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Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most effective ways for attracting potential audiences to your website. But here’s the thing– you need to use it in the right way.
According to stats, there are an estimated 3.5 billion searches on Google each day and just 0.78% of Google searchers click on results from the second page and the #1 result in Google’s organic search result has an average CTR of 31.7%. What do these stats reflect?
To generate organic traffic, you need to rank on page 1 of SERP. And that’s where you need SEO.
However, SEO is constantly evolving, and to rank higher or even maintain your rankings, you need to keep modifying your SEO strategy in accordance with the trends. And in this article, we’ll be exploring what trends should you know about to create your SEO for 2021.
SEO Trends To Know About in 2021
Core Web Vitals
In May 2020, Google announced three new metrics to be used for measuring user experience– the concept of Core Web Vitals. All the three metrics are basically related to just one thing that is page speed: how fast does the page load, how soon it gets interactive, and how stable is it while loading.
Now that these have become Google’s official ranking factors, it has become an essential factor for marketers to appear on the first page. For example, if there are two pages with equally relevant content, then user experience metrics will help search engine bots to decide which one should be ranked higher.
Google’s BERT algorithm– Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers uses machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP) to better understand the searches and what users are actually looking for.
With Google’s BERT update, the Google search engine bots have become much more “conversational”. Now this means that Google’s algorithm can now interpret the intent of the searcher.
In simple words, Now Google can understand things like the human brain.
Google BERT is working in more than 70 languages and for almost every query in Google English.
Google BERT is negatively impacting websites that have content-intent issues. No matter how detailed long-form content you’re publishing on your website. But if your content is not satisfying user-intent then BERT will ignore that and prefer another content piece that satisfies the intent for the given query.
So, What is the solution of Google BERT?
Honestly, there is no specific solution for Google BERT. But you can make it your friend by publishing user-friendly & valuable content.
There is one thing that you should understand that Google BERT is not an algorithmic penalty. It’s a part of the Google search engine that helps google to show the most relevant & useful content to users by understanding search queries and content as humans.
Google BERT doesn’t de-rank or penalize sites. It only finds and shows the best results to users.
That’s why publishing valuable content that satisfies the user-intent can help you.
Search intent is the intention of the user means why the user is searching that keyword or What a user wants to do by searching that keyword? Does he want to solve his problem by finding a solution? Or does he want to buy something? Does he want to know about a product by reading a review article? Or anything else?
If your content is not providing what a user is looking for then your content is not BERT & user-friendly. You couldn’t rank for that keyword for the long-term. You should understand the intent of a keyword before creating content.
For example, if someone is searching “SEO” as a keyword on Google that means the user wants to know about SEO. But if a user is searching “SEO services” as a keyword that means the user is finding someone for SEO services. So the Keyword SEO is an informational keyword while SEO Services is a commercial keyword.
But some keywords could be multi-intent keywords like “SEO Expert” Maybe the person who is searching it is looking for an SEO expert to hire or want to be an SEO expert.
Always search a keyword on Google before starting working on that! Then you can understand the nature of that keyword.
Keyword Research Will Be More Important
More than 50% of searches are zero-click searches. It means more than half of the Google searches (appx. 175 billion searches per day) end without any click.
And the remaining 50% of searches are filed with SERP features like Google ads, Featured Snippets, Videos, Top Stories, and others. That also impacts the organic CTR on SERP listings.
Also, everyone is copying the competitors and targeting the same keywords that are increasing the competition day by day!
So if you want to overcome all these issues then you need to invest some time in keyword research to find keywords that can actually drive traffic and sales for your business.
Find long-tail and targeted keywords for your business. You need some creativity and skills to get those keywords. (But the secret is GSC is your gold-mine. you can easily find unique keywords for your business)
Understand the intent, analyze SERP for that keyword before choosing that. Don’t only rely on SEO tools.
Even a low volume keyword having 10-20 searches can generate thousands of dollars for you. I recently did an experiment on this and generated $$$$ for that keyword in a month.
That’s why do your keyword research with patience and find keywords that can easily rank for you and generate revenue for you.
Since content plays a crucial role in SEO and ranking, content uniqueness has always been important. Simply put, unique content means that content is original and has not already been published somewhere else.
Would you buy a shirt with the same color and design that you already have?
No, you’ll not!
The same thing happens here!
Everyone is re-writing the content that is already published on other sites. So if you are publishing the same content then why Google will rank you higher for that same content that Google already has from another site.
That’s why your content must be unique for the value that you are providing in the content as well as language.
You should have something unique that you can share with your audiences like a case study, experiment, experience, or something else. That’ll establish you as a trusted brand in the eyes of Google and your audience.
Now as user intent has become more important because of the BERT update, content uniqueness has become even more crucial. So if you want to thrive in 2021, you need to focus more on content uniqueness.
