7 proven updates to increase website ranking in 2019
As Autumn starts to fade away into Winter, with the holiday seasons imminently upon us, it can only mean one thing. 2019 is only a few weeks away!
Are you already thinking about whether your website is ready for 2019?
Does your website need updating to reflect external factors in your market sector?
Do you want to increase website ranking in 2019 on Google and Bing?
In terms of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) in 2018 with Google’s search engine, it’s been a very busy year indeed. From the many changes that have occurred, I’m going to provide you with 7 updates that you should make sure are applied to your website in order to increase website ranking in 2019.
Ever changing Google experience
You may have noticed the most notable change when searching on Google this year is the new rich snippet experiences. These only appear if you are searching for something that fits in one or more of the following list;
- Recipes, courses, articles
- Corporate contact
- Local business
- Top places list
- Media actions
- News stories
- Subscriptions and paywalled content
- Fact check
- Job posting
- Employer aggregate rating
Google is truly analysing your content that you are searching for, with your keyword query. It clearly understands now the most appropriate way to display the data that you are searching for with ease.
One big problem with these Google changes. There is less retail space to rank organically on page one. Along with Google Ads, rich results, and big 3rd party presences (Yelp/Yell), page one Google ranking is now harder than ever.
1. Have your website show up in the Google Knowledge Graph.
Access your Knowledge Graph through your Google My Business account. Ensure that each info section for your business is optimised in the best possible way. The more info you complete for Google, the more it will reward you in its search engine rankings. In particular make sure all of your service areas are completed. This may be locally with a radius, nationally, or internationally. As long as the area you want to service is covered, then you will have the chance to appear in the Google rankings of that area.
Best to add all the categories that appeal to your business niche in your market. The more categories that match your business, the more Google will understand a users search intent and match it with your business.
The other remaining sections to complete are all obvious and relevant to any business, like business opening times, dates closed, phone number, website link, and any other new section that Google keeps adding to. You also have the option to add photos that best represent your company.
Google My Business
Google Reviews is a key section to Google My Business, and you should be actively promoting all your customers to leave a review for your business after a service or transaction has been carried out. It’s also important to respond to every review that is left for your business. This will show potential new customers that management is engaged with its customers, and the way it treats its customers.
Google Posts are a great way to add images or videos that will appear as an ad within your knowledge graph with a link to where you want to get a potential customer to. You can re-use your blog posts as a Google Post. A post lasts for just 7 days, and Google will ensure it reminds you to update your post, if you haven’t already done so. I recommend that you download the Google My Business App so you can keep a view on your account, and update posts regularly with ease.
Google Assistant is also a brand new feature that is being rolled out on Google My Business, where you have the option to enable or disable incoming calls directly from the knowledge graph. I think this is going to be a great feature for site owners with a noticeable brand name company or organisation.
Schema for everything
2. Schema needs to be added to your website content.
Google is using schema more and more with the huge growth in mobile and AI (Artificial Intelligent) devices with users using voice search more than ever before. As people are using their AI devices more, their search phrases are becoming long tail keywords. We’ve almost come full circle now since the web boom in the late 90’s, where users thought they could type a long phrase into Google to search with, to realise in those early days that the search was usually unsuccessful. Search phrases evidently became a lot shorter, and now that Google can really understand your long tail keywords, the results are far greater.
Having Schema across your great content, means Google can pull that content and inform a user if there is a specific keyword search. You are more likely to appear high in Google search engine rankings, and rich results with a featured snippet in position zero, which is now the new holy grail of search.
The implementation of Schema is a time consuming process, and the properties of structured data continues to expand. We offer a Schema service as part of our SEO Services. Having Schema in place use to be an option, but from 2019 onwards its imperative to be in place, in order to compete on future page rankings. There are already particular searches like around ‘recipes’, e.g. “apple crumble recipe”, and if you don’t have schema in place, then you will not feature on page 1 any longer.
Brands more important
3. The brand of your company or organisation is bigger than ever before.
Getting your brand of your business or organisation out there for potential customers to search for, is more important than ever before. By driving home your brand to customers who have purchased from you, this makes them more likely to search for your brand again, and again for repeat business. Word of mouth marketing is easier when you have a good company brand to recommend.
Off-site marketing is an area to increase your brands importance. Also in order to increase website ranking in 2019. There can be a number of ways to get your brand noticed in your local community. Also, off-site SEO across social media will bring a stronger presence to your website’s ranking. It is far easier when you’re an established global company like ‘Ford’ motor cars, ‘Apple’ computers, or ‘Nike’ sports wear. However, once you get users starting to search more for your brand, Google will see your website with more authority and provide more ranking factors to you.
