Search engine optimization continues to play a crucial role in digital marketing, and SEO marketing continues to give marketers and business owners incredible returns.
That’s why so many people are obsessed with it.
Every digital marketer worth their title will no doubt have two or three pieces of advice to give the intrepid brand or business trying SEO marketing for the first time. But with so many of them scattered across the world wide web, it can be difficult to tell the generalized SEO tips from the more situation-specific ones.
And with that being said, here’s our personal round up of the five best SEO marketing tips for 2019.
1. Prioritize Page Loading Speed
As the internet’s potential has increased, the public’s tolerance for anything slow and inconvenient has decreased. Yes, this includes a page’s loading time—something you definitely don’t want to take lightly.
See, search engines—especially Google—will always rank their suggestions based on user experience. Beyond relevance and content quality, the search engine is more likely to recommend a website that loads quickly over one that takes even just ten seconds longer because it knows that’s what people prefer.
Furthermore, 40% of online users readily abandon websites that take more than three (3) seconds to start up. Search engines will account for your bounce rate, and each hit-and-run visit to your website is a strike against you. The algorithm will mark your site as one that is inconvenient or not credible, and as a result will boot you further down the SERP rank.
In short, optimize your website by taking away all the elements that slow it down.
2. Maximize User Engagement
User experience accounts for a huge part of a search engine’s ranking algorithm. As we mentioned earlier, Google prefers sites that are relevant, high-quality, and convenient for users to peruse. Slow loading time? Too many flashy elements? Hard-to-read text? Most people don’t like experiencing such things, which is why search engines won’t bother recommending websites that have them.
Part of SEO marketing is ensuring that every element of a page — from its coding to the content, to the images, to the layout — is optimized with the end user in mind. Everything needs to be 1) engaging, and 2) convenient.
Textual content? Must be easy to read. Visual elements? Must be aesthetically pleasing. Layout? Must balance visuals with blank space.
3. Always Include Links to Relevant Websites
Many SEO marketers agree; linking out to relevant blogs and similar websites is crucial for your growth. In fact, link building remains a fundamental part of any smart SEO marketing strategy.
Aside from supplementing your website’s credibility with the credibility of other, more authoritative pages, linking to another verified website is a good way to send and receive traceable organic traffic. It also presents your website as a valuable resource that recommends high-quality content.
More links on-page can lead to a better ranking of the website. Stats show that the first 10 results usually have 6 times more links than those on the second page.
If you’ve never tried link building before, remember to focus on the foundation. Referencing a few credible pieces of content or half a dozen valuable resources is a good place to start.
The trick to link building is knowing when too much is too much. Simply throwing a bunch of links up on your website isn’t smart strategy, and it won’t help with your optimization either.
4. Mobile-First Indexing is Gaining Popularity
This SEO marketing tip comes straight from the number-one search engine itself: Google.
As you’re probably well aware, mobile usage is steadily climbing. We’ve reached the point where people prefer to access the ‘net using their phones and tablets rather than desktops and laptops. And, of course, being the innovative, forward-thinking corporation that it’s known to be, Google has taken this preference into account.
The search engine has adopted a “mobile-first indexing” strategy, which basically means that Google considers your mobile website to be your primary website.
If you don’t have a mobile site, your desktop website will be what displays when users try to access your page on mobile. However, if your design is not responsive, your layout will not translate well to a smaller, more compact view.
This, in turn, affects how people view your website on mobile gadgets.
If the unresponsive design gets in the way, they’ll most likely exit your page and look for a different site—one that’s preferably mobile-friendly. The hit you take for this will have much more weight than a hit you take on a desktop interaction. At this point, even if your website looks and works fantastically on a laptop or desktop, your SERP rank will still be fairly low because the “primary” version of your website—which is the mobile version—is not user-friendly.
5. Tap Into Evergreen Content
While people will always love anything “fresh,” “new,” and “original,” there is still a space in SEO marketing for evergreen content. Long-form, in-depth posts about long-term topics have incredible staying power, and thus stand to attract continuous organic traffic and social shares.
With so many different brands running websites and putting out daily or weekly content, oversaturation is always going to be an issue. In fact, statistics show that an average of 3 million blogs are published each day.
Blogs that cover fleeting, short-term topics can be considered bite-sized content: easy to consume and filling in just that moment. After a week or two, these blogs will be considered irrelevant—especially if the topic they’re covering has been resolved or has died down. The traffic that they pull will focus on something else.
Evergreen content is perceived as original, authoritative content worth referencing repeatedly. If it’s well-researched and well-presented, people will no doubt return to it every now and then. This establishes its credibility and, by extension, your credibility, too.
At the end of the day, SEO marketing might not be for everyone. There are a hundred different rules to keep in mind, SEO solutions can be tricky to implement, and the search engines themselves love updating their algorithms every three to twelve months.
(We’re looking at you, Google).
However, there’s also no denying that SEO marketing gives incredible returns. Once you master it and implement it, you’ll no doubt notice the improvement in your traffic, leads, and sales immediately.