There are more than 640 million active websites on the internet. So for you as a business owner, this means you need to do everything you can to outperform your competition online.
The best approach? Well, Search engine optimization (SEO) is a great way to make this happen. However, SEO best practices change every year.
And, despite what you’ve heard about people worrying about these changes, just remember that as long as you’re providing great information, for the most part, you have no need to worry.
For that reason, we created this guide with 8 sustainable SEO tips and tricks that will improve your search engine rankings in 2019.
Are you ready? Let’s read on to learn more!
1. Engage Your Readers
For too many years, web design has taken priority over website content. But, for most industries, that simply won’t work in 2019.
One of the most important metrics to Google is how engaged your visitors are with your website. Google wants to see that your readers stay on the page for a good amount of time because this means that your site is relevant.
This will also decrease your bounce rates. A bounce is when someone clicks on your Google result but then hits the backspace quickly after arriving.
When Google sees this, they interpret it to mean that your page wasn’t what the user was looking for, which will decrease your ranking for that keyword.
So this year, invest in your content. Hire a top-notch copywriter who can create intriguing, easy to digest copy for your site. It will be well worth the investment.
2. Shorten Your URLs
In general, the longer your URLs, the worse your rankings. In fact, Matt Cutts of Google has said that the words after five words in your URL carry less weight and don’t matter as much.
(If you need an example, just take a peek at the URL of this page.)
So, keep your URLs short, sweet & to the point! Why? Because you want to make it as easy as possible for search engines, as well as people looking at results after performing a search to know what your page is about. This, in turn, creates a better experience for your users. Remember, you want to focus first and foremost on the user.
All in all, keep your URLs to 3 to 5 words at the most. Go through your site and do this on every page and every blog post.
If you don’t have a website yet, before purchasing a domain name – keep this tip in mind as well. Ideally, your domain name is never more than two words. Also, skip the mis-spellings and just invest in a one or two word properly spelled .com URL. Trust us on this one.
3. Utilize Alt Text
Google’s spiders can’t read images, only text.
For that reason, it’s important to utilize alt text. This is text that you can use to describe your images so that Google understands your picture content.
Many website builders these days include an area where you can include alt text with each picture. You can also code this in the backend if needed.
In your alt text, be sure to describe the image and include the keyword of that specific page. This will improve your rankings.
4. Make it Quick
Another key to your SEO efforts in 2019 is site speed. For years, this has been an important aspect, but it’s even more important now that mobile phone use is at an all-time high.
That’s because when people are searching for things on their phones, they want instant answers. They need quick information to help solve an urgent problem or answer their question.
If websites take too long to load, people will bounce, which will negatively affect your rankings. You should do everything you can to speed up your site.
Work with your development team to work on your site speed. Have them compress all your images and implement caching. If you need some outside assistance, our team of experts can help!
Also, we recommend implementing AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) if you are posting blogs multiple times a week, or have any sort of website related to news.
5. Improve Your Page Titles: Add This to Your List of SEO Tips and Tricks
In the past, it was common to see keyword stuffing in page titles. This means people would add their keyword as much as possible, not taking into consideration the user experience.
These days, this is not best practice. You should still include your keyword once in your page titles, but focus on making them more effective for your users. They should be easy to read and understand.
Go through your page titles and make sure this is the case with all of them. It will make a big impact.
6. Work on Your Social Signals
Social media has been a pillar of digital marketing for years now. But now in 2019, they are having a huge impact on SEO.
How come? It’s simple. Google likes to see that people are talking about your business on social media.
When people share your posts, that’s even better because it can provide you with links back to your site.
Google also likes to see that you have an active presence on social media because it means that you are a proactive, thriving company.
7. Get Better Links
It’s no secret that link building is an SEO fundamental. This is because Google likes to see that people are talking about your content on the internet.
And when a site with a high level of domain authority links to your site, that’s even better! In other words, it’s not the number of links that matter. It’s much more effective to get high-quality links that come from a site with high domain authority.
But there’s also an update for 2019 when it comes to links. You should also pay attention to relevance. Although domain authority is hugely important, so is relevancy these days.
Google wants to see that a niche site with high domain authority is linking to you. That is the most powerful combination.
8. Security is Important
It’s always been a good idea to have a safe site. But in today’s SEO world, it’s a must. That’s because Google announced that they now give a benefit to secure sites.
This means you should update to HTTPS instead of HTTP. Work with your developers to make this happen so that you don’t have any technical issues during the transition. These could negatively affect your SEO rankings.
Make the investment in an SSL certificate and a safer HTTPS version of your website. It will significantly benefit your search rankings.
There you have it: 8 SEO tips and tricks you need for your digital marketing strategy in 2019.
If it seems like a lot to do all at once, don’t worry! Pick the ones that will work best for your business right now and try them out.
Looking for high-quality SEO services so you don’t even have to worry about this stuff? Check out our pricing options.
President, Direction Inc.