.
Brand reputation isn’t just important in the eyes of your target audience. Google is also paying attention to the waves your company makes online.
Unlinked brand mentions teach search engines that your brand is an identity. From there, it analyzes the properties mentioning. This way, it can build a picture of what your brand’s authority is like in a particular field.
Google also pays attention to the sentiment and context of brand mentions. It recognizes reputation, trust, complaint-solving, advertising, and more. With this context, it’s able to tell the positive mentions from the negative.
The more positive mentions your brand garners, the better your reputation in the eyes of Google. And reputation is king when it comes to a high ranking.
So how can you leverage brand mentions to improve your SEO in 2019? Keep building reputable backlinks. Mention your brand online whenever a natural opportunity presents, and engage with your customers online.
The GDPR changed the online game recently. It introduced stricter regulations regarding the storage and use of customer data. But what exactly is the GDPR?
GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation. It’s a regulation that passed in the European Union. But it affects any business or entity that has dealings with EU citizens.
For example, if you collect email addresses that happen to belong to EU citizens, you must be GDPR compliant.
What does all this have to do with SEO solutions? Google has had to make changes to ensure they’re compliant with the GDPR. This includes changing the expiration date of personal user data collected through Google Analytics.
Rather than keeping demographic and affinity data, Google now deletes it after 26 months from the date of its collection.
You can change this default period. But in doing so, you’re assuming all responsibility for the data collected. If you’re found at fault when using it, then that slip up can come with hefty fines.
Google also now allows you to delete user data, another requirement of the GDPR called “the right to be forgotten”. If any user asks that you delete their data, you must comply.
Google’s top priority is user experience, and that includes all users. Accessibility is a metric often overlooked by designers, developers, and SEO specialists alike. But 2019 should be the year you focus your efforts on making your content more accessible.
Accessibility refers to the act of designing, building, and developing content for a website so that anyone may access it. Specifically, it makes the web more accessible for those with disabilities.
Accessible design emphasizes proper contrast, appropriate type sizing, and intuitive UI. But your efforts to follow on-page SEO guidelines shouldn’t stop there. If you want to give disabled users the best experience and boost your on-page SEO to boot, you should also:
- Include extensive descriptions on all images
- Transcribe all video and audio material
- Semantically structure your HTML markup for screen reader efficiency
These efforts will serve to expand your user base and signal to Google that you prioritize accessibility. Both of these are great things when it comes to SEO.
Implement These SEO Solutions This Year
These SEO solutions are the best way to stay ahead of the pack this year.
Quick recap: How do you ensure your site is putting it’s best SEO foot forward? By optimizing for mobile, auditing your page speed, and focusing on brand mentions. You also need to ensure you’re GDPR compliant and prioritize accessibility.
Looking to increase your traffic this year? Here are 7 ways to increase web traffic in 2019.