SEO Trends and Vitals for 2021

digital marketing manager

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
Seo know how tips 2021

Top 10 SEO trends for 2021

  1. 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.

  1. 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:

Google Core Vitals

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

  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.

What is SEO AUDIT? Why do you need it?

what is an SEO AUDIT

What is an SEO Audit anyway?

Have you ever visited an SEO Company website and read a call to action for an SEO Audit, and wondered what it is? SEO Audit is the epitome of all SEO. It takes a real expert in Search Engine Optimization to know how to perform an SEO Audit on a website.

SEO Audit is a full website checkup that analyzes every page of a website which involves many aspects, including the coding of a website. H tags, crawling, indexing, website structure and design are few of the items in a website audit.  It’s very technical, only understood and interpreted by an expert seo company or seo consultant. In other words, an SEO Audit is like a full health checkup. 

Seo audit

Why Is an SEO Audit the First Step Towards a High-Ranking Website?  

Before you start SEO on any website, you need to know your current ranking on search engine, in other words how good is you ranking or how popular is your website on google compared to your competition.  Once you perform an SEO Audit, you will know where you stand with Search Engine Optimization ranking wise. You’ll want to get some pointers that will lead you to the right path.     The outcome of a good and deep website audit is an action plan or a crafted strategy that can improve your website ranking in google, and other search engines, which is an integral part of your digital marketing efforts.  SEO AUDIT Results Will Put You on the Right Path  How will an SEO AUDIT put your ranking on the right path?  It goes back to the old definition on insanity, doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting to get different results.

Simply put: If your website is not getting the right kind of traffic, that means that you are doing something wrong, which needs to be corrected.  The SEO Audit report analysis may come back with, ‘Not having enough backlinks’ which is very common among new launched websites.  

ClixPlus

SEO Audit FAQ’s

Q1: Why do you need an SEO Audit?  
A1: Some SEO tasks don’t need to be redundant; it costs more time and money. Also, search engines may penalize you for over optimizing your website.  What to do After You Get Your Website SEO AUDIT REPORT?  At this point you have 2 choices.  First Choice: Hire an SEO Consultant or an SEO Company that can perform a full website seo audit. It may cost you a few thousand on average, and time wise, some seo companies can take a week or more in order to dig deep into your website.  Second choice: Do it yourself. Use some type of an SEO Audit software, Clix Plus recommends SEMRUSH.com for SEO Audit. Using SEO performance software or software as service still needs an above minimum knowledge of Search Engine Optimization skills.  Shall I hire an SEO Company or an In-House SEO Expert?  We will assume that the website has been seo audited and you have already received your SEO AUDIT report. 

