Posted at Apr 30, 2021 4:36:00 PM by THAT Agency | Share
SEO continues to evolve, and those looking to enhance their digital profiles through SEO and SEM must continue to evolve with it. As it changes, understanding the top SEO trends to know is a must if you’re going to win the race against your competitors to pick up the new traffic you need to succeed.
Where should you invest your time and effort? Here are the top 7 Google SEO trends in 2021 you should know before you begin to adjust your strategy this year.
1. There’s no more to be said about content.
You’ve been hearing it for years, and it hasn’t changed: content, content, content. It’s an idea that experts have been harping on since the beginning of the internet, and the bottom line is that you need content, it needs to be engaging, it needs to look amazing, and it needs to be exactly what your users want.
If you click through to a site with thin content, messy content, or content that’s too broad, you’re going to click away as fast as possible, and you may quickly form a poor impression of that brand. If you’re not currently developing valuable content that is targeted, well researched, edited, and presented well, you’re wasting your time and you’re losing potential customers.
In 2021, there are a few things you need to do to enhance your content offerings.
Focus on the length - ideally you’re looking for something that is between 2,350 and 2,500 words if you want readers (and search engines) to truly value it. The more time they spend reading it, the more traffic you’re going to get from the search engines.
Don’t develop that many words just to get across a pitch. Readers won’t buy it, and the bottom line is that you can’t trick the search engines.
It can’t all be long form content. You still have customers looking for fast, easily digestible content, so vary what you have to offer.
Video counts as content. It is still, and will continue to be, a powerful medium. Optimize your videos to better meet your overall SEO strategy.
Hire professionals to handle your content. Experienced writers and video developers mean better addressing what your users want most.
2. The need for traditional SEO hasn't changed.
The aspects traditional SEO is most likely to focus on - user experience, backlinking, keyword optimization for typical and voice search, and things like SSL adoption - hasn’t changed in importance. All of these were and are part of the algorithm, and while some of them have changed in importance, they’re still part of the equation.
In 2021, there are a few things you can do to better address this.
Backlinks remain a staple for a strong search engine presence. Growing your backlink portfolio remains absolutely essential, and it will often pay for itself in a stronger return on your investment.
Remember that voice search is growing. Few people want to pick up their phones to search. Instead, they’d rather ask Siri or Alexa, so you need to be sure you’re optimizing to reach those people.
Local searches are growing too, so if you’re not reaching out to those in your area with the right keyword and a better approach to your business listings across the internet, you absolutely should be.
If you’re not an SSL site at this point, your users are seeing serious warnings that could impact the number of leads you get.
User experience is a serious factor in the overall health of your site, so pay attention to it. More than half of all users will leave your site if it takes too long to load or is poorly organized. More than that, though, Google is actually focused on a number of UX metrics within its algorithm, so they want every experience a person has on your page to be nothing short of amazing.
3. Instant access isn’t hurting you.
The number of zero click searches is on the rise. As of last year, it sat at a little more than half. No clicks equals absolutely no page views, and if you’re unfamiliar with this concept, it may seem like a disaster at the outset.
The reality, though, is that even if searchers aren’t clicking through to your content thanks to the rich snippets displayed by Google, ranking on those zero-click searches does really help with your SEO, so if you’re looking for qualified traffic, and the conversions that go with it, you may want to optimize your website for those instant access searches.
To address this in 2021, you may want to keep these things in mind.
Optimizing for local search helps you optimize for zero click search. If you haven’t already created a Google My Business page, do so immediately. You will not only reach more people online, you’re likely to reach them through your brick and mortar location too.
Backlinks are a big factor in those zero click searches. Build your backlink profile to better reach out to those looking for answers with zero click searches.
Zero click searchers are often rewarded with a variety of kinds of content, so consider building well-optimized video content to drive them to you, and offer plenty of FAQ content on your site, updated on a regular basis.
4. You are what they think of you.
The most effective advertising remains that from referrals, and today, customers are discovering and interacting with brands now more than ever before.
Positive interactions mean recommendations (as well as search engine power). You want them to share your brand, and these days, that’s more possible than ever.
In 2021, there are a few things you can do to build this into your web presences.
Make your customers happy. You must provide exceptional customer service, be responsive online, and consider adding live chat to help prevent potential problems.
Encourage reviews. Make the experience as shareable as possible. Offer easy to use review systems and sharing buttons for social media sites.
Build viral content. If they love it, they’ll share it, so build those videos, memes, and posts that are going to capture their attention and push them to share your brand.
Invest in influencers. They will naturally encourage people to engage at higher brands, and they often offer some backlinks to your content that Google notices. Choose your influencers wisely, though, as they need to be part of your target audience and care about their content as much as you do, and their links should appear on your highest engagement pages.
5. Reconsider your keyword strategy.
If you developed your keyword strategy when you developed your company, there’s never been a better time to revisit it. Keywords still matter (especially for your zero click strategy). The way in which you use keywords, though, may be quite different. Today, you’ll naturally build related short-tail and long-tail keywords if you optimize around topic groupings. You need to be as comprehensive as possible about your topics, then build keyword strategies around those.
In 2021, you should do a number of things to enhance your keyword strategy.
Develop deep topic groups and understand how semantic search works to understand which keywords you should use.
Work with professional copywriters to develop content that focuses not just on keywords, but on helpful options for searchers.
Remember that local search needs different kinds of keywords, so if you’re trying to get them through the door rather than just through the click, you’ll need to broaden the terms for which you optimize.
6. Know your customers and your business.
Keywords are important, but search intent matters too if you’re going to rank well, and understanding what intent customers might have when they search for a business like yours is absolutely essential. Most people are looking to do one of four things when they search - get information, make a purchase, comparison shop, or get to a given website.
What can you do to address this in 2021? These tactics can help.
As you craft your keyword strategy, think about the intent of those individuals. Dig deeper to understand not just the words they’re searching for, but what they actually want. Create content that is aligned with customer intent, and develop what they might be looking for.
You must also consider mobile users, those looking for companies near them, and the keywords you need to integrate for voice searchers.
Think about what you want customers to do when they reach you. If they’re going to be looking for contact information, make it easy to find. If they’re going to want a quote, make that process simple as well.
7. Analyze what you’re doing early and often.
If you’re not looking at the data, you don’t understand what’s happening with your customers and your market. Today, data abound with regard to buyers, campaigns, and the messages you’re sending out. Utilize your analytics to understand which URLs are being crawled, which referral sources are most powerful, what page load times are pushing people away, and more.
In 2021, you can address this easily.
Know what metrics define success. There are numbers that are going to be more important to your company than others. Understand what success looks like for your company so that you understand when things are working well and when they’re not.
Learn how to access the metrics you need. A good SEO team can give you instant access to top industry analysis tools that mean you have the technology necessary to do more with your company.
Above these strategies, traditional SEO techniques are still just as effective as ever. Staying up on the latest trends will help you to stay ahead of the game as you prep your marketing plan for 2021.