If there is one thing that continues evolving in the digital marketing landscape, it is SEO. Over the past few years, SEO changes alongside new technologies and innovations, such as artificial intelligence, voice assistants, and the prominence of mobile use.
This will continue in the years ahead, which poses quite a challenge to organizations. Therefore, it pays to know what you will be dealing with. Luckily, as experienced digital marketing professionals, we can help you here.
Here are the SEO trends for 2021 you need to watch out for:
What Are the Top SEO Trends for 2021?
If you want your business to be ready for 2021, then you need to read on the following SEO trends:
Content Is Still King
Content has already been well-established as one of the key factors of a site’s success. This has not changed. When you create useful content, people will find value in it and start seeing you as an authority figure. They appreciate it, and so does Google.
These days, if you want to rank high on Google, you need to make sure your content meets your users’ needs. You cannot only rely on keywords alone. This technique is no longer effective. The formula for success now will be on the quality of your content—and not how many keywords you use.
To improve your content marketing strategy in 2021, you should consider the following:
- Develop buyer personas.
- Conduct research on search intent.
- Create content in the formats your audience is interested in.
- Hire great content writers.
Expect a Rise in Semantic Search
When it comes to SEO trends in 2021, people and how they search for something on the web will be a prime focus. This includes semantic search.
But, what exactly is semantic search? Before we explain it to you, we need to discuss what the concept of semantics is first. Basically, it involves words, their relationships, and what those relationships entail in certain contexts.
This certainly is ideal for Google. Remember, a search engine’s major purpose is to curate the most relevant results for a user’s query. Semantic search, therefore, is the way a search engine uses data to identify the context, meaning, and intent needed to deliver the most accurate results.
These are the areas you should concentrate on in terms of semantic search:
- Create content that addresses your target audience’s questions.
- Do not write for search engines. Write for people.
- Instead of optimizing content for keywords, optimize it for topics.
- Use structured data where it works.
Search Intent Will Become More Important Than Keywords
Google keeps getting smarter. Since Google introduced its BERT update in 2019, the search engine has been able to understand intent. What does this mean? Essentially, Google’s algorithm can identify the reason behind a user’s search query—whether to find a certain location or to buy something.
This is considered a key update because it has transformed the search engine experience. It now accommodates voice search and voice assistants—which continue to rise in popularity. People ask Alexa or Siri questions and treat them as search engines.
More individuals are choosing to search for things like the way they talk. Google is accommodating this development, and you should be, too.
You can no longer research the keywords you want to rank for or the ones your audience typically uses and call it a day. Now, you have to be more clever and get to the bottom of why they search for something in the first place. Are they looking for your contact information? Do they want a quote for your service? Or do they want to make a purchase? You need to understand these customer journeys and realize that every journey is different.
Local SEO Will Need Google My Business
Is the local search part of your digital marketing strategies? Well, it should be if your business has a physical location or two. Now, if you want to be seen on a local search, you have to ensure your Google My Business listing is thorough, detailed, and regularly updated.
You see, engagement and activity on Google My Business listings mean good ranking signals for Google. Therefore, you must properly optimize your listing.
Here are just some of the items you need to include in your Google My Business listing:
- Company website
- Phone numbers
- Reviews and ratings
Video Will Be as Relevant as Ever
Nowadays, when you try Googling any topic, you usually see a video carousel at the top portion of the SERP. Video carousels were first introduced by Google to SERPs in 2018. Video has only become more popular since that period. When you think about it, it is pretty understandable. After all, YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world.
There is a strong emphasis on video that stems from user demand. The majority of people would prefer watching a short video than spending their precious time reading an article. Videos are easy to digest. They are perfect for multitaskers. Plus, they work great on mobile devices. Google acknowledges this and is changing its algorithm to accommodate it.
Since there is a preference for video, this means your business should start producing more videos and optimize them to increase search visibility and site traffic. However, this can be an expensive undertaking. These suggestions, though, can help you start developing videos from the resources you already have:
- Repurpose your top blogs into video content.
- Hold interviews with team members, clients, or thought leaders your audience will enjoy.
- Optimize your videos for YouTube SEO (e.g., titles, thumbnails, and the like).
Zero-Click Search Results Will Keep Changing
What is a zero-click search result? Well, as its name suggests, it offers an individual the answer they need to their question without having to click through to a site.
If you try Googling “COVID-19,” for example, you will see key information on the left side such as statistics and health info. You will also see the most up-to-date news as well as an overview of the cases in your area.
This experience will continue to rise next year. In fact, as of 2019, these zero-click searches make up more than half of all Google searches.
COVID-19 Will Leave a Big Mark
Since it started spreading earlier in the year, COVID-19 has transformed the entire world. Google responded to it by forgoing new Google reviews for a while to help businesses and their team. Also, they launched the May 2020 Core Update during the pandemic’s onset. In a way, this update demonstrated the rising preference for factual and high-quality sites.
What does this mean for SEO? It indicates that Google can and will condition results with regard to global issues, such as pandemics.
The COVID-19 crisis has unveiled many organizations’ blind spots and unpreparedness. We recommend that you do the following to keep your business on top of things when the next crisis occurs:
- Formulate a crisis communication strategy.
- Be ready to make updates to your website, Google My Business listing, and the like.
- Brainstorm ways you can help your audience.
Are You Ready for 2021?
As you can gather from the trends we have listed down, there seems to be a shift in priorities for 2021. Your audience and what their experiences are at the heart of it all. Search engines will be focusing on improving their experiences, whether comparing different product prices or obtaining important information regarding a pandemic.
So, if you want to keep winning the SEO game in 2021, you will have to adapt accordingly. Concentrate on creating content that adds value and relates to your users’ search intent. But, it does not end there. There is always room for optimizing and enhancing.
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