— January 6, 2019
Wait a minute. How did it become 2019? Did 2018 just start? I could have sworn I wrote a similar blog just last month!
Anyways, 2018 has come and gone, and it wasn’t too crazy in the world of SEO. The most significant changes we saw was the final implementation of Google’s mobile-first indexing and the craziness of page speed. Other than that, there was some ups and downs but nothing earth-shattering.
But enough about Christmas Past. Let’s talk about Christmas Future. Otherwise known as “what will happen in 2019.”
Here are the top four nuggets to keep in mind for next year:
Stop Doing Searches on Your Computer!
Google has recognized that more people rely on their phones to find the phone number of their favorite restaurant than booting up that relic sitting on their desk. So if your website isn’t as excellent as it can be on mobile, then you can see your listing drop in the rankings.
That’s what the mobile-first indexing means. Google is not getting rid of desktop indexing – it’s all still one index. It just means that Google will be basing your site’s ranking on your mobile site and not your desktop.
Does this mean you should ignore your desktop’s website? Absolutely not! It means that your site needs to be compatible and play well with all browsers, both mobile and desktop. It’s got to look good. It’s got to function correctly. And, most importantly, it’s got to be fast. Speaking of fast…
How Fast Are You Going?
Your website needs to fly, boy! A year or so ago, I had said that your site needs to be under 3 seconds to keep the user’s attention. Nowadays, that’s too slow. We need immediacy, and we wanted it two days ago!
The faster your website is, the more likely the user will stay on your site. The longer the user stays on your site, the better your bounce rate is. A good bounce rate means a better ranking on Google, and hey, that’s the name of the game, right? We talked about page speed in a separate blog.
Schema? I Hardly Even Knew Ya!
Schema.org is a community that creates, maintains, and promotes structured data code for websites. For example, when you look at a listing on Google, you see the title of the page, the short description, maybe a couple of stars, a rich snippet at the top of the page, perhaps. That’s all schema. It tells the search engine what your page is about so it can properly index it.
Schema is ever evolving. Each year, more and more types of structured data are added to Schema.org. And with the growing number of voice searches, it’s essential for your site. Especially when speakable schema comes alive in the next few years.
Local SEO is Crucial
I can’t stress this more. Did you know that most search terms included the words “near me?” The world has gotten very small and very crowded. If you want to compete with the law firm down the street, then you need to bone up on your local SEO.
So make sure all your local listings are correct and the same throughout the web. If your business has a different name/address/phone (NAP) data across various websites, then your confidence level will take a hit. You won’t rank well against your competitors or in the local pack. That means fewer showings on voice search and fewer customers knocking on your door.
So it’s time to do a citation audit. I suggest doing one at least every six to twelve months. You would be surprised to see what comes up.