When it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) trends in 2019, think fast and mobile.

Search engine algorithms tend to adapt to changes in the online marketplace and, more and more, that means more people moving toward mobile devices and faster networks. Here are a few SEO trends to expect this year:

Mobile-first indexing. Google has long used the mobile versions of websites to factor into search engine rankings. The transition began in earnest last March and will continue this year, with Google using the mobile version of your page first for indexing and ranking.

What to do: Make sure your site is mobile-friendly, if you haven’t already. Remember, in addition to improving your search engine rankings, having a mobile-friendly site will make you more available to consumers—more than 75 percent of which will search for your business on a mobile device. Take an audit of your site through a service like Website Auditor to see if more works needs to be done.

The need for speed. We are an increasingly impatient society. As computers get faster, networks get faster and can handle more bandwidth, you have to make sure your web site will keep up. If you have a slow-loading site, chances are your customers won’t wait around to see it. Desktop page loading time has impacted search engine rankings for years. Last year, mobile page speeds become a ranking factor, too.

How to fix it: take a look at how your site operates through PageSpeed Insights, which will give you a score in both speed and optimization metrics. Google has also offered a list of handy fixes you can use.

Protect the Brand. Speed, optimization and mobility are important, but they won’t mean as much if your business has a bad reputation. Search engines will also monitor the number of mentions your business receives—whether through review sites, forums, blogs, etc.—as well as the quality of those mentions. If you’re getting a bunch of bad reviews, your ranking will tank. If you are getting good reviews, or people are referring questions to you to show that you are an expert in your field, your ranking will increase.

What to do: keep an eye on your business reputation through a social monitoring site or reputation management firm. Also, find influencers who are already talking about your brand and engage with them. Look at what your competitors are doing, too.

Welcome to the jungle. Okay, Amazon isn’t technically a jungle—at least, not the one we’re talking about here. Amazon is not even its own search engine (yet, anyway); what it is, however, is one of the largest global retailers. More than 56 percent of consumers visit Amazon.com first when they’re looking to buy something—and that could be a huge lost market for you. If you sell any type of product, even if it’s related to the service you provide, you’ll want to cash in.

What to do: Run a keyword search to see if you can improve your rankings that way. Make sure to include high-quality images of any products. And, since Amazon is partially review-based, make sure you keep an eye out for any negative reviews.

What trends do you see in Search Engine Optimization this year? Let us know in the comments!

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