More than 67% of clicks are received on the first five results on search engines. Considering the higher proportion of conversions going to the top results, businesses are dwelling into SEO more than ever before.
Search engine optimization has evolved since 1991 be it focussing on real-time data and insights or doing a local search, using artificial intelligence, etc. There are various developments in the search engine space whose overall goal is to appear in top organic search and increase website traffic.
So, in 2021, what are the SEO trends you must follow? Continue reading below.
SEO trends you can’t ignore in 2021
1. User-centric SEO
One of Google’s core philosophies is to focus on a user-centric approach. The user-centric approach revolves around the concerns of users, what they are looking for, how you are providing solutions to their problems, and more.
Google states, ‘Focus on the user and all else will follow’.
It is clearly emphasizing creating your SEO strategies around users and their engagement.
The concept of user-centric SEO applies to all the strategies involving human interaction. The below-mentioned SEO trends also form a part of the user-centric approach. For example, SEO trends like content marketing, making your website mobile-friendly, link marketing, etc, all have one thing in common- it focuses on users. How to engage them, retain them, and continue and leverage the interaction for the longer run.
You will understand while reading below how all these trends follow a common user-centric approach.
2. Mobile rich SEO
According to a study done on mobile usage statistics in 2021, more than 3.8 billion people are expected to use mobile devices on a daily basis. In addition to that, in Q3 of 2020, mobile devices have contributed to 50.81% of the global website traffic.
The rise of mobile usage has been ever increasing. This suggests most people prefer mobile phones while consuming content online. And hence the rise in mobile-optimized websites.
So, how do you check if your website’s SEO is mobile-friendly? Here are some of the most used methods.
A) Run Mobile Usability Test for your website
Mobile Usability test from search console is used to know of any existing mobile usability issues for your website. Here is how you can check it.
– Go to Google Search Console and login into your website linked account.
– To your left side, select the option of ‘Mobile Usability as shown below.
B) Run Mobile-Friendly Test from Google
This free tool from Google lets you run tests on your website related to mobile-friendly parameters.
Fortunately, the results we received through this test are positive. Once you check the loading issues or additional details as highlighted above, you can easily comprehend what needs to be done. The mobile-friendly test report comes with easy solutions to prevailing issues for mobile-friendly sites.
C) Test your website’s Responsive design
Using a free tool, you can check if your website’s device is responsive across different mobile sizes.
D) Check your website’s loading speed
Google suggests that a page load time under one second is the ideal time users wait. Anything more than that adds to poor experience or shift in thoughts about visiting the website.
To check your website loading speed on mobile devices,
Notice above how the report tells us that the website ( a test website) does not pass the core web vital assessment. Using this simple and free tool we can easily check for the website’s missing parameters.
The time insights of your website you can find on the report as shown below.
3. Content marketing
The most crucial aspect of Search engine optimization is to optimize the content of a website. In a way, that your mobile content is in a readable format, encourages users to stay on mobile, etc.
As we talked about the increase in mobile content consumption above in the blog, it is imperative to know that your content should be highly optimized for mobile version SEO.
So, how to check and optimize your site content for mobile?
Also, when it comes to content optimization for the mobile version vs web, know that the mobile format of a blog is provided more space for meta title and description. Therefore, optimize your website and mobile version content with more suitable headings meta titles and descriptions serving both versions.
For Desktop Version:
Title length: Around 70 Characters
Description length: Around 155 Characters
For Mobile Version:
Title length: Around 78 Characters
Description length: Around 155 Characters
A) Make your website content mobile readable.
A mobile website should have clear readability. Your content should not require any extra efforts for users to read. For example, a user should not unnecessarily scroll down the website to understand its content, neither they should be distracted by unorganized content.
For example, see the website below. Its content is difficult to read and is not aligned in order.
On the other hand, another example below shows what readable content should look like; properly spaced, includes sufficient margin, symmetrical content, clear CTAs, etc.
Some of the parameters for mobile content readability are as follows.
B) Ensure that your content have some depth
“Making an online presence is relatively easy than making a good online presence.”
Your content assets talk about your brand, tell users that you hold ample knowledge about your industry, helps you become authoritative, and establishes credibility.
