What to expect from SEO in 2021?
2020 was a year of unexpected events that massively affected SEO. Are you ready for 2021?
From the humble beginnings of the Internet and online advertising, we’ve reached an era where the Internet is an essential communication tool and online advertising is valued at more than 400 billion pounds a year, more prominent than even the TV ad industry. The global pandemic only accelerated this trend and pushed more companies online.
So, what can we expect out of SEO in 2021? Which trends should we be looking forward to? Which changes will impact the industry? In this article, we’ll discuss the main trends we expect to have an impact and change the direction of SEO in the coming year.
Okay, but what is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. But to tell you what it is, we first have to tell you what it’s not
SEO is not a luxury – Having your business on the internet in 2021 is no longer optional if you want to attract customers. So that means having SEO for your website isn’t optional either.
Top-ranking SEO performance requires attention to many metrics, including traffic, backlinks, and social shares – to name just a few. Our following guide will give you an insight into some of the most relevant and timely search engine optimisation trends to anticipate for 2021, allowing you to prepare your SEO strategy accordingly.
1. Artificial Intelligence: Personalizing User Experiences
Artificial Intelligence (A.I) has made inroads to online search and hence the SEO arena too. Google uses A. I to improve search results, classify, and rank pages in search engine results. At the same time, A. I incorporate all the new trends and technologies to derive the best search results. As such, integrate artificial intelligence into your SEO strategy. We have mentioned A.I before in forecasting trends for New Year but you can only imagine that with the constant technology innovation A. I is here to stay.
Greg Corrado, a 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.
So, the big question is, how do you optimize your SEO for RankBrain? While the search engine giant won’t share details, experts believe that user experience signals are the primary determinant. These could include factors from click-through rate to time spent on-page. You need to captivate and engage your audience with interesting, well-organized content.
2. Feature snippets and microdata
Google is trying to introduce more and more types of featured snippets to its home page. These range from recipes to news and tutorials. These snippets aim to make searching faster for users and keep traffic on Google’s website. It is nevertheless beneficial for websites to implement it because you have a chance to be featured, which would drive a lot of traffic to your website. 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.
What is a featured snippet?
Featured Snippets are short snippets of text that appear at the top of Google’s search results in order to quickly answer a searcher’s query. The content that appears inside of a Featured Snippet is automatically pulled from web pages in Google’s index. Common types of Featured Snippets include definitions, tables, steps and lists.
To create snippets, focus on question-based queries and relevant keywords. You can use the Google search function “people also ask” for inspiration.
3. Image Optimization will play a larger role in 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 optimisation of images, so it makes sense that this is part of their long -term plan.
If the images on your website aren’t optimised, take care of it now. Use high – quality, relevant images, and make sure to customise the file name, labelling the photo file so that it’s relevant. Use alt tags, which crawlers use to classify the image. Finally, add images to your site map, where they are even easier to crawl.
4. In 2021, EAT factors may play a bigger role
Expertise, authority and trustworthiness ( EAT ) factors are a controversial topic in the SEO community. Some say EAT is a ranking signal, others claim there is no way Google can even Measure EAT with its algorithm.
With this in mind, Google probably can’t answer many of the EAT questions directly. It can’
To be fair, Google probably can’t answer many of the EAT questions directly. It can’t check whether the information is scientifically accurate or whether the author is actually an expert. But, Google can still check for indirect EAT signals. For example, if the page mentions all the right entities associated with the topic, then it’s probably accurate. If the name of the author is well established on the web, is associated with other thematically similar platforms and profiles, then the author is probably an expert.
5. An Effective SEO Strategy in 2021 will need to include video
- In 2020 63% of mobile traffic is video, and this is set to grow to 76% by 2025.
(Source: Smart Insights)
As we project our way to 2021, it’s no secret that video marketing is a standout way to reach your audience. As a business, you have the potential to explore a number of different creative avenues to test the waters of what works and what doesn’t for your target audience. It’s about engaging with your audience and entertaining them in a memorable way, to create a lasting impression of your business. You have the opportunity to combine storytelling with marketing, taking your viewers on a journey that both draws them in and entices them to stay.
How can you optimise that video content, though? Make sure to optimise your video channel name and description. The description shouldn’t 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 optimising 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.
6. Local SEO will grow increasingly complex
- Did you know that after searching for a nearby product or service online, 76% of consumers visit the business within that day? And that 28% of all local searches result in a purchase?
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 neighbourhood 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.
Also, when it comes to optimising for local SEO, Google is happy to supply the tools.
Google My Business (GMB) keeps adding new features to its listings. Businesses can now publish posts, answer questions, add products and services, offer reservations, and set up messaging — all from their listings. In fact, the listings are now so advanced that the searchers barely need to visit the actual websites.
And with the onset of COVID-19, Google was quick to equip GMB listings with even more options. You could mark your business temporarily closed, add alternative business hours, collect donations, sell gift cards, and activate special attributes to highlight safety options.
As your Liverpool digital marketing experts, we offer everything from organic SEO Campaigns to building & managing Google ad campaigns. We can also offer social media campaigns that focus on channels such as Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram. Our experts know exactly what your business needs to succeed in the Liverpool SEO battle and to bring your website to the first page on Google.
7.Over-optimise your website for mobile
There’s a lot to keep in mind when looking for the best way to optimise your website in 2021.
It looks like SEO is settling into more of an assisting role. In the past, SEO was the main driving force and you could use it to rank higher on a search results page regardless of whether it was actually good or not. Today, you definitely have to have great content first, and then use SEO to make sure that Google takes notice.
With Google’s announcement to move to mobile-first indexing from March 2021, it is crucial for all businesses to optimise and render their content accordingly to achieve best results.
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