Nothing says sexy like Search Engine Optimization.
Okay, that’s a lie. It might not be the sexiest term around, but anyone that owns a website knows that what it lacks in sexiness, it pays off in dollars. You can have the most beautiful website in the world, but if no one sees it, is it even there? The answer is no. Luckily, with some basic steps, you have the ability to drive organic traffic to your site and be found.
Recent years have seen considerable changes in the game. Optimizing for featured snippets, for instance, has allowed websites to jump competition, including paid ads, to position number one on Google’s front page. Video has become exceedingly prominent when it comes to rankings. And long-form content has become the standard if you want to get noticed.
But the thing about SEO is that it’s continuously evolving. It would be best if you stayed on top of the game to keep up with competitors. Every year, recent trends demand attention, and if you fail to keep up, you’ll be left behind. Let’s take a look at three of the most significant SEO trends of 2021.
The all-importance of search intent
Gone are the days when you could stuff a post with hundreds of keywords and skyrocket to the front page of the rankings. Google has gotten smart. And that’s a good thing for all of us. The search engine is doing its best to provide the results that the user is looking for.
Google stores a decent chunk of the planet’s information, and they keep getting better at figuring out what someone is searching for. This year, it will be paramount for SEO professionals to pay close attention to what people are searching for and how they want to consume their information. For instance, if someone asks the question, “What is the best glass bong?” and the top five search results are in blog format, then you’ll know that this is how people want to consume content for this question. And it would behoove you to answer it in the same format.
“Google will get even better at recognizing when a searcher is looking for expert advice and will rank those posts above articles written by content writers who are lacking E-A-T,” Haynes said. “The SEO pros who will be successful in 2021 will be those who can truly understand how to meet a searchers’ needs,” says Marie Haynes, CEO, Marie Haynes Consulting.
Mobile optimization must be a priority
Any SEO professional will tell you that optimizing for mobile is no longer nice to have; it’s the standard. According to Statista, almost 65% of all online search is conducted via a mobile device. And it’s predicted that by 2025, 75% of searches will be of the mobile variety. So, you better make sure that your user experience is just as good on a mobile device as it is on a desktop.
As mobile has become the new norm, it’s a safe bet that Google will be prioritizing your mobile UX while the desktop computer takes a backseat. In a nutshell, your mobile site will determine your rankings.
Voice search optimization will become more important
There’s no stopping the unrelenting surge of voice search. It’s coming on strong, and it’s here to stay. Thanks to devices like Alexa in our homes, the convenience of asking a question rather than typing it is undeniable. People are starting to lean towards the convenience of simply asking a question rather than typing it. Smart speakers are not yet the norm, but they will be soon. In fact, by 2022, it’s thought that 55% of households will own one of these handy devices. The impact will be massive. So, what does this mean for SEO? Please start thinking about optimizing your keywords the way people speak rather than how they type. It’s often more conversational and more specific. One looking for organic honey in San Francisco might type, “Organic honey SF,” but when speaking, might say, “Where can I find organic honey in San Francisco?.” Or they might type “Best paddleboard for beginner”, but dictate “What is the best paddleboard to use for people with no experience.” The phrases will tend to be longer, resembling everyday conversations.
We all know that 2020 was a dumpster fire of a year. But with so many people stuck at home, Google’s search rate shot to the moon. According to Forbes, internet usage shot up by 70% thanks to COVID-19. That means there’s a lot of work for SEO professionals to do. It can be dizzying to try to keep up with best practices in such an evolving field when it comes to rankings. But whether you’re an SEO professional or internet entrepreneur, there is one rule that applies to everyone: Create valuable content. Always remember to put yourself in the user’s shoes and think about what they are looking for. If you do nothing else regarding SEO, do this, and create beneficial content. Search Engine Optimization might not be that glamorous, but it’s essential. Spending a little extra time and putting in the effort will pay dividends in the end on your way to the top of page one.