SEO New Year’s Resolutions for 2019

Forget “new year, new me” – we much prefer “new year, new SEO strategy”! Check out our top six SEO tips for 2019 and improve your websites ranking, traffic and conversions.

1)     Use a fully functional CMS

Ideally, your content management system would aid you in your SEO efforts. It needs to be intuitive and fully functional. For example, can you easily make URL, H1 heading and meta tag changes? Can you add 301 redirects? Do you have access to the robots.txt and XML sitemap? These are all essential elements of any SEO strategy and shouldn’t be ignored.

Our preferred CMS is WordPress – users benefit from an intuitive interface/dashboard, can choose from thousands of free design templates, integrated plugins and more.

If you haven’t yet launched or are in the development stages, we strongly recommend building a website with SEO in mind. For example, your URLs should be clean and optimised for the keywords you’re targeting, the website should be secured using an SSL Certificate and function well across all devices – be it desktop, mobile or tablet.

WordPress logo with hand

2)     Ensure your meta tags are optimised to encourage clicks

One of your quickest ranking wins is going to be optimising your title tags and meta descriptions. This is the first thing a user will see when searching in Google, so you need to make sure that these are spot on in order to drive click-throughs to your website.

Title tags

– These should include a keyword (relating to the corresponding page) and your brand name. Follow the format ‘Keyword’ | Brand Name’ and stick to 30 to 65-characters.

Meta descriptions

– Craft a meta description that is representative of the page in question, useful and engaging.
– Make sure you include a keyword (again, relating to the corresponding page) and a strong call to action.
– Google’s Danny Sullivan confirmed that there is no fixed length for meta descriptions and that it varies on what their systems deem to be most useful. At Wagada, we stick to a 70 to 230-character limit.

3)     Stop Googling yourself!

A big no-no for four main reasons:

  1. Google listings can be personalised based on past activity, so Googling yourself is a guide but will not be 100% accurate.
  2. You may end up clicking on one of your own Google Ads and spending click budget!
  3. Google uses search activity to see how successfully your website is engaging searchers. If you Google yourself regularly and don’t click, click a competitor or click through to your website and then bounce away immediately this is likely to negatively impact your ranking.
  4. General activity in SERPs fluctuates from one day to the next, so what you see one day might be outdated then next.

Set up a de-personalised search in your default browser to avoid any issues in future.

Magnify over the Google Search bar

4)     Audit regularly

Conducting mini audits on your site every month will flag up any issues such as broken links and missing meta tags. We also recommend performing a full SEO Tech Audit annually, which will uncover more significant issues concerned with crawl budget and indexation for example.

If you don’t have the time or in-house skills to conduct the audits yourself, Wagada are expertly positioned to complete the work for you. For long-term clients, our Tech Audit service can be factored into your annual budget or conducted as a one-off project.

5)     Blog more often

Writing and uploading an interesting, engaging blog that’s in-line with your brand and related to your industry is key! You should be aiming to upload at least one blog per month.

Google loves fresh content and it provides an opportunity to:

  1. Have more pages indexed in search engines – meaning more chances to rank and increase traffic.
  2. Target long-tail keywords – consumers are more likely to convert as they are using more targeted search queries.
  3. Enrich your social media by linking to your site’s new articles.
  4. Gain valuable backlinks.
Adding a new blog post in WordPress

6)     Stay up-to-date with the latest SEO trends

Google is constantly tweaking its algorithm – striving to improve the quality of search results. That being said, Google doesn’t announce all of the updates they make which means businesses may see a significant drop in their websites ranking with no real explanation. Annoying right?

Luckily there are free search industry news sites that can help you respond to any algorithm updates accordingly.

Learning from others and sharing ideas is the best way to get your SEO on track in 2019, so we recommend subscribing to at least one of these newsletters for daily updates on all things SEO.

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