Ranking highly in search results can make or break a small business. This has never been more true than in 2019, when consumers are heavily researching the products they want to buy across multiple devices, immersing themselves in the experience, values, and ethics of a brand instead of just purchasing its products, and expecting to be able to purchase across different channels – quickly.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best SEO tips of 2019 to help you navigate this increasingly complex landscape and rank higher in Google’s search results. Read on and make it your resolution to try out a few of these tips in your business this new year.
2019 SEO Tips
1. Be Friends with RankBrain
For those that aren’t familiar, RankBrain is an artificial intelligence, machine-learning system used by Google to help rank search results. The two main components that RankBrain factors in when determining where your site should rank are dwell time (how much time a user spends on your site on average) and click through rate (how often a user clicks through the search results to get to your website.)
There are numerous ways to improve both these metrics, but the most important revolve around user experience optimization and providing value for the user right away. We’ll dig deeper into what this could mean for your site in the tips to follow.
2. Compose Authoritative, Long-Form Content
Though this can be a more time-intensive SEO tip, its value is exponential. Backlinko’s ranking factors study this year found that Google position increased for content that clocks in at more than 2,000 words.
Go in-depth on a topic that hasn’t already been exhaustively covered, and you increase your chances of ranking highly and earning social shares.
3. Make your web presence mobile-first
Google now indexes sites in a mobile-first way – meaning your mobile presence is the baseline standard it evaluates when ranking your site. It’s no surprise, either – in 2016, Google announced that mobile Google searches outrank those from PCs. Having a “mobile friendly” presence or second “mobile version” of your site no longer cuts it. You must have consistent content and a completely mobile optimized user experience when people access your site on their smartphones.
The Mobile Usability report on Google Search Console is a great place to start to determine how user-friendly your mobile site is currently – and check out our post on how to make sure your design is mobile responsive for more tips.
4. Remember titles, headings, and keywords matter
Though it’s probably the most-quoted SEO tip, a surprising amount of people still neglect to use headings and keywords to their fullest extent. Doing keyword research to determine how people are finding your site and determining what words you can try to rank for is a good first step. The obvious next step is crafting content that aligns with these keywords.
Keep in mind that the titles, followed by the meta description, will carry the most weight – so ensure your keywords are included in both, close to the beginning. Concise, clear titles also have the added benefit of improving user experience and value, which is a key factor in ranking highly in search results.
5. Find your niche, and be an expert
On August 1st, 2018, Google released a new update to its algorithm that emphasized the need for content to be written by experts that have an a distinct reputation in their industries. In their Quality Rating Guidelines, they note that using the E-A-T acronym (expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness) is a good rule of thumb for how to rank highly in your content.
An author’s E-A-T is determined by both on- and off-site sources. The guidelines suggest a thorough “About” and “contact” page for the author of any content on your site, as well as references and links to sources used.