Some of the important parameters you can consider for quality and depth of content are as follows.
C) Use HTML5 for video content
Is your website one of those that uses appealing animation? Or include informational videos in blogs? Then this is probably for you.
If your website makes use of video in it, it’s important that the video loads on time and users can quickly play it.
For example, look at the animation used on the home page below. If the animation doesn’t load quickly, it can directly impact your bounce rate and traffic.
In order to include compatible video content, create your videos and animations using HTML5 rather than Flash.
D) Optimize your images to mobile formats
Imagine you are reading a blog on your mobile phone. And the images are displayed in a rather not so appealing manner and wrong sizes. This will create a poor site experience as the ratio of content and images size is not correctly put.
Let us understand this further using an example.
Example 1 shows a website with the header image occupying more space than the text format. The readability is poor and ‘above the fold’ content is not so visible.
On the other hand, Example 2 below shows how the header image and content and properly aligned, giving enough brief on the article. This will act as a hook and keeps the reader engaged till the bottom of the article.
4. Local Search Optimization
One of the most important SEO trends in 2021 is the rise in local SEO. Initially, local businesses had to rely on an offline network of customers and traditional marketing. However, it is recent that Google started showing local news and information in its search results.
Local search marketing is to build a presence of your offline store or offline services on search results. From small enterprises to big corporations, optimizing your brand for local search is an indicator of a strong presence in the market and brings in more conversion and sales.
The rise in local search for goods and services has led to an increase in zero-click content. Or most commonly referred to as featured snippets. Zero-click content appears from most of the local SEO results.
How do you make your website appear in local search results?
For the search query on the best email marketing software, the first result in SERP gives you direct results. Users reading this, wouldn’t necessarily click on other results as the answer is directly displayed.
We have written an altogether separate guide on local search marketing. Read it here and rank on top local results.
5. The rise in Predictive Search Model
To improve its search results, Google in 2017 introduced Google Discover. Google Discover makes use of artificial intelligence to provide relevant search results based on user’s online behavior. Google Discover doesn’t require any search query from the user’s end. And that’s what makes the whole difference.
Imagine the power of optimizing your content for Google Discover. Your blogs would appear in your audience’s feed without even them searching for the same. This results in increased traffic, engagement and conversions.
So, how do you improve content visibility in your user’s feed?
To appear in a predictive search, you don’t need to do anything specific. If your website’s pages are timely indexed, the search engine will study the user behavior like content format mostly consumed, the browser mostly used, which posts users like and which posts they ignore, the location and search history, etc. And the relevant results appear in the feeds of your users.
6. Increase in Semantic Search
When SEO was started, the basic SEO parameters that online businesses focused on were using primary keywords in the content. It was believed the more primary keyword you use in your content, the more your website will become visible in search engines for user’s queries.
However, with the advent of SEO, search engines had to become more competitive concerning semantic search.
How search engines use semantic search for better organic results?
The search intent
Search engines try to understand the intent of user queries and provide content that most suits the query.
This allows search engines to display relevant results such as a website page, a podcast page, a product feature page, and so on.
Understanding Semantic terms
To provide contextual results, Google needs to understand much deeper aspects of search keywords. It searches for primary and secondary keywords both to understand the contextual meaning of the content.
As you create your SEO strategy, you can include some best practices to make your content semantic search-friendly.
For example, when you do a search query, you can see its related question as shown below. Write content with these related search phrases.
Push notifications, web notifications, notification alerts, etc.
Thematic-based keywords are the keywords and phrases that revolve around your core theme. It mostly includes synonyms, related search queries, PAA, etc.
7. The rise in data-driven and analytical approach
The most important and ‘must- not’ forget aspect of SEO is to use data and analytics in it.
Data science has been adopted by various brands in the past recent years. The ability to collect data, analyze, and implement it in SEO gives powerful benefits to brands.
The use of such tools has made it easier to find complex queries.
For example, using SEO tools you can accurately find the difficulty of a specific keyword, or the global search for the same, or the cost per click of the keywords, etc. This will help you to prepare the content plan that is most effective with fewer efforts and brings in the highest conversions.
This content was originally published here.