We are a few short days away from 2019. Some things change and some things stay the same in the seo landscape, but with changing times, you need to prioritize your focus. You need to be aware of what to focus on based on the climate. Things like algorithm changes, device prioritization, and machine learning are just a few. I would like to get into five specific things you should be aware of and focus on in the new year. Mobile Site Compliant to Mobile Standards With mobile first indexing pretty much the norm, and increasing numbers of search traffic coming from mobile, you need to make sure your mobile experience is compliant to mobile search standards from a design and development standpoint. Run your site to see where it stands with the Google Page Speed Insights tool. Be mindful of what shows up on mobile vs desktop. Some of the suggestions that come back you may not be in control of, but things like caching issues, code issues, and element spacing you should be able to fix right away. RankBrain Getting Smarter and Smarter All of Google’s searches go through RankBrain which is part of the core algorithm. The RankBrain AI will continue to understand the intent of searches and deliver more relevant results. Make sure your content has the correct intent you desire to drive. To be safe, employ a content strategy the focuses on covering all intent types and focuses on semantic search components. Don’t Neglect Structured Data Markup Structured data is used for many purposes by search engines, like enhancing your results in search engine result pages, and highlighting information to search engines. New markup is created over time and helps you stay current with advancements like voice search. In 2018 new schema.org markup was created for voice search. Schema.org and Google came up with a markup called Speakable. The markup lets Google’s Assistant to verbally answer marked content by converting text to speech. People like editors can use this structured data to specify which content they think is adequate to read out loud. Speakable began to be tested for US Google News. When a user asks Google Assistant anything related to news like, ” tell me the news about seo”, it searches web results and looks for marked up content that is relevant, and reads out loud the news article that is relevant and the news source. Google Assistant also sends that article source and two additional sources on the specified topic to the searchers sell phone. If you are providing fast accurate answers to questions on your website insure using structured data to further the reach and effectiveness of your content. Video Optimization Voice isn’t the only delivery vehicle taking the internet over, video continues to hold it’s importance. Video traffic will continue to grow. Make sure your videos are transcribed as well as marked up with structured data if they are included on your website. Optimize your YouTube channel as well as test different video formats including short form. Blockchain for SEO With all the buzz about blockchain and its uses, it is safe to say the seo industry will be thrown in the mix as adapters. There are many uses we would love to roll out, but one practical use that would hold value is use in backlink validation. Backlinks aren’t going away any time soon. As a seo pillar since the beginning, backlinks are still one of the best ways to correlate authority. Regardless of how blockchain will be used in seo, we will soon see usage coming in 2019. Regardless of what you are focusing on, you need a core foundation of sound code, mobile friendliness, intent specific content that adds value to the user, a strong natural backlink profile, and several other things if you are looking to succeed in seo now and in the future regardless of the changes. If you have any questions about seo or any other form of digital marketing, I’m always glad to help.