8 Essential Factors for Successful SEO in 2019

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SEO industry is continually developing. Some of those things we were doing five years ago to promote our website to the top don't work anymore, or even opposite - some of them can now harm your organic traffic and positions. Today, there are trends in internet marketing that are entirely new and seem crazy if we roll back to 2012 and look at them from there.

2018 has been a big year in SEO; mobile searches are now more often performed than the traditional desktop googling. Even more, in 2019 voice searches will become more and more popular. Currently, more than 20% of all mobile searches are made with voice, and this number is continuously rising.

In 1st August Google launched his most significant algorithm update since 2012 which dropped a lot of big sites from the first page and provoked a lot of case studies and the invention of new SEO techniques which weren't popular before.

In 2018 RankBrain has become famous and SEO experts should always keep it in mind when they elaborate each page, blog or meta snippet.

2019 will continue with most tendencies of 2018. In this guide, we will cover the most critical factors which are essential for a successful SEO in 2019 and therefore for your organic traffic and sales.

Before we start, you should always remember one essential thing — we know the 3 most crucial rank factors for Google and this data is official, they value the most:

1. Your content
2. Backlinks
3. RankBrain data

So if you implement all the possible modern rank factors explained here into your site, but it still has poor content, it doesn't have a right amount of quality backlinks, and people leave it after 2 seconds of navigating - you won't achieve success in Google.

Said that, let's start with the rest. The essential SEO factors for 2019 are:

1. MOBILE INDEXING FIRST


Mobile indexing first

It's official, your and my mobile website versions are now most important than the desktop one. And we should learn how to live with it. According to Google Webmaster Central blog, when indexing any page, the search engine gives more priority to the mobile version of it. Important! When saying "version," I don't mean a version of your page specially designed for the mobile. Doing this is not recommended.

What I do mean, your site has to be responsive, it should scale accordingly to all screen resolutions without weird redirects and "mobile-only" subdomains.

What should we do to guarantee our site is ready for a pleasant mobile navigation experience?


- Speed. Make sure your loading speed is satisfactory (this goes for desktop usage too evidently). Imagine this, you are in the middle of the park, it's a hot sunny day, you just got some important call, and you need to google some important data about your business inquiries. You find a good looking site in the search results, tap it and wait. And you wait. The sun is shining upon your screen, you are in a hurry, some runners hit into you and swear, but this thing is still loading 90 Java Scripts and 20 huge images. You won't love this site and will abandon it. Rank Brain (we will talk about that later) will detect it and lower this poorly performing site in search results probably forever until the owner fixes the speed.

- Proper Design. The information should be distributed in a way mobile user finds the most important data fast and has no trouble navigating to it or other pages. Make your links bold enough for comfortable finger taps, ensure the elements have enough contrast between them, and the most important — the distance! How many times I had to scale some website manually while trying to tap one of the sad little links which were disgustingly small and close to each other for a phone version of the site. So keep that in mind. The user should have no trouble reading and navigating your content; otherwise, your rankings might suffer.

- Don't hide content. I know, I've been there too. I didn't like how some piece of content was looking on a phone, and I didn't know how to make it shiny. Or probably I was too lazy at that moment. "Anyway, this part isn't so important, why I can't just drop it for mobiles." Well, in 2019 it doesn't work anymore. Mobile first indexing now, remember? It makes absolutely no sense to hide something from the responsive version. The opposite, we should put more effort into mobile now like it or not.

no mobile version example

2. RANKBRAIN (USER EXPERIENCE SIGNALS)


Rank Brain Google AI

What is RankBrain?

It's an artificial intelligence system with machine learning feature which processes search results in Google, collects data and provides more relevant results for users.

Let's explain this. According to Google, every day there are search queries which were never seen before. Some of them are weird and might seem impossible for the machine to process correctly and provide the most relevant results.

And here comes artificial intelligence into the game.

RankBrain is only a small part of core Google algorithm called Hummingbird and what it does is analyzing all the time how people react to specific pages in Google results; if they click them quickly and spend a lot of time navigating on the site or they leave it immediately. Also, RankBrain is the part of the algorithm which calculates which sites are more relevant for certain difficult to process queries.

Let's put an example.

why are pdfs so weak search query example

In this example search user wants to know why PDF files have a low-security level and are easy to modify, print, etc. if the user wants it. As you can see, Google gives us a correct result. Would it be possible several years ago to provide such an accurate result? I don't think so. This example is a clear demonstration of how does RankBrain work.

Firstly, it interprets the query trying to find its real meaning, then confirms this conjecture by looking at how users react to the first wave of results the algorithm is giving to them. Do they read the content and don't bounce back? This result is what they are looking for, the interpretation was correct.

And how do we apply this knowledge to SEO?


- Make your title and meta description irresistible.
Your first objective is to make the user click on our site in search results, the best to do it is to create a meta snippet which will catch the user attention instantly and tell him that inside this page is what he needs. Five years ago it was trendy to write boring search snippets exclusively for Google and not for human beings.

