Google makes significant changes to SERPs every year in order to offer its customers the best possible experience. At the end of the day, Google is a product that seeks to make money by drawing advertisers to its platform. To keep Google an attractive place for advertisers to spend their marketing dollars, it needs to give its users the best experience possible when they seek information.
In order to optimize their product, they evaluate the way their users are interacting with SERPs results and adjusting their algorithms to favor websites and content which line up with their users intent and expectations.
If your website or its content doesn’t line up with these trends, then you aren’t going to be dominating the rankings this year.
Here are six reasons your existing strategy might be out-dated or otherwise under-optimized for the current search engine marketing landscape.
You’re Still Not Optimizing for Mobile Users
Marketers and SEO gurus have been shouting from the rooftops about mobile search optimization for what seems like an eternity. If you still aren’t considering your mobile users in your search marketing strategy in 2019, you’re going to notice a drop off in rankings.
Optimizing your website and strategy for mobile is still among the most important things you can do to strengthen your rankings this year, and that’s not likely to change in 2020 either.
Mobile internet traffic is projected to account for as much as 80% of all internet traffic by the end of the year. Most adults say a mobile browser is their first choice to perform searches in the U.S.
Make sure your website offers your mobile customers a five-star experience, and you’ll see an immediate impact in your rankings.
You Don’t Have a Strategy for Voice Search
Voice search is having a huge impact on the way people use search engines. It’s a feature on nearly every smartphone, and voice-activated devices such as the Google Home and Amazon Echo are making their way into more homes.
This has lead to an increase in search queries which use more organic language. Make sure your content is written in plain English and more importantly, make sure it’s answering specific questions that your audience is asking.
Plus, shifting your content strategy to strengthen your rankings for voice queries will help with my next point as well.
You’re Ignoring the Impact of Featured Snippets
If you accept that mobile and voice search are important parts of any modern search marketing strategy, then you can’t ignore the effect of featured snippets either.
A featured snippet displays a piece of text which is taken directly from a webpage and answers the search query directly. It does not replace any of the organic listings, which is why some call it “position zero.”
Featured snippets help users get the information they were looking for quickly. Take the query “what’s a fair interest rate for a personal loan?”
The featured snippets usually appears before the first organic result and will always appear after the ads if there are any. It’s a powerful place to be.
In this case, ValuePenguin is able to provide the answer to the query. Users who click through are provided more information about personal loan interest rates and provided a tool allowing them to input the amount they are seeking, their credit score, and state of residence to browse offers from various lenders.
Owning a featured snippets for a common question related to your business can be quite powerful. Just about every industry has frequently asked questions that they can answer in their content. Think about your content strategy this year and ask yourself whether you’re answering your audiences most asked questions.
You Don’t Have a Pay-Per-Click Strategy
Google ads are simply the fastest way to achieve the top rankings for any given keyword. And these spots have become even more valuable with the rise in mobile search.
Remember our query about personal loan interest rates? Here it is on my smartphone:
You have one ad and the featured snippets above the fold. That’s it! There’s not one organic search result before scrolling down.
While paid advertising might seem expensive, it doesn’t have to be. With a professional campaign manager, you can keep your campaign on a set budget while still achieving impressive results.
If you want to optimize your strategy for 2019, weave paid advertising into your overall search strategy. Combining Pay-per-click advertising and organic search engine optimization will help you maintain page-one visibility at all times.
Your On-Page Engagement Sucks
If your website is experiencing higher than average bounce rates, make sure you are using all the forms of on-page engagement available to you. Spice up your content with images, infographics, gifs, and other forms of media to help hold people’s attention.
A couple of stock images just doesn’t cut it anymore, either. Choose images that will help illustrate the message you are trying to get across.
Or better yet, create custom media specifically for your brand. Infographics, for example, are easy to create and go a long way toward increasing your visitors’ engagement.
It’s Time to Update Your Strategy
If you’re falling behind in the rankings this year, it might be because you’re not focusing on the most important elements of search marketing in 2019.
The emerging popularity of voice search is forcing marketers to consider whether their websites and content are optimized for these searches. Mobile search engine use continues to grow, placing an increased emphasis on mobile website optimization. Featured snippets remain a powerful and under-utilized tool for modern marketers.
Google is constantly updating its platform to better serve its users and its advertisers. It’s essential that marketers stay on top of the latest trends in search marketing. If your strategy hasn’t worked out quite the way you’d hoped, take a look and see if any of these reasons apply.