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5 SEO Factors to Monitor in 2019

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2018 was the year in which Google introduced dramatic changes to how it ranks sites. For example, Google used AI for approximately 30% of search queries. The page with the most links does not always rank at the top anymore. Here are the five SEO factors that I believe will be important for 2019.

  1. Become Familiar with Structured Data
  2. Avoid Structured Data Mistakes
  3. Consider Podcasts for Your Marketing Agenda
  4. Improve Content Focus
  5. Improve Image SEO

1. Become Familiar with Structured Data

Structured data is intimidating. But it’s actually easy to become familiar with how it works. The easiest way to become familiar with it is to copy and paste and start working with it.

I wrote a step by step tutorial for helping those new to structured data. It shows how the online manual for structured data is set up. Then it walks you through creating and testing your own structured data code.

Read: 5 Easy Wins for Structured Data

2. Avoid Structured Data Mistakes

Sites have been receiving penalties for incorrect implementation of structured data. It’s possible to make an honest mistake and receive a penalty for it.

The five most common structured data mistakes to avoid:

  1. Using inappropriate structured data
  2. Structured data doesn’t match on-page content
  3. Violates Google’s Guidelines for a specific data type
  4. Violates Google’s Structured Data General Guidelines
  5. Shortcuts and taking liberties (aka manipulative behavior)

Read: Structured Data Mistakes to Avoid

3. Consider Podcasts for Your Marketing Strategy

Podcasts are an increasingly popular way to consume content. You should consider investigating if potential customers are listening to podcasts related to your niche. And if they are then it may make sense to create a strategy to reach those listeners.

A strategy could range from sponsorships, appearing on the podcast, and by promoting specific content that may be of interest. Podcasts are content that is consumed in a digital format. Marketing with podcasting can be considered an extension of content marketing.

Read: Podcasts More Popular than Blogs

4. Focused Content

This is perhaps the most important part of Internet marketing for 2019. Unfocused content is one of the biggest mistakes I’ve been seeing all year for sites that have lost ranking.

In an article I wrote about how to create better content I suggested this:

“Web pages rank because websites link to those pages. Websites link to those pages because those pages solved a problem, because it scratches an itch.

Nobody ever linked to a web page because of its keyword relevance.”

Read: Keyword Research for Content that is Focused and Ranks Better

5. Improve Your Image SEO

Images are more than something to make your page pretty. Images are important for SEO. Treat them the same as you treat your title and heading elements because they all work together to help the page rank better. Images can also boost your ranking power by showing up in enhanced listings.

Image SEO Best Practices

Use images that tell a story
Readers achieve deeper understanding of concepts with symbols or images that illustrate your point. If the article is about adopting a pet, show cute kittens at an actual animal shelter.

If the article is about the failure of a company or a process, perhaps consider an image of a ship about to hit a rock or a car with the tires falling off.

Communicating an idea or a point quickly with an image can help readers understand what your article is about, which will help them decide to read it.

Illustrate Step by Step Instructions
Readers and consumers love step by step instructions. Screenshots and illustrations are super helpful and Google tends to use these kinds of images in enhanced listings. A single image that illustrates how to do something can be ranking gold.

Optimize Images
Using images that can be measured in megabytes may slow down sales and rankings. Heavy images will contribute to higher bandwidth demands on your server, which can cause extra charges from your web host. Heavy images can contribute to slowing down the server when a crush of site visitors reach your site at the same time.

Read: 7 Ways Images Can Boost Rankings

Bonus: Keep Up to Date

In addition to these tips for improving your SEO, you may wish to focus on security as well. Keeping the software that underlies the website updated is important. Use difficult to guess passwords. Consider undertaking an audit of all third party add-ons and plugins to make sure they are regularly updated and well written by a company that can be trusted.

More Resources

Images by Shutterstock, Modified by Author

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Price extensions now supported in Microsoft Advertising Editor

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Price extensions in Microsoft Advertising Editor.

Price extensions launched in Microosoft Advertising a little over a year ago, allowing advertisers to show products and pricing in text ads in mobile and desktop search results.

Why we should care

Now you can manage those extensions in Microsoft Advertising Editor. That means you can manage them in bulk and much more quickly.

From the Shared LIbrary in Editor, you will be able to add headers, descriptions and prices, including currency.

To associate price extensions with ad groups in your campaigns in Editor, select an ad group and use the “Choose price extension” dialogue box.

More on the news

Some helpful reminders for price extensions:

  • The prices must be included on the landing page.
  • They are charged the same CPC as a click on an ad headline.
  • They can link to third-party retailers.
  • Do not duplicate the same copy in the header and description of a price extension.

About The Author

Ginny Marvin is Third Door Media’s Editor-in-Chief, managing day-to-day editorial operations across all of our publications. Ginny writes about paid online marketing topics including paid search, paid social, display and retargeting for Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and MarTech Today. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, she has held both in-house and agency management positions. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

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Google Lets Advertisers Promote YouTube Live Streams as Display Ads

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Google is introducing a new ad format that lets marketers run YouTube live streams in display ads.

Live stream ads can appear anywhere Google’s display ads are shown. So a person could be scrolling through a website, such as this one, and see a live stream playing right where an ad would be.

People can expand the video to full screen and interact with the live stream just as they could on YouTube.

Here’s an example of what a live stream ad looks like:

Google Lets Advertisers Promote YouTube Live Streams as Display Ads

Live streaming on YouTube is free, so advertisers will only have to pay for the ad unit itself.

The new live stream ad format is currently in a limited beta. There’s no further information available about how Google plans to charge advertisers for these ads.

One of my initial thoughts was whether viewing time would be a factor in the cost.

For example – would an advertiser be charged the same if a person only watched a few minutes of a live stream as opposed to watching the whole thing?

I presume we’ll learn more when the ad format rolls out more widely.

Other Google Advertising News

In related news, Google introduced another display ad format today that allows users to interact with 3D objects.

The new ad format, called Swirl, lets advertisers showcase products from all angles.

A car manufacturer could take an existing 3D model of a car and use it in a Google display ad. Then, those who view the ad could rotate the car as well as zoom in and out of it.

For more information about the Swirl ad format see our coverage here.



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Google Search Console image search reporting bug June 5-7

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Google posted a notice that between the dates of June 5 through June 7, it was unable to capture data around image search traffic. This is just a reporting bug and did not impact actual search traffic, but the Search Console performance report may show drops in image search traffic in that date range.

The notice. The notice read, “June 5-7: Some image search statistics were not captured during this period due to an internal issue. Because of this, you may see a drop in your image search statistics during this period. The change did not affect user Search results, only the data reporting.”

How do I see this? If you login to Google Search Console, click into your performance report and then filter by clicking on the “search type” filter. You can then select image from the filters.

Here is a screen shot of this filter:

How To Filter By Image Traffic in Google Search Console

Why we should care. If your site gets a lot of Google Image search traffic, you may notice a dip in your traffic reporting within Google Search Console. You may have not noticed a similar dip in your other analytics tools. That being said, Google said this is only a reporting glitch within Google Search Console and did not impact your actual traffic to your web site.


About The Author

Barry Schwartz is Search Engine Land’s News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on SEM topics.

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