Online business and SEO are interconnected! You can’t drift apart, both of them. If your motive is to grow your business online via websites, then my friend, search engine optimization (SEO) will play a huge role. Today, here we are discuss about trends of SEO in 2021!
When it comes to SEO, there are many activities, or you can say techniques that have been used for years, of which some are inevitable and will stay for eternity. However, as time went by, the digital world changed, and so the SEO trends to follow.
Hence, our team of SEO experts spent more than 24 hours to define trends that will rule the SEO in 2021 (apart from the timeless SEO activities).
What are the timeless SEO tactics? If you are already in the search engine optimization for the year, and if you are new, here are some tactics like site speed optimization, proper content, backlinks, internal linking, etc.
So without any further ado, let’s move towards the most demanded topic of the year – SEO trends in 2021. With the updates in Google AI Algorithm, it is getting hard to rank on the first page, get the click-through rate, etc.
This year you are going to experience many new and interesting activities to follow to get brand recognition. And that will do half of your work!
Confused? Keep reading!
Trends to Follow for Seo in 2021
1: Optimize with Core Web Vitals
In the mid of the year 2020, Google introduced the importance of core web vitals for the website. Not many know about it still! It is a baby that is growing slowly but will have a huge impact on the digital marketing society.
What is Core Web Vital? It is a set of factors designed by Google that takes into consideration the user experience (UX) on the webpage. Moreover, remember it is going to be one of the factors affecting the Google SERP ranking. It consists of three core concepts:
- Loading (LCP)
- Interactivity (FID)
- Visual Stability (CLS)
Where can you find the insights on web core vitals? Open the Google Search Console and navigate to the Web Core Vitals. There you will see the detailed report of the webpage. It will look something like this:
Here’s the brief information on Web Core Vital’s factors:
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) :
In simple terms, it is called loading. It notices the website loading time and gives out the result. It is said the webpage loading time should be 2.5 seconds. Less than that is okay, but it shouldn’t exceed the limit.
First Input Delay (FID):
This one looks at the interactivity of the user on the page, i.e., time is taken actually to interact with the website. For example, going to the sub-pages from the Menu section, clicking the link on the site’s navigation, or loading accordion text in the mobile version.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS):
Also known as visual stability. Here, google considers the movement of content once the website is fully loaded. The higher the CLS rate, the higher is the risk of it being of low quality. You can lower the CLS rate by setting size attributes, reserving space for ads, etc.
Takeaway: The up-to-date Core Web Vitals will help you to maintain the upward growth with SEO in 2021.
2: Quality Content Creation
Content is King – there’s a meaning behind this quote. Content acts as one of the main pillars of the website’s performance. There were times when some people believed quantity is all you need. However, the scenario changed with the new Google updates.
Google’s AI algorithm is improving with every update, and it is bending more towards user satisfaction. To be precise, now google will consider whether the reader or visitor is happy with the website or not. It must have engaging and quality content.
Here are a few points that you need to consider while writing content in 2021, apart from basic SEO Content Writing.
Create Content Surrounding Search Intent
Tell us, what is search intent? It is the reason behind the search query. Why was the term searched? What is a user looking for? Why did he/she search for this?
For example, you searched for: ‘SEO in 2021.’ Your motive is to learn and get information about the trends that are going to rule the SEO world in 2021.
Similarly, there’s a reason and motive behind every search. Understand it first and then create content. You will surely get good results. If the content needs to be informative, don’t make it product-based. Remember, users, visit your website to find information. Educating them must be your primary goal.
The importance of search intent was described in the 2019’s Google BERT Update. Take out the list of related keywords, and it will help you in creating valuable, engaging, detailed, and informative content.
It leads to the next tip we are discussing:
Content with 500 or 800 words is not going to work. If you want to secure a place in SERP’s (search engine result page) top 10 positions, write long-form content. It won’t only get you featured in the top 10, but maybe in a featured snippet as well.
The blogs with 2000+ words have experienced more social media shares and backlinks. Also, it offers value, and you don’t have to write just a set of English words. Implement E-A-T to get better results (More on that later).
How do you create long-form content?
Well, the simple answer would be through structuring and in-depth research. Once you have recognized the search intent and related keywords to the main topic, do extensive research.
Create an outline of Main Content (MC) with H2s, H3s, and add bulleted points wherever necessary. Give brief detailing on each sub-topics with stats, add relevant external links to increase the value of the blog post.
