If there’s one truth about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), it’s that it is ever changing. As we get ready to embark on 2021, it’s time to take a look at the SEO trends that will shape the next 12 months so businesses can focus their SEO efforts in the ways that will pay off. SEO is all about doing the work so your business shows up to your target audience online. From there, you need to draw them in with relevant and entertaining / interesting content, a trustworthy brand and a website that walks visitors through the customer journey. Apart from these basic truths, we should talk about the 2021 SEO trends that will help you focus your digital marketing priorities.
Top 2021 SEO trends
Trend 1: This is the year of the user and search intent
When you think about it, the main purpose of a search engine is to provide answers to the questions posed by users. In order for your business to show up in search engine results, you will need to start with an understanding of the internet users who represents your target audience. From there it will be easier to identify search intent. Businesses should ask who they are trying to appeal to and what answers they are looking for. When you create content that meets a searcher’s needs – rather than focusing on tooting your own horn - you will reap the rewards. In the past, this was handled through meta descriptions but in 2021 it will mean providing high quality content similar to the sites that Google is currently placing at the top of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) for your search terms. These sites are likely following Google’s E-A-T guidelines in preparing their web and blog content: Expertise, Authority, and Trust because they are the three factors that Google uses to measure the amount of trust it should place in a brand or website.
- Identify sites that Google is placing at the top of the SERPs and figure out what they are doing well.
- Analyze the search data and keywords used in the on-site journey of any leads you earned from organic search results.
- Make sure that the customer journey is easy and painless.
- Create quality content in written and/or video format that speaks to your audience.
Trend 2: long-form content
Because Google is looking to rank a site’s Expertise, Authority, and Trust on a particular topic, they value long-form content over short-form. This means that writing relevant and useful content isn’t going to be effective anymore if it’s under 1,000 words. Content marketers should aim for 2,000 words or more on their home page, service pages and blog posts if they expect to outrank their competitors.
Trend 3: The introduction of Core Web Vitals as a Google ranking factor
Google will begin using Core Web Vitals as a ranking factor in 2021. This means that Google will rank sites higher that provide the best web user experience for both desktop and mobile users. It will be more important than ever to ensure that each page of your site loads quickly and that your site is easy to navigate. Rendering, image optimization, and security protocols are all important factors. Ensure your digital marketing agency is using page experience metrics to identify any weaknesses that need to be fixed for optimum user experience.
Trend 4: Fraggle optimization
According to Cindy Krum, CEO & Founder of MobileMoxie, Fraggle optimization will grow in importance in 2021. A “Fraggle,” is a combination of handle and fragment. They are basically directional links that take users to specific pieces of content (or passage) within a page. As a result of Fraggle optimization, we may see a trend toward one long page of content instead of a home page and several sub-pages. In order for this type of optimization to work, content marketers will need to make sure that the content they write has a high readability score and that it is easy for natural language processing.
Other trends to look for in 2021:
- More automation: increased quality and quantity of automated content and the creation of more scalable solutions for optimization using automation.
- A huge focus on mobile SEO. In 2021, there will be almost no point in SEO that doesn’t cater to mobile usage.
- Increased focus on behavioral analytics in order to improve customer retention and increase customer lifetime value (LTV).
Seek the Help of an SEO Expert
Most small business owners do not know how to improve their search engine results rankings to drive traffic to their websites, let alone perform an SEO audit or handle Mobile SEO. The best thing to do is find an SEO expert who can help your business achieve its goals to increase sales, brand loyalty and online traffic; starting with an SEO audit.
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