The importance of SEO or search engine optimization in content marketing is known to all who are working in this field. For businesses to survive the competition of online marketing, paying attention to SEO trends is imperative. Just starting a website or blog to publish content is not enough, though. Content marketers have to keep themselves updated with ongoing SEO trends to maintain the relevance of their content online. And SEO trends do keep changing mostly because Google keeps refining its algorithm to give better search results and user experience to its users. As Google’s search algorithm changes, so do the SEO trend to meet these new requirements of the search engine. Not knowing how SEO has evolved and what is next can cost your website its place in the search results.

Search engine optimization predictions and suggestions for 2019 have been made by many SEO experts. Here we share some of the most relevant SEO trends expected this year.

User intent

Google is trying to make its search results as accurate and as relevant as possible for its users. The algorithm is gradually being trained to determine user intent, which is what exactly the user is trying to find when they are searching for something online. That is why SEO is slowly paying more importance to user intent optimization rather than just the use of keywords, to appear in the top search results. So simply filling keywords into your content will no longer serve the purpose in future. The keywords have to be integrated to deliver exactly what a searcher is looking for. Also, with voice search gaining popularity, users can now clearly state what they are looking for instead of typing in truncated versions of their queries. This makes intent optimization all the more important. The best way to approach intent optimization is by imagining yourself in the position of the user and trying to understand what the user may want from your website. Or what queries could lead a user to your website? The content should be crafted accordingly, to cater to the user’s intent.

Mobile-first index

Google is gradually shifting focus to mobile sites for its indexing and rating processes. In the mobile-first indexing, Google uses the mobile version of your webpage to rank the website. This does not mean mobile only ranking though. Both the mobile site and the desktop site will have the same indexing of course. But with the current developments taking place, it is possible that Google will completely shift the indexing and ranking process to mobile sites. This implies that no website can overlook mobile-friendliness anymore. Having only the desktop site will be of no use and will fetch very low rankings for the site. So it is advisable to migrate to a mobile site as early as possible. Once the site migrates to the mobile version, other things will have to be taken care of such as loading speeds, user experience and more.

Optimizing for voice search

Voice search and home assistant are slowly sneaking into the scene and soon may become the dominant mode of online searching.It is, in fact, estimated that 50 % of all searches will be done by voice by the year 2020.CLICK TO TWEETNearly 30 % of searches will be conducted using home assistant systems like Alexa and Google Home, without the use of a screen. Your website should be optimized to appear on voice search results before this trend starts. Most voice searches are longer than the usual searches. The SEO of the future must be able to find and use keywords that are seven-to-nine-words long that people, usually, aptly use in conversations. Also, with voice searches, people mostly ask questions unlike in traditional searches on the screen. Your website must be able to answer these questions with the help of SEO.

Popularizing your brand

It is no new information when we say that brand image is important to attract more hits on your website. But did you know that Google also uses the brand as a ranking signal? Google’s search algorithm uses brand mention in two ways – through unlinked brand mentions and through the context in which the brand is mentioned. That means Google’s algorithm learns that your brand is an entity through a number of unlinked mentions on other pages. Next, it analyzes the sentiment and context associated with the brand mentions. If your brand is mentioned in a good context on most sources, chances are Google will give it a higher ranking. But for that, you have to achieve a substantial number of brand mentions first. Try to sneak in your brand’s name wherever you see a welcoming opportunity. Of course, this should not be out of place and irrelevant to the context. Interact with customers who have mentioned your brand, both happy customers as well as unhappy ones. This helps in building a reputation for your brand and its customer relations. Take the help of social media to mention your brand. Social media influencers who are willing to talk about you can also be of great help.

Creating valuable content

Google is also emphasizing more on the quality of content a webpage has as well as the portfolio of the authors. With its addition of E-A-T or Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness within page quality guidelines, Google has made it clear that content written by authors with expertise and authority on the subject will rank higher. SEO trends in 2019 will surely pay more attention to the quality and credibility of the content on a page. This means that churning out low-grade content with all the keywords, to keep a page alive will no longer be enough. what’s next for SEO in 2019

To still get the proper 411 on what SEO is exactly, see What is SEO And How Does It Work (2019 and Beyond).

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