Search has come a long way since the early days. The year 2018 saw many changes in the way people searched. For instance, voice search is slowly gaining momentum, while Google is becoming more focused on quality content and trustworthiness.
How’s search looking for the year 2019? Read on for tips and our SEO strategy for 2019!
1. Audience & User Intent
When someone is searching for something, what are they really searching for?
Deciphering your user’s search intent is now an important ranking factor. Enhance your audience’s experience by creating content that caters to every stage of the journey.
- Informational: I want to know more about a search query.
- Navigational: I want to go to a specific website or brand.
- Transactional: I want to do something – make a purchase or sign up for a service.
The future of search is relevancy. Content that displays relevant information and satisfies a user’s search query will be picked up by Google’s Neural Matching algorithm. Backed by AI technology, this algorithm allows Google to understand concepts and semantics better than before. This means more personalised searches for users, with content being the main driver of search relevancy.
2. Voice Search
With Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Siri and virtual assistants appearing left and right, it’s no surprise that search behaviour is shifting from being text-driven to voice-driven. It’s predicted that voice search is going to gain even more prominence in 2019.
What are the implications of voice search for SEO?
Using natural language that matches a conversational tone works better for voice search. For example, people tend to search “empire state building height” for text search, but will search for “how high is the empire state building” when using voice search.
3. Featured Snippet or “Position Zero”
A featured snippet is the box that appears right at the top of Google’s search results page. A page doesn’t have to rank number 1 on Google to be featured, it only has to be on the first page. Ranking at position zero gives organic traffic a big boost. On top of that, the featured snippet is the result that gets read aloud for voice searches. With voice search playing a larger role in the future, we’ll see more and more people optimising and competing for position zero.
4. Conversational Content
Content has always been a key ranking factor. With Google’s Neural Matching coming into play, the need for user-focused content is greater than before. Find topics for conversational content through customer sentiment. This includes monitoring online conversation to find out what your customers like, their concerns and what they’re saying about your competition.
Use customer sentiment data when developing your content strategy to personalise your customer’s experience. Conversational content ties in together with featured snippets and voice search, as creating a conversational search journey implements both featured snippet and voice search practices.
5. Brand & Reputation
It’s no question that bigger brands often rank better than smaller brands. People also prefer clicking on brands they recognise and trust. Brand is used as a ranking signal in the following ways:
- Linkless Brand Mentions: Indicates a brand’s authority in a particular field.
- Reputation: Takes context into account, with complaint-solving, trust, advertising, brand sentiment and more playing a role in a site’s rankings.
To improve click-through rate (CTR), use brand-building campaigns to increase brand awareness. Get your brand out there through display campaigns or Facebook ads, so the next time your brand appears on the results page, users will instantly recognise it!
There you have it, our SEO strategy for getting ahead in 2019!