The more things change, the more they stay the same. That’s the case with SEO changes.
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ll know that WordPress recently rolled out version 5.0 of its content management software. This version is probably the biggest change in the evolution of WordPress because the entire look of the backend has changed.
With any website changes, there could be an impact on your SEO. Read on as we explore the rapidly changing world of SEO in 2019 and how Gutenberg can play a role in your sites search results.
What is Gutenberg?
The WordPress release included an entirely new backend, named Gutenberg after the inventor of the print press. This version of WordPress hopes to have a major impact on how online content is produced.
If you’re familiar with WordPress, you’ll know that the text editor is comprised of one big text editor block where you enter your text.
If there’s anything special you’d like to do, you’d have to do it via HTML or shortcodes.
Gutenberg changes all of that. Gutenberg completely transforms the content editor of WordPress. When you’re creating content, you’re no longer working with content blocks that you arrange on the page.
These content blocks can be text, headings, images, audio, video, buttons, or code.
Will Updating to WordPress 5.0 Affect SEO?
In the short term, upgrading to WordPress 5.0 doesn’t affect SEO. All of the changes in WordPress are in the content editor, which you use to create content. There are no direct impacts to search results.
Indirectly, SEO plugins made updates as a result of these changes. Yoast SEO, for example, updated its plugin to make it easy to create structured data on your site. The structured data blocks will allow you to create structured data on your site without hiring a developer. We’ll talk more about the importance of structured data later on.
Any other SEO changes that result from Gutenberg will be in the long term. What Gutenberg allows content creators to do is create great content using blocks. Great content will improve the amount of time people spend on your site and how many pages they view per visit.
Before Upgrading to WordPress 5.0
Before you upgrade to WordPress 5.0, there are a couple of things you want to do. In fact, any time you make a drastic change to WordPress, you need to take care of a few basics.
The first is to always back your site up. You’ll also want to deactivate all of your plugins to make sure that there’s not a conflict between your plugins and the new version of WordPress.
After you upgrade to Gutenberg, it does take quite a bit to adjust to the new content editor. If you completely hate it, you can install the Classic Editor plugin, which will give you the content editor that you’re used to.
Where to Focus Your Time in WordPress
Since there are so many variables that decide search results, where is the best place for you to spend your time?
On Page SEO
You’ll always want to stay on top of on page SEO. What you can do is review your site once a month and update content with internal linking to make sure your site is always up to date.
Structure Data Markup
Structured data is on course to be a major SEO trend in 2019. As Google’s algorithm relies more on artificial intelligence, it’s up to webmasters to give specific details as to what their website is about.
Structured data is code that tells search engines what the meaning of each page is. Google then takes into account user behavior to understand the context of the page.
WordPress 5.0 was designed to increase the speed of your site. That’s before you install your theme and plugins, which can slow your site down.
Site speed is increasingly important to users and to Google as well. You want to make sure that your site isn’t bloated with cumbersome code and runs smoothly across devices.
Stay Up to Date with SEO Changes
What are the other SEO changes on tap for 2019? Mobile will continue to dominate the SEO conversation this year just as it did last year. Here’s what else you need to know about SEO.
Google is Not the Only Search Engine
Google is still the largest search engine in the world, but its dominance has taken a hit recently. Ad dollars are moving to Amazon.com as more users are looking there as a place to conduct product research.
If you have a product or an app to sell, you need to make sure you’re visible in all relevant search engines, whether it’s Apple’s iTunes or Amazon.
User Intent Matters More Than Keywords
User intent is the term to know in 2019. Your job is to figure out what people expect when they search for something. If someone searches for blue boots, they expect to see blue boots.
You have to recognize where they are in the buying process and make sure your content fulfills that need.
One Thing That Never Changes in SEO
You can do everything you can to work hard to climb up search results. If you have bad content on your site, people will not come back.
The one thing that you have to do is to always keep the user experience in mind. When you do that, you climb up the search engine rankings and build a loyal following for your brand.
Master SEO Even When It Changes
If there’s one thing you can count on in SEO, is that it’s always changing. Despite the SEO changes, you can win at the SEO game by doing a few things well.
Get a handle on the backend of your website, understand the technical details, and always focus on the user.
By keeping the user experience in mind, you’re building up trust and credibility as you’re building better search results for your site.
If you want to be able to hand off SEO to a team of experts, IMPROZ Marketing can take over. Take a look at our full suite of SEO services to find out what we can do.