As we have seen over the last several years, Google and other leading search engines are constantly changing their ranking factors in order to enhance the search accuracy and also to belittle the adverse SEO practices for better positioning. We witnessed many major ranking factors over time as:
- The year 2014 – HTTPS as the leading ranking signal.
- The year 2015 – mobile friendliness as a new ranking signal.
- The year 2016 – content quality with Rank Brain taking over the scene.
- The year 2017 – An increased push for secured websites.
In 2018, responsiveness and speed seemed to be the biggest ranking factors. With more than a million websites on the internet, how can you create your awesome website which can win you a higher rank? One thing all the web developers, owners, and search engine optimization specialists should keep in mind is that all these ranking factors are derived to offer a better user experience.
SEO in 2019
As Google is now evaluating each web page to check its relevance against hundreds of key ranking factors, it is essential for the users to know where to aim to develop a winning SEO strategy for 2019. Good news is that the ranking signals are adapting more to the users than anything else and thinking in that line will help the marketers too to score higher in 2019.
Even though the actual ranking signals are far more from the listed few here, these factors are highlighted with their criticality to be considered for 2019. Here are the top expert-suggested ranking factors which may matter the most in 2019.
1. The content of high quality
Content quality is the primary consideration in terms of SEO for many years now, and no one wants to compromise on their content quality for any reason. Content still remains the king. In 2019, you will find content which is optimized for the top keywords holding SEO power.
However, when it comes to the quality of content, the definition changes from time to time. Now, your content should be able to provide relevant, precise, and valuable information to hold SEO value. Creating many pages with content stuffed in, but with no real value may come back and haunt you with the Panda and Fred updates of Google.
Top quality content is all about creating web pages which can win increased time on page, lesser bouncer rate, alongside sharing helpful and valuable content with users. Informative blog content like this and user guides are considered to be the top in the list of search engines in terms of quality content. Top quality content web pages will surely do more in terms of today’s SEO than long-form content pages, even though well written. When it comes to content, here are some primary considerations to make.
Knowing user intention is essential to drive in organic traffic to the pages, which defines the quality of content. As any branding company may suggest, to understand the nature of your search intent, you may use tools like Google Analytics. The User Flow and Site Search options in such tools can give you an idea about the customer searches.
User flow ranking signals
You can also check the Google Search Analytics reports to on the console to see what people used to click on the search engine page results to reach to your site. Knowing this will help you enhance the effectiveness of this linking process.
It’s not a random word picked out from the street to be used for SEO, but you need to do custom research to identify which words are used the most and what is the current ranking status of each. Keyword research will not only support to identify the right keywords but also supports quality content creation.
As the latest study report by Google, almost 70% of the people using search are using voice search or have a voice-activated speaker who controls their devices for search. With the growth of AI and online assistants like Alex, Siri, Cortana, etc., a unique way of internet search is now evolving.
The rich snippets now use a better schema to markup your web text for higher visibility on Google SERPs. Rich snippets may also mean the photos or ratings on the results. Using rich snippets may also increase the click-through rate as well as reduce bounce rate as it gives a fair review of the content before getting on to it.
With all these, building top content for your web pages is essential to make it a welcoming place for the users and in turn for the search engine crawlers. SERPs are now the front door of your business.
2. Mobile friendliness
We discussed it above as one of the major ranking factors in the previous year too, but this is more relevant in 2019 too. There was a time once when a mobile version of your website was separately hosted with the URL as m.website.com. Doing this won’t harm now also, but the best approach is to develop a responsive website, which will remain as the single most website to be shared through all devices.
Even if Google hasn’t specified it as to what mode of mobile websites as responsive or separate URL or dynamic they prefer, it is clear from the ranking results that responsive is the most favorable format of mobile-friendly websites now. Google also announced that responsive design helps their search engine algorithms to index the websites accurately than having the need to signal the existence of separate desktop and mobile pages.
In the current times of mobile-first indexing, a mobile-friendly website can be your lifeblood in terms of top SERP performance. In order to stay active, it is essential to follow the guidelines of Google and ensure that your website content identically matches at your desktop and mobile versions. Whatever you can do in terms of making your website responsive to improve the SEO performance must be done.
Even though the above two may remain as the top search engine ranking factors, you may also keep a focus on creating a highly secure website (HTTPS), improving overall user experience, optimizing page speed, focus more on on-page and off-page optimization elements, and try to earn more authoritative back-links, etc. to stay on top in search engine results.
A Nerd Geo-Scientist, I am Internet Power User, Graphic Designer, WordPressor & Best Of All Founder of NerdsHD Where I share Interesting & Useful Stuff For Like Minded People.