Are you ready for 2019? For businesses, the new year brings with it limitless possibilities but also a new set of challenges.
That’s especially true when it comes to SEO. Thanks to algorithm updates, technological innovation, and changing search behavior, SEO is a constantly evolving space.
As we enter another year, now is as good a time as ever to take a step back and reevaluate your SEO strategy.
Check out this quick-hitting checklist to ring in the new year right.
1. Switch to HTTPS
Google began marking sites without “HTTPS” as non-secure way back in 2017. That extra “S” refers to Secure Socket Layers, an extra security encryption that defends against hacks.
Transitioning to HTTPS will make your site more secure and may also give you a traffic boost thanks to Google’s propensity to favor these sites.
2. Take a Mobile Test
By now, you know that a mobile strategy is mandatory to stay competitive online. In case you need a reminder, more than 52 percent of all worldwide traffic was generated through mobile phones in 2018.
You can keep up with the mobile surge by testing your site’s mobile usability. Google offers a free Mobile-Friendly Test Tool that will identify your site’s speed and performance while being viewed on mobile. It even provides a site-wide mobile usability report so you can make your site more mobile and SEO-friendly.
3. Target Voice Search
Virtual assistants like Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa, and Google Home are quickly changing the state of modern search. They’ve had such a profound impact that 50 percent of all searches are expected to be voice search by 2020.
How can you keep up? For starters, you can make your content match the conversational tones of voice search. Content that performs well in voice search is written at a 9th grade level and averages over 1,000 Facebook shares.
Focus on creating easy-to-read, highly shareable content to gain an edge in voice search.
4. Install the Yoast SEO Plugin
Looking to boost your content for 2019 and beyond? Install an SEO plugin on your site. Yoast SEO is a free SEO plugin for WordPress that makes it extremely easy to create optimized content. It’s so effective that it’s currently used by over 8.5 million WordPress sites.
I sat down with Yoast CEO Joost de Valk on my podcast, Marketing Speak, in 2018. Check out the episode to learn more about this plugins capabilities, from creating sitemaps to redirecting data archives. It’s a super cool conversation that will tell you everything you need to know about the power of Yoast!
5. Use Keyword Research to Develop Content Ideas
One of the most time consuming and frustrating SEO tasks is developing content ideas. It can often take hours to develop the right idea for a piece of highly optimized content.
That doesn’t have to be the case. Try using some keyword research tools instead of laboring over brainstorming sessions.
Tools like AnswerThePublic and Ubersuggest will give you content ideas based on a specific keyword. Not only do these sites provide a list of popular terms, they also let you sort the results by traffic volume. This way, you don’t have to waste time wondering what people will read. The data is right in front of you and ripe for the picking. My other favorite tools include Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush and Ahrefs.
The new year brings with it a wealth of opportunity when it comes to SEO. Use these strategies to stay ahead of the game and make the most of your optimization efforts in 2019. For more up to date SEO tips, tricks and tools, tune into my Marketing Speak podcast.