It is exciting to get the chance to peek into a new decade. And threatening. Particularly for a marketing discipline that seems to change as quickly as SEO and has its modifications as strongly discussed. The SEO environment has shifted in several profound ways over the past decade, mostly in lockstep with the adoption of emerging technologies, such as voice assistants, artificial intelligence (AI), and the rise and evolution of mobile experiences. A key position has been played by Google and other search engines.
In the decade ahead, this speed of change only promises to quicken, which makes marketers’ lives especially difficult. We have the luxury of collaborating on SEO campaigns with consumers on a regular basis as digital marketers ourselves, and we have a vested interest in knowing and predicting what’s next for SEO in 2021 (and beyond).
Let’s discuss some top SEO trends for 2021:
1. User Experience (UX) Will Take Centre Stage
When we’re talking about user experience (UX), what do we talk about? Ok, first of all, the customer. Humans. Now, we know that it is important to enhance the experience for individuals once they enter our website, which is UX 101. However, as it turns out, strong UX will have a more influential influence in the future on search engine rankings.
Google Search will now include a sizable handful of UX signals in its rankings, including Google’s latest Core Web Vitals, according to a May 2020 Google Webmaster Central Blog post. Here is more information from the Google team:
Core Web Vitals is a compilation of user-centered real-world indicators that measure key aspects of the user experience. They calculate web usability dimensions such as load time, interactivity, and content stability as it loads.
Google is signaling its own greater focus on “delightful” web experiences for users with these improvements to its search algorithm, on items that load easily, are easy to use and locate, and are available across all devices and platforms. Sites that can offer this user experience caliber will be rewarded with greater visibility in search.
What marketers should focus on when it comes to UX
These are, coincidentally, precisely the areas we suggest concentrating on when you consider the UX of your own platform. It’s just an opportunity to walk a mile in the shoes of visitors to your website, to be praised for prioritizing positive user experiences in the SEO department.
Fortunately for you, there is a dedicated Core Site Vitals report now that you can pull from Google Search Console to get an indication of where your own pages stand from a UX viewpoint, as well as recommendations on how to make changes, against all Google’s UX ranking signals.
We suggest giving your website a whirl on the desktop, iPhone, and Android, with that information in hand, and any other devices or channels that your users are likely to access your site from.
Are there any pages that load slowly on your site? Do you have pop-ups running that are potentially irritating and disruptive for end-users, but critical to demand generation? Finally, are there interactions with mobile devices that don’t translate well?
Prioritize content and content experiences, as with anything, that both generate the most value for consumers and most directly influence your business metrics. Maybe your product pages rank very high and are considered “cornerstone;” now might be the time to inspect them from a UX point of view to ensure that you have the best possible experience.
2. Semantic Search Will Be Even More Prominent
For most of these SEO developments in 2021, individuals, and how people look for stuff on the internet, will be a central theme. The quest for semantics is no different. Let’s start with semantics in order to understand the semantic search.
Semantics is basically the analysis of words, and their associations, in particular contexts what those relationships mean.
Google’s fine, right? After all, searching through oceans of data to have the best results based on the search query of a user is sort of the main job of a search engine, right? Semantic search is how search engines use all the data at hand to evaluate the context, purpose, and meaning they need to serve the most appropriate and full content possible in the context of search engines.
3. Search Intent Will Matter More Than Keywords
Although it is definitely part of semantic search, we agree that a dedicated section deserves search purpose. Google launched the BERT update in 2010. Although we encourage you to read the technological nitty-gritty overview of Google (natural language processing models, neural networks, etc.), it is enough to say that the Google search engine has become much more “conversational” after BERT.
In other words, the Google algorithm can now interpret purpose, such as buying something or finding a place nearby, even from longer queries using natural. Google is the latest favourite chatbot for all.
It’s an evolution of the search engine experience to satisfy the increasing prevalence of voice assistants and voice search, first and foremost. People are now talking about Siri or Alexa naturally, asking questions and managing such conversational AI tools as search engines, a kind of “touch-free” search experience. More generally, the emphasis on search intent is a signal to the market that individuals want to search as they speak, and Google is evolving to meet this need.
4. Google My Business Will Be Essential for Local SEO
Location-based search is based on a simple premise: when a person in San Diego searches for street tacos on Google Maps, they presumably want to see results limited to their geographical area around them. Street tacos in Philly are all fine and nice, but While the search experience might seem simple from the perspective of a user, on the search engine side of things, there is a whole lot of content, data, and the optimization that goes into it.
If local search is part of your digital marketing mix at all (assuming you have physical locations for your company, it should certainly be), you’ll want to ensure that your listing for Google My Business is complete, rich in information, and constantly updated. Why?
First and foremost, the optimization of Google My Company plays heavily into local search experiences. Strong ranking signals for Google are participation and activity on a GMB listing, so the more full and structured your listing is the more likely your company is to appear in local searches.
5. Content Quality Will Still Be King
In 2021, several things will undoubtedly go by the wayside, but “content is king” is not one of them. Marketers enjoy tossing around this word, but what does it really mean? First and foremost, it is a reminder that “EAT” still matters, particularly for companies that fall under the category of your wealth, your life (YMYL) knowledge, authority, and trustworthiness.
In fact, some SEO winners claim that Google’s May 2020 Core Update was more of an EAT update, that Google is telling the world that it cares much more about content quality than the authority of a given domain.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, this has come in handy. Search patterns show that coronavirus has been an immense subject of concern since the outbreak and subsequent lockdown measures. And for something as important and potentially urgent as coronavirus, when individuals need reliable responses, alerts, and facts, you don’t want to be the organization struggling to satisfy this demand.
What marketers should do about quality content?
This is the kind of approach to your own website that you should take. In particular, it’s time to consider the data that individuals are searching for and need first. Now is the time to put in place a comprehensive content marketing plan for 2021, as the focus on quality content continues to rise. Some good places to start are here:
Create up buyer personas.
We can’t sufficiently stress this. As a brand, you need to understand their expectations and needs, objections, and pain points of your target buyer personas, so that you can adjust your content to each one accordingly.
Conduct research for search purposes.
Before, we have discussed search intent, but when it comes to content planning, it needs to be a core consideration. Take a look at the search terms that bring your website visitors or terms that you want to bring your website traffic. What really are those people after? A perfect way to generate content that aligns with what individuals are currently looking for is to address this question.
Create content in your users’ formats that they really like.
Video maybe all of the rage, all of which is nice and good. But a certain kind of videos, such as a short vlog, webinar, or tutorial, may be desired by your target searchers. Or maybe they are searching for case studies and white papers.
Hire content and copywriters who are solid.
The density of quantity and keyword just won’t cut it anymore. For that matter, the Google Search algorithm and the individuals using it wants more than a content mill or cut-rate content writer would possibly deliver. Hire professional writers who can take deep subjects (2500+ words), adjust to the style and sound of your brand, and understand your persona and marketing funnel. Hire writers specialized in writing for your vertical or business room, if possible.
Also read, the types of digital marketing and which one is best for you.