Do you sell apples?

In 2019 you meta title should be something like

"Apples: Buy Fresh Green Fruits Online"

But in years before you could get away with

"Apples sale online"

... and even get good rankings!

Your interaction with RankBrain starts when somebody clicks on you. If your search snippets are bad and nobody clicks on them, there is no point to think about RankBrain at all (and forget about SEO in general too).

- Stop going after a specific set of keywords. This point is mostly about your content. What was the classical approach? You needed to rank for a particular word, and you wrote a whole exclusive page for it, making sure this keyword is in Title, Meta Description, Meta Keywords, H1 heading, introduction and in image alt tag. Feel the overkill? Well, we all should stop doing that. You need to rank for a keyword. Ok, that's fine. You still should write content, but write it with passion, use the rich vocabulary, variations, synonyms, fan facts, make users love your content and don't worry too much about the keywords. RankBrain will easily interpret everything and rank you well for the desired keyword if the user finds your page useful and interesting after clicking on your page in his search results.

-Write for humans! This part is similar to the previous one but is still worth a little explanation in-depth. The internet is made for us, people, we search for information every day, we learn something, we entertain ourselves, or we purchase something. Every website should strive to satisfy these needs. Years ago we wrote articles to mostly trick search engines. We wanted to say them "Hey, look how much content I have, here is the huge text about selling smartphone chargers in Houston with all the popular search keywords. Now rank me!"

And it worked. Your big boring text with huge chunks of paragraphs pasted with letter size 10px and stuffed with keywords was never read by any human being on Earth, but you got your positions and some organic traffic.

But times have changed. Google wants webmasters to work towards human needs, and don't overthink about algorithms. Once again, you should write some coherent text about chargers which you sell in Houston, format it correctly, put images and fun facts, make users love your content and maybe even share it, and that's it. RankBrain will detect that people enjoyed your article and read it and you will move you up in rankings. And you can be sure; it's intelligent enough to rank you for proper keywords without you stuffing them all over the text.

3. VIDEO PRODUCTION (SHOULD WE ALL BECOME VIDEOBLOGGERS NOW?)


Video production for SEO

Did you know which search engine is the second most popular currently? Well, reread the title of this section, it's pretty easy to guess. It's not Yahoo obviously, nor it's Bing (although Microsoft tries its hardest to become relevant). Well, Youtube is the second most popular search engine now. Want to know why? Mostly because people don't like to read. Why television took over newspapers popularity back in the days? Because it's always easier lay back and watch some visual content than read words. It's in our nature, millions of years humans and our ancestors perceived the information around them visually, and only about 5 000 years ago we invented writing. These 5 000 years compared with millions of years of evolution are nothing, so evolutionally we are not used to reading, we like more to observe.

Let's get back to SEO. According to authoritative sources, by the year 2021 80% of internet traffic will be online videos. It's easy to see why, apart from the reasons I explained above, let's not forget how much we use smartphones now, it's nicer to watch a video on the phone about the topic you are interested in, rather than read something.

So what should we do as online marketers? Here is the simplified guide for you:


1. Get a channel on Youtube
2. Buy a camera (or a tripod if your phone's camera is good enough)
3. Find a beautiful place with a good background and no noise around
4. Shoot the video!

The topic of your video should be something closely related to your business, something you can embed in your articles later on as an alternative, in case the users are not willing to read.

Instead, they can watch you explaining it.

You are probably thinking about editing the video; it looks like a lot of trouble to you. There is no problem at all. Nowadays there are thousands of great video editing tools made intuitive and straightforward, some of them are even free. All you need to do is put a bit of effort into it and learn something new; it's not that hard.

When you got your video edited, put it into your channel and don't forget about SEO, Youtube is a search engine too!


- The title should be informative and call users attention at the same time
- The description should be something similar to website meta description we usually write - useful and contain some keywords. But here is the difference, you can put more information, like contact data and even links to your website or social media.
- You can also add meta keywords to your video, Google disabled them as SEO signal back in the days, but Youtube has this factors and actively encourages users to add tags to their videos.
- And the preview image of course. Many forget about this part, but it's essential. Don't be afraid to make your preview image as splashy as possible, but big words on it which will tell the user what to expect from the video, everything to make him click on the video.

And that's it. Now you can embed your video on the site and get views.

Perks of having nicely rolling Youtube channel:


1. Increased Dwell time - how long users stay on your pages. If they stop by and watch your embedded videos on pages of your website, Google will detect it and raise you in search results.

2. New visitors, therefore potential customers, coming to your site from Youtube. If your video data is good enough and the topic is relevant for people they will find you naturally and come to your website via links in the description.

3. The income which is coming from Youtube. Don't forget you can earn real money on Youtube if you get a decent amount of views. Hundred thousand of views can bring you about 30$ of income (this is very approximate data and may vary a lot depending on the country where you get most views).

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to invest your time and effort in Youtube production, don't miss this opportunity - every year there are more and more competitors.

