Now that 2019 is in full swing, we’d like to talk about one of our favorite subjects: SEO. Last year provided some interesting updates to the SEO world, including the rise of voice queries and topic clusters, and we expect 2019 to do the same.
But today, we’d like to avoid talking about SEO strategies that take months and months to implement. If you want to hit the ground running in 2019, we suggest looking at these quick SEO wins and seeing what you can do for your own site as the year begins.
1. Work on Building Website Authority
RankBrain, the AI algorithm handling Google’s SEO assessments since April 2015, plays a huge role in your page’s ranking. While RankBrain’s exact criteria aren’t known, it’s generally accepted that it prioritizes content that is authoritative and trustworthy.
What exactly does that mean? There are two primary elements that go into this determination:
- Assessing the reputation of the company posting the material
- Measuring engagement metrics such as dwell time or bounce rates to determine how relevant the content is to readers
With these criteria in mind, you can score more SEO points by building up content that RankBrain wants to see. This means doubling-down on your content marketing strategy and working more on your resources to guarantee that they provide value for your readers.
You’ll also want to make sure your site checks all of RankBrain’s boxes for what’s considered a “reputable” website. At the minimum, make sure your website has the following information:
- About page
- Contact us page
- Privacy policies and terms of service
These are quick-to-build pages that can boost your SEO profile in RankBrain’s algorithm. Building out the content itself will take a little longer, but getting these pages on the ground (if you don’t have them yet) is a good first step.
2. Incorporate Embeddable Images
It’s easy to see how important visuals are in 2019. Sites like Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat have made that clear. If you want to rank higher, you need to play into this trend and start earning yourself some backlinks.
Include images on your pages along with embed codes that make it easy to share. HubSpot and other sites have some great guides on how to do this.
If you have great images (such as data-filled infographics or striking photography), you might be surprised at how many people want to share them. And when they do, you’ll usually get a backlink back to your page. For SEO purposes, these backlinks are gold.
Don’t underestimate this simple strategy. In one report, 37 percent of marketers agreed that visual marketing would become the most important form of content for their business.
3. Consider Podcasting
Podcasting is one of the newer forms of content marketing. It’s only entered the scene in the past 15 years or so and hasn’t yet seen the widespread adoption other channels have.
In fact, according to Social Media Examiner’s above report, podcasting was tied for last place in terms of marketing priorities.
So, why are we suggesting it? Because this lack of adoption is a great opportunity for those who get in on the action early!
A full 33 percent of Americans aged 25-54 listen to podcasts at least once per month. On top of that, six million more people listened to podcasts weekly in 2018 compared to 2017.
Think about adding podcasts into your content marketing arsenal. For a quick start, you can even go back to your older blogs and repurpose them into podcasts. This is an easy and affordable way to generate new content without coming up with completely new ideas.
Just type up the key points from each piece, rewrite it a little to play well over voice, and record it with your phone. Boom—you’ve started your podcasting strategy.
4. Revise Content to Include More Research
This is another tip designed to earn you some backlinks. If you want people to link back to you, you need to become a resource worth sharing.
Look at your blogs, articles, white papers, and other materials and think about adding some more research into your posts. Marketing and design companies publish consumer surveys detailing industry trends, so you should be able to find some material to work with.
Go through your old content and look for opportunities to cite data and statistics. Doing so may earn you some backlinks—but just as importantly, it’ll improve the authority of your content (as noted in tip one).
For something as simple as adding some numbers into your post, this one is an easy win.
5. Implement a Comments Section
As it turns out, Google gives SEO points to pages that have vibrant and active community engagement. The exact details aren’t known, but Google analyst Gary Illyes said as much in a 2016 Twitter post.
This one’s easy to implement, though a little harder to put into practice. It’s easy to create a comment section for your visitors. The problem is getting them to participate. Most people don’t comment on articles (and it’s considered a win when they do), so if you want to build up an active social presence, you’ll have to market yourself a little.
Reach out on social media and encourage your subscribers to participate. Try to get them engaged, ask for their feedback, and don’t be afraid to sweeten the deal with special promotions or offers for active participants.
The Slow Road to SEO
SEO is a process of refinement; it’s all about slow changes producing slow results. As such, you need to stay on top of your game and make sure you’re adapting to the changing standards governing the SEO world.
Start with these easy fixes and fold them into your larger optimization efforts. You won’t see results overnight, but don’t worry—by knocking out a few easy SEO wins, you’re building a foundation of good practices that you can grow over time.