The SEO game is constantly changing, and the new rules in 2019 make no difference. Although with the advent of social media people lost their sleep and now spend a lot more time on Facebook than on Google, SEO is all but dead. Maybe SEO is not the king of online marketing anymore, but it’s still sitting on its own throne as definitely one of the most prominent (and cheap) advertising strategies available.
Let’s cut to the chase and let’s see which rules you must follow in 2019 to improve your SEO efforts and grab the highest ranking in Google for your website.
- Audits, audits, and even more audits
Do a full website audit. Seriously, right now. It’s the most important step of any successful SEO strategy, hands down. That’s not exactly a discovery, but it’s just as valid in 2019 as it ever was.
Knowing how your website is performing right now will help find its strengths and weaknesses, spot errors and know how it is actually working. Many plugins and tools including Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools can provide you with actionable insights about the pages that attract the highest amount of traffic or the kind of audience you are currently attracting.
As a bonus, running a full audit will help you spot a lot of errors you can fix, and Google definitely loves sites with a clean CSS code.
- Focus on Mobile technologies
One of the biggest changes that sought a lot of discord among SEO experts was the still undisclosed ranking fluctuation that struck many sites between October and December 2016. Among the alleged reasons for this fluctuation, the introduction of the Mobile-First Index in November 2016 was deemed largely responsible for that change as well as many of the subsequent ones. Long story short, the actual search engine index puts the mobile version of a site first when ranking its pages.
Global internet usage recently switched from desktop to mobile, with up to 75% of users in countries like India using their smartphone to navigate the web. This means that websites must be extremely responsive and developed in a mobile-friendly way, such as favoring content with finger-level design or with as little clutter as possible through the page.
- No more pop-ups and ads
Lately, a lot of otherwise impressing websites took a deep dive in their rankings for apparently no reason. A possible explanation lies in the new “intrusive interstitial penalty”, a new malus introduced by Google developers recently.
This oddly-named penalty slowly drags down a page to the lowest hells of Google SERPs whenever you disturb the user experience with an overlay that may cover any content. Although I may feel reasonable to penalize pages full of ads and popups, it seems that some people experienced this penalty even with just language selectors and live chat bots.
- Just focus on content quality
Although this was true on 2017 and 2018 already, it seems that 2019 is going to be the year of content writers. There’s no more room for devious keyword stuffing techniques, and thin or duplicate content is literally going nowhere. High-quality content is dominating the current SEO scenario and it’s a must-have if you want that page to rank as highly as possible.
Content must provide answers to questions and should be written with user intent in mind. You want to dig as deeper as possible in any given topic to provide as much info as you can in a focused and unique way. Google strives for neutrality, so every time you talk about something from a different point of view than the others, you may earn yourself a sweet spot in the highest rankings placement.