What are the SEO trends for 2021 to watch for?
Having a website that performs high in SEO needs a thorough SEO approach, with attention given to many different defining metrics. This will include the increase of traffic, backlinks, and shares on social media. We have created this guide for you to give you some valuable insights in how the standards and trends for SEO are set in 2021. With this you will be able to prepare your SEO strategy for a successful year.
- Artificial Intelligence will have a large part in SEO in 2021
- Voice Search Will influence Search Queries
- Mobile-Friendliness Will influence search
- Content needs to be up to standards with Google EAT Principle
- Long-Form Content is more important for SERPs
- Featured Snippets ill be more important in 2021
- Predictive Search will improve
- SEO strategy needs to have video elements
- Image Optimization more important in 2021
- Semantically Related Keywords
- Local Search Listings more important in 2021
- Data and Analytics should be the corner stone of your strategy
Top 10 SEO trends for 2021
- Relevant and quality content
Having high quality content has always been a major factor for your website’s authority online, and this is not going to change in 2021. It is still the most important factor. Creating high quality and original informative content will create a bigger awareness online, increasing traffic to your website.
Potential customers will enjoy reading and sharing your content giving your brand a following. Google is extremely sensitive to bad quality content and will drop you down the search engines quickly if you ignore these demands. Whatever content you intend to put out there in 2021, make sure it is always high quality and 100 % unique. Many websites think they can make shortcuts with short articles with tuns of keywords cramped into them, but we must warn you that this does not work. The quality of the content is more important in 2021 then the quantity of the keywords. Having content that is written in a natural way is the key to success. Having informative and valuable content for your readers meeting the searches of your potential customers must be your number one priority in SEO. If you refuse to do this, you can forget about any of the following SEO tips as they will all fail. Google has an algorithm that is related to the user experience, and when you receive a high bounce rate due to bad content, Google will know. You want your visitor to be happy to land on your page and thrilled to read that what he or she is looking for. If not, you might lose a potential customer, and create a negative brand experience. When your bounce rate increases, your online authority will decrease, giving your company a bad reputation. So, with this said we hope you see the importance of creating excellent content which is relevant and informative. You can be successful if you conduct the research to understand your potential customers, learn what it is that they seek, and need. You are writing for the user experience of your customers, not for Google, remember this. Gaining attraction from your potential clients is what will make a success of your website, good content is sharable, and will give a better experience towards the customer.
- User Experience (UX)
As mentioned before the user’s satisfaction is extremely important in any SEO strategy and this remains in 2021. The UX does not singly depend on content, UX will consist of the complete experience that a visitor has on your website. The term UX was created by Don Norman who is the co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group. When UX is used in digital marketing, it is related to the interaction of the visitor with the different channels of the brand. When someone visits your website it must be simple, beautiful, fast, and easy to access the different components and find the desired information. Everything will be calculated into Google’s algorithm in 2021. Google webmaster central blog Source: If you want to maximize your SEO results in 2021, you will need fast, stable, and interactive pages. To understand your pages’ current performance, it is worth looking at Google Page Speed Insights.
- Mobile SEO
Your user might have a different experience when visiting your website through a browser or through a mobile device, but the ranking through Google will be the same for both mediums. All SEO should be conducted as mobile SEO in 2021. Do not create separate sites for mobile users any longer, migrate to a mobile responsive website. In the previous years mobile SEO was increasingly important and since 2019 Google has been analyzing mobile experiences above desktop experiences. This means that your SEO strategy must have mobile SEO in it as it is even more important in 2021. Through 2020 it was seen that more then half of all searches was done through a mobile phone, and in 2021 the numbers will increase even more. It is expected that by 2025 more than 75% of all searches globally will be done through a mobile phone. This means that the user experience on a mobile phone must be excellent. So Mobile SEO should be on the top of your SEO list. Optimize all your content and data for the mobile phones to increase your ranking online.
- Core web vitals
Google introduced Core web vitals in 2020, where it analysis different metrics of your website as the loading speed, responsiveness, and user interaction. And again, more for a mobile device. It will also look at the security of a website, with a multitude of users browsing on your website. Measuring the stability of your website and interactivity are top priorities of Core web vitals. The reason why Google launched Core web vitals is to offer the best user experience.
