09 Feb SEO in 2019 – Changes to consider.
Personalised content is more prevalent than ever in the digital world.
Even search engines now provide individually tailored results.
Previous search queries and browsing habits can affect the results a search engine returns.
So how do we stay relevant with SEO in 2019?
According to Google’s own Search Quality Evaluation Guidelines E-A-T is one of the most important factors when considering page quality in terms of SEO.
Gone are the times where just posting regular, interesting, maybe keyword heavy, content was enough to remain “top of the charts”.
Individual pages are now considered when evaluating an entire website’s value.
To establish this, search engines now look to determine: whether or not users feel comfortable reading, sharing and thus recommending, the content available.
We’re talking about E-A-T signals here.
E – Expertise,
A – Authority &
T – Trustworthiness
Overall user experience (UX) is now key.
Not only do you need to provide valuable content, but your website needs to be user-friendly too.
This is where things get interesting though.
Market and or industry now play a large role in ascertaining how a website’s value is decided.
For example, should a website be seated in the medicine or finance worlds, credibility and accuracy of statements made, is important, as these are fields that are considered a part of Google’s YMYL category.
YMYL – Your Money or Your Life
YMYL is a quality/reliability categorisation for websites that concern topics relating to, or may have a direct impact upon. your money or well-being, life, income or happiness.
Prime examples of YMYL pages or websites include:
- Shopping or financial transaction pages.
- Financial, investment or tax information.
- Medical advice.
- Legal information on topics such as family law, child-support, divorce, will making or citizenship etc.
- Any other page that has the potential to directly, detrimentally affect a person’s life if it contained low E-A-T levels e.g. Car Repair and or Maintenance.
If your business or website falls into one of the above categories, there is a much greater risk for publishing low quality content.
In these scenarios following the E-A-T guidelines is especially important.
This is due to the fact that incorrect advice given to the reader, in a piece of content, could be detrimental to their day-to-day lives and as a result diminish all trust they may once have had in your brand.
Analyse your market; who are you creating content for?
Is the market format? Or is your market more anecdotal/based on every day expertise.
Is your content creator qualified?
A qualified professional is set to be your most reliable source of information, if you are in the medical, financial or legal fields.
It is essential the advice is correct and from qualified source.
If for any reason, a qualified person is unavailable, it is important to make sure your content is verifiable and well referenced.
Preferably using academic reports, peer reviewed articles that are available online, which you can directly link to within your content.
This is more reserved for the likes of bloggers, reviewers and so forth; ordinary people sharing their real life experiences.
For example blogs, discussion forums, recipe guides, humour to house cleaning etc
Include the author’s name or bio with editorial content. This allows users to get to know your authors and contributors. It also lets them see at first glance that they are qualified in the field on question.
Research, cite and reference academic research studies and or cases that verifies your content themes, if your content creators are not recognised professionals .
This goes a long way towards bridging the gap and building trust. It shows that delivering accurate and trustworthy information is a priority.
This is not only to the reader but also to search engines crawling and indexing your pages.
Manage Your Online Reputation
Be sure to respond to reviews or comments, whether they be positive or negative.
This includes on social media, not just on your website.
Show that you care about your clients and a reader base.
Prove that you are dedicated to providing great customer service.
Make sure your content is useful, current, relevant and as above, accurate. Avoid content for content’s sake. Instead ensure your content is purposeful informative and useful.
Make contact information easily accessible and most importantly visible, not cramped on the photo in a minute size.
Nothing says dodgy in this day and age, more than a website concealing contact information. Make sure your users can get in touch as and when they need to, with ease.
Make Users Feel Safe
At the very least users should feel safe while using your website.
One of the best ways to ensure this is by applying as SSL certificate to your website.
This will display a padlock icon in most browsers reassuring uses their connection to your website is secure.
This is imperative if you handle or collect user information, process or handle financial transactions.
User Experience (UX)
UX is another important topic.
Google themselves hold it in high regard as such it now affects your ranking on search engine results pages (SERP).
As more and more people move to consume a digital/web contact on mobile devices, websites need to be device agnostic.
This is so important that at Connive we no longer develop websites that are not device agnostic.
It is estimated that over half of Internet users now use mobile devices to browse the web.
As such Google now index websites mobile-first when deciding how to rank pages on SERPs.
This means that websites that are not mobile optimised will be penalised in terms of rank, from the outset.
It is important that your website is device agnostic not only to ensure good user experience but to also prevent the negative impact of a poorly displayed desktop site on a mobile device, paired with the negative affect on rankings this would also cause.
Page speed also impacts UX. The last thing a user wants, is to have to wait an abnormally long time to access the information they seek.
As such… you guessed it… Google will negatively rank a slow loading website; placing it below pages with similar content, that load swiftly.
As touched upon before, website security is also a big factor here.
For more information on this please see our upcoming article on SSL certificates & domain security.
(Once published the Article will be linked here)