There are many truths in the world, like death and taxes as the expression goes. But for those working in digital marketing, keeping up with and adapting to SEO best practices is perhaps the truest truth. It’s a constant battle to stay up-to-date and also look forward as well.
What are some SEO strategies for increasing your online visibility in 2019? Much of what comprises SEO, including competitive analysis, landing page conversion, keyword analysis, organic optimization, and mobile search optimization, will remain vital in the new year. And like death and taxes, Google will be there at the end as well.
SEO Then and Now
As we look at SEO strategies for increasing your online visibility in 2019, it’s fun to look back at SEO’s beginnings. Even at the start, Google was the primary driver of search traffic to websites and often used the top spots to increase their own revenue by including initiatives like “Seach+”, which tried to direct traffic onto their own platforms, including Google+.
The evolution of SEO also included the Google AdWords Certification Program to reward companies for “more comprehensive and up-to-date strategy-focused training and certification on the latest tools and best practices for managing AdWords accounts.”
Nowadays, search engine optimization is a must for almost every website, especially those that rely on them for generating revenue, leads, conversions, and traffic. Factors like page speed, mobile optimization, links, keywords, social media connections, and optimized content are the most up-to-date tactics in 2019 to achieve superior results.
SEO is a highly technical and complex tool for web designers and internet marketers. However, there are a couple of SEO strategies for increasing your online visibility in 2019 that are most beneficial.
SEO and Competitive Analysis
Another expression often used is that one should keep their friends close and their enemies closer. In the world of search engine optimization, that saying is very accurate. There’s much to be learned from reverse engineering your competition. SEO doesn’t stand still, and becoming staid and complacent in your SEO practices is an opening for poor performance and competitive intrusion into your territory.
Find Your SEO Competition
Your SEO competitors are easy to find – they’re the companies that rank in the first search page of the target keywords used. They may be direct competitors of yours or auxiliary entities that could be your partners or vendors for example. Use Google to find their domains and employ a competitor analysis tool which is easily found on the internet.
Analyze Your SEO Competition
Using the competitive analysis tool will provide a plethora of information about your competitors and their on-site SEO. Metrics like content publishing frequency, types of content such as video or blog posts, and what keywords they’re using is helpful information. You’ll want to pay special attention to their link profiles, traffic numbers, video length, word count, and metadata.
Competitive Analysis Takeaways
Once the competitive analysis has been completed, you can develop strategies to both improve your own measurables and counter theirs as well.
Examples of these actions are adjusting your site architecture, adding or revising specific content with new keywords, or adjusting backlinks. This can also lead to adjustments in the timing of new content or revising your editorial calendar.
Content & Organic Optimization to Drive Landing Page Conversion
Organic search is the biggest source of traffic to websites regardless of the industry compared with other online marketing efforts. For many industries, organic search is also the main revenue driver.
Content has become one of the main sources of targeted web traffic and should be your top strategy for obtaining superior landing page conversions. Organic search works best with original content that can capture the user and turn them from readers to conversions. Google thrives on pages-per-session statistics for their algorithm. Thus, having a vault of old and new content with well-placed links can get your website extra cache with Google.
Organic search traffic and content marketing like mentioned above are extremely useful, but the conversion of that traffic is dependent on what your company actually does, i.e. retail, manufacturing, B-to-B, soft goods, etc. Companies that use their online presence to sell products and services can improve revenue through the user’s positive engagement experience. Service-oriented companies can use improved organic optimization for increased page views and direct response marketing.
While often thought of as a website’s homepage, a landing page can be any page within a website that provides an initial entry point, such as blog posts, product pages, photos or videos, contact pages or any other link onto your website.
The first step in improving landing page conversions is to do an internal analysis. Like the competitive analysis we discussed above, a landing page review is important for positioning your website and its contents therein using the same tactics as in SEO.
Landing page optimization
The landing page analysis should show which pages are driving the most traffic to your site. You can leverage those pages with fresh content and include links to new landing pages that you wish would develop more clicks. Some of the SEO techniques frequently used on landing pages to increase page conversions include:
- Keyword optimization within the content body
- Formatting headings according to the <H> hierarchy
- Using unique meta descriptions with keyword optimization
- Sizing elements optimally for fast loading times
- Images optimized with alternative text tags
Using backlinks, which are links from other websites that drive the user to yours, is a vital component of SEO and Google’s ranking algorithm. Essentially, they are thumbs-up portals to your website, so the more backlinks from high quality and relevant websites the better for improved landing page results.
Google uses the “quality over quantity” rule when incorporating backlinks into its ranking system. Having a link from the New York Times, for example, is better than a link from a small, rural newspaper with limited readership. Even worse are links from websites marked suspicious or that are loaded with malware. You’ll want to systematize a process to evaluate links using both qualitative and quantitative ranking methods.
Installing backlinks doesn’t need to be complicated or time-consuming. Use the business and vendor contacts your company already has and ask them for the link. Some other ways to install backlinks include:
- Find niche websites that may find your content useful
- Share your content in forums or blog posts in relevant discussions
- Check your competitors and use the same sources they use for their backlinks.
- Amplify your content using social media
Keeping up with the evolution of SEO isn’t always the easiest of tasks, but it’s an essential part of marketing nonetheless. As long as you keep an eye on your competition, optimize your content, and build solid backlinks, you should be able to keep your head above water in the ever-changing landscape of digital marketing.