4. The brand of your company or organisation is bigger than ever before.
Getting your brand of your business or organisation out there for potential customers to search for, is more important than ever before. By driving home your brand to customers who have purchased from you, this makes them more likely to search for your brand again, and again for repeat business. Word of mouth marketing is easier when you have a good company brand to 4. Google is driving site speed as one of the biggest ranking factors.
Website mobile speeds now need to be under 3 seconds for Google to consider your website as a fast site. This drive is all for the developing World where the internet speeds are far below what is seen in developed parts of the World. Also for user convenience all round. Into 2019, the new bench mark by Google is to get site speeds under 0.5 seconds. In order to achieve this, there is going to have to be a considerable amount of effort and rethinking for the majority of websites out there. This means trends with bloated code will be have to be replaced with far slicker and leaner code for those broadband speeds.
The huge reward for achieving faster website speeds will be a considerable amount of ranking factors given to your website by Google. Having a faster site compared to your competitors will always mean you will out rank them on the page rankings and increase your web traffic.
Following the Mobile-first-index change that Google made this year, which ensures your website is now being ranked by the quality of your mobile version of your website first. The mobile speed of that site is now even more imperative that it downloads fast and appears well to the user.
In order to check how your website speed is viewed with Google, you can visit their page speed test here to see where Google suggests possible areas for improvement.
Mobile is the default
5. You must have a responsive website that is optimised for mobile devices.
As previously mentioned, mobile-first-indexing is now in place by Google. If your website has not been updated to be mobile responsive for mobiles and tablets, then that has to be your priority if you want any chance of increasing your rankings in 2019. Mobile search usage overtook desktop search in 2016, and there is no sign that will change in the future. Society is so dependant on the use of mobiles and tablets. The growth in sales and the increase in new technology with iOS and Android devices has moved parts of society to a new way of life. None more so, than users searching on the move all the time.
An example of mobile search in action, would be If you was outside your home, and you wanted a quote for some work to be carried out. The most popular choice by far now, is to do a search for a builder in your area on your mobile. The best mobile responsive websites will be on page 1 of the search rankings, and those are the one’s that a user will likely contact first.
Voice search is here
6. Users are now searching by voice in large numbers, and the trend will only continue.
If ‘Siri’ and ‘Alexa’ don’t mean anything to you right now, then they certainly will very soon. They are both the names for iOS and Androids private assistants on their devices. The real growth has been in the last two years with new home automation devices to the market. The front runner has been the Amazon Echo with ‘Alexa’. By having these devices around the home, has suddenly seen the surge in people searching by voice to them.
Apparently, 2 in 5 adults use voice search once daily already, and this statistic is set to increase in the coming years.
Source – Voice Search Results 2018
According to the former head of Baidu, Andrew Ng, back in 2016 he predicted that by 2020 50% of search will be done by voice.
The use of voice search has meant that those search phrases are now in a long-tail keyword format, instead of a few words. With Google now understanding the search tense of a full question or sentence, and now combined with asking a home automation device by voice, the future of search has changed forever.
Along with change, comes opportunity. Your website can now answer questions more clearly that your potential user audience may be asking by voice, and wanting to hear or view the answers. Having schema in place to provide those answers is now key to implement in your website.
Search is on the move
7. No click search is now the new reality
As Google increases its drive for rich results, ad space, and knowledge graph displays as its search results on page one. This is decreasing the opportunity for organic results to appear at the top of the results. In the last two and a half years, desktop no-click searches have grown 9.5% and mobile no-click searches have grown 11%.
Rand Fishkin conducted some research in September, and found the following results;
For every 100 searches on Google mobile in September 2018, there were:
- 38.5 clicks on an organic result
- 3.4 clicks on a paid result
- 61.5 no-click searches
For every 100 searches on Google desktop in September 2018, there were:
- 65.6 clicks on an organic result
- 3.7 clicks on a paid result
- 34.3 no-click searches
Google CTR in 2018: Paid, Organic, & No-Click Searches
The organic ‘real estate’ space has dramatically shrunk, and driving traffic from page one is now reducing. It is now appearing to be evident that a combination of Pay-Per-Click marketing is required in addition to quality organic SEO. By Google increasing the ‘real estate’ space that they control, the increase of Pay-Per-Click marketing also ties in with Google’s aim to increase their own revenues for shareholders.
In summary, there are plenty of enhancements to make in order to increase website rankings in 2019 to stay ahead of your competition. If you require any assistance with your website, then view our SEO Services.