According to Google, a staggering 27% of the entire global population is using voice search on their mobile phones. Furthermore, ComScore reports that more than half of the smartphone users are engaging with voice search technology in 2020.
Now here’s a thing, most of the voice search queries are long-tail and very specific. Users look for specific answers to their queries when they use voice search.
And such users are at the consideration stage and are more likely to convert than the rest of the users.
Since voice search optimization is still growing as more people are opting for it with the passing time, it is expected to continue trending in 2021 as well. So this can be a necessity in terms of SEO.
Just like most of the industries, AI is changing the SEO and marketing industry as well. The reason behind this impact of AI is the personalization that AI provides. And here’s a fact: Google utilizes AI to provide the searchers with results they are looking for.
But how can AI help with your SEO strategies?
It takes years to understand the search engine algorithms used to rank web pages. And then creating strategies accordingly takes a lot of time.
While SEO experts can help with such strategies a lot, utilization of AI and machine learning can be a game-changer. It would be much more efficient and powerful in terms of decoding the algorithms and creating favorable strategies.
There are several companies like HubSpot, Frase, and MarketMuse that are providing AI-based solutions that can help companies with their SEO efforts and in the coming years, such tools can become a major trend in the industry.
YouTube is the second most popular search engine after Google with over 1 billion users. And still, if you aren’t into video editing, it’s high time to get started.
But how to optimize that video content for search engines? Start with optimizing your video channel name and description. Though the description shouldn’t be overloaded with keywords but provide a user-friendly description of what your channel is all about.
However, even keywords are important. For example, if you’re optimizing your videos for YouTube, you can use YouTube’s autocomplete feature. Start typing your video’s topic and then some suggestions will pop-up in the search field. The suggestions are the related keywords that you can use for optimizing the video for reaching the right set of audience.
Featured Snippets are one of the recent updates that have been in the limelight. Featured snippets or position zero appears at the top of SERP. The result that you see above the first result. Yes, the one that is covered in a rectangular box.
These snippets aren’t just useful for the searchers but also beneficial for the websites.
However, you won’t be able to select the content that is shown in the featured snippets, it’s the Google algorithm bots that do the job.
Also, the exact method of getting your web page in the featured snippets isn’t clear. Marketers and SEO experts use a few strategies that might be helpful. For example, to get in the featured results, you need to answer a specific question, and answering in bullet points (well-structured content) would be better.
Must Read: How to Get Featured Snippets Guide
Influencers are the ones with millions of followers and these followers may become your customers if you approach them.
Such influencers earn the trust of your potential audience over years and if they come forward to support your brand, the ROI can be enormous. And so 89% of marketers believe that ROI from influencer marketing is comparable to or better than other marketing methods.
However, you need to be quite specific while choosing influencers. Not every influencer can help your brand. You need to choose the ones who have the right set of audience. The audience you want to target.
But how does influencer marketing impact SEO?
Backlinks are an important ranking factor. But not all kinds of backlinks can work. You need high-quality backlinks. And that’s where influencers can help. With an influencer or influencers by your side, you increase the chances of getting natural high-quality backlinks for your website.
Brand Visibility & Engagement
Influencers know what their audience likes or dislikes and so when they create content around your brand, their audience relates to it. And that content is unique, valuable, and helpful.
Search engines have a soft corner for viral content. And when an influencer shares a post that has all the share-worthy traits the content gets shared by a plethora of people which provokes the search engines to rank the mentioned web page higher in the SERPs.
Social Media Traffic
This goes without saying that viral content always helps generate tons of traffic.
EAT & Branded SEO
Google prefers content quality when it comes to rankings. But does “quality” alone work? There comes the EAT principle: expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.
Brands are the future of SEO. SEO is shifting to branding and authority. The more you’re popular and authentic, the more you’ll rank on Google. And you’ll notice this in the upcoming months.
That’s why you should make efforts to establish your business as a brand. Give it a top priority in your 2021 SEO Strategy. Also, increase your brand search queries. Brands queries are a hidden ranking factor that will help you to rank higher and establish yourself as a trusted brand on Google.
But if you are working in a YMYL niche then it is more important for you. You should improve your EAT. Google said that Google is very conscious of ranking YMYL sites and taking EAT seriously. (EAT is not a direct ranking factor, but Google uses some algorithms that analyze the EAT for sites)
That’s why you shouldn’t lack this. You should take it seriously. Publishing your business on news media publications, complete well-described (including qualifications & recognitions) author profiles, address, details about founders & C-level, awards, proper contact details, etc. helps you to improve your website EAT.
Must Read: Enterprise SEO Guide
So these were the SEO trends that you need to know about as we move towards 2021. Keep these trends in mind and create your winning SEO strategy.