10 SEO Trends For 2021
Upcoming trends for 2021 that may affect your website ranking
In the world of SEO things are constantly changing. What works one year may not work the next, with AI and new technology appearing quickly..
Artificial Intelligence Will Play a Larger Role in SEO
In recent years more advanced machine learning programs were introduced to optimise search engines using algorithms like Rankbrain. These algorithms are designed to learn and decipher more complicated queries and question formats to bring up relevant resources.
Before you had enter searches that relied on key words to find content like ‘Cafes, London’, now you can enter more technical searches such as ‘the best cafes near me’ and googles’ Rankbrain algorithm is advanced enough to recognise the intent or meaning behind your search to provide a list of webpages that may not even contain a single key words used in the search.
Voice Search Will Impact Search Queries
The ongoing adaptation to voice control technology for devices using programs like Siri, Alexa, Echo and others brought a large rise in voice controlled searches which has a number of effects.
People generally speak in longer more conversational tones than when typing online, where things are usually abbreviated or shortened and more concise. Spoken questions are longer and involve more key words.
This is reflected in voice technology and voice searches. Websites now have to adapt to ensure their SEO optimisation will function with the longer form searches that use more indirectly related keywords.
Mobile Friendliness Will Impact Search Rankings
More audiences are viewing websites and media content through mobile devices like smart phones and tablets. Some websites are mobile friendly while other programs introduced apps, separate urls or other alternatives to make their brands content more mobile friendly.
The accessibility of their content on mobile devices will play a larger role in the coming years and impacts the search rankings for the websites as more viewers surf the web on their mobile devices.
Content for mobile devices requires optimisation for search engine efficiency and viewing. This includes the format for viewing, accessibility and configuration for links or landing pages and especially responsiveness or loading time on mobile devices are all key criteria that make website mobile friendly.
Content That Fulfills the Google EAT Principle Will Rank Higher
Content has to follow certain principles and satisfy quality standards to earn higher search engine rankings and to avoid being filtered out or flagged. A qualifying indicator is content follows the principles of EAT laid out by google.
These principle are from the ‘google search quality evaluator guideline’ which provides information on what exactly constitutes quality content.
The three primary factors are Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness which is what EAT stands for.
Google has its own reputation to maintain and strives to avoid presenting false or misleading content whenever possible. This is why google requires content producers to follow the principles of EAT or the even higher standard YMYL, which stands for your money or your life and covers content that involves health or finance, requiring even stricter verification and expertise.
Long-Form Content Will Help Improve SERPs
Long form content is surprising analysts as it seems to have advantages over short content for search engine ranking pages. Long form content (at least 1500-2000 words and up) appeals to many online viewers where it is often seen as more credible and of higher expertise. Long form content draws in the readers, its more engaging and often contains information worth sharing across social media.
Shorter content is not seen as reliable for verified sources of news or information but is more often sought out to answer shorter and simpler queries
The other additional benefit is using more back links in long form content also adds to authority and improves search engine relevancy.
Featured Snippets Will Become More Prominent
Snippets are shorter concise forms of content for brands or webpage that are usually featured at the top of a webpage and focus directly on particular common topics or questions. Snippets can be very effective as they are often seen first and stand out, generating a lot of traffic for the content.
Further, they are often viewed from search engine results pages directly and serve to immediately catch your attention and direct viewers away from competitors. This can be extremely effective
marketing and content producers have adapted to produce higher quality snippets like rich snippets which include pictures or graphics to enhance the content and truly stand out at first glance.
An Effective SEO Strategy Will Need to Include Video
YouTube is one of the largest media platforms on the planet, with billions of users streaming and producing content all the time. Video content is highly useful for marketing, people stop and slow down to view, reducing bounce rates. It is one of the highest consumed forms of media. For news, blogs, instructional and educational videos, corporate training and everything you can imagine.
SEO strategies should include video search optimisation for content as creating videos connects a wide range of audiences and requires effective marketing.
Using key words in accurate well written descriptions to communicate what the video content is about are some of the critical factors when creating video content.
Image Optimisation Will Play a Larger Role in Search
Image optimisation was not largely considered until more recent years and it has evolved along the way. Where before the images were simply used to enhance content experiences images are now being effectively used in the search engine optimisation strategies.
Using clear high quality images is crucial for your content as well as making sure it is identifiably relevant. Optimisation comes from effectively labeling and naming the images used in your content so that it will be reflected in any image searches and queries relevant to your content.
Using proper captions, titles and tags can greatly enhance the chances your image will be ranked higher in search engines an stand out it queries.
There Will Be More Importance Placed on Semantically Related Keywords
With more sophisticated technology we can place higher priority on the intent or meaning behind the entire query or question being framed rather than being constrained by the frequency of key words alone.
Developers are trying to improve technology to recognise the relevance of semantics in search engines. With algorithms like Rankbrain there are attempts to have search engines recognise the underlying themes or topics of a question, the ‘intent’ as it relates to a whole query rather than simply placing relevance on the key words most frequently displayed and intersected across content.
To account for this content should be produced to address topics and questions in longer form and not rely on key terms alone. This can also adds quality to the content produced.
Local Search Listings Will Play a Larger Role in SEO Strategies
Local Searches are one of the most commonly used across the web. Using a local search is the preferred query for many potential customers now. Whether searching for local businesses, restaurants, public transport and services, using a local search has quickly become one of the largest sources of generating online traffic.
Optimising your online content for local searches is important to improve your search engine ranking and to attract new clients.
Listing yourself on google maps, using locations for key words in you content, connecting through google my business and creating content based on local news and events are highly effective ways of improving your relevancy in local searches.