2019 will be an interesting year for Search Engine Optimisation. Search engines continue to update their algorithm to improve the quality of the search results for users, however, the way people conduct searches is changing. Ten years ago, almost all searches were conducted on desktop devices. In 2019, you can expect people to be more engaged with their mobile devices and the emerging home devices for voice search.

SEO won’t just be about keywords. Semantic search will play a huge role in 2019 and it is important that your SEO strategy incorporates this so that your site can get the visibility in the organic search results. Below, we have shared a few things to expect and some ways to capitalise on the SEO opportunities in 2019.

Semantic search

This refers to the search engine’s use of the Knowledge Graph to verify information before displaying the results to the search user. Structured data and Schema markup will play a huge role in semantic search in 2019.

SEO strategies need to incorporate well-structured HTML and structured data markup that will help search engines to better understand the context of the information that appears on a web page. The information may then trigger improved organic search results such as rich snippets.

Voice search

Voice search is predicted to be the fastest growing factor in the organic search space in 2019. Instead of searching on devices, people will ask their device to find the results for their queries. This could be asking Siri on Apple Devices, or asking on Google Home or Android devices, or Amazon Alexa.

The results that these devices pull are typically from the rich snippet results, which is either the search results from the Knowledge Panel, which appears in the zero position. Or one of the top answers from Google’s answer boxes.

Websites need to optimise their content so that they have a chance to get featured in the organic search results. This means that the HTML markup, structured data and keyword research will play a more significant role in getting the site’s content featured in the organic search results.

Content quality

Google wants its users to be served with the most valuable content related to the search query that they are looking for. The content that appears on a web page needs to reflect this and be formatted in a way so that search engines will understand the context of the content.

Published content needs to reflect the keyword searches that people are performing. Therefore, a keyword research findings should provide suggestions for keyword appearing with web page’s headings, titles, descriptions and the semantic HTML layout.

Secondly, the content needs to engage the search user. Develop content that will maximise the time on site or a specific action that a web user should take.  

Links will still dominate search rankings

Google hasn’t hinted at any changes to the way that it ranks web pages on the web. It will still continue to crawl web pages on the internet and rank pages based on citations and PageRank that’s being passed from one web page to another.

Because of this, it is important that the site has a link acquisition strategy in place so that the site can get as many relevant citation references through links on the web. This means site’s need to have a compelling value-proposition that will incentivise people to link to their site. It also means content will need to be created in a way that will generate interest from web publishers so that they will publish a link to your website.

Some of the link building techniques that you can use include:

  • Link roundups
  • Links from resource web pages
  • Guest blog posting
  • Participating in interviews

What can you expect by implementing these in your SEO strategy in 2019?

Increased visibility, which will increase the competitiveness of your site for keywords and thus increase the amount of inbound web traffic to your website. This also means that the leads and revenue through organic search should also increase if implemented correctly.

It’s worth conducting an audit of your site’s SEO to assess the technical, content and link benchmark. Should the site not be optimised at the level needed to compete in SEO in 2019, prioritise actions that will allow the search engines to recrawl, value and serve your site’s web pages higher in the search engine results.