We’re in another New Year. This just happens faster and faster every time. But with this cultural reset button comes a good moment to reflect on what your SEO strategy is, and what you might be focussing on that really isn’t important anymore. SEO is constantly changing, like the seasons, so, here are a few things to keep in mind to help your audience find you next year.
Ranking #1 in a SERP isn’t the most important thing
For a long time, and for fair reason, the most important part of optimisation – at least, if you believed those ‘we’ll get you to number 1’ adverts everywhere – was to hit the top ranking on SERPs. The problem is, what SERP were they ranking you number 1 for? And is number 1 even where you want to be anymore? As Google has introduced changing dynamics on SERPs, and user interaction with results has subsequently shifted, your focus no longer needs to be on gaining that famed top spot.
This is because that, whilst a lot of users take that spot as important and click on it above other links, they’re not necessarily converting into customers. And at the end of the day, the aim of SEO is not to show up top of Google: it’s to make your business more money. On top of that, there is even suggestion in recent data that you actually don’t see higher clickthrough rates for all number 1 listings, and even when you do it may be for the wrong keywords or phrases.
So what’s the lesson? Make sure you’re targeting the right search terms, and ranking on page 1.
Content is just as important as links
Gaining backlinks for your site used to be the most critical strategy in SEO. In 2013, Penguin 2.0 (Google’s algorithm update) changed all that. The quality became more important than the quantity. And so link building moved with the times, and people did start focussing on quality links. However, if you employ someone – or spend your own time – to focus on quality links, they’re inevitably also going to focus on numbers.
Content, however, is less biased, and helps you gain a variety of links from a variety of relevant sources on different topics. That suggests that, rather than focussing all your efforts on links, put time into quality content that your audience will find useful.
Your site needs to be secure
The final thing to point out for 2019 is to ensure your website is secure. That little ‘s’ at the end of http:// in your URL is far more important than some people realise.
It means your website is secure for the user, particularly when payments are concerns, protecting their data. Because of this, Google has stated a number of times that – being for the user and all – they’ll favour sites with that little ‘s’. This refers to something called SSL, and you need to be across it for 2019.