What Should an SEO Manager Be Focusing on in 2019
In this blog installment, we continue with our series of guest interviews with experts from the SEO and content marketing industries. This week, we met with Luis Revuelto ? a SEO consultant who has recently joined greatcontent as an SEO manager -- and talked about the most important SEO trends in 2019.
Varvara: Hi Luis! Thanks for finding the time to talk to me today. Could you briefly introduce yourself to our readers and tell us your story: what brought you to the SEO industry?
Luis: Alright! So, I?m from Spain, and I have been working as a SEO specialist since 2012 for various digital marketing companies targeting SMEs. At some point, however, I decided that the common approach of working with as many customers as possible at the expense of the quality of services was not for me. And for the past two years, I have been working as a freelancer and running my own business. And, after that, I joined greatcontent.
V: That sounds very exciting. Now, since December is almost over, let's talk about the most important SEO trends in the new year. What should an SEO manager be focusing on in 2019? What piece of advice would you give to our clients to help them make the most out of their SEO strategy?
L: I think in 2019, the emphasis should be on user experience, since this is one of the main factors Google uses to rank your content. There are some important indicators ? like CTR or Pogo Sticking ? that can help you analyse how content is performing for users and whether they actually like it. You need to ensure that users see what they want to see so that you can offer the best user experience as a brand.
Also, brand image is very important to SEO because people are more likely to click on your links in the search results if they have heard of you already. What's more, other sites are going to mention your site if your brand is very well-known. Do you remember the August 2018 Google update Expertise, Trustworthiness and Authority? That is why you need to work on your brand image and awareness. Being known means having better traffic.
Last but not least, 2019 is the high time to finally get your content optimised for mobile devices as more and more people are using their phones now to browse the Internet, and Google is indexing your site from the mobile version. Paying attention to small details such as correct icon placement and the size of the text could be decisive when it comes to the ranking of your content. You should also consider new formats to make it easier for users to access your content ? like, for example, podcasts.
V: Good tip! What about the famous ?mobile-first? indexing which was recently rolled out by Google. How do you think this is going to affect to SEO in 2019?
L: Well, as I mentioned,from now on, the Google index is compiled based on the mobile versions of pages. This means that we now have to prioritise the layout for the mobile version of a page over the desktop one. Just as I said, the future is in mobile devices.
V: What about voice search, which has exploded in the last years with voice assistants like Siri and Alexa becoming increasingly popular. Some experts even believe that by 2020, they will be responsible for 50% of all searches. How do you think this can impact SEO practices?
L: The way we browse on the Internet is changing, so the way we search is changing as well. For SEO, this presents new challenges, and content that responds to longer search queries and that can adapt to longer keywords will be ranked more highly. Having such content will help you to grow your brand authority.
V: Many people speak about user intent as the key to improving the SEO metrics. What exactly is user intent and how important is it for SEO?
L: As I mentioned before, to find out whether pages are relevant, Google now measures the user experience indicators. So, it is crucial to figure out the true user intent in order to be able to create specific content with well-chosen keywords instead of using as many keywords as we can. Of course you have to be realistic and ask yourself what exactly you can offer your client.
V: I know that you have some cool specialised SEO software you use on a daily basis. What tools, in your opinion, are essential when working on your SEO strategy?
L: My favorite tool is Semrush. For me, this is the best value for money. There are a couple of other useful tools like Sistrix, Serpstat or Xovi. I always suggest to combine them with tools like Answerthepublic.com and Keywordtool.io that give you and idea of what questions your audience is asking when searching for something online. Also, tools like SEOLyze help you to figure out the main relevant words for a specific topic (semantic words).
V: You have recently joined the greatcontent team, but I guess you?ve gotten to know us quite well over the last three months. What would you say are three reasons why you?d recommend ? or not recommend ? greatcontent to others.
L: I am long-standing fan of greatcontent, and it was my strongest aspiration to work for one of the leading content marketing companies in Europe! So it's a pleasure to work here. A strong structure, clear distribution of tasks, well-adjusted working process, and, of course, the strong and collaborative team are some of the things which make us the best!
V: What about free fruit?
L: Sorry? Oh, yes, this is also a great thing about the company!
V: This is your first work experience in Germany. Would you say that the professional experience and corporate culture are different here than in Spain?
L: In my opinion, the major differences are in the levels of organisation and efficiency. In Germany, it's standard to say that you are going to do A, B, and C and make the time frame very clear. In Spain, if we set up a meeting, we basically just agree on the starting hour -- we gather together, but we never know how long the meeting is going to be, and we could be there for anything from 30 minutes to two hours! This is something we should definitely work on!
V: Great, thanks, that was really insightful. And now something a little lighter. I have prepared a short quiz for you. Off we go! Coffee or tea?
L: Coffee, especially if there is a deadline looming and I?m struggling to make it.
V: Next: evergreen or seasonal content?
L: Both, if you do them right. Together, they form the best basis for a smart content strategy.
V: And the last one: jamon serrano or Currywurst? Think carefully because you are in Berlin!
L: *Laughing* jamón serrano, no question!
Text: Varvara Morozova
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