So what should webmasters be focusing on in 2019?

Interestingly enough, the answer has been pretty consistent over the last year: hire a technical SEO, or a  developer who has a general understanding of SEO, to your marketing team.

Not quite sure you believe an SEO with technical and development experience is really needed? Well let's consider some of the most important aspects to SEO right now and find out.

Your customers are using mobile.

For the last two years, more than half of all internet use has been from a mobile device and that number continues to increase. In fact, the percentage became so high that Google decided to go mobile first (where Google uses the mobile version of your site when indexing) starting March of last year.

So of course, you need to have a mobile-friendly site, preferably Responsive, a coding style that allows the site to properly show for any screen size automatically. And of course you need a site that loads incredibly fast (like under one or two seconds fast).

A recent Google study analyzed over 11 million landing pages, finding that over 70 percent took over five seconds for the visual content above the fold to be visible and over seven seconds for the whole page to load.

A big part of the load time, is due to image and data size, with 79 percent of all analyzed pages being over 1 megabite (about double the recommended size). But even if the image and data size was resolved, the pages analyzed were not even close to the recommended 1.3 seconds for first visual content and three seconds to completely load the page.

This is where someone with a technical background is super important because it is going to take more than just reducing image and data size to get your pages overall speed into the recommended time specifications needed to perform going forward.

You need someone who understands Javascript.

Javascript, a coding style used to create interactive elements within your browser, has been an SEO hurdle for over a decade and although Google is getting better at crawling Javascript code, it still runs into a ton of issues parsing the information from your site when it is written in Javascript.

The biggest problem with Javascript is that many large platforms don't understand or consider SEO when developing them and many traditional SEOs are not familiar enough with Javascript to resolve SEO issues effectively, leading to recommendations that you scrap your Javascript site and make a new one in HTML or PHP, which can be costly and time consuming. 

Additionally, Google uses a two-pass indexing process, with the first pass looking only at HTML and then the second pass coming back later, from a day or two up to multiple weeks later, to render and completely index the webpage. In short, HTML content gets indexed faster than Javascript content. 

Without a Technical SEO, your Javascript site could be slower to be indexed by Google and in some cases end up not being indexed at all, as I have seen with many large Javascript based website platforms.

You need to make sure your data is structured.

Whether you call it structured data or schema markup, it's an essential part of SEO today. It allows you to add specific code to your website to help search engines better understand your website's content.

Here are some examples of how Google uses your Schema to improve your visibility in their search results:

Rich Snippets

If you have ever seen Google search results with rating stars, business hours, and pricing details, that is what Google calls Rich Snippets.

Rich Answers

More often than not, asking a question of Google results in a answer without having to visit another website. This is what Google calls Rich Answers and requires you both rank well for the question and have properly implemented schema. 

The Knowledge Panel

The box of information you see when search for influential people and popular companies is what Google calls the Knowledge Panel and pulls most of its details from your properly implemented schema. 

There are a large number of appropriate schema markup options for any given website and it often takes a technical SEO to implement them all properly.

The future is getting technical.

The world of SEO has evolved quite a bit over the years and there are a number of elements that are still important, but the technical elements listed above are the most important things to focus on in 2019 and beyond, so do yourself a favor and get yourself a Technical SEO or a developer who is familiar and willing to work towards your SEO goals.

Published on: Jan 23, 2019