2021 Core web vitals analysis three main factors through algorithms:
Large Contentful Paint (LCP)
This measures the time it takes for a page to load completely. The ideal timing according to Google is 2.5 seconds maximum.
First Input Delay (FID)
This measures the time it takes for a user to be able to interact with a page. This should take less than 100 ms according to Google
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
This refers to the quantity of unexpected layout changes in visual content. This should be less than 0.1
- Zero click searches
Zero click searches are the searches that appear on the top of the first result search page and has been introduced in March 2020. Zero click searches are results showing information without having to click on the link. Google made these changes in the SERP’s design and layout with the goal to provide a more effective and faster user experience. It is a trend that will continue to grow throughout 2021 and should be incorporated in your SEO strategy. It looks like the snippets which you can find in Google, but it works slightly different. Google can now more precisely identify individual paragraphs on a website and show it as relevant content in a search engine. By optimizing your content, you can make this new feature work for your website. Using structured content to meet the algorithms needs will improve your organic ranking. By doing the research who your customer is, you can already answer the questions that they place in the search engine, and thus thereby, they will find you.
- Website security
The importance of website security is not a new trend, Google takes your websites security extremely serious when analyzing the relevance of your content. The importance of having the right plugins and SSL certificates can not be overseen. With an increasing number of threats for websites in a non-secure environment as public Wi-Fi or even mobile data, security will only be more important in 2021. If your website is not according to the safety standards, it will lose ranking very fast.
- Search Intent
As you can understand by now, user focused optimization is the highest priority for Google, and this remains in 2021. Making sure that a visitor finds the content that he seeks is always the end goal for Google. To make sure that this is up to standard Google has launched a new algorithm, the BERT algorithm [Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers].
This algorithm has been designed to understand the intend of a specific search. This makes Google capable of interpreting the intend of the search, which is a step beyond the analysis of a search, it looks at language as well. So, when writing the content, one should produce content that fits the user’s intent, and one should write it in a natural language. With BERT Google will be able to deliver the most appropriate content effectively.
- Long-form content; Expertise, Authority and Trust.
Expertise, Authority and Trust. Creating a feeling towards your users that what they find on your website is offered by a real person, and that you are credible enough to share your content is what these words represent. A proven method to ensure these three qualities to your users is by offering long form content with researched and well written content.
It has been researched that long posts of more then 3000 words receive 3 times more traffic, will be shared 4 times more, and will get 3.5 times more backlinks than shorter articles. You understand that this will give you a boost in your digital authority, with higher SERP rankings.
Google wants to see that your users only receive relevant, new, and proven content. If Google’s algorithm reads that users can be negative in any way (hurting people through words for instance) it will drop you of the web immediately. Expertise, Authority and Trust. Know what you are writing about, as publishing data that has not been proven can be destructive for your website.
Using the “About” page can be utilized for the trust factor, showing who you are, and what your business does. Be careful with links, that you use the right websites; if you receive low quality links, delete them. When users lose their trust in you, they can share their opinions on other websites about your business which can have catastrophic results.
- Local SEO
COVID-19 changed a lot in the world, and that is no different in the world of SEO. When people found themselves isolated at home for a longer period, there was a higher appreciation for local commerce. Supporting local markets was a result of the economic crisis that hit many through COVID-19, and through the support of local businesses we wanted to keep the local economy running. In addition, as people could not travel far anymore, solutions had to be found closer to home. Local SEO is not new, but it became more relevant since 2020, wanting to offer the most qualified and fast experience to the user.
Local SEO uses Google my Business as a main tool, and throughout 2020 it became more relevant for many businesses. Local businesses can use the tool to keep their customers updated about changing opening hours or delivery options. If you have a physical business or conduct a service locally you need Local SEO in 2021. If you do not choose to implement this your competitors will win. One thing to note that is very important: the criteria for Google’s algorithm changes frequently and it is crucial to remain aware of the latest updates.
- Structured Data
The better your data is structured the easier it is for Google to analyze and understand your website. Google must analyze it correctly or you will not be exposed correctly in the search engines. When using structured data, your basically telling Google what it needs to know. And this will result in a higher ranking.
When you have the correct structured data, it will change the way how your search result will appear, by showing more information. More information will lead to more clicks, and more clicks, yes you guessed it correctly. Means a higher ranking! This is a trend that has been increasing in 2020, and we expect the trend to continue through 2021.