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Elements of SEO in 2019

As digital marketers, we aim to always be on top of the latest trends and news in the digital world. I personally subscribe to many different newsletters and blogs to get updates and learn new things. Recently, I got an email in my inbox from Search Engine Land, a popular blog that posts about SEO, SEM & other digital topics – with their “Periodic Table of SEO.” This table broke down all the factors you need to be successful in SEO in their own version of the original Periodic Table of the elements.

Because SEO is such a difficult topic to explain to clients, I found this to be an excellent resource. SEO is not just something you “do” or something that has a one size fits all approach. It’s an ongoing process with many different factors going into it and can sometimes take a lot of time to see results.

It’s a lot more difficult to describe to someone how SEO works because it’s not as simple as setting up a campaign and letting it run, which is more concrete and easier to explain. There are many different aspects of your website that could lead to the success or detriment of your website’s organic ranking in search engines. The table refers to SEO as “both an art and a science” which we think is a great way to sum it up!

You can download the PDF of the periodic table from Search Engine Journal here, but we’ve broken down some of its key features to help you understand the foundation of SEO in 2019.

SEO Element Groups

Each element in the table is sorted into various element groups. This is a way of grouping all the factors that contribute to SEO into broader categories that affected SEO. This gives us as marketers a great way to look at the big picture and define the main facets of how SEO works and then break down the smaller contributing factors within that.

Content – one of the main factors of SEO, as most know, is the content on your site. Having high-quality, in-depth content, that is frequently updated, and driven by keyword research, will help your site rank highly in search engines. Multimedia content, like images and videos, also helps your ranking. The 7 elements that fall into the “content” group are:

  • Quality
  • Research
  • Keywords
  • Freshness
  • Multimedia
  • Answers
  • Depth

Architecture – the next element group is architecture, which is how your site is built. This includes page load speed, your security, and crawlability. This helps search engines know that users who land on your site will have a safe, fast-loading, user-friendly page and will increase your ranking. These elements include:

  • Crawl
  • Mobile-friendliness
  • Duplicate
  • Speed
  • Https
  • URLs

HTML – The HTML element section refers to HTML tags you should be using to inform search engines about what kind of content is on your website and allow that content to render quickly to the user. These elements include:

  • Page titles
  • Descriptions
  • Structure
  • Headings
  • AMP (accelerated mobile pages)

Trust – Trustworthiness is a measure of a high-value site and helps you rank higher in search engines. Different factors can affect this like how long your site has been around, how users interact with your site, and more. There are three elements that encompass the trust of your site:

  • Authority
  • Engagement
  • Reputation

Links – Links used to be the end-all-be-all in terms of SEO, and while they aren’t as important, they are still a factor. The higher-quality and more relevant the sites are that link to you, the better it is for your ranking. The elements that fall under the linking element are:

  • Value
  • Anchors
  • Backlinks

User – The user element group refers to the specific factors that affect how you rank for a specific search. For example, your SEO ranking could be different for two different users typing the exact same search term into their browser depending on their location, browsers language, or more. These elements include:

  • Country
  • Locality
  • User Experience
  • History
  • Intent

SEO Toxins

The toxins section of the periodic table refers to “Black Hat” SEO techniques, which are basically shortcuts or tricks that can help get you are higher ranking in search engines. They have worked in the past but now as search engines have gotten more sophisticated don’t have the same effect. In fact, they have the opposite effect and when used can often now result in a penalty or ban on your website.

  • Cloaking
  • Schemes
  • Stuffing
  • Hiding
  • Piracy
  • Intrusive

Emerging Verticals

The emerging verticals section refers to new technology that is becoming more prevalent in 2019 and will have a growing effect on SEO as time goes on. As we stated, former black hat techniques have now become outdated and can now be negative factors to your ranking, so it’s important to be on top of the latest trends and make sure you are adopting any new SEO techniques before your behind the curve. As users are becoming increasingly mobile and new tech trends like voice search are becoming more commonly used, it’s important to keep these in mind. Emerging verticals include:

  • Voice
  • Image
  • Video
  • Local

Work with A Digital Agency on Your Website & SEO

Even this comprehensive breakdown only scratches the surface of what goes into SEO. Google is constantly updating its algorithm’s, releasing new products, and new technology trends are emerging.

At Atilus, we stay on top of all the latest marketing and technology news to provide the best SEO services to our clients. Contact us today to learn more!

Sydney Fahrenbruch
Sydney Fahrenbruch
Sydney is Atilus' Digital Marketing Engineer. She works with clients on digital marketing activities for client accounts from monthly maintenance, to reporting and making recommendations. Her expertise includes PPC advertising, social media management, content marketing, and creative strategy.

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