How to think about SEO in 2019: A Guide for Marketers
In the challenges between which keyword to add and which not to focus on, many articles have been written over the years on how to do Search Engine Optimization. It’s 2019, and the science behind SEO in 2019 continues to be a challenge that evolves and changes!
The very first thing that every website with a goal of generating leads or traffic understands is that you do need to focus on Search Engine Optimization. You will also find loads of content online on SEO with ‘overnight result’ guarantee schemes. However, let’s first understand this simple fact; SEO is not simple. It is not once and done, and it will take prolonged, evolving effort over time. There’s no way you can expect your site to improve in ranking quickly and easily. If it were easy, you’d see everyone doing it.
So what does Search Engine Optimization really involve and what’s the right way to go about it? We’ll be answering both the questions throughout this post.
Up your Keywords Game for SEO
This should not come as a surprise to you; even those who know nothing about SEO except the term ‘SEO’ typically can tell you that it has something to do with keywords.
One of the biggest mistakes that the majority of websites make is to focus on generic keywords or the wrong keywords. By generic keywords, we mean adding the most basic of keywords that already have massive competition in the online space. For instance, if I am writing a review on the iPhone XR and I use ‘iPhone XR’ as the focus keyword, the chances of my article/blog getting a good ranking for that term are minuscule. That is going to be a saturated keyword and not a smart choice to target. We need to get more detailed.
Had you picked ‘iPhone XR Review’ the chances would have improved!
Lesson: Be smart in picking out keywords
Refrain from using dates and days in the URL
This isn’t new to SEO in 2019 but it bears repeating based on what we see online. At times, article content is updated to adjust them and that’s fine. A news-based article will be updated as soon as the news story has more current information for example. However, what you can NEVER edit is the page or post URL. If you do edit the URL of your post, Google‘s Algorithm will detect the change and index your article again as a new page. This is bad for your site because (a) if your article has been linked to from anywhere else, the link will dead, and (b) it will be indexed again with the same (duplicate) content which is a significant negative for your site in the eyes of Google.
What you want to do is keep only the post title in the URL and not use dates or days in the URL. The dates and days add unnecessary sub-directories in the URL structure and are essentially clutter to Google and visitors. So, keep the dates and days out of the URL and try to make it as precise and brief as possible. With a WordPress site you can set the permalink structure one time in settings and it will give you clean URL’s going forward.
Develop links for your posts
Developing a communication network for your posts is one of the best things you can do for your site. This is the reason why many sites focus so much on guest posts on other sites that link back to their own site, as well as by purchasing backlinks on great sites for their content. If you are in touch with other reputable sites that will link to your content you can truly improve your search ranking. This collaboration is essential to help you improve your sites rank.
Perhaps your network is small, then you can also use websites like HealthyLinks and VM interactive to help develop a link-building plan for your site. Simply go to either website, lookup what you need and identify a number of relevant backlinks to get to help strengthen your sites presence on Google.
Use SEO Tools to Assist
SEO monitoring and review is made easier by using tools and there is no shortage available online! For successful and efficient SEO monitoring and data, you need to have a deeper understanding of the type of traffic your site is receiving and we have some recommended free tools that can help:
1. Google Console:
You want to rank well in Google Searches so let’s start with a Google tool that can help! Google console is a very helpful tool that lets you see what words you rank for and compare that to other sites for the same keyword. You can evaluate your performance and adjust your future strategies accordingly. As well, the tool will help index your site for new pages, alert you to any code issues it finds, and give you lots of overall valuable information into your site performance such as speed and how it performs on mobile devices.
2. Yoast SEO:
Not only is Yoast SEO WordPress Plugin for WordPress websites a useful tool for beginners but even the experts prefer it over others out there in the market. It is one of the simplest tools for SEO that prepares a report in the Admin area of each page of the good and the bad in your post and tells you what and where to correct it. The simple red/yellow/green light system and specific notes are incredibly valuable.
Summing up SEO in 2019
There is more to the intricacies of SEO for sure, but for every marketer thinking of optimizing their website, the above points are great starters. Don’t get overwhelmed by all of the stuff you read and make sure you are doing enough to compete effectively. Implement these steps in a ongoing basis and you are well on your way to improved rankings and better SEO in 2019!