Search engine optimization (SEO) is the best way to attract customers to your online platforms or websites — if you use it right. SEO is constantly evolving and giving you profit day by day, and staying on top of the latest updates can be a challenge. However, it’s worth the effort: Some 70% to 80% of users focus exclusively on organic results and ignore paid listings. What’s more, some 28% of those searches convert, resulting in a purchase.
The Top-level of SEO execution expects regard for some measurements, including traffic, backlinks, and social offers — to give some examples. Our guide gives you bits of knowledge into the absolute generally significant and convenient website streamlining patterns to foresee for 2021, permitting you to set up your SEO system as needs are. Here are the 12 SEO patterns to look for in 2021:
- Increasing Role of Artificial Intelligence in SEO
- Search Queries getting impacted by Voice Search
- Mobile-Friendliness affecting the Search Rankings
- High Ranking Content satisfying the Google EAT Principle
- Improved SERPs with Long-Form Content
- The dominance of Featured Snippets
- Improvised Predictive Searches
- Including Videos for More Effective SEO
- Image Optimization improving Search
- Semantically Related Keywords getting Priority
- Local Search Listings boosting SEO Strategies
- Top Rankings with Data and Analytics
1.Increasing Role of Artificial Intelligence in SEO
Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing how people interact with online content. Google’s AI algorithm is especially worth noting. Unveiled a few years back, the algorithm — called RankBrain — plays an important role in Google’s ranking factors for search engine results pages (SERPs) results.
senior Google scientist who helped develop RankBrain, has previously highlighted the tool’s unique ability to learn: “The other signals, they’re all based on discoveries and insights that people in information retrieval have had, but there’s no learning.” This presumably means that RankBrain will only improve with time, making AI a top SEO trend to watch.
2.Search Queries getting impacted by Voice Search
Thanks to innovations like Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri, and Amazon’s Alexa, voice search technology has come a long way. As technology has gotten better, it’s also gotten more popular. In fact, the percentage of households predicted to own a smart speaker by 2022 is 55%.
To optimize for voice search, consider your keywords. Identify longer phrases that people use in everyday conversation. Voice searches tend to do better with longer, more natural-sounding phrasing. When people type, they tend to abbreviate. For example, a person might voice search, “What are the new SEO trends for 2021?” but type the words, “new SEO trends 2021.”
3.Mobile-Friendliness affecting the Search Rankings
In 2019, Google rolled out mobile-first indexing, meaning the search engine looks primarily at the mobile version of a website, considering this the “primary” version instead of the desktop version. This change makes sense, given that nearly 73% of internet users will access the internet solely via mobile devices by 2025. Check how effective your mobile site is with Google’s free mobile-friendly test. Next, take a peek at the “mobile usability” report in Google Search Console.
To make sure your page is user-friendly, you have to ensure that Google can crawl your URLs, so make sure you don’t have a “disallow directive” in place. Also, beware that Googlebot won’t load content requiring user interactions, like clicking or swiping. You have to make sure Google can see this so-called lazy-loaded content. Finally, ensure you use the same meta robots tags on the desktop and mobile sites.
4.High Ranking Content satisfying the Google EAT Principle
Google has reiterated that content quality is critical for ranking success. But just what does “quality” mean to Google? Refer to the EAT principle: expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. These factors help determine if a webpage has useful quality content. This principle is especially relevant in business niches that fall under the “your money, your life” (YMYL) label, such as health care and finance.
There are a few ways you can ensure quality content. First, create buyer personas, which let you understand what kind of content your clients value. Second, conduct search intent research, which helps you map out the consumer journey. Third, use this information to create content that fits the format that your users prefer. For example, if you’re catering to teens, video is probably preferable. If you’re catering to an older audience, video may be less appealing.
Finally, keep EAT in mind as you craft your content. Back up claims with statistics and facts. Link to reputable sites, such as “.edu” and “.gov” URLs. Having authoritative sites link back to you is another way to prove that you fulfill the EAT criteria.
5.Improved SERPs with Long-Form Content
According to our State of Content Marketing Report, long reads of 3,000-plus words get three times more traffic and four times more shares. They also achieve 3.5 times more backlinks than articles of the average length of 901 to 1,200 words. Start focusing on long-form content to achieve higher search rankings. That said, your content must maintain quality. The aim is to provide users with shareable information that keeps them engaged.
How do you achieve this? First, break up your content into sections with H2 and H3 subheadings to make it more scannable. Subheadings are especially important for mobile sites. Second, ensure that you link to relevant, authoritative sources with a solid authority score. Finally, ensure your content is easy to share. Include obvious sharing links at the headline and again at the conclusion so that readers can share with a quick click.
Our SEO Content Template Tool can help optimize your content for search. Enter the query you want to rank for, and you’ll get recommendations on content length, semantically related keywords to include, and a closer look at the top-ranking pages.
