The world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is constantly changing. What may be relevant today may become insignificant tomorrow. A trend that may be popular in the previous year may not be on anyone’s radar in the following year.
Like e-commerce and online marketing, SEO goes along with the times, and it changes according to the latest trends. That’s why it’s important to constantly keep up with the times and update yourself on the relevant SEO trends.
You may already have some knowledge of SEO best practices for 2020. But as the world moves on from the history-making events of the past year, trends are bound to change inevitably. With a new decade on the horizon, it’s important to know which things are becoming popular this year and beyond. Here are the 7 key SEO trends that you should follow in 2021.
1. Focus On User Experience
One of the main trends that have been emerging for quite some time is the focus on user experience. Traditional SEO used to focus on hitting the right keywords — the more, the better. But with search engines constantly optimizing and changing their algorithm, SEO was bound to change. In 2021, expect user experience (UX) and user satisfaction to be the primary factors of any business’s online efforts.
However, it’s wrong to equate user experience with good, quality content. UX isn’t just the content that people will find on your site. Search engines will also consider other factors when it comes to determining the user experience for your site.
For example, your website’s loading speed can be a major factor for UX. After all, no one wants to scroll a slow and laggy site. Your page design and layout may also affect your user experience. Do people immediately get what they’re looking for when they visit your site or do they leave feeling more confused?
When determining your website’s UX, you have to consider the totality of it all. It’s not just about producing relevant and helpful content. SEO is on the next level already.
2. Give Relevant Content
Content is the backbone of your website and SEO efforts. Just because there’s an enhanced focus on user experience doesn’t mean that you should neglect to provide relevant and engaging content. On the contrary, enhanced focus on UX means that you should continue and strive to provide good quality content on your site. Search engines are constantly looking for helpful, informative, and entertaining content.
When creating quality content, remember that it shouldn’t be just about keywords. Sure, you may be hitting all the right keywords in your article. But if they don’t read well with your audience, you won’t be seeing your efforts pay off. To create good content, there should be a balance among relevant keywords, high-quality media, and well-written articles.
3. E-A-T & Long-Form Content
If you’re already committed to SEO, you’re probably aware of what the acronym E-A-T stands for. But if you’re new to this, E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trust. These three factors are Google’s official recommendations for delivering an excellent experience online. If you want to rank higher on the world’s leading search engine, it is highly suggested that you follow the E-A-T guidelines.
You may use these guidelines to check the quality of your content. Firstly, does it read as if an expert wrote it? If you can get proficient writers to produce content for your site, you’ll surely have quality output. However, if you decide to do the writing yourself, you should do extensive research and read useful content writing tips especially if you are not an expert on the topic.
Try to write long-form content. Studies have shown that content with around 3000+ words acquires more backlinks, traffic, and a higher share rate. So, don’t worry that the content that you’re putting out there is too long — you might actually be doing the right thing, after all.
As for authority, you will need strong external links. Make sure that your links come from authoritative sites like Forbes and Google Scholar. If you can participate in guest posts or get backlinks from big news sites, your website will become more credible — hence, gaining the trust of internet users. You may also include your rewards, recommendations, and client testimonials on your site to improve your SEO E-A-T score.
4. Semantic Search
If you’re unfamiliar with E-A-T, semantic search may also be an SEO stranger for you. This optimization factor may be a bit difficult to grasp, but it’s exciting to learn.
Have you ever tried searching for a song that you don’t remember the lyrics to? But then you remember the particular decade when it was released or the singer. Hence, you input a few keywords like “song 90s hum hum” and your trusty search engine draws up a list of suggested songs. Then, voila! You somehow manage to find the exact song you’re looking for!
So, how did Google and other search engines know exactly what you were looking for? The answer is semantic search. It searches for words and the connections they have with each other and thereafter, draws up results based on that. Semantic search also considers related keywords, so it’s best to put them on your page content aside from your main keywords.
5. Intent Over Keywords
This trend is related to our previous discussion about quality content and semantic search. Re-examine the way you write your content. Do you write primarily to accommodate the keywords you want to rank high for, or does it come naturally?
With the advent of search engine developments, intent now matters way more than just getting the keywords to rank. When you write your content, you should have your intended audience in mind, and then include the keywords you’re looking for.
Mobile-friendly sites have been one of the top trends for SEO even in the past years, and this trend will not die down anytime soon. With more and more queries being done on mobile phones, search engines are scrambling to provide quality content that looks good and accessible on both mobile and desktop. So if your mobile site is a mess, it’s time to learn more about technical SEO and how you can optimize your site to be mobile-friendly.
7. Local SEO
Many SEO practitioners make the mistake of creating their content for a greater, global audience. What they don’t know is recent SEO trends show that there’s an increased emphasis on local SEO. Think about how many searches for local restaurants or businesses are done each day on search engines.
To take advantage of this trend, make sure that you select a locality. Once you’ve selected one, focus your SEO efforts on ranking high for that certain area. For example, if you have a local photography company in Brooklyn, set your goals on ranking high for business searches within that specific area.
Summary & Takeaways
The world of SEO may be unpredictable, but we can also foresee certain trends appearing from time to time. With this handy guide, you’ll have brilliant ideas on which SEO trends your business should follow in 2021. This may not ensure success all the time, but at least your efforts won’t be wasted — you will only be one step closer to success. Become an SEO champion now!