The Biggest SEO Trends of 2019 for Independent Businesses

The Biggest SEO Trends of 2019 for Independent Businesses

In the last few months, there have been big changes to the Google Search algorithm and ranking system. Those changes can affect your SEO and lower your store’s rank in the popular search engine’s results.

The biggest SEO developments of 2019 (so far) are:

  1. More competition in search results
  2. RankBrain and content relevance
  3. Mobile first design
  4. Voice search

Learn how you can adapt your SEO strategy to ensure your online store doesn’t get buried in search page results.

 

More competition in search results

With Google News, Q&A, company information, and ads, there’s been a shift in the number of organic (i.e. free) clicks on search results. Why? Organic results are pushed down by the Google Search ads, which typically populate the top 2-6 search results. 

A few years ago you might be satisfied being one of the first 6 to 10 search results. With the increased volume of Google Search ads, however, it’s recommended that you aim for the first 1 to 5 rankings just to be seen on the first page. 

SEO advice 🎯

Consult tools like Google Analytics and Google Webmasters, and take a look at which of your eCommerce products currently hover between positions 6 to 12 on Google. You can get a quick visitor boost if you optimize those product pages so they appear a few positions higher on Google. You can do this by using ReloadSEO and optimizing your on-page content or external authority. After you do this, keep checking and analyzing possible position shifts in the search results.

It’s a common misconception among business owners that when a product or category is optimized in their online store, they no longer need to invest in the overall SEO of their online store. However, you should always be optimizing the 20% best-performing pages. Not sure how to determine which are your top 20%? Use Google Analytics to see which pages get the highest volume of traffic.

Again, track the changes you’ve made to your pages and monitor your search position to measure the impact of your changes. You can track your search positions with an independent search tracker, for example, an app like ReloadSEO.

 

RankBrain and content relevance

RankBrain is an artificial intelligence tool that ranks search results according to what it determines to be most relevant for Google users. It’s one of the three most important ranking tools that Google uses to determine your search position.

How does it decide what’s relevant for users? The algorithm looks at how accurately the results answer the search query of the user. It looks at the click-through rate from the search engine to the website, or, if visitors are bouncing back to the search engine results after visiting a website, RankBrain looks at the time they spent on the website versus the bounce rate. With all of these signals, RankBrain constantly tweaks and optimizes Google’s search results to display the best pages for any given search result.

Friendly robot has artificial intelligence

SEO advice 🎯

Using quick tricks to rank higher and stay there — like stuffing keywords into your content — is no longer an option; RankBrain will catch this and automatically push your site down in the search results.

 

Tip 💡Place videos on your category or product pages. A lot of people like visual explanations and will stay a lot longer on your page if they can watch a video. This gives a strong signal to RankBrain that your site is high quality, relevant content.

Create quality content that answers the questions your audience might have and make sure they remain on your website. In other words, don’t be quick to delete old content. Start by understanding your customers and any questions they might have.

 

Mobile first design

A lot has already been said about mobile first design. But now, Google will rank your online store based on the mobile experience first and only after that will they will rank it based on the desktop version.

Woman using her cellphone

SEO advice 🎯

Make sure your online store is fully responsive, and that Google recognizes it as mobile optimized. Want to check how Google sees your online store? Take the test. If you’re using Lightspeed eCom, you can rest assured because all Lightspeed eCom themes are responsive designs.

Another thing that’s important to do is keep your page loading speed in check. Lightspeed eCom is optimized for speed, but you can make additional improvements yourself. Make sure the images you use are optimized for SEO and compressed for the web, and assure that JavaScript codes are loaded async (you can check this by asking the third parties offering you the JavaScript code).

 

Voice Search

Voice Search is the new SEO trend of 2019, and it’s only becoming more popular. In a recent study by Google, 41% of adults and 55% of teens in the United States use Voice Search on a daily basis.

Voice Search has a tremendous impact on SEO because people who search through Voice Search are doing two things differently than a regular web search:

  • They use longer search phrases
  • Search queries are spoken and thus conversational

For example 🎯

A user that searches for information about dental hygiene will likely say something such as, “Google, show me how to brush my teeth and for how long” in a Voice Search. A search via a keyboard, however, is likely “how to brush teeth” or similar concise wording.

This change has a direct impact on how to optimize your content for search engines.

Google Home device next to cell phone

SEO advice 🎯

Optimize your products and categories for Voice Search by using longer meta keywords, keeping possible Voice Search queries in mind. Instead of optimizing all of your content for short keywords, it’s better to integrate long tail keywords into your content. ReloadSEO has a built-in long tail keyword tool that can help you do this.

Keep in mind that your content needs to be relevant and direct for Voice Search to pick it up. Research has shown that answers under 30 words rank better than longer answers.

 

Summary

A lot of changes happened in 2018/2019 in terms of search engine optimization. The way to stand out? Provide high-quality content, use the right keywords, and don’t try to trick your way up the search results.

Be sure to measure your SEO efforts and continue to optimize based on your findings. If you’re a Lightspeed eCom user, try ReloadSEO, a full SEO suite for eCommerce. This includes keyword research, position tracking, content optimization and more. It also allows you to see your efforts in real-time.