- Contest Factory
- February 16, 2021
You already know how important SEO and Google SERP ranking are for increasing traffic and conversion rates on your website. You also probably know how frequently Google likes to change its ranking criteria.
If you want to come out on top this year, it’s crucial to understand the latest trends and adapt your digital marketing strategy accordingly.
Here are the 10 SEO trends you need to know to dominate the SERPs and your revenue goals in 2021.
SEO Trend #1: Create a Superior User Experience
2021 is all about the user experience (UX). Period.
Almost every other trend reinforces this one- how good the visitors feel as they interact with your web page- which includes everything from content to page-loading speed to safe browsing.
Prioritizing a superior user experience is worth the time and effort. Stats show that 89% of consumers will go with a competitor after a lackluster UX.
If this feels overwhelming, don’t panic. Below are more specific ways you can get your UX up to speed.
SEO Trend #2: Core Web Vitals
To determine the quality of the user experience, Google is introducing Core Web Vitals- user-centric metrics that measure the following:
- Loading speed (measurement at 2.5 seconds maximum)
- Interactivity (less than 100 ms for visitors to interact)
- Visual stability (no visual or technical glitches)
No, Google isn’t just trying to make your life harder. The benefits of UX overhaul are real. ESPN’s revenue increased by 35% just by redesigning their homepage alone.
SEO Trend #3: Quality Content Still Reigns
High-quality content is still a key deciding factor in your website’s ranking. Quality content entails writing with a natural, authentic style that offers value and tangible solutions for your buyers.
Including interactive content is another proven tactic for optimizing UX. Incorporating digital quizzes or animated infographics, for example, offers the user entertainment and valuable information to hold their attention and elicit engagement.
Here is an excellent example of an interactive component that can be used on your website to gain traction with attracting traffic, which in turn boosts your SERP ranking by having velocity and showing Google that people like and share this content. This is an instant win game that offers excitement as well as the option to collect email address in exchange for the opportunity to win.
SEO Trend #4: Google E.A.T. Standards
Google’s E.A.T. standards assess the “Expertise, Authority and Trust” of a site. In essence, your site needs to demonstrate that you are a trusted expert who is providing users with the best possible experience.
Google has a very clear set of guidelines on how to achieve a good E.A.T ranking, although actually attaining it isn’t quite as simple. Start with providing proof of qualifications, such as certificates or diplomas; linking to other high-E-A-T sites and businesses; and auditing your brand for ranking and consistency.
SEO Trend #5: Local SEO is the Way to Go
Google’s focus on local SEO has been heightened since the pandemic hit. Presently, 46% of all Google searches feature local content, which has been a lifeline for small business. Google My Business has helped local businesses keep their customers up to date with changes in schedules, special offers, and delivery options.
So it goes without saying, you need to get on board with Google My Business in 2021. It’s also important to partner with other local businesses, events, and social media apps as much as possible to increase traffic and exposure and encourage positive online reviews. Google My Business also provides great local SEO insight on who is searching you by name versus those searching on product or service alone; it’s safe to say that if you are getting more than 70% of your business from non-branded terms, you are doing well.
SEO Trend #6: Mobile Optimization
Mobile optimization should be at the top of your SEO list in 2021. First, because more and more people are using their smartphones for virtually everything. It’s estimated that approximately ¾ of the population will only use their phones to access the internet by 2025.
And second, because Google says so.
Starting March 2021, Google will make mobile-first indexing the default for all websites, meaning your search ranking will be based on the mobile version of your website, not your desktop.
Thankfully, Google has published guidelines to help ease the transition, which might not necessarily be easy, but necessary if you want your business to thrive in the years to come.
SEO Trend #7: Raise Your Voice Search Optimization
Voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant have exploded in popularity, with voice search revenue expected to more than quadruple by 2022 to a staggering 40 billion dollars.
Bringing it back to quality UX, voice search gives users the information they need and want instantaneously, even when their fingers can’t do the walking. And, since voice searches are done mostly on mobile devices, there is yet another reason to prioritize the mobile optimization of your website.
The best way to optimize your content for voice search is to think of when people typically use voice searches. For example:
- Restaurants, hotels, theatres, etc.
- Recipes, how-to’s, lifehacks, etc.
- Schedules, hours, directions
You also want to think about the language people use to start searches and try starting some paragraphs on your site or blog with questions using what, how, and when.
SEO Trend #8: Video Content is Key
If you haven’t dabbled in video yet, 2021 is your year to do so. Research shows that 54% of consumers want to see more video content this year.
Yes, videos require a bit more effort on the front end. But even just one high-quality video can go a long way in terms of ranking. Plus, you can trim and repurpose it for your various social channels and link it back to your main site to further boost your SEO ranking.
It is also worth mentioning that there are specific video snippets on SERPs that you can only rank for through video content, and these video snippets are really prominent on search queries beginning with “how-to”, asking for tutorials, and other forms of educational content. They are prime real estate that you can potentially rank for with a reasonably produced video.
Tap into some of your user generated content and publish on Youtube and use the snippets on your site. You will be glad you did. Leverage video contests by using Youtube as your contest submission and embedding your top submissions on to your website.
SEO Trend #9: Feature Snippets
You’ll be seeing more featured snippets on Google’s home page to make searching faster and more fruitful for users. Examples include news bites, recipes, reviews, questions, and tutorials. Some folks are bothered that this enables a user to get their information without ever visiting the website; the good news, this is not true. Most users do in fact click through to find out more about where this fantastically quick information originated from.
And, of course, you want your snippet featured on Google’s homepage for obvious reasons.
But how do you optimize for featured snippets? First, you need to provide Google a compelling 160 word meta description with valuable keywords that will be featured in search results. Next, include as many definitions, ordered lists, and other formats you see featured on Google’s homepage to make your content an easy target. In order t9o tag these the way Google wants to read or consume the data, you need to mark it it up with what is called schema or structured data.
You can find the schema markup (found at Schema.org) – a form of microdata that provides context to webpages that Google considers the most relevant for short answers to users’ queries.
SEO Trend #10: Website & Personal User Data Security
As you can imagine, website security is high on Google’s ranking list for 2021. But securing your website is also just good practice and increases consumer confidence in your site.
Stats show that 85% of online shoppers will avoid unsecure websites, which isn’t good for anyone. You can make sure your users feel secure and Google deems you as safe by implementing the following:
- HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) confirms transmitted data between server and user is encrypted and secured.
- Padlock symbol provides a visual link to detailed information about your certification.
- Green address bar: An EV SSL certificate also activates the green address bar, another visual reminder of SSL certified secure connection.
- Company name in address another visual indicator of an SSL certificate.
- Site Seals with the respective logos show customers that website transactions are secure.
Following these 10 SEO trends is crucial for improving your ranking and achieving your marketing and revenue goals in 2021. Ultimately, it’s all about the quality of your user’s experience- making sure your content is valuable, your website is secure and easy to use, especially on mobile devices.