Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is necessary to bring visitors to a website.
Yet, the world of SEO is always changing and evolving, so staying on top of the latest trends can be challenging. With the beginning of 2021, it is time to look at the current top SEO trends to follow.
Voice search has been on the rise in recent years, and as technology like Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant get more popular and become more common in households, it is only going to increase. Optimizing your sites for voice search is different from your usual SEO. While someone might type “SEO trends 2021,” on voice search, they will be asking, “what are the top SEO trends for 2021?” This means businesses need to invest time into optimizing their site for voice searches to stay ahead of the competition.
This is another trend that has been rising over the years. A growing majority of people use their phones to browse the internet more than their computers, so a business needs to make their website mobile-friendly. You have only a few seconds for your site to load before a visitor will click the back button and go to the next site in the Google search results.
Quality Content and the EAT Principle
Google wants sites with high-quality content to be what ranks first in search results, and its EAT principle is a good way to help someone measure the quality of their content. EAT stands for: expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. These factors matter when determining if the website’s content is useful and exactly how valuable it is.
There are many ways you can create quality content. You can conduct search intent research, which can help you map out your consumers’ journey and create buyer personas to understand the type of content your audience values. The information you gain from the personas and search intent research can help you make your content more valuable for your audience. Not just the topics your audience will value more, but also the type of content itself; for instance, if your audience would better receive videos or blogs.
To make EAT content, back up your claims with facts and statistics, and link them to reputable, authoritative sites. Ensure that your content fills your audience’s needs, which your research can help you determine your audience’s needs.
When you Google something, you may notice a featured snippet at the top of your search results page with a brief snippet that answers a specific question for you. Featured snippets are a great way to land on the first page of the search results. In fact, oftentimes, the site that the featured snippet comes from is a few down the line in the results, often after the third or lower ranking, but getting that spot puts your site above the top-ranking page.
The best way to get content for a featured snippet is to structure your content around question-based search queries and the keywords surrounding them. The “people also ask” section of Google results can help inspire you with structuring your content to work with snippets.
Any SEO plans for 2021 need to include video in some way. Online video is popular, especially among the younger generations, and embracing this is vital for SEO strategy.
Optimizing video content is a little more complex than optimizing a blog post, but it can be done. The name of the video and the description included with it are the main ways to optimize video content. Including your target keywords in the description, without making the description stuffed, and adding hashtags if you are using YouTube or another platform, are also key for optimizing videos.
Images are an important part of the digital world. Web content with images tends to perform better than without, and the same can be said for social media posts with and without images. But not everyone realizes that images need to be optimized in order to ensure you are using them correctly. Naming images to be relevant to the page they are connected to is important and is essential to your SEO strategy.
Prioritize Local SEO
People often use the internet to look for something local, like a restaurant or coffee shop. While it is common to think of the internet as a global thing in general, you also need to think about how individuals use the internet every day. Most of them are looking for specific things in the physical world. Thus, spending more time on your local SEO is important since it will help people find your business.
You can start by creating a Google My Business page, since that will also show up in Google results.
Focus on the User Experience
When you visit a site and have a poor experience, either with the business itself or with the site’s quality, you typically hit the back button on your browser and go to the next page on the search results page. The visitors of your site are also looking at your site with that same scrutiny. Take the time to provide visitors to your site with a great user experience. Your site needs to be responsive and usable on mobile devices. Optimizing your site’s layout is important, so now is a good time to do so if you have not done this in a while.
Personal User Data Security
Data privacy has been a growing concern in the digital world for several years now, and it is something that needs to be monitored and addressed. Take measures to ensure that your customer’s data stays private and that your site hosting system provides security to your users. This is something that Google considers when they work on ranking a site, so this is something that needs to be considered when looking at your SEO.