Google rewards the best. To be considered among the top websites in your industry, you must have a powerful SEO strategy that follows the latest trends. When you give attention to the right aspects of SEO, you can utilize your resources in the best way possible and ensure that your website holds a top spot in the search rankings.

Below are the SEO trends that you should watch out for in 2019. We’ll go over the basics of each trend and how to embrace it.

Mobile-first Indexing

Mobile-first indexing means that Google uses the mobile version of your website for indexing and ranking. This has been in the works for quite some time, but March 2018 was when Google started migrating sites to mobile-first index. You may have already received an alert from Search Console that your site would be making the switch, too.

As important as the mobile version of your website is, mobile-first indexing doesn’t replace desktop. An index exists for both mobile and desktop versions, the difference is that Google will be using your mobile version for indexing and ranking once it has migrated.

What does this mean for you? Your site needs to be optimized for mobile with easily crawlable web pages.

Page Speed and Optimization

Google loves websites that deliver a fast UX. Up until recently, only desktop page loading time was a ranking factor. In July 2018, mobile page speed became a ranking factor for mobile.

Google now evaluates your pages on optimization and speed. To improve your optimization score, fix all issues that could be preventing your site from loading fast. Many sites benefit from using website caching, switching to a better hosting company and minimizing JavaScript and CSS files.

Improving speed is a bit more difficult. Data is taken from the user’s performance data, which is unique to each visitor. It’s safe to assume that the best way to improve speed is by optimizing your site. Your pages will load quickly, and your visitors will be satisfied.

Brand as a Ranking Signal

Another ranking signal to give attention to in 2019 is your brand. There are a couple of ways that your brand may be used as a ranking signal. The first is how often your brand is mentioned. The second is the context that your brand is mentioned in.

Through brand mentions, the search engines learn about your brand’s identity and how often you come up in conversation. Through the context of these conversations, Google learns about how people view your brand. Do you have a good reputation? Do people trust what you have to say?

To build a strong brand profile, acquire backlinks, use your brand name when you have an opportunity, address customer pain points, and engage with all customers, whether they’re happy or unhappy.

2019 is expected to see fewer but more influential SEO trends. The goal for this year should be to focus on building and maintaining a mobile-friendly website that delivers a great user experience for all visitors.