10 Biggest SEO Trends and Tips You Can’t Ignore For 2021
SEO is Constantly Evolving, but 2021 SEO Trends are Here to Drive More Traffic
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the most consistent and valuable marketing channel to attract consumers to online platforms — if you use it effectively. But the SEO that you know of today will not be the same that you see over the next few years. SEO is evolving, and it can be a challenge to stay on top of the latest updates.
It makes it pivotal for you to stay updated and know what Google will be throwing in the coming years. Our guide will give you insights into some of the most relevant and timely SEO trends to anticipate for 2021, allowing you to prepare your SEO strategy accordingly.
SEO Trends and Techniques to Leverage in 2021
Here is a breakdown of some important SEO and Google trends to help you understand which strategies to prioritize for 2021:
- Search Intent with Semantically Related Keywords
Google does not look at strings of words anymore. It analyzes the query context and tries to discern a user’s search intent. It means that the more relevant information given through logically related keywords — the better.
Google’s BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) algorithm uses machine learning and natural language processing to understand what the users are searching for.
It also means that websites with content-intent mismatches will get negatively impacted. If your content does not provide what a user is looking for, then the content is not BERT-friendly, and it won’t rank for the long-term. Hence, publishing valuable content that matches user-intent can be helpful.
- Core Web Vitals and Page Experience
In May 2020, Google announced that it would use the three new metrics (Loading, Interactivity & Visual Stability), Core Web Vitals, to measure user experience. All three metrics are related to one thing, which is the page speed: how fast the page loads, how soon it gets interactive, and how stable it is while loading.
John Mueller, one of the top Google SEOs, recently said that you must meet all the three Core Web Vitals benchmarks to qualify for the ranking signal boost. He later said that Google might even show badges in the SERP to represent faster sites. If you search in Google and get stuck between two identical listings, the one with a speed badge can be a saver in this case.
If you have a slow site, users will bounce and go back to Google. Google calls it “pogo-sticking,” and it may hurt your SEO rankings.
- Long-Form Content Depth to Improve SERPs
Beyond Google, users want to see that you know everything about your niche. They don’t like to jump to multiple sites for single information. Having one quality page with all the required content and links to other related content is an ideal informational blog layout.
According to a Content Marketing Report, long reads (articles of 3,000-plus words) are absolute leaders in content performance, as they drive almost three to four times more traffic than average length (900-1,200 words) articles. They also achieve more backlinks. Short content does no good in SEO.
More often, you need longer content to show your expertise, to ensure users that you know more about your field than anyone else. It also helps achieve higher search rankings. That said, the content must maintain quality to provide users with shareable and engaging information.
- Video Marketing for an Effective SEO Strategy
YouTube has over 1 billion users, so if you aren’t creating video content, it is the time to get started. According to Cisco, video surpasses all other forms of content in terms of consumption. How to optimize the video content? Make sure to optimize your video channel name and description effectively. Do not overload the description part with keywords, but provide a user-friendly overview of your channel.
Keywords are crucial too. So if you’re optimizing for YouTube, try the platform’s auto-complete feature. Type the video’s topic in the search field, and you would see a list of suggested keywords popping up, telling you precisely what people on YouTube are searching.
- Mobile-Friendly Websites Will Impact Search Rankings
In 2019, Google introduced mobile-first indexing. It means that the search engine considers the mobile version of a website as the “primary” version instead of the desktop version. This change is essential, given that most internet users will access the internet solely via mobile devices by 2025.
To make your website user-friendly, make sure that Google can crawl your URLs. Also, Google Bot will not load content requiring user interactions, like clicking or swiping. You need to make sure Google can see such lazy-loaded content. And finally, use the same Meta robots tags on desktop and mobile sites.
- Featured Snippets Will Get More Prominent
You do not always need to generate long-term content to climb the Google rankings. Featured snippets got rolled out in 2017. They are very brief and sort of shortcut to gain prominence in Google. Sometimes, when you type something on Google, you may notice a box at the top of the SERPs, above the actual results. That is a snippet. Snippets show a piece of information as a Q&A or bullet-point.
Featuring a snippet is a great way to get on the coveted first page of results. Rich snippets include images, product prices, star-based reviews and other similar information. They steal massive traffic from competitors and are beneficial for the searchers and websites.
- Internal Linking
Internal linking has been vital to SEO for decades but is still an important technique. It helps the users and Google find your relevant pages. It is easy for Google to use XML sitemaps and find all URLs on your site; however, users don’t use them and end up navigating from one page to another.
If you have a lot of content and pages, it can be tricky. Hence, having a clear site hierarchy allows users to flow from one page to another and help them find important, new, and updated content. To do this, try these tactics:
- Content hubs: One pillar page & related articles of that topic linked on the same page.
- Link packs: All the links at the bottom of your pages that link to similar products.
- Related hyperlinks: Provide links in your blogs & articles that link to other similar content.
- Automation Will Play a Larger Role in SEO
Like other industries, AI (Artificial intelligence) is changing the SEO & marketing industry. It is influencing the way people interact with online content.
The RankBrain algorithm, which grew a few years back— plays a vital role in Google’s ranking factors for SERPs. So, how to optimize your SEO for RankBrain? You need to engage and captivate readers with valuable, well-organized content. An on-page SEO checker will also help assess page strength based on readability, backlinks, and more.
Now is the time to research & apply AI software for your keyword optimization, content writing, reporting and anything else you can think of.
- Voice Search Will Impact Search Queries
Voice search technology has come a long way. According to ComScore, over half of smartphone users engage with voice search technology. Consider your keywords while optimizing for voice search. Users mostly put long-tail queries and look for specific answers when they use voice search. And such users are more likely to convert than the rest.
Since voice search optimization is still growing with the passing time, we expect it to continue trending in 2021. So this can be an essential part of SEO.
- EAT Principle & Branded SEO For Ranking
Google still wants quality content for ranking success. You can refer to the EAT(expertise, authoritativeness & trustworthiness) principle to find if a webpage has valuable content.
Along with quality content, SEO is shifting to branding and authority. The more authentic and famous your brand, the higher you rank on Google more frequently. That is why you should give your brand’s reputation a top priority in the 2021 SEO strategy.
Brand awareness also helps increase brand search queries, which are a hidden ranking factor on Google.
Get Creative and Tap Into the SEO Trends of 2021
Finally, you need to get creative with your SEO. The days of just optimizing keywords and Meta titles are long gone. Much of what worked years ago may not work today. With current SEO’s trends, you have to focus on everything from voice search to video SEO. Metrics are constantly changing, and it is critical to stay on top of the rankings.
So if you are ready to implement cutting-edge digital marketing strategies, it is imperative to keep up with the trends and test new SEO strategies.