SEO: What's in Store for 2019

With 2018 now firmly behind us, it’s time to look forward and think about what 2019 may bring for search marketing. To start the conversation, we’ve pooled ideas and opinions from iProspect UK.

The Rise of UX Writing:

UX writers seek to guide a user through a website, app or product in a clearly defined way. That said, the process of UX writing should not to be confused with traditional copywriting, as UX writing does not focus on selling. The process is brought to life on-page through a deep understanding of a brands’ audience, underpinned by test data – resulting in meaningful experiences that drive success across a range of metrics.

UX writing will undoubtedly bring about new skill sets, that will encourage brands to understand narrative and conversational design. This will help to capture brand identity, whilst putting the consumer first.

What does this mean for 2019? With a move away from attempts to game algorithms, brands should look to create memorable experiences that are backed by data-driven content ideas. Only through this will the engagement signals that power search engine optimisation be attained.

Harry Sumner, SEO Manager

Amazon Will Become a Key Player:

For eRetail clients, organic optimisation continues to provide an opportunity to boost performance on Amazon and remains a key focus. The stats are clear, with 56% of online shoppers using Amazon as a starting point for shopping and 22% won’t look elsewhere if they find something suitable on Amazon. Like traditional SEO, 70% of Amazon customers never click past the first page of results and 64% of all clicks happen on the first three items displayed. To best take advantage of this opportunity, Carat have developed a comprehensive product review & recommendations report that analyses all the factors that directly and indirectly influence Amazon’s A9 Search Algorithm. An integrated approach to Amazon that connects the performance of ads alongside organic ranking is critical. Advertising on Amazon should only be carried out on products and product pages that are set up correctly. 

Chris Faron, SEO Director

 

Google is Becoming Smarter:

Google is becoming smarter. For SEOs, fundamentals like mobile friendliness, improved site speed and dwell time will continue to be incredibly important. Implementing structured data, a technical SEO element which often gets overlooked by developers, could bring rapid results depending on the industry/ type of website. Brands who want to improve awareness will have to invest in top of funnel site content and channels and deliver genuinely useful information to compete.  

On another note, if you are a local business, investing in Google My Business is a must: according the most recent the State of Local SEO Industry Report, it’s the number one factor at about 25%. Google has been adding many new features — services, descriptions, Google Posts, Google Q&A —which can be populated by brands and return direct answers in search results.

Ana Gasston, SEO Manager

 

Links as a Ranking Factor:

 

In 2019, link building will still be one of the most important ranking factors. Building trustworthy links is still a highly-discussed topic and without creating amazing content, whether it’s onsite or offsite, clients won’t be visible on the first page. When 1m Google search results were analysed, it was found that the number of sites linking to a page correlated with rank position more than anything else. I’m a firm believer that for now, link building is here to stay and it’s an integral part of our offering here at iProspect.

  

Abi Rowley, Content Marketing Manager

 

The Role of the SEO is Changing:

For many years, SEOs were the dark wizards of the digital marketing world, with budgets used to magically build traffic and revenue out of nowhere. However, in 2019, this way of working could not be further from reality. Search engines, through continued user-focused updates, have made SEO hard and many of the (now seen as) “spam” tactics of the past, simply do not work anymore. Instead, search marketers have adapted and branched out into new areas. Penguin and Panda (Google updates focused around the quality of links and content) moved us closer to PR, Content Marketing and Social and many of the mobile changes of the past few years have brought us closer to IT teams. As mentioned earlier in this piece, integrating with UX and brick-and-mortar teams are going to be key focuses for the channel in 2019 and from here, it’s only a short step into digital transformation and wider marketing and operational areas.

This year, I feel we’ll see brands start to realise the opportunity that SEOs can offer – no longer will specialists be siloed and left to carry out their mysterious work, but businesses will use these people to connect disparate teams and join the dots between departments. To successfully carry out our work, SEOs have needed the skills to build relationships across the spectrum of channels; it’s time that these were used to their full advantage, with SEOs acting as the facilitators in achieving unified digital and technological objectives within organisations. Through this approach, I’m believe companies will see significantly improved results from their marketing efforts at a fraction of the cost.

Ric Rodriguez, SEO Director
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