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Why SEO is Still Relevant in 2019

31 March 2019

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is still relevant in 2019. In this blog post, we will explore why this is the case, and delve deep into techniques that you can use to improve your website's search ranking today.

Background to SEO

SEO has a long history. It has been around pretty much as long as search engines have been around, and although the techniques that optimisers use have changed significantly over the years, there is a core which has remained pretty much the same; certain techniques still apply today as they did ten years ago.

Search Engines have on the whole improved their handling of keyword-stuffed sites, and those sites which contain low quality information. This has led to many of the black-hat techniques falling away as they just do not produce the same results these days as they once did. For this reason, going forward you should only put effort into doing white-hat SEO.

There is a lot of information on the Internet. Google says that the web now has 30 trillion web pages. Therefore, search engines such as Google need to rely on automatic methods of indexing rather than human-editing. One reason SEO is still relevant in 2019 is because of these automatic methods that are still used by search engines to index pages. Search engines use algorithms to rank pages and we can help them better understand our sites by making a few adjustments here and there.

Link Building is Still Relevant

Links powered the web in the early days, and we still navigate from one page to another using them. Search engines have always valued links as an indicator of website worth; the more links a site has from reputable sources, the more authority the site has. Conversely, a site with few links probably isn't as authoritative as the site with many high-quality links.

The process of building links is still relevant in 2019 because links are still taken into account by search engines as one ranking factor. Having links from high-quality sources is valued by Google and other search engines so it makes sense that webmasters should still seek out opportunities to get links back to their websites.

Having links from low quality sources may harm your search engine ranking so ensure you only select high quality sites when setting about getting links; educational institution websites (with domains ending .ac.uk or .edu) and government websites (with domains ending .gov.something or similar), and notable blogs are great sources of links. Building links will improve your ranking in weeks if done properly.

Content Optimisation is Still Relevant

Content is still very important and optimising it for the right keywords is even more important. Your site should have a blog or recent news section where you can produce content on a regular basis, ideally every day. The content you produce should be written primarily for humans but should also be on a topic that targets some long-tail keywords relating to your niche.

Writing on a given topic, you will naturally target one or more keywords relating to that topic. Most importantly, you should select a topic that is relevant to your niche and then just write the article for the people reading it rather than keyword-stuffing it for search engines. You will find that the ranking of your website is positively affected in general and you will likely rank well for the article's topic in particular.

Search engines have always loved content, but now more than ever having in-depth articles on a range of related topics is one of the best ways to improve your website ranking. Optimising content includes selecting good topics to write on, topics that are keyword-oriented, and ensuring that the articles you produce are of suitable length (longer articles generally do better in web search). Content and optimising content as a technique are very much still relevant in 2019.

Meta Tag Optimisation is Still Relevant

The easiest optimisations to make are those relating to meta tags. Meta tags such as your website's title, description, keywords and author tags are very important when it comes to website rankings on search engines.

We recently did an experiment at SEOStart with our homepage's title tag. Originally it was 'SEOStart - Get more visits to your website', however we noticed that we were not ranked for 'seo company uk'. Changing the title tag to 'SEO Company UK | SEOStart – Get more visits to your website' immediately got us ranked for 'seo company uk', within minutes!

From this experiment we have one piece of advice; start your homepage's title with a keyword you wish to rank for, followed by a beam character and your website's name and slogan (or a short description). You will see that your ranking for the given keyword will be favourable.

Optimising meta descriptions and keywords is still relevant in 2019, because they are two places where search engines can find out what you believe your website to be about. Search engines will probably compare the content of these two tags with the actual page content to see if it matches up. Generally if you set a meta description, it will show up as the description for that webpage in search engine results pages (SERPs), so it is important to set one.

The meta author tag may impact SEO in some search engines. Generally set it to the name of the company/author/organisation behind your website, so that Search Engines have a complete profile of who created what on your site. This leads us to...

JSON-LD Markup, which is Getting More Relevant

JSON-LD semantic markup is getting more relevant this year and beyond. Marking up the web semantically helps search engines to truly know what a website is about and what it offers. Take advantage of this markup and ensure that your blogs have JSON-LD in their <head /> section, and do the same for your main website (use organisation markup on your homepage).

Our studies have shown that JSON-LD positively affects SEO; our website was ranked more favourably when we put JSON-LD snippets on our homepage and blog. We would therefore strongly suggest1 that you do include semantic markup on your pages. Show that you have considered the search engines by including JSON-LD and you will be rewarded with better rankings by them.


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