The way people search has evolved year-on-year. Just think back to early days of AltaVisa, Yahoo! And Ask Jeeves?

Due to significant advances in technology and our growing need for instant gratification, finding answers to questions has drastically changed. In 2018, we saw Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg questioned by Congress and Senate Commerce and Judiciary committees regarding bias and privacy.

Search is big.

But being found is also getting increasingly more competitive (read: difficult).

At Prosperity Media, we have been delivering results for 10+ years. Here are our top SEO digital tips for 2019 to help you stay ahead of the pack.

Mobile-First Approach

Did you know that more than half of all Google search queries are performed on a phone? Consumers now spend more than 5 hours a day on their smartphone. In 2018 alone, 52.2% of all online traffic across the world was generated through mobile devices (source).

Poorly formatted sites (long walls of text), a non-responsive website, and slow load times are tell-tale signs of a website that does not put mobile traffic first. In July 2018, Google officially announced that slow-loading content may perform less well for both desktop and mobile searchers. Last year, we said the same thing: page speed is a ranking factor for mobile search.

Use Google’s very own https://testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com/ tool to see how your website performs on a standard 3G connection.

Voice Search

If you are a fan of Gary Vaynerchuck then you will know that he has been advocating for voice AI / search for years (we wrote about voice search back in 2016). Sales of Google Home and Amazon Echo tripled in 2017 (source). When you think about it, it makes sense – voice is faster and more efficient for completing tasks and communication.

What implications does voice search have for you in 2019?

Hint: how much effort are you putting into long-tail keyword phrases?

eCommerce + Amazon

Product visibility and sales are forefront to any eCommerce business.

No longer the simple online bookstore, Amazon has 2 million sellers meeting the needs of 300 million users. It accounted for nearly half of all US retail eCommerce in 2018. Take a moment to let this sink in (source).

Customer search habits on Amazon differ compared to Google. They tend to be more detailed in what they are searching for from the start. If you take away just one thing from this article, take away this: keywords matter in a product listing (product title, Seller Central backend search terms, product description).

PS – check out our previous eCommerce content marketing strategy guide.

PPS – read more on keyword research tools here.

Leveraging YouTube

With more than 30 million daily active users, YouTube is the second largest search engine. Ironically, YouTube was acquired by Google back in 2006. Therefore, if there was every a time to invest in a video content, 2019 is the year to do it.

YouTube’s goal is to keep people on their platform as long as possible (by serving ad spots that brings in revenue). But first for all, you need to create video content that adds value for your audience!

Like any piece of content, your videos should align with your keyword strategy. The easiest way to get started is to review existing content and turning it into a video piece.

Start simple, instead of filming yourself, you can perhaps do a slide presentation with audio narration.

Content Creation = Solving Problems

What is better than ranking above position 1 on Google?

Position zero.

Featured snippets (position #0) take up the most SERP real estate and thus, they get a lot more impressions and clicks.

There are four types of featured snippets: paragraph snippets, lists (bulleted and numbered), tables, and YouTube (because as mentioned previously, Google owns YouTube).

Paragraph snippets are the most common type of position zero and generally favour “how to”, “who is”, “why is” and “what is” type of questions. Needless to say, headline copywriting is very important so here are 7 ideas for writing compelling headlines.

But that’s not all for position zero optimisation ..

Structured Schema Markup and Position 0

In short, Schema markup presents content within a page in a manner that Google understands natively and Google rewards those who make its life easier.

Here are some Schema that you will most likely need: WebPage, Article, NewsArticle, TechArticle, and QAPage.

PS – Google recommends JSON-LD for markup.

Go Deep With Evergreen Content

BuzzSumo analysed 100 million articles and found that 70% of all online content got no backlinks at all (source). But authoritative evergreen content consistently gained shares and links over time.

Do need you need help with producing compelling written content? Check out our previous article.

Google may have market share but don’t forget the other players

Attributing to almost 75% of all online searches, there is no doubt that Google is the global market leader in search. However, that still leaves millions of Yahoo, Bing, duckduckgo and Baidu searches and each search engine has their own nuances to consider.