6.The dominance of Featured Snippets
Don’t panic. You won’t have to generate long-term content exclusively if you want to climb the Google rankings. Featured snippets, which were rolled out in 2017, are a sort of shortcut to gaining prominence in Google — and they’re very brief. Sometimes, when you type something into Google, you may notice a box at the top of the SERPs, above the actual results. That’s a snippet.
Scoring a featured snippet is a great way to get on that coveted first page of results. What’s more, snippets steal significant traffic from competitors.
Featured snippets show a chunk of information, often structured as a Q&A or brief bullet-point, how-to guide. There are also rich snippets, including images, star-based reviews, product prices, and similar bits of information. To create snippets, focus on question-based queries and relevant keywords. You can use the Google search function “people also ask” for inspiration.
7.Improvised Predictive Searches
Google Discover was launched in 2017, unleashing a new kind of search — one that doesn’t even require a user query. Discover is another one of Google’s AI-driven tools. The content recommendation tool identifies user behavioral patterns over time and gradually learns these habits. With this information, Discover can identify the most accurate content most likely to interest the user.
Google Discover already claims more than 800 million active users. To appear, you don’t have to do anything special. If Google indexes your page, it will be included. Content is ranked based on algorithms inspecting content quality, and user interest. Although Google has communicated no precise factors, it seems that location history, browsing history, app usage, calendars, search history, and home and work locations are all relevant.
8.Including Videos for More Effective SEO
Online video seems to be the way forward. YouTube has more than 1 billion users. If you aren’t creating video content, now is the time to get started. Not convinced? Here’s food for thought: According to Cisco, video is projected to surpass all other content forms in terms of consumption.
How can you optimize that video content, though? Make sure to optimize your video channel name and description. The description shouldn’t just be crammed with keywords but provide a user-friendly overview of what your channel is about.
Beyond this, keywords are crucial. For example, if you’re optimizing for YouTube, you can get inspired by the platform’s auto-complete feature. Start typing in your video’s topic and see what pops up in the search field, which is essentially a list of suggested keywords, telling you precisely what people on YouTube are searching for.
9.Image Optimization improving Search
Visual image search has evolved drastically. It used to be that people could just look at images. In the future, people will be able to use images to purchase products, obtain information, and more. Google has long insisted on the proper marking and optimization of images, so it makes sense that this is part of their long-term plan.
If the images on your website aren’t optimized, take care of it now. Use high-quality, relevant images, and make sure to customize the file name, labeling the photo file so that it’s relevant to the content on the corresponding page. Use alt tags, which crawlers use to classify images. Finally, add images to your site map, where they are even easier to crawl. You can check out other posts where we discuss image SEO for more tips, too.
10.Semantically Related Keywords getting Priority
SEO professionals used to focus on primary keywords as if they had blinders on. Now, we know secondary keywords are just as important. Semantic search and intent optimization will gain further prominence in the future. Google isn’t just looking at strings of words anymore. It’s analyzing query context and trying to discern a user’s search intent, meaning that the more relevant information provided — via logically related primary and secondary keywords — the better.
We offer a comprehensive keyword tool to identify semantically related keywords and keyword difficulty to prioritize which queries you want to target first.
11.Local Search Listings boosting SEO Strategies
When people think of the internet, they often think of its global nature. The fact is, most people use search engines to find localized goods and services. They might be hunting for a neighborhood restaurant, for example. Local SEO is important — and it’s evolving. This evolution is in part because of the rise of zero-click searches — which some SEO marketers are dubbing the new normal.
In a zero-click search, the user’s query is answered via the SERP itself. They thus don’t click on any of the ranking results. One reason for the rise in zero-click searches is the increase of featured snippets. Many zero-click searches are local searches that show the results on the SERP in what’s been dubbed a “local pack.”
How do you get your business into that local pack? Start by creating a Google My Business page. Having a strong backlink profile is also important. You can check what kinds of backlinks your competitors get for inspiration and target those yourself.
12.Top Rankings with Data and Analytics
Data science lets you understand buyers, visualize campaigns, and create targeted messages. Analytics can help you verify which URLs are getting crawled, identify referral sources, check page loading times, indexing, redirects, response errors, bounce rates, and more. You can also use data science to identify pages that you do not want crawlers indexing and pinpoint unusual traffic sources, such as potential spam sites (which will hurt your EAT credibility).
How do you capture all of this information? There are many SEO industry analysis tools out there. The SEMrush SEO Toolkit gives you the technology you need to tackle everything, from rank tracking to competitive research, on-page SEO, technical SEO, link building, and more. Staying on top of these details lets you see where you are succeeding and, just as importantly, failing. This method lets you address problems and continuously improve your web presence.