Last year, only 44 percent of companies invested in search engine optimization (SEO). What gives? SEO plays a critical role in driving organic search traffic to your web properties and increasing the visibility of your brand, two things most marketers would consider extremely important.
The good news is that it’s never too late to invest in SEO and if SEO still isn’t on your radar or part of your digital marketing strategy, below are three search trends for 2019 that might change your mind.
More People are Using Smart Speakers
The smart speaker market is booming. Whether it's Amazon Echo or Google Home, more people are searching for products and services on these devices than ever before. It's no wonder, then, that experts predict the US smart speaker market to be worth a massive $9 billion by the year 2023.
Smart speakers have changed the way people search for information online. As a result, more and more businesses are adopting new SEO strategies optimized for voice search hoping that smart speakers will feature their services.
Consumers Prefer Local Content
Search results became more localized in 2018, so expect more of the same this year. Research shows that local searches make up 46 percent of all Google searches, and 97 percent of people have searched for local information online.
Optimizing your website and blog for local search could provide you with a significant return on your investment if you do it right, especially if you provide a specialized service. Developing a local SEO strategy should be a key part of your digital marketing strategy, especially if your primary market is on a local. Getting on-board with local SEO is easy but it does take time.
Videos Are Crucial for SEO
Video could be the most effective SEO strategy this year. More people watched videos online in 2018 than any other year in history, and 2019 is likely to break that record. As more companies realize the power of video marketing, many of them are optimizing their video content for search — and seeing massive improvements in SEO as a result.
Eighty-one percent of businesses said they used video as a marketing tool in 2018 — up from 63 percent in 2017. Moreover, 76 percent said video helped them to boost sales. Video content alone won’t boost your search rankings though. Just like any other element of your website, whether it be an image, words or the code used to build your site, it all needs to be optimized for SEO.
When it comes to video, choosing the right thumbnail, using a keyword rich but natural title for your video, adding transcripts and closed captions, and including metadata in your video will all contribute to the overall success of it being discovered through non-paid channels.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) should be one of the cornerstones of any digital marketing strategy, especially considering it’s 2019 now, but if it isn’t a part of yours yet, it’s time to seriously start thinking about it, especially in the realms of voice search, local search and video marketing. And if you don’t have the in-house expertise, we recommend you meet with several different SEO and video production companies before you make your final decision.
Just ask yourself how many Google pages deep do you go when you’re trying to search for something. Unless you’re trying to research something, I bet it’s not many…and that’s exactly what the people who are searching for whatever it is you do are also doing.