Another best writing form you can adopt is,
Google announced its “passage-based indexing” in October, where it shows the result in featured snippets, taking the sections buried deep in the content. How?
Let’s take an example before when you used to search a term, the SERP would show you a snippet according to the relevance. In short, you had to click on the link to get the entire information.
However, with passage-based indexing, you will now get the exact answer on the search engine result page itself, like this:
Now, Google’s algorithm will sum up the relevance of content and will give out the EXACT answer a person is searching for! This will allow a blog post to rank for various keywords.
So when you create content next time, make sure to structure and create passages relevant to the main topic.
Basic SEO-Based Content Writing Tips:
- Create a title with 60 characters and keep the keyword in the starting.
- Use semantic keywords throughout the content.
- Write a meta description of not more than 155 characters.
- Form proper structure.
- Use keyword-rich phrases, or you can consider adding related keywords.
- Do proper social media promotions. (more on that later!)
- Add images and videos (Going to be one of the most important SEO Trend in 2021)
Takeaway: Content is king? Nope, Quality Content is King according to the upcoming trends of SEO in 2021
3: Optimization on Social Media Platforms
Whether your audience is avid readers, bloggers, journalists, or industry experts, all love statistics and figures that back your suggestions. Once the content hits them with accurate information, they are bound to share it on social media platforms.
Okay, it is not always necessary that an audience come to you via Google search. You can also reach them through social media. Promote the blog post across all your social media channels, be it YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
The amount of referral traffic you will get is amazing. Also, social shares are one of Google’s ranking factors. This is only possible when you have grown not only the business but also the brand.
This brings us to our next tip,
Takeaway: Polish up your Social Media game to gain the benefit of ranking at the higher position on SERP this year.
4: Focus on Creating Brand Searches
A brand is going to be everything in the year 2021. Don’t just sell products. Create a brand name, and the value will hike up drastically. People are nowadays focusing on a brand name, no matter how much you earn, if no one knows you, it is equal to zero.
Let’s take a practical example,
An XYZ company sells high-quality shoes, better than existing ones in the market, but no one knows it (except those you already wear). You are at an exhibition, you have two options to choose from, Nike and XYZ, which one will you choose?
Obviously, Nike. Why? You know it is a brand and you see people talking about it. This is the difference and benefits you get with brand recognition.
Takeaway: Brand is everything in this millennial era. Focus on creating brand recognition and searches to leverage the benefits of SEO in 2021
5: Consider AMP
As a digital marketer, you already know about AMP’s importance (accelerated mobile pages) for the website. Google rolled the update with the mobile-first ranking in the year 2019. In short, if your website is mobile-friendly, as in the loading point of view or the UI/UX, most of the work is done.
So check the AMP of the website and take it seriously. You don’t want to lack behind because of that. According to CNBC, around 72.6% of people worldwide will use the internet from their phones by 2025.
It signifies that having a mobile-friendly website will make you access the benefits of the online world more than ever. On top of that decision, Google rolled out news about mobile-first indexing for all websites from March 2021. So make sure your website is optimized for the mobile version as well.
Here are few guidelines to keep in mind for mobile-first indexing transitioning:
- Ensure the website content is visible to Google crawlers and bots.
- Fill out all the relevant Meta Tags for both mobile and desktop.
- The website loads quickly on mobile too.
- Make sure there aren’t any mobile-specific URLs blocked in your robots.txt file.
- Check the alt tags of images and embedded videos.
Takeaway: All SEO is Mobile SEO.
6. Improvise the CTRs
CTR – Click-through rate. Organic CTRs are very low for many years and there’s a valid reason for that. Google has been improving its search page results extensively, and now it has featured snippets, carousels, ads, the ‘People Also Ask’ section, and many more.
With these, users can get all the information on the SERP only. So you will have to have a title that hypnotizes (not in a literal way) the seeker to click on the link. With this, you can improve the CTRs.
According to many SEO experts, they have seen a few trends or tactics for titles or headlines that can get you clicks. Here’s a summary of them:
- Put emotions in the title. The titles with emotions got higher clicks than with the neutral tone.
- Add numbers at the starting of the title. (Odd numbers, Preferably.)
- Use Adjectives like fun, incredible, effortlessly, etc.
- Try to add a negative approach, as it triggers the insecurities (Psychology). Example: 9 Things to Avoid while doing On-page SEO.
