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2019 SEO Trends for Professional Services Firms

     -     Nov 29th, 2018   -     Search Engine Optimization   -     0 Comments

The new year may only be a few weeks away, but SEO is always changing. This year alone, Google released dozens of updates, some of which have had a drastic impact on how marketers approach SEO and Google analytics. Keeping your firm’s website at the top of Google search rankings takes more finesse than it used to, and the old methods of keyword placement and meta tags simply aren’t enough. Since the only constant is change, read on to learn what professional services firms can expect from SEO in 2019.

Voice Search

In just over a year, half of the searches conducted online come from voice searches. This isn’t surprising though because most people own smartphones and speech recognition tech has continued to improve. Voice search queries are different from keystroke typed searches, which means that the way keyword research is done will need to change, too. Voice searches are longer and more specific, so tailoring keywords to every variation of the core search term is next to impossible.

Mobile First Indexing

A mobile-first index means that even when the primary site is desktop-based (as most are), Google will rank the site based on its mobile version. Just having a mobile site isn’t enough anymore. Google will reward sites that have an optimum mobile user experience (UX) with better rankings. Factors like mobile page loading times, above-the-fold content, few or no redirects, uncompressed images, and more all have an impact on UX.

Here’s how you can tell how mobile-friendly your site looks to Google.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI hasn’t found its way into Google search rankings – yet. When that happens, one can expect it to influence SEO through the following:

  • Spotting and eliminating black hat SEO techniques,
  • Changing search algorithms
  • Identifying user intent and tracking user behavior in Google searches, and
  • Eventually changing keyword research

Some aspects of AI in SEO are years away, but changing algorithms and user behavior tracking are beginning to happen now.

User Intent

User intent focuses on why a person searches for something, rather than what the search is actually about. Google is starting to look past the keywords themselves and instead consider what people are searching for to match the most appropriate content. There are four categories of user intent: transactional, informational, navigational, and commercial. Read and learn more about user intent in a previous FlashPoint blog post.

Local Search

Now more than ever, sites should be optimized for local SEO. Search terms like ‘near me’ and city names such as ‘Denver’ are used in about half of all Google searches. Help local customers and prospects find you and make it easy to engage with them by adding specific title and meta description tags to every page on your website, monitor online reviews, and localize the website’s structured data. Other ways to optimize the website for local SEO are in our blog post on improving local SEO.

Effective content marketing still matters, so refresh your content marketing know-how with our posts on valuable content and content amplification.

Even though it applies to e-commerce websites and not most CPA firms, another notable mention is Amazon search. Did you know that 50% of all online transactions in the U.S. happen on Amazon, and roughly the same number of searches begin on Amazon – not Google? It’s an interesting development that inquisitive minds can read more about here.

Contact Us

SEO strategies need to adapt to the firms using them. Despite whatever trends are on the horizon, the most important thing is to follow basic SEO techniques as part of a larger content marketing strategy. CPA firm marketers who are unsure of where to focus their SEO efforts in 2019 can contact us.

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