Good visibility in the Google search results is essential for furnishing companies, especially those in online furniture retailing, because the online store for furniture and living accessories is a central point of contact for new and existing customers.
Any company hoping to achieve a top ranking in the unpaid or organic search results simply cannot ignore search engine optimisation, or SEO for short. A brief glimpse at the SEO trends for 2019 reveals which strategies promise most success for the interiors industry this year.
Growing numbers of search queries are performed on smartphones. In fact, mobile searches now account for more than 60 per cent of searches. That is why Google now gives higher priority to mobile-friendly websites than the corresponding desktop versions. So, in order to be found as easily as possible in a Google search, the content must be optimised for smartphones.
That means short loading times, well-structured content and user-friendly web design. In particular, loading times in mobile searches are a decisive ranking factor in Google. If you want to make sure your website is optimised for mobile devices, you can use this tool to test it.
The quality of content remains the primary concern for Google – and high-quality content is therefore playing a key role in the SEO trends for 2019. While in the past it may have been enough to pepper the text with relevant keywords, content must now also be readable and provide relevant information.
This also includes the integration of images, videos and graphics on websites and landing pages. Ideally, these will be produced exclusively for the purpose and not taken from image databases (stock photos). It is also a good idea to offer content in a number of different formats, e.g. texts, videos and podcasts.
After all, each user consumes content in a different way and fulfilling the wishes of the target group is important not just for a good Google ranking, but also for the company itself.
User behaviour on a website is also a key indicator for Google. Because through that, the search engine operator concludes how relevant a search result is. This is why it’s vital for website operators and online shops to take a long, hard look at user signals such as time on site, bounce rate and conversions.
These provide indications as to how relevant content is for users. As a rule of thumb, the better the metrics, the more interested users are in the content. To achieve better results, websites must have an appealing design geared towards the target group, and they should be clearly structured and SEO optimised.
For some time, a Google search has displayed a large box above the first-ranked website in the search engine results. This is known as a featured snippet. Google aims to provide a quick answer to search queries with this offer.
The search engine provider may decide independently whether passages from a text are displayed in a featured snippet; however, website optimisation can make it easier for Google to read the required data for a featured snippet.
Website optimisation can make it easier for Google to read the required data for a featured snippet. Tip: those furnishing companies keen to appear on Google as a featured snippet must provide direct answers in their content to specific questions of users. For example, how do I clean a leather couch?
Virtual assistants such as Alexa and Siri have further accelerated the trend towards voice search – in this case consumers use their voice to enter the search term in Google. Users’ search behaviour changes when they use voice search.
Rather than terms such as “designer couch leather”, the user is more likely to enter search phrases such as “Where can I find a designer couch made of leather” – i.e. they tend to formulate their searches in question form and in full sentences.
One challenge for online furniture retailers will therefore be how to cater for specific search queries better. But to do so, they must identify users’ needs first. A look at the Google Analytics data can be enormously helpful here.
In order to achieve a high ranking in search engine results, websites and online shops need to be optimised for people, not machines. Furniture companies therefore need to consider these questions carefully: what are my (potential) customers looking for, and how can I make their search easier?