It’s a new year, which brings new goals and a lot of reflection. As 2019 kicks off, it’s time to consider your SEO goals — whether those are for you personally, as an SEO professional, or goals you have for projects.
We can learn a lot from each other by hearing about our collective goals as an SEO community.
Therefore, not only will you see some of my SEO goals for 2019 weaved into this article, you will also see a compilation of goals from SEO professionals around the globe.
Strategic & Tactical SEO Goals for 2019
1. Pursue the Long-Tail
“Keep finding that sweet spot on the long tail. It’s so awesome to be able to share your story, be found and drive results. Going to the relevant mass but not where everyone is rewarding,” said Christoph Trappe, Chief Content Engagement Director at Stamats Communications.
2. Stay Ahead of New Technology & Its Impact on SEO
One of my major goals for 2019 is to immerse myself in the study of new technologies that will shape our future (including our digital marketing future).
Kevin Chow, Director of SEO & Paid at Digital Current, has a similar take:
“A couple of things I’m looking into is seeing if AI for title tags, meta descriptions, and insights for reporting is a direction we should be moving toward.”
3. Better Understand the Impact of Voice Search
Chow also aims to understand voice more than just Q&A with featured snippets this year as he has “already been seeing voice crossing over into PPC.”
Itamar Blauer, Digital Marketing Executive at MintTwist, thinks the same.
“2019 will be a big year for SEO. With the rise in virtual assistants and voice search, sustained knowledge is vital for success this year,” Blauer said.
4. Keep Up-to-Date with Trends & Algorithm Changes
Blauer also thinks that understanding trends and keeping updated with the latest Google algorithms will provide opportunities for new ideas, great content and even better results.
Taylor Kurtz, Owner and Founder at Crush the Rankings, agreed.
“With the industry changing almost by the minute, it’s imperative to not only identify upcoming trends, but how they impact your industry. It is also important to be ahead of the curve, such as optimizing for image search, as the new Google Photo app allows you to conduct a search simply based off of a picture you take on your phone,” Kurtz said.
5. Monitor, Adapt & Pursue Featured Snippets
Michael Brown Jr., Senior SEO Manager at Jellyfish Online Marketing, feels strongly about optimizing for featured snippets.
“Zeroing in on 2019! As search real estate gets more and more difficult to acquire and with the evolution of mobile, mobile-first indexing, and voice-assisted devices, it’s clear that rankings aren’t as important as they use to be. My goal for 2019 is to monitor, adapt, and pursue current and future featured snippets as the opportunities arise,” he said.
“Getting ahead of the game by creating best practices for optimizations, staying current with Google snippet tests for areas of future opportunity, and the most obvious ‘defending’ it once acquired. 2018 was filled with Google updates that focused on modifying query intent toward informational sites,” Brown added.” My theory is that this is Google’s way of telling people that information will be the driver in SERPs, and that SEOs should divert their attention to providing more useful information so that it can be collected and used directly in zero position results.
“With the rise of data collection devices such as Google Home there is going to be a significant rise in demand for direct answers via featured snippets such as quick answer boxes. Things such as the talk pertaining to FAQ, How To, and Q&A search features all support the idea that this is a focus of Google and will only get even bigger,” he said.
6. Improve Page Load Speed
Christian Jones, Chief Operating Officer at BestCompany.com, acknowledges the importance of page load speed.
“One of our big goals this year is to improve the loading speed of all of our pages to less than 4 seconds. We plan to do so through image optimization, minimizing HTTP requests, and reducing the number of plugins and pixels on our site,” Jones said.
7. Give Links Some Attention
Kurtz also thinks that agencies should conduct more link audits than they do (i.e., once every 4-5 months).
Likewise, Hazel Joy, Travelblogger at Arrivals Hall, is looking to monitor links more.
“I run a travel blog and 2019 will be the year of the link for me. I’ll be focusing more on fixing outbound broken links and getting backlinks,” Joy said.
8. Tie SEO with CRO
Jim Knapp, Owner of JK Strategies, points out the need to make SEO and conversion rate optimization (CRO) work together.
“Working with a whole bunch of small businesses over the years, it seems like SEO without CRO is like inviting a bunch of people to a party — with a high number of RSVPs — then providing nothing for them to do once they get there,” Knapp said.
Professional SEO Goals for 2019
9. Focus on Personal Branding
Meanwhile, Bill Hartzer, SEO & Domain Name Consultant at Hartzer Consulting, wants to work on his personal brand in 2019. As he puts it:
“While digital marketers are working for their agency, and working on their careers, it’s important to not forget about your own personal brand. I’ve seen the digital marketing industry change a lot over the past 15 years, and having a strong personal brand will allow you to always come out on top when the industry changes. To build your personal brand, make sure that your own social media accounts are active and the best they can be. Work on writing, speaking, and networking. Create your own personal website on your own domain name.”
10. Get More Organized
This year, Hartzer also wants to get more organized.
“Running my own business, I am organized — but there’s always something that I can work on, whether it’s making sure my task lists are up to date or list of goals for the day, week, and year are up to date,” he said.
11. Make Clients Happy
Kurtz also considers making the customer happy as a top goal.
Daria Khmelnitskaya, SEO Specialist at SE Ranking, thinks it’s a good idea to connect your own professional goals with the goals of your current project or business.
“In this case you’ll get additional help from your colleagues and management. And every year’s goal of SEO specialist is – getting more mistakes and learning from them in order to get more experience,” Khmelnitskaya said.
12. Tell a Better Story
This goal applies in multiple areas.
- I want to tell a better story of how SEO is helping a client. Metrics are necessary, but simply reporting numbers is not enough. I want to get better at showing how SEO has improved a business by reaching their KPIs and meeting their business objectives.
- As a speaker and teacher, I want to improve my ability to tell a story that has a deeper message and leads to learning.
Reflect on Your 2019 Goals
Now is the time to set your goals and determine how you will improve as an SEO professional.
Hopefully reading 2019 goals from the SEO community spurs some new goals for you as we start this new year!
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