As online competition continues to increase and thousands of new websites are being launched on a daily basis, it’s time to rethink your content marketing strategy and invest in SEO. Websites must meet specific requirements set by search engines like Google, and this is where SEO strategy becomes very important.
You must know what SEO trends are on the horizon so that you can update your website accordingly and ensure that more prospects and customers find you in the search engine results.
So, let’s dive into the 12 SEO trends for 2021.
Google has evolved in recent years to deliver a better search experience for the user, by filtering through Featured Snippets in SERP.
Featured Snippets usually appear above the number #1 organic result, commonly referred to as “Position 0.”
To take advantage of this feature and use it to generate more clicks to your website, you need to provide clear answers to commonly asked questions on your website. Featured Snippets are evaluated and boosted to the top depending on their quality, which Google has a method for determining. Don’t take this trend lightly, as 54.68% of clicks from Google originate from Featured Snippets—proving that they drive more than half of search engine clicks.
Featured Snippets represent a great opportunity for content creators since it gives you the ability to generate more organic traffic even if you’re not ranking at the top number #1 position. According to Ahrefs, a website ranked #2 will likely steal clicks from the one ranked #1, only because it has utilized featured snippets.
People often feel overwhelmed by intrusive ads and are looking for information they can trust and authentic reviews. This has led to the rise of influencer marketing. People are much more likely to trust and engage with a respected and well-known person than they are with an ad.
Digital marketers and media companies are increasing their investment in influencer marketing because it has shown excellent results in the past few years. According to Linqua, “39% of marketers increased their influencer marketing budget in 2018” and 30% of online marketers were spending between $25k and $50k on influencer marketing.
You may wonder how this pertains to SEO.
Hiring or collaborating with an influencer can help you amplify your content reach and generate even more traffic to your website. They can also help you build valuable backlinks. As you may know, backlinks are one of the most important factors that Google uses when evaluating a web page’s ranking.
When developing your influencer marketing strategy, consider what type of content you want them to create and how it caters to your target audience. And be sure they link back to your website. If they are an authority figure with a strong digital presence, their backlinks can feel like winning a jackpot.
If you invest in influencer marketing, you’ll not only improve brand awareness and generate leads, but you’ll also boost your search engine rankings.
Before the existence of innovative smartphones, people searched by plugging words into search engine boxes on their desktop computers. Keywords were born from this behaviour. With the growing use of mobile devices, voice searches are becoming a popular trend among internet users.
These searches are not only done on phones, but they can also be performed on home voice assistants such as the Amazon Echo, Samsung Smart TV, Voice Pod, Siri, etc.
Knowing how to optimize your website for voice search can help you generate more organic traffic if you understand and implement conversational searches into your SEO strategy.
But how do voice searches change SEO?
Voice searches affect SEO in a big way since it’s all about asking questions via voice instead of entering search queries. Subsequently, the terms have become more conversational and targeted.
In 2017, Google announced a 95% accuracy rate on its voice recognition digital assistant, and as this technology improves, so its user ship will grow. Its growth rate is expected to be fast, with 50% of all searches expected to be voice by 2021.
To make the most of voice search, long-tail keywords and natural content reflecting conversational language is likely to rank higher. If you haven’t noticed already, we speak differently than how we text which gives a wider parameter for used keywords to cover the language most likely to be used on search engines in the future. Therefore, your content should adapt to this new trend to stand out in the current search engines.
However, when using voice searches the search engine must do a lot more work to get the relevant information that the user is looking for at that moment, making short choppy keywords not so important anymore.
A website that does not have a mobile version may lose most of its users in the coming years as mobile web pages are a growing trend that will get even more popular in 2021. Especially since more people around the world are obtaining smartphones as more cell phone towers are being built with better connectivity.
However, technology and how people find information through their mobile devices is getting so popular that it’s not enough to just have a mobile website. The interface has to be easy to read, grab people’s attention and then have the ability to answer their questions.
Studies show that 4 in 5 consumers conduct local searches on search engines using their mobile devices. And as you can see below, searches on smartphones are 88% while searches on computers and tablets combined make up 84%:
Since more people are searching from their smartphones than from a computer, it’s important to have a mobile version for your website to reach the most amount of people interested in your product.
