5 years ago, a look at the year ahead for Search Engine Optimisation would be dramatic – huge new algorithm changes, complete shifts in how strategy worked, dramatic “quick fixes” to get ahead of your competitors.
Today, it’s subtler – SEO has settled into a long-term strategy, and whilst Google are releasing new changes all the time they tend to be focused around improvements to the same approach. What that means for our dealers is that you can plan your long term SEO strategy more clearly – but you can’t “cut corners” like you once could.
That said, every year brings new focus – so here are our key SEO areas for 2019:
HTTP and secure certificates are increasingly important for SE0 in 2019
Not a newcomer to the field, Google have been ramping up their focus on secure “HTTPS” websites for the past couple of years – if you don’t have a secure certificate, you really need one. The key change to consider for 2019 is that Google now actively tells visitors to your site if you don’t have a certificate, meaning you can lose some cautious visitors if you haven’t upgraded to HTTPS.
This is only going to get more relevant to your SEO strategy, so now is the time to get on board.
The Continued Growth of Voice Search for SEO in 2019
With the Alexas and Google Homes of this world growing in sophistication and integration, it is inevitable that Google’s focus is shifting to voice powered search. We’re not there yet, but 2019 looks to be the year where voice search becomes more relevant than ever before. As such, now is when we ask “OK, Google, how can we optimise our site for voice search?”.
The main shift is that when you search using your voice you are much more likely to search in full sentences and questions – harking back to the good old days of Ask Jeeves! As such, we think your main focus should be on building content around How Tos and relevant questions, as well as ensuring that content throughout your site is still new, relevant and unique.
Original content is still the key SEO focus for 2019
Has there been an SEO article in the past 5 years that hasn’t focused on original content? I hope not, as it’s the key area for all industries – and still ignored surprisingly often.
For car dealer search engine optimisation, we think 2019 has to be the year for unique new car content. It’s still, somehow, an area where dealers replicate the manufacturers’ blurbs, and that has to stop. If you focus on one thing, let it be on creating exceptional new car content – it is the strongest opportunity to get ahead of the crowd.
Social Media and Live Video is now impacting your 2019 SEO strategy
This is where viral campaigns and SEO inevitably overlap, helping your to distribute your high quality, original content (assuming you’re creating it, of course) to a wide audience in a short period of time. Harnessing your social audience should be generating more traffic and brand awareness, integrating with your SEO plan quite neatly.
The key takeaways for us are in two areas – firstly, using social to help you build and manage a quality in-bound link catalogue (as link building will forever be an element of SEO). This can be done via teaming up with partners and sponsorships on social, and being active with relevant influencers.
Secondly, it’s in reputation management and reviews, with these verdicts on your business being the “stickiest” part of a social media presence. If you aren’t managing negative content right, you could be haunted by it for years to come.
So there you have it – an insight into automotive SEO for the year ahead. Done right, SEO should be a daily part of your marketing – if it’s not, then you might want to consider speaking to your Account Manager about how our in-house SEO experts can make sure you’re keeping up.