It’s crucial that you begin planning your website optimization strategies for 2019 because, as we all know, the many factors used by Google to determine SERPs are continually changing. To keep up with these changes and to ensure that our websites are ranked as high as possible, we must regularly assess and update our optimization strategies.
There are far more ranking factors to consider than a single person could feasibly tackle, so today we’re going to consider a handful of heavily weighted ranking factors for 2019 and how you can get ahead of the game without burning both ends of the candle trying to address neverending ranking factors.
Website Optimization Strategies for 2019
1. Website Speed
The speed with which your website loads directly influences your conversions and your website traffic.
It’s no surprise that we are an impatient nation, a fact that is only reinforced by the fact that a February 2018 study by Google claimed that it takes 22 seconds for the average mobile website page to load, yet after 3 seconds of loading time, 53% of mobile site visitors leave a page.
This is why it’s crucial for you to optimize your website for speed and it’s also why Google considers page loading speed as a significant factor in ranking your website.
If your website is currently suffering from a slow loading time, we recommend some of the following tips and tricks:
- Optimize files and images to reduce their file size and reduce their loading time.
- Get rid of those redirects!
- Utilize caching plugins and extensions.
- Use images with smaller dimensions rather than full-sized images where a thumbnail will do.
- Don’t overdo it with plugins!
- Don’t go cheap on your host!
- Reduce the number of HTTP requests for sections of the page like CSS, images, and scripts.
2. Content Marketing
Take a look around the net and you’ll begin to feel the frustration of just how much content is out there cluttering up the virtual atmosphere. This clutter doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon, in fact, it’s only going to get compounded and that means that it’s going to be increasingly difficult to get your content noticed.
So what can you do to market your content and get seen through the clutter?
- Begin by creating a central hub for resources on your website and use this hub to direct users to relevant, useful, informative, and unique content!
- Once you have established your central hub, begin creating offshoots from that hub that provide related information and use those offshoots to link back to the main hub.
- With your hub and offshoots established, take to social media platforms and channels and use them to market your offshoot articles. A great way to do this is to link your content topics to trending topics because it will get you seen much more effectively.
- When marketing your content, use media (photos and videos) to stand out and if your content becomes stale and your “standout factor” drops, update your content to refresh it!
3. Technical SEO
Technical SEO sounds daunting, but the truth is that these days there are so many SEO tools and services available to you that running an audit of your site’s SEO and addressing issues flagged by this audit is easier than ever. In fact, many of the issues flagged in site audits are simple fixes like:
- Not having a mobile-friendly site.
- Having errors in your robot.txt file.
- Having unaddressed status code errors.
- Having duplicated title tags or meta descriptions.
- Having broken links throughout your site.
- Not utilizing Google Search Console to analyze your site indexing.
- Not having an XML sitemap submitted via Google Search Console to Google.
In the first quarter of 2018 Google rolled out their mobile-first index, that is, Google shifted to using the mobile-friendly version of a site for indexing and ranking. With this shift, it became more important than ever to have a mobile-friendly or mobile-responsive layout. If your site is not mobile friendly going into 2019 then you have some serious catching up to do. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Be sure that your site design is adaptive to EVERY device – desktop, mobile, and tablet.
- Don’t use pop-ups that cover all of your content, on mobile devices these can cover all of your content or even be impossible to close!
- Be sure to scale images correctly if you are using a responsive website design.
- Keep your meta titles short and sweet so they can easily be read on mobile devices.
- Don’t be afraid to use short-form content on mobile!
Not too long ago we published an article about Schema markup, if you missed it we recommend checking it out before continuing this article.
Currently, all of the major search engines support the use of schema and it’s to your benefit to make use of it because it creates a rich snippet in search results that gives users a much-improved search experience and that means that they are more likely to click-through to your content from search results.
6. User Intent
When writing content for your site it’s important to write good unique content that is optimized and has trusted links. As Google’s core algorithm becomes more intelligent, however, it’s becoming more important than ever to write content that Google can understand in context and display in search results based on user intent.
What does this mean for you? It means that you will need to begin devoting more time and resources to keyword and keyphrase research. Is your keyword or phrase contextually relevant? Is it possible to rank for this keyword or keyphrase or is that a losing battle? The more contextually relevant your keyword or phrase is, the more Google is going to give it recognition based on the user intent of searchers.
7. User Experience
Also referred to as (UX), user experience is another important factor in your website ranking and success. Focus on providing a quality and easy user experience to your website visitors that caters to their needs and their limitations. Just don’t forget to consider your business objectives at the same time!
There are a number of factors that can influence the user experience, we encourage you to analyze these factors by asking yourself the following questions:
- Does my content satisfy a need? Is it unique and useful?
- Does my website offer a platform that is both easy to navigate and easy to use?
- Is the design of my website, brand, and product desirable enough to make users WANT my product or service?
- Is my website accessible to all populations including those with significant disabilities?
- Does my site present content in a way that it seems credible and trustworthy?
- Are users of my site able to navigate and use my site to easily find content that they are searching for?
- Does my site provide value to my company through positive ROI?
- Does my site provide value to the user through user experience?
8. Link Building
The importance of link building for your website is nothing new, in fact, Google has long been considering links when determining ranking factors for sites. While this consideration isn’t going to change in the coming year, it is likely to become more finetuned at identifying valuable versus invaluable links. This means that those of you who have been buying linkbacks or linking from just about anywhere you can think of, need to stop. Focus on building quality links to your site if you expect to stand out.
Some ways that you can build links back to your site include:
- Building resource hub pages as mentioned above.
- Creating quality guest posts on relevant websites.
- Mining for backlinks.
- Claiming mentions that are currently unlinked.
- Reclaiming links.
Need Help with Your Website Optimization Strategies for 2019?
If you find the information contained in this article to be overwhelming or if you simply don’t have the time to tackle each of these necessary website optimization strategies for 2019, Online Presence Manager can help. You can still set yourself up for success in 2019 by giving us a quick call for a free consultation today at 727-475-6460 and letting us do the heavy lifting for you!