Your pages must be optimized for mobile devices if you want to keep up with your competitors. And keep in mind that the higher you are in the Google mobile page index, the more prominent your page will be.
Just as voice searches are becoming much more popular, videos on the internet are also exponentially on the rise. Studies from Google and other organizations show that 6 out of 10 people would rather watch online videos than television. In many ways, it seems that YouTube has now become the new TV.
Current internet users, especially millennials and younger, prefer to get information through online videos, either for academic purposes or just for entertainment. That’s why incorporating online videos should be on the radar for most businesses. A quality video can attract many users if it is dynamic and doesn’t put viewers to sleep.
But how does this affect SEO?
To reach more people with your videos, you need to optimize it for search users. To do this, use appropriate keywords in the description and headline of your video which will guarantee that the video reaches the largest number of people who are interested in that subject. It also gives room for diversity of relevant keywords that can redirect traffic to your website through various channels.
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Online ads still work for driving business, but we’ll see that they’ll get even more expensive in the coming years. And unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that customers will respond to your ads. Ninety-one percent of total ad spend is viewed for less than a second; this led to a $38 billion in digital ad spend wasted in 2017.
That’s why creating high-quality content is a vital element of effective SEO strategies. Users want content that is relevant, helpful, and timely. And that is what Google tends to reward with higher SERP rankings. People head to search engines with questions, and your web page needs to address those questions purposefully and deliver answers.
Content must be well researched, thoughtfully organized, and follow a logical structure that makes it easy to navigate and read.
Informative and quality articles are the only type of content that will grow a website’s popularity in 2021 and beyond. Online consumers are quick to detect and ignore web pages or blog articles that are too salesy or extorting. According to the Economist Group’s “Missing the Mark” Report, “71% of readers say they were turned off by content that seems like a sales pitch.”
What people want is educational content delivered to them in easily comprehensive forms, such as blog posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, etc.
No matter how good your content is, none of that matters if your web page doesn’t load quickly or if it has a complicated user interface.
It’s proven that internet users leave a web page if it does not load in a few seconds, 3 seconds is the standard, and this being a very important factor in the world of SEO. In fact, a minor 1-second delay in page load time can lead to a huge loss for your business over time.
Once you improve your page speed, you also must focus on the user experience. Navigation should be logical and easy to understand. Don’t use words or jargon that are unfamiliar to your audience. While you may think something is creative or clever, you have to put yourselves in your audience’s shoes.
Would they understand what you mean in a split-second? If not, they’ll leave your web page within seconds and return to the SERP. High bounce rates will negatively impact your search rankings, as it marks your content as highly irrelevant to the audience searching a particular keyword.
These factors are the differences that make or break your webpage dominance, in accordance to others, in any search engine.
We already discussed how the standards must be high on the quality of the content that you publish, but we should talk about the length as well. Web pages that contain longer high-quality content usually get more visibility today. But why is that? Well, the answer is time-saving and instant gratification. The internet users prefer to get all the information they need from a single reliable source. Then they can move on for the next task at hand with the information they were looking for and a reference for where to find credible information in the future when another topic peaks their interest.
Studies have shown that pages that have articles of 2,000 or more words usually get more readers than an article with fewer words.
But high word count alone isn’t enough—the content must be comprehensive, relevant and meticulous enough to answer all the questions users have and be able to address closely-related questions.
In addition to this, the more time users spend on a web page, the more likely Google will reward that page with more organic traffic.
Ideally, you should publish high-quality content consistently so that your website will always stay active and fresh in the eyes of Google and its ranking algorithm.
SEO is very important today for businesses irrespective of the industry. Although this doesn’t refer only to the use of keywords—it also entails optimizing content for users.
After all, Google is a search engine that processes information based on users’ behaviour and it’s getting more accurate by the day. This means that each year new trends appear that change the way information is published on the internet. This ensures that all users can get their questions answered in a matter of minutes if not even seconds.
If you’re already familiar with these trends, then that’s great—it’s time to hone in on them so you can generate more targeted traffic from Google. But if you still have questions and need help with SEO services, speak to one of our SEO experts today.