SEO – What do you need to know in 2019?

Perhaps more than any other industry, SEO is constantly changing.

If you want to achieve success in organic search, it’s vital to stay on top of the strategies that are working right now in 2019.

With that in mind, we’re going to use today to go through some techniques and approaches that you can start using today to try and improve your organic search results.

Master RankBrain

Google officially acknowledged their RankBrain algorithm back in 2015. However, it took a good couple of years before the importance of it became apparent.

In short, it’s vital that you try to keep RankBrain happy! Happily, it’s not as complicated as the name might suggest.

Put simply, RankBrain measures a number of key factors.

First, they measure dwell time. Or, in other words, how long someone stays on your page once they’ve clicked through to it.

This makes perfect logical sense. If users Google a question, then they click on a website and stay on that page, it’s fair for Google to use that as an indication they like what they’ve found.

If you’ve spent any time in Analytics recently, you’ll know that attention spans seem lower than ever, with many page visits lasting a matter of seconds.

With that in mind, Search Metrics did a study on Dwell Time on top 10 Google results.

The average time on page? More than 3 minutes!

Needless to say, if you want to keep people on your page, you need to make sure your content is not only good – that it offers exactly what you promise in the title.

You need to ensure your click through rate is good

Google has more or less confirmed that sites with an above average click through rate get favored in the search results.

We’ve written a whole post on improving your click through rates, and you should read it. However, for the sake of speed, here are three tactics you can use immediately to start improving your click-through rate:

  • Use numbers in your titles eg, “7 ways to improve your SEO”
  • Use brackets in your titles. “7 ways to improve your SEO (that take less than two minutes)”
  • Ensure your titles have benefits. “7 SEO tips (that are proven to make you more money)”

These are fairly simplistic changes, but they can have a big impact on the number of click– your pages get from the search engines.

It’s worth remember, after all, that these three copy techniques alone helped Buzzfeed (and similar sites) grow to become multi-million-dollar businesses!

Another tactic you can use is to change the title of your URL to become more descriptive. Unless you’re a tech wizard, it might seem strange that the title of your URL could make a difference, but users are far more likely to click on a link like than they are on a site that just says

Again, just changing the URL title of your page has been proven to improve results. But if you’re going to make changes, remember you’ll need to use a re-direct so the search spiders end up in the right place and your site doesn’t end up being punished in the rankings.

In-depth content wins

The days of simply churning out 200-word SEO posts stuffed with keywords are, fortunately, long gone.

And in 2019, there’s no better way to improve your SEO results than to try and create the very best piece of content you can on your chosen topic.

Remember, Google’s job above all is ALWAYS to show users the best possible answer to the question they’ve typed in.

And if one particular page keeps making users happy, that’ll be the page that Google rewards in the search rankings.

So, whatever you’re writing, go in with the mindset of ‘how do I write the best possible bit of content online for this topic’?

Your aim is to provide a one-stop shop, so that the person arriving on your page doesn’t actually need to go anywhere else for the answer to their question.

With that in mind, longer content is nearly always better. You won’t find a page on our website, for instance, that’s below 700 words – and most of our posts are much longer. In some cases, our blogs reach 3,000 words plus!

Why? Because that’s actually how long it takes (usually) to answer questions in-depth.

Include LSI keywords in your copy

This is another minor change that can offer some great results.

LSI stands for latent semantic indexing, which sounds more boring than it actually is!

Put simply, this just means words or phrases that the search engines associate with each other.

So, if you were going for a weight-lifting blog, phrases like:

  • Reps
  • Leg Press
  • DOMs
  • Sets
  • Squats
  • Deadlifts

And so on will all be linked together by the search engines. So, if you’ve written a high quality 3,000-word post on weightlifting, and you’ve scattered these kinds of words throughout the copy, you’ve given Google a really strong signal that your page is in-depth and will reward users.

Prune bad pages

Because the SEO industry is always changing, it’s natural for websites that have done a lot of work on their search engine rankings to end up with a LOT of website pages that simply don’t do very much.

(Especially given that the main advice around SEO for a good few years was ‘post as much content as you can’!)

On the plus side, if your website has a lot of pages that simply don’t deliver much traffic, then you can improve your SEO with a simple change: deleting those pages!

That might seem a bit extreme, but deleting poor pages has been proven to improve SEO rankings on a lot of occasions.

As ever, it does make sense. If you were Google, which website would you value most judging by these two sets of statistics:

A website with 12 pages, every one of which gets thousands of clicks and has a really high dwell time.

A website with 100 pages, of which only 12 get thousands of clicks and have high dwell times

Hopefully the answer is again obvious. The point is that unless they’re actually products you sell that are genuinely selling, even extra e-commerce pages can usually be cut.

If a page doesn’t bring you traffic and it doesn’t make you money, why keep it?

The only reason – and one that’s understandable – is that no-one really wants to delete pages they spent hours writing! If that’s the case, think of the big increase in web traffic and rankings you’re likely to get once your website’s been pruned down only to the pages that really deliver value.

Once your website is leaner, then spend the time working out exactly why the remaining pages have gained the best results. What made them better? Was it the quality of the content? Or the design?

Whatever it was, try to use your best pages as an example for how to create content in future.

Get in touch today

If you’d like to find out more about how you can improve your search marketing strategy in 2019, get in touch with Iconic Solutions today. We’d love to help you get more traffic, and to help you turn that traffic into more paid customers!

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