With search engines becoming more and more intelligent with each passing day, digital marketers are finding it difficult to rank higher on search engines. Every few months, a new catastrophic wave of algorithm updates shakes things up, and search engine marketers are finding it difficult to get more eyeballs on their content. The pace at which digital marketing industry is evolving forces you to stay one step ahead of the curve as a digital marketer, especially if you want to succeed and stand out from the crowd.

With a new year just around the corner, it is important to stay abreast of the SEO trends for 2019. Additionally, it is important to know which skills you should master to ace the SEO game in 2019. In this article, you will learn about SEO knowledge areas you should focus on in order to rank on top of Google and other search engines in 2019.

1. Audience Research

Yes, you might be a bit surprised to see audience research taking precedence over keyword research, but the fact is that search engines are shifting towards delivering intent and context-based results to users. Voice search will continue to make keyword research less important and the focus will slowly but surely shift towards audience research. Digital marketing companies in Dubai are bound to put great emphasis on learning about their customers and trying to discover what they are searching for. More time will be spent on demographics and psychographic research and knowing what content will resonate with your audience.

2. Analytics

It is quite common to expect SEO experts to analyze their results to evaluate their performance. As a search engine marketer, you must be able to see the impact of your strategy and report on your efforts to higher authorities. Most SEOs are familiar with Google Analytics, but they fail to make the most of the customization options available to them.

For instance, they can dig deeper into customer journeys by leveraging attribution models, but they don’t. Harness the power of all the analytics data at your disposal to get a better idea about searcher intent, customer journeys, and buyer personas. This will enable you to see the impact of your SEO efforts on your business.

3. Indexing

Indexing used to be one of the most talked about things in SEO a decade ago, but it is slowly losing its importance with the passage of time. If you have been in the industry for decades, this must ring a bell. Google used to take longer to crawl pages a decade ago, but the faster pace of crawling today has brought about a paradigm shift in the industry.

Large websites with hundreds of pages, e-commerce websites, and sites with duplicate content will now have a targeted and effective strategy to go with their crawling budget. The right use of robot commands and canonical tags will make a difference. Knowing when to canonicalize, to index and when to stay back and do nothing can make all the difference between higher rankings and lower rankings.

Related Read: 9 Questions to ask before hiring an SEO Agency in Dubai

4. Local SEO

With globalization sweeping across the business world, businesses have ignored local customers to make way for global customers. They are missing out on a huge chunk of customers who are searching for them and willing to buy their products. Here is why you should focus on local search;

According to statistics, 88% of users search for local businesses on their mobile devices, following up with a call or visiting the business physically within 24 hours. 78% of local mobile searches resulted in an offline purchase. 46% of all searches on Google are local searches.

All these statistics clearly highlight the importance of local SEO for business and clear up all the confusion surrounding whether you should spend time and money optimizing for local search. Remember that the ranking factors for local SEO are a tad different from traditional SEO, so you can only win at local SEO game when you know the important ranking factors for local SEO. How can you rank higher for local search?  Check out this visual local SEO guide to rank higher.

5. International SEO

If your business has already encroached beyond the borders, or you are planning to expand your business to a different region of the world in near future, you should pay extra attention to international SEO. I am not saying that you should become an international SEO expert, but you should at least know the ins and outs of it. You should be aware of how different languages and countries differ for an international version of the search engines. Develop an understanding of how top-level domains, hosting and different tags play an important role in boosting your search engine rankings.

6. Link Building

Although link building has not been as popular as it used to be in the past, that does not mean that you should scrap it altogether. Most marketers will now look to create content that attracts backlinks, but you will have to combine that with link building efforts to rank higher.

Another common misconception about link building is that quantity is more important than quality. The focus will shift from quantity to quality as digital marketers strive to acquire more quality backlinks from authoritative websites to boost their search engine rankings. SEO experts will spend more time accessing the quality of links and implement viable strategies to gain relevant and high-quality backlinks in 2019.

7. On-Page Optimization

There is no denying the fact that focus is slowly shifting to content and context, but that does not mean that you should ignore on-page elements altogether. On-page elements also play their part when it comes to getting your website ranked on top of search engines. Add a keyword in the title tag, use SEO friendly URLs and incorporating keywords in the first paragraph can all help you rank for your desired keywords.

Which SEO knowledge area you want to master in 2019? Feel free to share it with us in the comments section below.

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