Did you know that businesses with a blog generate 126% more leads than companies without one? How about the fact that organizations that regularly publish original content receive 8x more traffic, reduce their overall marketing spend by over 60% and receive 3 times more leads?

Blogging is not the new kid on the marketing block anymore, but it has evolved quite a bit since the platform went mainstream. There are a few blogging trends that are significantly different in

2019. Make sure you’re on the up and up so your blog doesn’t get left behind!

Artificial Intelligence: Optimize for Voice and Visual

Consumers have begun to move away from typing in their search queries, instead speaking to search engines via a smart hub, such as Google Home, Amazon’s Alexa, and Apple’s Siri. When fifty percent of all searches are accomplished by voice search in 2020, you’ll be thankful your blog is optimized for voice.

One way bloggers can optimize their posts for voice search in 2019 and beyond is by using questions in their titles, updating their metadata, and using social advertisements to drive traffic, giving you a higher overall rank.

In addition to voice, visual search is also trending upward. Tools such as Google Lens and Pinterest’s Lens are worth learning more about.

According to Search Engine Journal:

Google Lens is the AI version of Google’s reverse image search, backed with a twist of AR and machine learning power. It will make our smartphones even more addictive. The big picture is, when using Google Lens, your smartphone camera won’t just see what you see, but will also understand what you see to help you take action.

With these tools, people can take pictures of things they’re interested in and find their way towards to your blog. Here are a few tips for optimizing your blog for visual search:

Visual Branding: Make sure to have your branding and logo on images and products as much as possible.

Alt Tags: Any images on your blog should have the alt tags filled out with the appropriate meta data.

Optimize Exif Data: This photo file data (e.g., image size, date/time taken, and geo coordinates) is automatically populated. Optimizing this data is a more advanced image optimization tactic.

Although voice and visual search are still in their relative infancy, it’s important to get on board early to optimize your blog sooner rather than later.

Secure your Blog with an SSL Certificate

Back in July of 2018, Google went live with Google 68. This browser upgrade required websites and blogs to have updated SSL certificates in order to be considered secure. These SSL certificates are needed to transition sites over from “HTTP” to “HTTPS” for a more secure web browsing experience. If your blog does not have an updated SSL certificate, anyone visiting that site will see a very prominent message in the site’s browser bar announcing this site is “not secure”. This message will likely result in a decrease in trust, fewer customers visiting your site, and in turn, lost business. Now in 2019, it’s an official SEO ranking factor.

Making Your Blog Mobile-Friendly

In 2018, US adults spent an average of 3.5 hours a day on their mobile devices. For business owners, this means your audience likely spends a large amount of time browsing on a mobile device as well. In order to stop losing potential mobile traffic, make sure you’re testing your website on a smartphone and/or tablet. Blogs that are difficult to read on smaller devices are doomed for a high bounce rate. Not to mention, sites that are not optimized are known to have a lower SEO rank, making it less likely for searchers to find your content.

Blogging is alive and well in 2019, are you on board yet?