To quote Ralph Waldo Emerson: "Life is a journey. Not a destination." The same goes for search engine optimization, otherwise known as SEO. SEO in 2019 is digging deeper into following each user's unique journey to determine exactly what he or she is looking for.
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What is SEO?
By definition, SEO is the process of obtaining website traffic through organic search results on search engines, like Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo.
- It increases the quality and quantity of website traffic by strategically placing your site right in front of users who are seeking what you're offering.
- It increases the visibility of your website by appearing in organic searches.
For a long time, SEO focused heavily on meta keywords, which are behind-the-scenes words embedded in HTML that are not visible to visitors but are visible to search engines. These keywords should be specifically related to the content of your website. For example, if you are a company that sells cookies and all products related to baking cookies, your meta keywords might be chocolate chips, baking, and/or desserts.
Then Schema started becoming more prominent in SEO. Schema markup takes the use of keywords to a new level by telling search engines what exactly your content means. Let's go back to the cookie example (mainly because we are currently craving warm chocolate chip cookies. Hint hint.) If your page is about cookies, you'd want to incorporate schema around recipes and baking, so there is no confusion to the search engine that you meant another type of cookie.
Current Events Happening in SEO
However, Meta keywords and Schema markups alone aren't sufficient in terms of driving traffic to websites. In 2019, search engines are getting even more ambitious in using SEO to anticipate needs. It's no longer about solely getting traffic to the website. It's now about getting that traffic deeper and deeper into the site and turning them into converting customers who keep coming back for more.
How is SEO different in 2019 and beyond?
- Putting a lot of content in the search engine results page, known as the SERP. The content on a SERP feature is a non-traditional organic result. According to the SEO-focused company Moz, common SERP features are: rich snippets, paid results, universal results, and/or a knowledge graph.
- Designing the page flow to avoid interrupting the user experience and make it easy to transition from page to page. Each page should also be aesthetically pleasing to keep the user on the site.
- Creating user personas by using data to generate a fictional character representing the target market for your website.
- Using information architecture. This means structuring the content on your website to be easily understood by users. For example, the content on the page selling cookies will revolve entirely around cookies. There will not be information about cat food or shoes or sofas. It will focus on cookies, allowing users to understand that this company sells all products related to cookies.
Doing the research to gain a better understanding of your targeted clientele's search engine journey will tremendously increase your ability to reach those who are seeking you. Using SEO to its greatest extent will help you put the exact product somebody is looking for right in front of their face. For us, it's cookies.
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