Globally there is an estimated 40,000 search queries every second on Google. That means over 3 billion searches per day. As much as 51% of traffic to any website comes from organic search as opposed to 10% from paid search.
What this means is people typing a term into a search engine will bring the bulk of visitors to you. Google Ads are only 20% as useful as a phrase typed into the search bar.
When you look at a Search Engine Results Page, you get a couple of paid results at the top and then 5 or 6 ‘organic’ results delivered by the search engine.
Consumers tend to ignore the Ads and look at the organic or ‘natural’ search results. Ranking high in the organic results is good news for anyone marketing a business online. If you want to translate those billions of searches and organic traffic into results for your business, you need to take a long, hard look at your SEO Ranking.
When you search for products or services, Google is your friend. If you are trying to market your business online, Google is a gatekeeper. Your website has to be as Google-friendly as possible if you are going to appear in search results. That’s the magic of SEO.
So, what are the top SEO ranking factors in 2019?
Simply put, to be found, you have to be present. The Search Engine Results Page (SERP) is familiar to anyone who uses the internet. The goal of any digital marketing campaign has to be to rank well on that results page.
Unless you have optimised the content on your website so that Google can find and rank you, you may as well be invisible. This is what SEO is all about. In 2019 SEO ranking is how your business gains a foothold in the digital marketplace. Optimising your website for Search Engines makes you visible.
SEO is so important. You need to be thinking about it from the moment you sketch out your website. The architecture of your site, the ease with which consumers navigate it, and the quality of the content that populates it are all factors that will affect your SEO.
It doesn’t end there. Google’s AI, commonly referred to as RankBrain is continually changing the game. It assesses the info from its web-crawlers, compares it with current searches and adjust its ranking algorithms to deliver the best experience to users.
The consumer is front and centre here. As the online environment grows and evolves, consumer habits and expectations change. Google responds to this by regularly tweaking its ranking parameters to improve user experience. This means you need to revisit your website’s SEO regularly to make sure you keep up. What worked in 2015 was outdated in 2017, and there’s no way it’s going to be current in 2019.
Local search is important to you. Local search develops trust more efficiently, gets you good reviews and connections therefore influences your SERP’s ranking. You need to make your site more likely to be found by consumers near you. Of course, of those 3 billion searches, only a tiny percentage of a tiny portion is expected to be relevant to you. But the beginning of those numbers is a huge banner indicating that you have to get your team in the game.
Above anything else, quality content that engages people is arguably the biggest factor in ranking highly on Google Search. If you want to appear on page one of any SERP, the quality of the content to be found there is key.
Content should be entertaining and engaging. It should answer consumer’s interests or specific questions in a way that inspires confidence in the knowledge being shared. As long as the content is good, you can reduce bounce rate, which leads to more ‘time on page’ from visitors, and ultimately leads to better SEO rankings.
Good content builds relationships with consumers, and starts a conversation. If your content is accessible and reliable, people will be more inclined to trust you. They will then come to consider your product or service as reliable as well. From there, you can convert confidence into sales.
It was true in 2010, and it’s true in the vastly more competitive digital showroom of 2019: Quality Content Rules. Your website needs to make people feel they’ve come to the right place.
Research suggests that of all Google searches conducted globally, 52% were performed using a smartphone. People often search for local services from their phone. Whether it’s for directions through google maps or to find a lunch spot between meetings, mobile searches have increased remarkably.
In 2019, sites have to be optimised for mobile devices to ensure competitive SEO ranking. In fact, if Google’s web crawlers come across two versions of a website, they are programmed to choose the mobile version for ranking.
Even though Google is secretive about the exact parameters used by RankBrain to rate sites, they do offer some guidelines to help you set up your website.
The service we provide here at Deeply Digital are based on constantly evaluating and developing strategies to accommodate these guidelines.
We are even able to convert websites to operate efficiently on mobile devices, making them far more effective for SEO ranking.
Tied to the rise of mobile-optimised sites is the increasingly important voice search tool. Users accessing information on mobile devices are bound to use ‘Siri’ or ‘Alexa’ as part of the process. It stands to reason then that adapting your site for voice search is vital.
In fact, a report from GlobalWebIndex recently suggested that “27% of the global online population is using voice search on mobile.”
That’s a staggering figure and one that has to be factored into your website’s design. If people asking a computer to find and deliver information to them don’t have to type in the request, you can bet that’s going to catch on.
Looking at numbers some more, it turns out that 22% of voice searches are for local content. This is because much of the voice search instances are delivered from mobile phones, from people ‘on-the-go’. So they are looking for places or services near them while they are out and about. Being Listed on local directories and Google maps is key here.
Another factor linked to optimising sites for access by mobile devices is load speed. This is so vital, that Google is starting to narrow their window of acceptability, giving preference to sites that load in less than one second.
As you can imagine, mobile devices lack the brute processing power of desktop devices. For this reason, sites that load slowly become an irritation. Optimising a mobile website, so it is stripped of unnecessary data and loads in a trice, is key to SEO ranking in this arena.
We’ve already seen that over 50% of searches come in from mobile devices. It really makes sense to get your site loading on those devices as quickly as possible. However, it also makes for a more seamless and convenient experience for consumers if content is just there when they need it. Load speed is a worthy consideration across the board for your digital presence.
One of the biggest consumer concerns in using websites has to be security. With sensitive information from credit card information to email addresses being submitted and transferred, this is a very valid concern.
For this reason, Google is increasingly ranking sites that use HTTPS higher than those that don’t. These sites encrypt any information they might transmit, which leads to greater peace of mind for users. As one of Google’s services are predicated on delivering flawless user experience, ensuring their security online is a ranking priority.
Keywords are not dead
Keywords are still a ‘thing’ in 2019, just not in the way they were in 2015. Keyword stuffing is out. Google has outsmarted the ‘stuffers’ and often penalises sites that are ‘spammy’ and jammed full of keywords.
It is no longer enough to find out what keywords are trending. In fact, they are less critical to the process of good content generation. Keyword research sessions now need to include a deep dive into secondary keywords, which may result in longer time-on-site for searchers.
We use Google tools and bespoke apps to find the kind of keywords to use as roadmaps for content creation.
A site we manage might operate in a niche where particular keywords are highly traded. We actively search for keyword gems that might generate only average search volume but result in high click-through rates for a target audience. We can leverage those for better SEO ranking, as Google’s AI ranks better for higher retention rates.
The SEO ranking work you did when you launched your site 3 years ago is not likely to be keeping pace with changes in the industry. It is more important now than ever before to look at SEO ranking regularly.
If you aren’t already reviewing your site bi-monthly, you need to be checking in on it annually to keep up with leaps and bounds in industry best practice. If it all seems a little too much of a marathon, or if you would rather focus on operational matters for your business, a partner like Deeply Digital will keep you – and your website – in the game. Get a free consultation today.