Your AUDIT Options

At this point, you have two options.  Choice 1: Have an SEO Expert read and interpret the report and explain technical seo to you in simple layman’s terms.  Choice 2: Hire an SEO COMPANY that can explain to you and suggest courses of actions that can improve your search engine optimization efforts.  Please note: Some SEO COMPANIES over charge for their services. It’s wise to call seo firms and get a pricing quote.  Back to the question, should you hire an SEO Agency or an in-house SEO Expert?     Factors That Impact Your Decision to Hire an Agency or an In-House Seo Expert  It all depends on your SEO REPORT that you are going to get. Some websites may need more work done than others. If you have a new website that has not been optimized, then you need a good SEO Expert to help you take it off the ground.  Never Hire an Amateur to Optimize Your Website  We don’t suggest that you hire a rookie or friend to do it. Also, be cautions when you hire some seo companies, you will spot a bad seo company once they promise you the first page of google in a short period of time. Performing seo for a website or two does not make one a seo expert. It takes over 50 optimized websites to label someone as a seo pro.  No SAAS SEO Services Either  You will find those automated services when signing up for hosting. You get $50 worth of SEO SERVICES; these are automated SEO SERVICES that are not good for ranking. There is nothing better than manual SEO by hand, having a real human makes a real difference.  If your website had been auto submitted for link building or has used cheap seo methods in order to get results fast, it can ruin your entire digital marketing efforts. It will take weeks to bring a Google penalized website back on the saddle, honestly, some website reputations get ruined permanently.  The Verdict Is   Whether your hire an SEO Company or SEO Consultant in house, they must really have tremendous experience in search engine optimization, hands on and not just a project or two.  Hiring an SEO in house can be beneficial if your major seo blue print and strategy has been put in place.  In other words, if someone has done some basic seo, crafted the right digital strategy and finally integrated this seo plan as part of the overall strategy. At this point, you can hire a junior SEO, still the overall strategy is overseen and managed by a Senior SEO.  Example Used as an Analogy:  A newborn baby needs a good doctor to see and getting sick requires a qualified doctor that can prescribe the right medicine vs an amateur doctor. Same for your website, if your website is a newborn or just launched online, you don’t want it to be in the hands of an amateur seo, do you? You want your website to be optimized by an SEO pro.     What are the Methodologies That are Used for an SEO AUDIT?  Performing an SEO AUDIT requires an old hand in the game. Most of the real seo experts have had one website penalized by google at some point. But they were able to bring it back from the ditch. SEO experts use different methodologies when they perform an SEO AUDIT, here are some of them.  Geo Targeting Audit  Language and Slang used   Some seo experts look at the language used when writing the content.  Example: The word “Center” in the US vs “Centre” in the UK. Looking at websites written in British English and expect it to rank in the USA is a big challenge.  Affiliate links infested websites    This is a big SEO offense and one of the No-no’s of SEO. Websites with major affiliate links if not all affiliate links.  Hidden Links  It’s ok for a website developer or web designer to put a link on your website in order to get a link from your website, but it’s not ok to put a JavaScript or Base64 coding on a website. According to website security specialist, this is a virus on your website.  Is your website skinny on content?  Website Audit will also review the amount of content on your website. It determines, if your website has enough content to even make it to search engines.  Technical SEO in an SEO AUDIT  Some of your website may give code 404, which means not found. An SEO AUDIT is able is pick this one up. A lot of 404 is not good. That means a website is missing on traffic. Visitors will click on a link and get nothing. As expert SEO’s we look for 301 redirects which means a page has moved permanently.  The use of H tags  H tags are basically headlining, just like newspaper headlines. Google and other search engines look at H tags implementations as one of SEO ranking factors. In other words, implementation and proper use of H tags tells search engines that your website is readable.  Duplicate Content   A good SEO AUDIT will pick this one up. It finds out if your website has duplicate content. Every duplicate content on the same website can cause what is referred as “Keyword” cannibalization which is a real mess.  Duplicate content on the same website is somehow acceptable. However, finding exact content duplicated falls under the definition of plagiarism. If found through an SEO AUDIT, you need to sit your content writer down, this is a very serious issue and will affect all of your SEO efforts.  Is the website secured?  Does the website have a green locked key up top, or does it not? A secured website is https (http + S for secured). Part of a full website audit is finding out if a website is secured. Being secured will secure your website a good position in search engines.  Not Secured Website don’t rank as well as secured ones.  A non-secured website gets a warning from a browser, if this is a worrying sign for you, imagine how google takes it. Generally secured websites build trust and will contribute to better ranking in search engines.  Other factors can show up on SEO AUDIT REPORTS   There are over 50 other factors that are reported in SEO AUDIT Report. XML sitemap, Title Meta Tags, Website Speed, Code to text ration and canonical URLs errors to name some.  Conclusion  SEO AUDIT is a must have and it is the first thing to look at before deciding to hire an expert seo to optimize and rank your website. Based on this report, you will be able to make a decision that is sound and logical.  Some websites are more local based, such as Pizza Delivery or a local eatery which will need a local seo expert.  Finding a local SEO is an easy task. However, if you would like your website to rank regionally, then you are going to need an SEO Master to be help you.  Hire Clix Plus to do you next SEO AUDIT. It is second nature to us, this is what we do, we will look at your website and perform a Manual SEO AUDIT for your website. Manual AUDIT can pick up what a machine cannot.