- Use brackets to catch the attention and try to increase Curiosity with it. Example: 7 Must-Follow SEO tips Tactics in 2021 (6th one is a must).
TIP: Neil Patel has formed the formula to create the clickable titles: Number or Trigger Word + Adjective + Keyword + Promise.
Takeaway: Improve your CTR using catchy titles as it is also one of the ranking factors in 2021.
7. Optimize for Featured Snippets
As you read how CTRs are getting low, you can improve them with catchy titles and apart from that, you can leverage the benefits of featured snippets as well. Well, not every keyword search results in featured snippets, but around 7% of them do.
It is the #0 position that steals the entire show. If you are writing content that has featured snippets on the SERP, write your content accordingly. The very first step is to recognize the type of snippet, whether it is how-to, list, or passage form.
It will also recognize your search intent. The next step is to curate content in that structure. It will make Google crawlers understand the content easily and help you secure the place there.
Tip: Create content around the questions like why what, how, etc.
Add Snippet Bait for Paragraph Snippet
The featured snippet consists of 30 to 40 words only, so try to make a paragraph with this limit and include the necessary information for the question. This process is called Snippet Bait.
Use H2 and H3 Tags for List Snippet
Okay, other than the paragraph snippet, there’s a list one as well. For this, you will have to use H2 and H3 subheaders while structuring the content. If everything is perfect and content is on point, Google will automatically pull the subheaders for the listed featured snippet.
Form Easy to Understand Table for Table Snippet
If you are planning to get the table form in the featured snippet. Insert the simple and easy to understand information in the table format.
Optimize for Video Snippet
Last but not least is the video snippet. You will see the video snippets highest on the How-to type of content. Section the video properly and add specific keywords for each.
FYI: Leverage the benefits of Schema.org along with the structured data to increase the chances of ranking in Zero position. Consider the blog by SemRush on How to rank in Featured Snippet.
Takeaway: Around 19% of searches have Featured Snippets on the page. It reduces the chances of a seeker clicking on other links, making content that is a perfect fit for the snippet is a must.
8: Optimize Content for Visual Searches
If you look at the trend of people bending towards the visual search is rising steadily. It isn’t much of an impact for now, but it will be. So optimizing content for visual search is a must, do the hard work now to enjoy the results when everyone is struggling.
Platforms and Apps like Google lens and Pinterest have a visual search in billions until now, Google lens and Pinterest have seen one billion and 600 million visual searches, respectively.
Around 36% of people have used visual search on available platforms till now. Half of them consider visual information is more important than textual.
Have a look at how Google lens work:
People are using google lens to search for translation, shopping, information, and many more. In the beginning itself, it has huge users. Just imagine what would happen after 5 years? We guess everyone will use a camera more than the keyboard.
So How to optimize content for the visual search?
Here’s a little guide for that:
1: Make your web pages and content mobile-friendly.
2: Use traditional image SEO to gain ranking in the image (i.e., filenames and alt text).
3: Work on Page Authority and Domain Authority. (On average Visual search take PA-35 and DA-64 of websites.
4: Create long-form content, more than 1600 words.
Takeaway: Visual Search is growing the SEO trend in 2021 and will continue to grow in the coming years, so start working now!
9. Start Posting Video Contents
We all know YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine as of now. So having a youtube channel and creating videos has its own long term benefits.
Video content has seen a surge in demand. Everyone prefers video content over textual. Here are a few stats on video content: (Source)
- 85% of businesses use video for marketing and branding tools.
- According to a study, 84% of people say they were convinced to buy a product or service with the video.
- According to Hubspot, this year, 54% of consumers will want to see more videos.
- 66% of buyers like to see videos instead of reading a product description.
- 75% of consumers didn’t buy the product because the video voice-over sounded annoying.
- 83% of consumers loved video in an informal tone with a chatty voice.
- Most of the people, around 68%, watch the video with a length of 1-minute.
- The retention rate of watchers depends on the length of the video and the average retention rate is 52% only.
Takeaway: Video is an important marketing tool, but how you make them also matters. Don’t create too lengthy videos or else you will get a very low retention rate. Use a Friendly tone.
10. Follow E-A-T
What is E-A-T? Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
We all know Google has given a bigger hand to the qualitative content, so it is natural they will have high expectations for the same. Google considers these three factors while analyzing the content. How much expertise, authority, and trust it can create and provide.