MORE MINOR (BUT VERY POWERFULL) SEO FACTORS FOR 2019 SEO



4. VOICE SEARCH

Voice search SEO

We can go into depth a lot talking about what exactly is voice search and what's the technology behind it, but we will not. We'll focus on SEO, by 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice searches, how do we prepare our websites for it?

In general, voice search is all about giving answers to specific questions. What will be the weather today? Who was the 10th president of US? Which are the foods cats can't eat?

Every day people are asking similar questions to their phones or home assistants, and they give us answers. Where these answers come from? These just are featured snippets which Google fetches from a particular site if the algorithm (better say RankBrain, huh?) finds the answer relevant and trustful

food cats can't eat - search query example

How do we make Google feature our page in the results?
Simple! All we have to do is publish the question and the answer below it.

How long is a decade - featured snipped

5. EXPERTISE, AUTHORITATIVENESS, AND TRUSTWORTHINESS


Expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness

Sounds scary, what is this? In simple words, this year Google started to care more about the quality of your content. If your business is related to serious topics for example science or medicine, Google wants to make sure everything written on your site is accurate and trustworthy. If the algorithm is not sure, he won't let you rank well. Otherwise, there is a risk to give people "fake news" about something which can have serious consequences.

So make sure:


- All your content is written by someone who knows the stuff.
- You put elaborated "author boxes" below each article where you explain with detail who wrote this post and put his/her qualifications if possible
- You have the Privacy policy and Terms of Use pages
- Elaborated "About Us" page with all the detail, as well as physical address, phone, etc.

6. UNIQUE CONTENT

unique content

No, I'm not talking about your texts which shouldn't be plagiarised from other sources, this is something basic what everyone should know, and if you still copy articles from other sites and post them on yours, I don't understand why you read this article if you don't know the basics.

An example of a unique content
An example of a unique content


I'm talking about Unique Data. It's something important only you know, and you are the first person to share the knowledge on the Internet. Imagine you are the first person to travel to Mars and you took amazing pictures there. Then you get back to Earth, and you post these pics on your blog. This is Unique Data, something nobody has seen before. No need to mention how popular your blogs would be. Of course, it also can be some data, like scientific one, any stats, etc. Anything which hasn't been known or seen before. The unique content like this is something which is valuable for Google and will make you gain a lot of organic traffic.

7. DEAD PAGES ARE GOING AFTER YOUR SUCCESS


dead pages harm your seo

This part is something not much people know about. Also, this issue is something relatively simple to improve. If your site is old, it probably has a lot of pages which contain some information on them. These might be small pages with content which is, like, well, it's not great. You wrote it 20 years ago for some reason, and it's like there forever, nobody reads it, and nobody visits those pages. You either:
1. Forgot about this content.
2. Left it be. Some extra content can't harm your SEO, right?

Well, according to Google’s John Muller they can harm your SEO. Bad and unpopular pages drag your website performance in search engines down.
Google sees some of your pages have low-quality content which nobody cares about and nobody reads it, and the algorithm is like "well, this site has a lot of bad, unpopular content why should I give it any chance to get traffic? I better give users those pages they will like and read entirely."

This logic is flawless.

So what can we do?


1. Combine several small pages into one. But, please, these pieces of the puzzle should be related between each other, you can't just merge cars, video games, and pie recipes into one page, it will only make it worse. The right thing to do, for example, would be to merge two small pages about BMW and Mercedes each into one bigger page called "Best German car brands." See what I'm talking about?

2. Improve the content. Make it more substantial, improve the language, put more facts and data, add photos, videos, make the titles better, format your text correctly. Everything to make people read it and like it.

3. Don't see a way to merge bad short content or improve it? Just DELETE it! Yes, it's this unique opportunity when destroying something can bring improvement. There are multiple case studies which show us that how the elimination of frankly poor content improved the site SEO performance. This method was also confirmed as working by John Mueller, the senior Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google.


CONCLUSION



These are the most important SEO factors and trends in 2019. The technology is moving extremely fast, especially the internet world. We don't know which devices we'll be using in ten years to navigate the internet, so we need to adapt every day, learn new things and provide the best content, products, and solutions for our users. Do you know what my favorite quote is about Google and SEO? Here it is:

"Google wants to rank websites that people love. If they ranked websites that you hated, then you would slowly stop using Google."

- Neil Patel.

Did you notice, every factor explained in this post is something which is done to make user's experience better? We do not try to trick Google, in the end, we want to please the user and make him enjoy the journey to our websites. That's all we need to do, and Google will rank us.

There is one more SEO factor that I need to mention. It's called "comments encourage." Yes, I left it for the ending :)

Communication and comments is SEO

8. Interacting with your readers and visitors is essential. If they add actual comments and leave questions, this is great and shows Google the engagement people have with your content.

So yeah, did you enjoy this article? Did I forget to mention something fundamental? Do you have some extra ingredients to make successful SEO in 2019? Leave your comments below! :)

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