2018 has been a momentous year in the world of search engine optimization (SEO). Throughout the year, we saw algorithm updates, the havoc GDPR caused, and an increased emphasis on E-A-T for content. It’s no surprise that, with 2019 fast approaching, many of us marketers are left wondering “What SEO strategies should I carry into the new year, and which tactics will help me dominate in the SERPs?”

It’s time to evaluate the events of 2018 so that we can bring forward the most important parts of the last 12 months, identify the key trends and which are set to continue (or appear) in 2019. As always, if you need help in overviewing your current digital marketing campaigns, we offer SEO in Summerville so that you can get the most out of your business.

Want to know the SEO strategies about to make headway in the following year? Read the following guide.

1. Look beyond Google

This may sound blasphemous to digital marketers, but with the rise of Amazon search, Google’s dominance on the web may be starting to waver ever so slightly. From 2015 to 2018, Amazon exceeded Google for product searches, with Amazon rising from 46% to 54%, and Google decreasing from 54% to 46%.

While reaching the number one spot in Google is still important, businesses will want to look towards other search engines. For instance, if potential customers are searching for apps, then you will want to rank highly in the app store. Want to sell your products outside of your website? Look towards Amazon’s Marketplace.

How to sell on Amazon Marketplace

It’s fairly easy to sell on Amazon Marketplace:

Step One: Create your product listing.

Step Two: Send inventory to a Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) warehouse.

Step Three: Have well-written and keyword optimized titles.

Step Four: Plug in keywords into the Search Term fields.

You can also sell on the following platforms:

  • eBay
  • Etsy
  • Wayfair
  • Wish
  • Bonanza
  • Newegg

2. Create a variety of exceptional content

Google brought forward an increased focus on well-written and quality content in their latest algorithm update. Weak and “thin” content is continuing to be deemed unworthy by the search engine giant, meaning businesses will need to make the desperate attempt to curate worthy content for their customers.

But what makes quality content?

You will need to write content that solves a problem, also focusing on E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness). Content needs to motivate and connect with people, rather than push a hard sell, and while you will want to optimize your content for SEO and try to convert a reader into a customer, this should be secondary. Such a tall order can be problematic for many marketers, which is why our SEO services in Summerville can help your brand get the balance right.

What format should I use when creating content?

We all love a blog post, but there’s no harm in looking towards alternative formats. You can create content in the form of:

  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Whitepapers
  • eBooks
  • Infographics
  • Lookbooks

Adding a product video have proven to increase conversions by up to 80%, with 82% of Twitter users wanting video content on Twitter. By subsequently creating videos and sharing them across your business’s social media platforms, you can increase engagement rates.

3. Don’t neglect voice search

While voice search is somewhat in the limelight, it hasn’t quite reached its full potential. 2019, however, could be its year, with more and more households bringing in home hubs and the likes of Amazon Alexa into their houses.

Voice search relies on conversational and long-tail keywords, as well as optimizing for local search. Consumers use voice search to get information on nearby companies, so filling out opening hours, location and the products available can help draw in locals.

4. Optimize for featured snippets in Google SERPs

Reaching rich snippet status can help build authority and trustworthiness within your business. Answer boxes, recipes, local searches and maps can help draw in more organic traffic from greater exposure, but it is highly competitive.

Brainstorm how your business or products can feature in Google SERPs. If you are an e-commerce store that sells cooking equipment, you could focus on Product Ads but also on more general featured snippets regarding recipes from your website’s blog.

For local businesses like restaurants, however, local business panels are a goldmine of potential. To compete for this local business panel, you need to optimize your Google My Business page (GMB).

How to optimize your Google My Business page

Many businesses claim their GMB listing and proceed to forget about it, but Google gives you a variety of features to help you enhance your listing.

Complete all information boxes

Leave no stone unturned. Answer all questions, fill in all boxes and provide as much information as possible. This data is valuable when it comes to consumers finding you, but it is also a chance to prove your business’s authority.

Add relevant features

One of the best features on GMB is the booking button that allows customers to book with your business easily. Businesses who will benefit from such a feature include:

  • Hairdressers
  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Medical-related businesses

Gather reviews

Yelp may discourage reviews, but Google actively encourages businesses to claim as many reviews as possible. Online reviews can make your business stand out, with 73% of consumers trusting a business more because of its positive reviews.

Focus on your business description

You’re allowed 750 characters, but only the first 250 characters show up before being cut off in the Knowledge Panel. You will want to be careful when deciding on what shows up in your business description, so think carefully about the keywords you include.

Keeping up with the latest SEO trends can be a difficult task for all marketers, which is why enlisting the guidance of experts can dramatically help with your business’s online visibility. Our SEO professionals in Summerville can offer effective strategies so that you can complete your business’s marketing objectives. Be sure to contact a member of our team for further information.