This works best for the niche that really need expert advice like finance and health. How can you form content reflecting all of the mentioned factors?
- First, understand the buyer personas or the audience.
- The second step is to identify the search intent.
- Then the last step is to create content according to the audience’s preference.
A student will prefer video content to educate himself, while an older person might like reading the blog. If your targeted audience is professional, use a formal tone. If it is a student or teen, consider conversational tone, and so on.
Try to get backlinks from reputable websites with ‘.edu’ or ‘.gov’ URLs, it will fulfill the EAT criteria.
Takeaway: EAT is going to act as one of the important ranking factors for SEO in 2021. Make sure you optimize accordingly.
11. Improvise Link Building Strategy
Backlinks have always been an essential part of SEO, and one just cannot avoid them. No matter how much SEO trends grow in 2021 or years later, backlinking will be there now and forever. Just like always, you need to get quality links from high authority websites.
Which are the link building strategies for 2021?
- Reclaim your link within the content.
- Start doing HARO, and you will receive high-quality links without spending much or at all.
- Submit Guest Post activities. (Search ‘niche + write for us’ for attaining websites.)
- Adapt the skyscraper technique.
- Social Media promotions.
- Participate in Expert Roundups. (Here, you can get quality links, brand recognition, and a good amount of exposure.)
- Do the competition analysis for a clearer picture.
- Don’t say no to ‘nofollow’ links.
Takeaway: Whether it is 2021 or 2025, Linking building will always affect the website’s authority (in a good way). So, improve it for the better.
12. Voice Search Optimization
If you look at the early 2000s, there wasn’t a thing called voice search, and now it is something that is constantly growing worldwide. People from different regions and corners of the world use voice search to get a quick response, that too in regional languages as well. All thanks to the BERT update and voice search feature.
How many voice assistants are there in the world?
With the introduction of Alexa and Google Assistant, there are also many unknown voice assistants in the world. Around 4.2 billion digital voice assistants were used in 2020 around the world, which is set to increase up to 8.4 billion by 2024.
Can voice search generate revenue?
Even though voice search is new in the competition, it has already funded $2 billion in revenue to the businesses in the year 2020. It can increase to 40 billion by 2022.
Believe it or not, search engine optimization (SEO) in 2021 will be needed for every respective field, including voice search. This year will see the surge in voice surges, as most of the lookers are using mobile phones to get the information.
If you want to leverage the benefits of voice search, get your content positioned on the 1st or in the featured snippet, then only it will work. Try to input long-tail keywords and rank for them. Why?
While using voice search you might ask, “What are the top trends to follow for SEO in 2021?” but for typing, it will be “SEO trends in 2021.”
Got the difference? So create content keeping long-tail keywords in mind as well.
Takeaway: Voice search is going to be one of the SEO trends in 2021. With the increase in usage of smart speakers, it was bound to happen.
13. Pay More Attention to Local SEO
GMB – Google My Business listing, every digital marketer is familiar with this term. There was a time when Google used to suggest local businesses as the top priority. It went down for some time, but it’s back on track.
Why is local SEO important?
Local SEO allows you to mention the address, phone number, and all the possible ways to connect to your business. It directly increases the authoritativeness and trustworthiness of your business and website.
You started a new restaurant in Boston, created a website and social media page. However, how will people know your existence? Through paper advertisements or pamphlets. Now tell me honestly, how many of us read newspapers on a daily basis? Honestly 20-25%.
Another option is Google My Business (GMB) listing. There you can add photos of the restaurant and menu. Link your website and social media platforms, also don’t forget to activate the messaging.
Now wherever someone will search “New restaurants in Boston,” you will be there on the SERP. It won’t only drive local residents to your restaurant but also website and social media platforms.
Apart from GMB, you can also do local SEO, through guest posting. Try to get the backlinks form the country domain websites, like .ca, .uk, .in, .tv, .fj, etc.
Takeaway: Drive local residents to your website using Local SEO as people believe in buying products or services from the local businesses.
Rank #1 With SEO in 2021 Trends:
So here the SEO tactics for the year 2021 comes to end. Always remember, there’s no limit to SEO practices. You never know after a few months there’s something new to update.
To summarize the entire content on SEO in 2021 in brief: “This year SEO will see the unexpected change in Digital Marketing, websites must go for brand recognition to gain the benefits of EAT. Voice and Visual Search is something to focus on.”
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