SEO in 2021, the trends you need to know about

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Its 2021 and there are some new trends in SEO that you need to consider. Just when you thought you had SEO nailed, along came more. Why does it keep changing though? It has to change to reflect the change in user behaviour and use of the internet. The internet is ever evolving. The way people use the internet and in particular Search has changed a lot over the last few years. Emerging technologies are forcing users to change how they do everything from waking up to cooking a dinner!

We no longer just use the internet only on a desktop after sitting down and booting it up. We now use it on our phones and carry out searches as we make dinner and can’t remember the name of that spice you put in chilli. Stereo’s and CD’s are practically obsolete. Users are trending towards smart devices both in their hands and in their homes where they can control everything from the colour of their lights to the music they are listening to.

Lets have a look at some of these newer trends and how its going to affect SEO.

Mobile, mobile, mobile!

Not necessarily new since Mobile-first indexing rolled out in 2019 but it does mean that you need to change your focus from desktop sites to mobile sites. Mobile first indexing means Google looks at the mobile version of your website first and it is considered your primary website. If you do nothing else this year, get your website mobile responsive and not just capable of being used on a mobile – there is a HUGE difference. You can check how mobile friendly your pages are with Googles free mobile-responsive test

Voice search

Voice search will impact search queries more – think Amazon Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant. It is predicted that 55% of households will have a smart speaker by 2022! In our previous blog we suggested optimising for long tail keywords and this is why it makes sense. To optimise for Voice Search think about how you ask Siri questions and optimise for those long tail keywords. Queries are conversational and use everyday words therefore your keywords should replicate that. The difference between voice search and typed search is how the user requests the search, there is an inclination to abbreviate sentences when typing. A user is more likely to ask Alexa “What are long tail keywords?” whereas they might type “long tail keywords” into Google

E.A.T

Have you heard of Google’s EAT principal? This is all about content quality. Google determines quality by EAT – Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness. What does this look like for business though? It involves knowing your audiences and researching how they search, what they search and what makes them click through. For example if your audience is teens – videos are a must but if your audience is older video may not work as well. In our last blog we referenced knowing what your customers are searching for and curating content around those keywords, this is why doing that matters. When you are creating a piece of content make sure you are linking out to authoritative websites to back up any claims you make. If you are using fact and figures link out to the site you got the data from, ensuring its a trustworthy site. The more you read, the more quality content you will find and the more authoritative your own content will become.

Long Form Content

Learn to write longer but more high quality posts! Long posts take time but its been shown by semrush.com in their State of content marketing report that longer form content results in 3 times more traffic and 4 times more shares. Top tips for this one is to make sure your content is split up with H2 and H3 headings to help the bots scan it and to link to authoritative sources for facts and figures. Make these posts really easy to share by adding share buttons to all posts.

Featured Snippets

Featured Snippets – referenced in your previous blog post are like a short cut to Google prominence if you can get your content featured. While long form content gets more attention, snippets are more prominent in a SERP page. Snippets are shorter form snappy bits of content like FAQ’s, lists, menus, recipes. They appear in a box above all the search results and they get an overwhelming percentage of the available clicks! Featured snippets are a great way of getting on page 1 of Google. Next time you google something have a look for snippets, sometimes they are videos, bulleted lists, FAQ etc, it depends what you searched for.

How do you create a snippet though? Think about answering questions with relevant keywords. If you do a search, check out the “People also ask” box for inspiration on what other people are searching for and then you can create content around that question.

Video!

Who uses the internet most? If we think of YouTube, tiktok, instagram, Facebook, what have they in common? They use video, among other things. TikTok is soaring because video is a highly attention-grabbing tool. Video is projected to surpass all other kinds of consumption according to Cisco. When it comes to video you need to optimise just like you do for other tools you use. Your channel name, description, video titles, video descriptions should all reference keywords but they should be written in a natural flowing form and provide a user-friendly description of the channel and video. If you search for your video topic in Youtube, the suggestions that pop up are basically a list of keywords that people are searching and you can use these to optimise your video. Making use of trusted links in the description is also good.

Local SEO

Do you optimise for your locality? When we think of the internet we usually think of the immense audience we can reach, when in actual fact the most common kinds of search are for local amenities, services and products. Think about what you do when on holidays – you search for what’s in your locality. In this instance local SEO is what serves you up the best cafe in Paris or at least one that’s near enough for you to get to! Local SEO is evolving and its having an affect on Zero-Click searches. A zero click search is a search query that results in the user not clicking on anything. This might sound counter productive. Whats actually happening is that users query is being answered by the SERP that was displayed so they don’t go any further. Many zero-click searches are local searches that show the results on the SERP in what’s been dubbed a “local pack.” So how do you get your business in that Local Pack? You start by claiming your business in Google My Business. If you are unsure how and what to do check out our blog in GMB.

Get to know your websites stats using analysis tools

Getting on top of the data your website produces is key to enhancing SEO efforts. There are many analysis tools out there to help you see how exactly your website is doing. Google Search Console and Google Analytics are two must haves. To delve deeper into the nitty gritty of page ranking, keyword ranking specifics there are tools and services you can sign up for that offer both free and paid subscriptions, something like Ahrefs is awesome. That said – no matter what tool you use – you need to understand the data you are looking at, otherwise its wasted. This is where the services of a SEO specialist comes in to its own.

Conclusion

SEO is getting so complex. This is due to technology complexity and the speed of adoption by users. The future of SEO is way beyond the simple tasks of keyword and meta description optimisation. You need to optimise for voice and video. Keep an eye on how your rankings are doing by using the right tools for the job.

If this seems far beyond what you have time to do, get in touch and we will be happy to dig you out of the SEO hole!

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